ScrollMotion tapped by publishers to develop textbook apps for iPad

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  • mr. memr. me Posts: 3,216member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Kids don't get textbooks from older siblings. Didn't you go to school? When did you take your book home at the end of the semester? Those books belong to the school, and must be returned.



    ....



    This is exactly right. The purchase and maintenance of textbooks are major expenses for school systems. Children who live in poor neighborhoods are often disadvantaged because their districts cannot afford to replace worn-out books. The iPad [and other ebook readers] will eliminate this expense. Schools will be able to issue ebook readers to each child with the child's textbooks preloaded. Would we also like to replace traditional desktop or laaptop computers with iPads?



    There are certainly some issues to be worked out, but the iPad and its competitors can be a vanguard of educational equality enhancement at reduced cost.
  • foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    The iPad currently has iPhone OS 3.2 installed, not OS 3.2. Who knows which version of the OS it will ship with. Many including I believe that it will ship with iPhone OS 4.0.



    I don't. Regardless, the question still exists of what major upgrades will cost for the iPad.



    Quote:

    So far, every upgrade and update of the iPhone OS from iPhone OS 1.0 to iPhone OS 3.1.3 has been free. I do not expect this to change.



    I don't expect it to change for iPhone upgrades either. The iPod touch now has iPhone OS 3.1.3. Every major upgrade for the iPod touch, from 1.0 to 2.0 to 3.0, has cost $$ (unless hacked). Major upgrades for the iPad should be treated similarly to the iPod touch by Apple.
  • melgrossmelgross Posts: 28,596member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    I don't. Regardless, the question still exists of what major upgrades will cost for the iPad.







    I don't expect it to change for iPhone upgrades either. The iPod touch now has iPhone OS 3.1.3. Every major upgrade for the iPod touch, from 1.0 to 2.0 to 3.0, has cost $$ (unless hacked). Major upgrades for the iPad should be treated similarly to the iPod touch by Apple.



    Upgrades should cost nothing. You might remember, it was the accounting that caused Touch upgrades to cost $10. That's not longer the case with the new non-GAAP accounting rules in place.
  • palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,093member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rhyde View Post


    ..............

    I'm not saying you won't see a lot of self-published e-books. However, when they do start appearing, we're going to hear about how the glut of such books is akin to the glut of "fart" apps and other low-grade applications we see on the iPhone today.



    I, for one, will continue to take my 15% from the publisher and let them invest heavily in the quality of the text.



    Yeah, I guess a lot of publishers are great. Like with music, a great producer can help making your music even better.

    A big question though: what's the approval process gonna be like?

    Is someone at iBookStore gonna be reading the whole book before deciding if it's fit or not for the store? Like if Al Qaida released a book on "how to effectively bring down the US in 50 years", would it be published?

    Or regular weekly magazines that clearly infridges the privacy of a lot of people, like actors, musicians, politicians etc.

    Or just a news paper that has to be produced one day, then submitted for distribution by midnight, and out for sale at 4 a.m. Not ALL news papers have the means to make their own news apps with in-app-purchases.

    There has to be _NO_ approval process once you are an "approved publisher".
  • jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,326member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Upgrades should cost nothing. You might remember, it was the accounting that caused Touch upgrades to cost $10. That's not longer the case with the new non-GAAP accounting rules in place.



    That accounting rule only applied in the US, why did they charge for the iPod Touch upgrades internationally?
  • melgrossmelgross Posts: 28,596member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post


    Yeah, I guess a lot of publishers are great. Like with music, a great producer can help making your music even better.

    A big question though: what's the approval process gonna be like?

    Is someone at iBookStore gonna be reading the whole book before deciding if it's fit or not for the store? Like if Al Qaida released a book on "how to effectively bring down the US in 50 years", would it be published?

    Or regular weekly magazines that clearly infridges the privacy of a lot of people, like actors, musicians, politicians etc.

    Or just a news paper that has to be produced one day, then submitted for distribution by midnight, and out for sale at 4 a.m. Not ALL news papers have the means to make their own news apps with in-app-purchases.

