This is how you turn the page of a book:
This is how Apple’s iBooks turns the pages of a book:
This is not how you turn the page of a book:
This is how Google Boo— oops, sorry, Google Play Books — turns the pages of a book:
This is a good example of how Google manages to only make it around 70% of the way to a good UI. They often get the basic idea right, but the details (like, for instance, “does anyone actually turn a book this way?”) slip through, and it shows.
It’s why I’ve ditched the new Gmail web UI for Sparrow, even though it’s missing many features I liked and actually runs worse on my laptop. And it’s why I’ve recently switched my browser to (gasp) Safari: after a year from the first betas of OS X Lion, it still only had “most” of what you would want from a full Lion-ready browser.
I certainly hope Google finds a way to solve this issue. Most of their products are ahead of the competition in other respects, and I’d love to use them. But if Google still can’t make it all the way, even with a new focus on design, I’m not going to shove an inferior experience on myself.
See also: ICS Paper Cuts.