This Is How App-Like An Ebook Can Be In iBooks Using ePUB3 [Video]


The most impressive ebooks on the iPad aren’t ebooks at all, but dedicated iOS apps. With the power of HTML5, CSS3, Javascript and ePUB3, though, there’s no reason that has to be the case at all: you can put together a truly interactive, animated ebook right within iBooks.

Check out this awesome look at the iBook put together by Walrus Books for the upcoming Lovecraftian tome Kadath: The Guide To The Unknown City. Not only does it feature interactive maps, embedded fonts, integrated pop-ups and more, but it even has its own in-book meta game and version of in-app purchases.

This is super cool. I wish we saw more iBooks like this, but unfortunately, it seems like most publishers design their ebooks for the lowest common denominator platform — the Kindle.

  • Fail Video

    The Video doesn’t work. Pah!

  • fff

    “I wish we saw more iBooks like this, but unfortunately, it seems like most publishers design their ebooks for the lowest common denominator platform — the Kindle.”

    Considering the source material is generally non-interactive paper and any additions aren’t part of the original manuscript as produced, I’m fine with the Kindle doing what it does, which is letting me carry around multiple books and read them with a minimum of intrusion from interactive elements.

  • Florian Gnägi

    The problem is just that it might work today but maybe not tomorrow as JavaScript is not part of the epub spec! Actually the spec says that a reader must not execute script tags at all. 

    This means: all the work you put into such an ebook could be wiped by a simple software update by Apple and you could not blame them making the system more spec-conform.

    You might ask why script is not allowed: well, maybe because epub was largely funded by Adobe and they made sure that the object tag (to embedd flash) is allowed but the script tag is not. 

  • CharliK

    specs can be changed. 

    AS for this demo. this is the kind of stuff that the spec needs if we are going to get truly useful epub textbooks. you could also possibly use it for magazines as well. 

  • Adrian Werner

    Well..Kindle does seems to be bringing far more money ebooks-wise than tablets do, so untill that changes I doubt we’ll see too many interactive books. Which might be a good thing, I mean..plenty of iOS books like apps (like Alice) aren’t really books anymore, just edutainment software.

  • Ronald Stepp

    When you get a version of this that is all in english so I don’t get lost several times through, let me know.  A couple times the video showed me the tail end of a translation without the first part.

    If they’re apps, sell them as apps, if they’re books sell them as books. Gimmicks won’t gloss over the fact that iBooks simply is a joke compared to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

  • baby_Twitty

    OK. So the more you read the blurrier the texts become???
    Great way to encourage kids and students to read.

  • juvus

    “most publishers design their ebooks for the lowest common denominator platform — the Kindle.”

    Wow! the stuff that illiterate morons will write for clicks.  So you are not a reader, but the world have been reading just for the sake of reading for millennium, with no gimmicks. Reading is not about playing games or clicking buttons endlessly. Reading is about immersion is stories and imagination.  Something you clearly lack since you need javascript to make your reading experience feel worthwhile. 

    The kindle is successful with readers because they know what reading books requires. Just as the Ipad is successful with people who like to play games.  I could take your words and flip them around and say “but unfortunately, it seems like a few publishers design their ebooks for the lowest common denominator platform — the Ipad. The platform for people with the attention span of 3 year olds.”

  • matrix07

    Would love to have a copy of Game of Thrones like this.

  • cleversoap

    Honestly, this looks great for text books but not so great for novels. The education sector has obvious needs that can be fulfilled by cramming in more information to better assist different learning styles as well as giving the book a way to more easily test your recently gained knowledge. A novel though is what exists in one’s own mind. I’m sure a Tom Clancy thriller could make due tactical maps perhaps? It would be a gimmick at least for now. Nothing is worse suited for this than the mythos being presented.

    So help me C’thulu if you try to flesh out any of the Lovecraftian horrors….
    That has always been the beauty of Lovecraft’s style, a terrifying equilibrium, whereby the less you know about something the more it scares you. I don’t want to see interactive views of Ry’leh. While I’m more than impressed with the visual capabilities of the iPad I don’t think it can do justice to a place whose geometry can only be summed up as “wrong”. That exists in my head, do not ruin it for me!

    When I’m reading I trust the author. I trust their skills. Don’t cheapen the experience by throwing in half baked gimmicks the publisher thought might liven up the experience.

  • AMO_166

    I like the music amazing


    To the last point on people giving up paperbacks for ebooks faster than giving up hardbacks for ebooks I think that makes perfect sense. I still want to have hardback copies of certain books, particularly non-fiction, religion and biographies on my shelves. But I have no desire to fill my shelves and take up space with random fiction paperbacks that I would probably have given away when I finished anyway.Miscellaneous


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    Nice I’ve been looking for something like this. Operating System


    That said, I love print books but read mostly ebooks on my Torch for many of the reasons listed: easily portable, have lots of selection at hand, can read in the dark easily.Programming