Sure enough O’Reilly have introduced a new version of their iPad: The Missing Manual series, aptly named iPad2: The Missing Manual. Like all Missing Manual series, content is at the overview level attempting to cover the complete range of questions a new user might have of a particular technology. The book has all the good stuff when it comes to troubleshooting though and this is a particularly good missing manual.
The bottom-line is that it answers those niggling questions that new users would have and continues to serve as a useful reference source as a user gains familiarity.
iPad2: The Missing Manual is a lively read and the approachability of the volume is enhanced by the use of lots of full colour illustrations, screen shots and diagrams. The chapters are organised very logically and by this I mean that the titles focus on specific actions that you would want to actually *do* with your iPad. I suspect that most users will in fact look to the first two chapters to actually setup and make sure that their iPad is working as it should before mixing and matching with the rest. It’s easy to find the action sought and quickly locate the info desired. Generally individual subtopics are kept to a single page which makes things very easy to access.
One of the biggest criticisms of the book is its very heavy US-centric bias. Prices are all in US dollars, and when it comes to telecommunications options only US providers are dealt with — and done so in great detail. Great book for Americans, but if you live outside the US, a lot of the references seem to be rendered useless — unnecessarily — and frankly for new users to the iPad confusingly so. I can’t see trying to provide telecom provider information for every locale, but wonder if the book wouldn’t be better served to simply say, local options may vary and to provide references rather than just choose one large market and render the others untouched. I started to raise this as a minor quibble, but it rather grew on me. Why are prices even given in a printed book these days. It’s useful and sufficient to provide a URL to the product site, but the inclusion of prices really localalises a book and from my perspective unnecessarily and disusefully so. Moreover, the prices change and why lock the book in time. I think it important to especially warn users that all features aren’t available in all regions.
All in all though I do find this a very useful manual and would recommend it to new users of the iPad. It provides very extensive coverage of all the basics and steps into the breach giving excellent troubleshooting and direction for where one might turn to find additional information.