Home > Idiots, Small Things I Blow Out Of Proportion > Alice for the iPad makes me angry.

Alice for the iPad makes me angry.

Gruber linked to a promo video for a new app called “Alice,” which is a “book” in some bizarro world populated entirely by Gruber and his ego. His entirely-too-rambly summary of the video is this:

How does the Kindle compete with this?

And the video is here:

This makes me actively angry. I considered punching my monitor, but then my spares would be down to five. And I’m sobering up, and if I cut myself I’d have to stop drinking before going to the ER (those assholes check your breath).

What’s the point of this app? To show you that it has an accelerometer? We already knew that. Is it to show us that bobbleheads exist? Again, we already knew. There are words on the page but it isn’t a book. It’s infuriating, and not just because flashing things scare me. It’s infuriating because it’s a pretty hack job, and it’s infuriating because overblown schmucks like Gruber think that just because it’s on the revolutionary iPad, that means that the app is revolutionary. Or that this in some way relates to the repair of the newspaper and magazine industries that the iPad supposedly is going to deliver, even though it won’t.

To answer your question, Gruber, about how the Kindle competes with this? The Kindle has books on it. This app isn’t a book; it’s an insult to books to compare the two things. This is a child’s messy doodle wrapped up in binary.

I’ve got an idea for you, Gruber: I’ll write an app for the iPad that has a picture of a rocket ship on it. When you shake the iPad, the sky behind the rocket will move, as though the rocket is flying. Then you can ask Boeing how it can possibly respond to such innovation.


  1. CJ Hunt
    April 12, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    When did you become Jeff Jarvis, Walt?

  2. Alan Kastner
    April 12, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Oh, come now. You’re just jealous ’cause Gruber’s (still) got hair on his head.

  3. Alan Kastner
    April 13, 2010 at 2:23 am

    I heard it from Mike Arrington.

  4. Brian
    April 13, 2010 at 6:14 am

    “those assholes check your breath”- hilarious! I expect nothing less from you Walt.

  5. Bobert
    April 13, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Somewhere, Terry Gilliam is shedding a tear.
    Or planning a lawsuit.
    Or, maybe, if we’re lucky, adapting the script of Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the iPad…

  6. shoots
    April 13, 2010 at 7:19 am

    oh give over..

    If it gets the downloads and puts queen heads in their pockets then its a job well done!

  7. Nibs
    April 13, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    What makes me as mad as alice is steve jobs being late with his new show

  8. smak
    April 14, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    this is god damn brilliant. well said, and bravo! Your analogy to Boeing is spot on. Gruber is a douche.

  9. Marty
    June 29, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    You’re deliberately missing the point.

    iPad has the potential to offer ebooks the ability to have animations or other fancy motion activated options. Yes, perhaps the demo is an “app”, but what if Apple offered a development SDK for publishers that allowed simple interactivity to be included within an ebook? (no full-blown app required).

    There will never be a market for children’s books on a Nook or Kindle since they purposely chose to sacrifice color in order to get the epaper display qualities. This is a huge chunk of market left for the iPad to capture.

    But the real point is the iPad has potential to be so much more than a “regular” ebook reader… and if it is going to go head to head with the Kindles and Nooks of the world, it has to say, “Hey, there are things I can do that you’ll never get on a Kindle or Nook.” This video just demonstrates those capabilities and it is a perfectly fair and balanced comparison.

    The Boeing analogy is a straw man. There is nothing wrong with comparing a book presentation on one platform to a different book presentation on another. They’re both essentially ebooks. Crying “UNFAIR!” just because Kindle doesn’t have those capabilities is bull$#!t and reeks of fanboyism.

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