As you saw earlier this week, I like to report on Best Books, lists, so when I saw that the Apple Books twitter account had tweeted a link to their list of the best books of 2020, I knew I wanted to see it.
Alas, that will not be possible. If you try to visit the list at (apple.co/BestBooksSoFar), all you will see is:
It’s 2020, and Apple is a trillion dollar company with the best tech that money can buy, and they still cannot be bothered to program something as simple as a web page. Instead, they expect you to have iTunes installed on your device so that the link will open there.
Basically what Apple is doing is creating pages that only work in one specific app (iTunes), and then sharing links to those pages on the internet.
This was not a bad idea when Apple started doing it shortly after launching iTunes 19-plus years ago – web browsers were frankly terrible, and iTunes was actually better.
And it was quirky when the iPad launched in 2010 (kinda like the iPad not having a file system), but in 2020 it’s just ridiculous.
Over half of web traffic comes from mobile devices, and the majority of those run Android. Between that and the many Windows devices that don’t have iTunes (my iPad doesn’t need it, so why would I have it?), Apple is sharing a link that fewer than a third of web users can open.
Oh, sometimes (if you’re lucky) the link will work and you will be able to at least see the content, but you still cannot buy it.
And the thing about that, folks, is that it’s not just bad tech – it’s also bad business.
Amazon has always been eager to sell you content in your web browser, and even Google figured out 8 years ago that they needed to sell content on the web (it’s why Google killed Android Market, and replaced it with Google Play). That’s why if someone share a link to the Kindle Store or Google Play Books, I can buy that ebook from just about any device.
Apple, on the other hand, still refuses to sell content in the web browser, and they still only grudgingly let you see the content that they refuse to sell you.
And that is costing them sales.