    There has to be _NO_ approval process once you are an "approved publisher".



    Likely the same way they do with the thousands of books on the site now. They haven't done much with them.



    Publishers have control over what they publish.



    As far as public personna goes, they know what that's all about. It's not nearly as much as an invasion as you think. Often the publicity person tells people where they'll be so that the "surprised" photo's can be taken.



    Every company won't have to make their own apps. There are companies that specialize in that.
  • melgrossmelgross Posts: 28,596member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jfanning View Post


    That accounting rule only applied in the US, why did they charge for the iPod Touch upgrades internationally?



    It's a US company, subject to US accounting rules no matter where their products are sold.
  • jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,326member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    It's a US company, subject to US accounting rules no matter where their products are sold.



    No, I think you will find they have subsideries around the world that are subject to local accounting laws.
  • theshepherdtheshepherd Posts: 164member
    [QUOTE=Mr. Me;1565311]This is exactly right. The purchase and maintenance of textbooks are major expenses for school systems. Children who live in poor neighborhoods are often disadvantaged because their districts cannot afford to replace worn-out books. The iPad [and other ebook readers] will eliminate this expense. Schools will be able to issue ebook readers to each child with the child's textbooks preloaded. Would we also like to replace traditional desktop or laaptop computers with iPads?



    The districts, that cannot afford to replace worn-out books, can afford to send iPads home with all their students. Ya right.
  • dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 11,303member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Kids don't get textbooks from older siblings. Didn't you go to school? When did you take your book home at the end of the semester? Those books belong to the school, and must be returned.



    This will be great for school systems. They have the bargaining power individuals don't have. They will get good deals for the books. Not only will students from K-6 be getting iPads instead of laptops, they'll be getting their books in there too. This will save school systems millions of dollars.



    These are smaller, lighter, have better battery life, and include 801.n WiFi, which just about every school in the nation has.



    Then when they come into school, they can plug them into the keyboard dock at their desk. No more need for a computer lab, because these are so small, and cheap.



    This is so right on... on so many levels!



    My grandkids (10, 11 1/2, 14) in grammer and middle schools have backpacks weighing 10-26 lbs. Seriously, some middle school students use those luggage caddys with wheels to drag their backpacks around campus



    The first high school computer lab was installed in June 1980 at Saratoga HS, Saratoga CA -- 7 Apple ][ computers networked to a single 5 MB hard disk that stored all the apps and data.



    It is amazing how little HS computer labs have changed in 30 years.



    The iPad changes everything for this audience.



    The Public school systems should get enough savings with electronic texts that they could make it worth the students (and their parents) while to have an iPad. Special financial needs could be addressed on an individual basis (at a savings over cost of physical media).



    The districts could solicit bids for n copies of m electronic texts based on the district population.



    There would be no issuing, returning, warehousing, replacing lost books.



    The benefits to the students are many-- convenience, portability, availability, relevance (up to date material)...



    Gone are the days, of:



    --I forgot/lost my book (or left it at grandmas)

    --I didn't get the assignment



    to be replaced with: "The dog ate my iPad".



    No worry-- here's an iPad you can use until you replace yours-- take a moment to download all your texts, homework, notes, etc... There, wasn't that simple?



    Oh, BTW, that physical computer lab has been replaced with several electronic alternatives that are always with you, at your fingertips. You want to learn CS? Easy! just connect to the Lab of choice or any of the iTunes universities.



    ...the mind boggles with the potential!



