Patrick Carman impresses me with constantly trying to push the ways that traditional paper books interact with digital technology. (See me rant and rave like a fanboy for Skeleton Creek here.)
The new book-ish creation is 3:15, a collection of stories that are in smart phone app format.
I’ll give you my reactions as I experience it:
The app layout looks great and professional, very akin to a Kindle/nook app layout (and what I would expect a Shelfari app to look like if they ever got around to it (hint hint)).
I downloaded the app from the store for free. It then showed me a selection of stories to read. I clicked on the first story and it brought me back to the app store to download it. (I wonder why the download redundancy…) I am appreciative that it doesn’t change too much of my phone’s settings.
Nice. 3:15 is the first app listed on my phone. Yay, alphabetical order!
I like the swiping to change the pages, but I miss the Kindle tap on the side to flip pages. When the phone goes into standby, it messes with where I left off and resets to the first page. A couple of times while I was swiping it scrolled the opposite direction.
There’s also random red letters. I would initially think these were formatting errors, yet I know it’s Patrick Carman and suspect it’s a code.
I got to the end of the story and a video started to automatically load. It had trouble loading; I don’t know if it was my phone that was slow, my network, or other people using server bandwidth for the streaming video.
The Listen Read Watch buttons were a little misleading – I thought I had the option of listening to the story or reading it. The buttons are more of a progression, not nonlinear options.
The story is great, an eerie tale of a delivery boy tasked with carrying out a dying man’s final wish.
The boy does not and… I don’t know what happens next because the video won’t load. Buried Treasure is the free story, so I wonder if the ones you pay for load better.
Video took a while, but is SO worth it. Very professional film quality. Nicely done, PC Studios!
Obviously this is brand new and I’m excited for what Patrick Carman has to offer. I’m sure the glitches in the app will work themselves out. (Well, the software techs will work them out. We don’t want a Ghost in the Machine, right?) The key is that the writing is solid and enjoyable.
The first story is written by Paul Chandler, author of Peeper. 3:15 looks to be a promising short story anthology. One is A Night on the Dredge. Fun stuff.