Review: Manuals with video courses for macOS Sonoma, iPhone (iOS 17) and iPad (iPadOS 17) – from amac buch Verlag

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Every year, when a new macOS version is released, questions arise about which macOS manuals are suitable for beginners. And every year I look at the books by Anton Ochsenkühn, who publishes books on the Mac, iPhone and iPad operating systems at amac-buch Verlag.

Raffle of three books

Are you interested in one of the three manuals from amac buch Verlag? Then come to the weekly Sir Apfelot newsletter. There they will be raffled off in a short time. Details about the raffle will be available in one of the next newsletter issues. Thanks to amac buch Verlag for the donation!

Transparency notice

The books you see in the photos were provided to me free of charge by the publisher. As always, this has no influence on my review of the manuals. Mr. Ochsenkühn was also unable to view the article before publication or have any influence on it. So you're reading my honest opinion about the manuals.

All three books for Mac, iPhone and iPad can be seen here - visually based on the corresponding operating system backgrounds.
All three books for Mac, iPad and iPhone can be seen here - visually based on the corresponding backgrounds of the operating systems.

Premium video manuals with screencasts

If you look at the books, you will probably notice that the title page also says “Video Course Manual”. The reason for this is that you not only purchase a book, but also access to numerous screencasts that you can access via the QR codes in the book.

To use the QR codes, you can open the camera app on the iPhone or iPad and take the QR code into the picture. As soon as the app has recognized that there is a QR code to be seen here, it displays a small note in the edge and asks whether you would like to open the corresponding page in Safari.

In many places in the books there is a QR code that you can scan with the iPad camera app to access instructional videos.
In many places in the books there is a QR code that you can scan with the iPad camera app to access instructional videos.

In this way, you can directly watch a video on many topics and instructions that shows how to do the relevant things on the Mac, iPhone or iPad.

This type of video help is integrated into all three manuals and, in my opinion, is particularly suitable for beginners because you can see directly what needs to be done. As the saying goes: a picture is worth 1000 words.

If you buy these manuals, you get several hours of video courses that you can watch on the iPad, for example.
If you buy these manuals, you get several hours of video courses that you can watch on the iPad, for example.

Presentation and structuring of the manuals

What I like about all of the manuals from amac-buch Verlag are the following points:

  • There is a table of contents that is divided into large subject areas and thus ensures order.
  • The major subject areas have a color coding that can also be found on the book's cut. This way you can quickly browse there.
  • An index at the end of the book is helpful if you are looking for an explanation of certain technical terms.
  • The inner cover pages are used for helpful information that you might want to have quickly at hand: gestures for the iPad or iPhone (even broken down into models with Touch ID and Face ID) or explanations of what the special keys on the Mac are called and where you find them. The macOS manual even lists explanations for the various ports on Macs - what they are called and what you can connect to them.
  • It uses 4-color printing entirely, which makes the inside pages much nicer, but also makes screenshots and other notes easier to read.
  • The chapters have green and red boxes with tips that are very helpful in everyday practice.

I think that says a lot of what makes these manuals so good. Now I would like to briefly introduce each book individually so that you can get a rough idea of ​​what to expect if you buy it.

The color coding on the side helps if you want to quickly jump to a specific chapter (Photos: Sir Apfelot).
The color coding on the side helps if you want to quickly jump to a specific chapter (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

macOS Sonoma – manual and video course

The Sonoma Handbook is the most extensive of the three books at 550 pages. The main topics from the table of contents are:

  1. Installing macOS Sonoma
  2. The first impression (desk, dock, finder, etc.)
  3. With the Mac on the Internet
  4. Safari, Mail, FaceTime & Co.
  5. Work with programs
  6. Of files and folders
  7. Smart functions in macOS
  8. Create and store files
  9. Useful programs
  10. User
  11. System Settings
  12. Contact with network resources
  13. Troubleshooting and fitness training
  14. Appendix
  15. Index

The beauty of the book is that it is just as interesting for beginners as it is for advanced users. Of course, you don't have to explain how to set up an email account to anyone who has been using a Mac for years.

