The paperless office is something we’ve been aiming at for at least a decade, if not longer. With the proliferation of affordable yet powerful digital devices like the iPhone and the iPad, the dream may be more in reach that we realize. David Sparks has released an iBook (created with iBooks Author, no less) that will help us all use less and less paper in our lives.
Ms. Santilli, a self-professed “die-hard Mac girl”, was looking for a new way to not only challenge her Advanced Life Sciences class, but also leverage technology to make learning fun. Not to mention get some practical experience in the real world of writing, photography, video, and ebook publishing. Just a few minutes with this free ebook and you can see how much potential there is for iBooks Author and iPads in the classroom. Not to mention you’ll probably learn something interesting.
If you’re confused by iPhoto for iOS, then you’re not alone. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the cluttered and complex interface. There is light at the end of this long and painful tunnel, though, in the form of a very powerful photo cataloging and editing app. And a new book, called Hello iPhoto for iPad & iPhone, will help you get there.
Barnes & Noble’s announcement that it was spinning off its Nook business and that Microsoft would be a significant stakeholder in the new company raised a lot of eyebrows. The partnership seemed unnecessary in order to meet the goals of settling a patent dispute and ensuring a Nook app for Windows 8 tablets.
It turns out that Barnes & Nobel will be shifting its textbook business to the new company along with the Nook and that Microsoft’s $300 million investment will likely be centered around creating an e-textbook initiative that will likely compete head-on with Apple’s fledging iPad-based e-textbook business.
With its iBooks Author software, Apple has made it incredibly easy for almost anyone to write and publish their own e-book. And it hopes to make it just as easy to create iOS apps. One patent application shows the Cupertino company has been working on a tool that would allow users without any programming knowledge at all to build their own iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch software.
Apple’s e-textbook initiative, which the company launched in January along with iBooks Author and a revamped iTunes U service is aimed at K-12 schools rather than higher education. Higher education has a different set of needs when it comes to textbooks, study, and reference materials. There are also big differences in device/platform selection between K-12 and the college market.
In fact, these differences are probably a big part of why Apple decided to focus the majority of its e-textbook (and, by extension its iPad in education) effort on the K-12 market. It’s a market that yields Apple more growth opportunities now and down the road.
When Apple announced iBooks Author in January, the company positioned the free ebook publishing tool as a way for faculty members of schools and colleges to create their own customized and interactive textbooks. However, since Apple allows the software to be used by anyone, it has become a tool for authors or organizations that want to self-publish either for personal distribution or for sale/download in the iBookstore.
While easy self-publishing tools may bring to mind the image of someone writing their first novel or a memoir, there are any number of ways to use both the publishing features of iBooks Author and the distribution channel of the iBookstore. One of which is as a marketing and informational tool – an approach that takes the concept of a white paper to a new and powerful interactive level.
Many schools in the U.S. haven’t even had their spring break yet, but school administrators are already planning for the next school year. For public schools that means determining how best to allocate scarce financial resources and trying to determine how far they can push their budgets before the residents and homeowners in their district will vote them down. School IT departments meanwhile are beginning to consider what major projects and upgrades they’ll be doing over the summer recess.
Although this decision-making process tends to run like clockwork for most schools and districts, this year there’s a new factor to consider: Apple’s iPad-based iBooks 2 e-textbook initiative (as well as the iPad itself).
Apple’s announcement of Mountain Lion breaks with the past in a few ways including by announcing with out a major Apple event. One of the other changes is the news the Apple is moving OS X to a yearly release cycle like iOS. That may be a great way to introduce new features for consumers, but it’s likely to create problems for organizations that have a large number of Macs.
Schools and colleges are still among the organizations that have large Mac populations and have always been a key market for Apple. A yearly release schedule stands to impact them more than any other type of organization and that impact isn’t likely to be a positive one.
Apple has announced some changes to the iBookstore today in an iTunes Connect letter to content publishers. Like the App Store, promo codes for iBooks can now be offered to iTunes users. Screenshots can also now be submitted for iBooks titles. This change follows the release of iBooks Author and Apple’s entrance into the digital textbook industry.