I saw the above icon when browsing through iPad apps and of course it stuck out at me and made me wonder what app this was. Certainly it must be some Catholic app I thought. Turned out it was for an app version of the Father Brown books by G.K. Chesterton. It certainly does not invoke Father Brown to me, but an icon of a short rather frumpy looking priest I guess would not be the best icon. The icon reminds me more of what would happen if X-Men character Scott Summers (Cyclops) became a priest.
The fact that they are selling two Father Brown novels as an app annoys me to no ends. For $2.99 you get:
This special enhanced iPad version contains the following features:
• Choice of text size
• Chapter selection
• Remembers last viewed chapter
• Optimised for iPad
What annoys me is that they are ripping people off. For example via the iBooks store you can download both The Wisdom of Father Brown and The Innocence of Father Brown via Project Gutenberg for free. Or you could download them from Project Gutenberg directly and then import them into many of the freely available eBook readers on the iPad. The features they advertise are of course features available in every eBook reader. No doubt they and others are taking public domain books and inserting them into an app wrapper to take advantage of people who don’t realize how they could get the same content for free. If they offered some unique feature or benefit not otherwise available I would applaud their entrepreneurial spirit – instead I call rip off.
Instead go to Project Gutenberg and download and read the multiple works they have available for G.K. Chesterton and others. Project Gutenberg has their titles in text, html, and more recently in ePub and other formats. I like ePub because it is a free and open e-book standard that continues to grab support and is the default format for iBooks and is usable by Stanza.