The blue and green boxes with tips and hints are a nice relief in between.
The blue and green boxes with tips and hints are a nice relief in between.

But there are always practical tips in this reference work that you didn't know before. Or did you know that you can close all tabs in Safari with one click if you hold down the ALT key while clicking?

I also like that the book deals with the areas of troubleshooting and “What do I have to do if I want to sell or give away my Mac?” These are topics that you might not expect, but are very helpful when you need them.

The macOS Sonoma guide offers a full 5 hours of additional video material.
The macOS Sonoma guide offers a full 5 hours of additional video material.

iPhone – manual and video course

The iPhone manual At 285 pages, it's not quite as thick as the book about macOS Sonoma, but since the book focuses on iOS 17 and even integrates screenshots and screen recordings from the iPhone 15 Pro Max. You can see how “fresh” the book still is.

Thematically we have these areas in the manual:

  1. The first and second contact
  2. Important settings
  3. Don't miss anything and find everything
  4. The phone
  5. Communication via the Internet
  6. On the Internet with Safari
  7. The stores
  8. A picture is worth a thousand words
  9. The all-round talent in your pocket
  10. Data exchange
  11. Security and privacy
  12. Energy and problems
  13. Index

The book is basically designed in the same way as the macOS Sonoma manual. There are instructions, QR codes for videos and practical tips that are easy to implement.

iPad – manual and video course

Of course, the Apple tablet has its own iPad manual get it, which makes sense since iPadOS now works differently than iOS in many places. I think both iPad and iPhone users will feel better about receiving a manual that is specifically designed for their device.

With 252 pages and many videos, this is a solid operating manual that covers many subject areas in a beginner-friendly manner.

Here is an overview of the table of contents, which you may find familiar from the iPhone manual:

  • The first and second contact
  • Important settings
  • Don't miss anything and find everything
  • Communication
  • Traveling online with Safari
  • The stores
  • A picture is worth a thousand words
  • The all-round talent
  • Data exchange
  • Security and privacy
  • Energy and troubleshooting
  • Index

Well, some points are not that meaningful, but behind each chapter there are solid instructions on functions of the iPad operating system.

My conclusion about the books

In principle, I can only repeat what I already wrote above: The combination of manual and screencast videos is a successful combination that makes it easier, especially for beginners, to understand and learn functions in macOS, iOS and iPadOS.

In addition, the design of the books is very clear and is lightened up with practical tips and other information. The concept has been tried and tested for years and this type of manual also existed for the last Apple operating systems. In my opinion there is nothing to improve here.

I said it in a review a few years ago, but for me Apple should include a book like this with every Mac, iPhone or iPad when selling a device to Apple newbies. That would make it easier to get started and ensure many happy customers and switchers.

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

3 comments on “Review: Manuals with video courses for macOS Sonoma, iPhone (iOS 17) and iPad (iPadOS 17) – from amac buch Verlag”

  1. Nice post and great campaign! I think I will give my father a book like this for Christmas. Maybe even sooner. He came to me with a few questions about Sonoma. But the publisher seems to be getting a bit lazy when it comes to the cover design, right? Didn't they otherwise have the devices on them instead of color-changed Sonoma desk pictures? They have nothing to do with IOS and IPADOS...

    1. Hello Holger! Yes, I just looked at the macOS Monterey book and it still had iMac and MacBook on it. But of course you can ask yourself, why no Mac Pro, no Mac Mini, no Studio Mac? So I think the minimalist cover design is quite successful.
      And no, it's not all just the background of macOS Sonoma... that's what I thought at first, but Apple actually has similar backgrounds for iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. I took a special look.

      1. When I saw Apple's advertising and images for Sonoma, I often asked myself why only iMacs and MacBooks were shown. But I think that was a hidden hint that after the Sonoma release the iMac and the MacBooks with the M3 family will be released. These are the models that now appear natively with Sonoma.

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