    *
  • macadictmacadict Posts: 31member
    i think textbooks are vital to the success of the ipad, im a student and sometimes i delay my work just so i dont have to turn back to the last place i left my books, heck yesterday didnt do my english hw because my textbook and binder were locked in the class room , this would never happen if i had an ipad with all my texts and novels saved on it. also it would boost sales for apple i mean new people have to make an apple account to buy new books right? after the account is made it is really tempting to buy apps and music, its litterally a tap away. maybe there doesnt have to be an ability to pass on but at least a lower price vs print to promote them, beacause if they cost the same the only real benefit of the ipad is size and weight, something most students arent willing to pay 500+book prices vs just book prices and carring them



    almost forgot, they are vital because it would put more units in the hands of consumers, more people with ipads means more money for apple to make better second generation ipads , then when a second generation ipad comes out a person can just sell their ipad to a younger person with all the books loaded already, use the money + some saving for a new ipad, the same way some people buy used books every year and some people buy new books every year
  • andyappleandyapple Posts: 152member
    Wonder if there will be an education discount on the iPad.



    Would also be great if local school boards did not have to fund the purchases themselves, the over all savings to the states could still be enormous in the long run.



    Still I worry about how long such a device might last in the hands of a young child. Or a frat boy.
  • oneshotosoneshotos Posts: 12member
    Sounds great K- 12 iPad! Question is how tough are the iPad's and will they hold up to some kid tossing it in his back pad? And how many inner city kids would be allow to take one home? Let alone be able to get one in their schools? Great Utopian dream, but society just not that nice! Lastly Apple, Publisher, Educators and School boards... Talking about the 'The taming of the Shrew's.'



    May be each child/family could paid $50 etc for insurance for the iPad! Which is another can of worms. \
  • theshepherdtheshepherd Posts: 164member
    After seeing all the publishers running to follow McMillen and increase their ebook prices, what makes us think that their textbooks will be any cheaper than the paper copies?
  • mr. memr. me Posts: 3,216member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheShepherd View Post


    ...



    The districts, that cannot afford to replace worn-out books, can afford to send iPads home with all their students. Ya right.



    So you are saying that you have no idea how much paper textbooks cost to purchase and to manage?



    Look. There are reasons for not replacing traditional laptop and desktop computers with iPads, but doing so will create substantial savings. Yes, right.
  • theshepherdtheshepherd Posts: 164member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    So you are saying that you have no idea how much paper textbooks cost to purchase and to manage?



    Look. There are reasons for not replacing traditional laptop and desktop computers with iPads, but doing so will create substantial savings. Yes, right.



    How many of these iPads will be broken or better yet stolen by others. Textbooks aren't too much in demand in the general public but young kids with iPads will be targets in many areas. Maybe in HS or college it makes sense.
  • rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post


    Yeah, I guess a lot of publishers are great. Like with music, a great producer can help making your music even better.

    A big question though: what's the approval process gonna be like?

    Is someone at iBookStore gonna be reading the whole book before deciding if it's fit or not for the store? Like if Al Qaida released a book on "how to effectively bring down the US in 50 years", would it be published?

    Or regular weekly magazines that clearly infridges the privacy of a lot of people, like actors, musicians, politicians etc.

    Or just a news paper that has to be produced one day, then submitted for distribution by midnight, and out for sale at 4 a.m. Not ALL news papers have the means to make their own news apps with in-app-purchases.

    There has to be _NO_ approval process once you are an "approved publisher".



    You mean, like the "Anarchist's Cookbook?"

    Though Apple could get away with refusing to publish porn, I suspect that other censorship with bring a hailstone of fire down upon them. Then again, it's not like they're too concerned about that, anyway.
  • rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    [QUOTE=TheShepherd;1565355]
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post


    This is exactly right. The purchase and maintenance of textbooks are major expenses for school systems. Children who live in poor neighborhoods are often disadvantaged because their districts cannot afford to replace worn-out books. The iPad [and other ebook readers] will eliminate this expense. Schools will be able to issue ebook readers to each child with the child's textbooks preloaded. Would we also like to replace traditional desktop or laaptop computers with iPads?



    The districts, that cannot afford to replace worn-out books, can afford to send iPads home with all their students. Ya right.



    ... and you might add that the abuse that leads to worn-out books will quickly destroy those iPads.
  • rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheShepherd View Post


    After seeing all the publishers running to follow McMillen and increase their ebook prices, what makes us think that their textbooks will be any cheaper than the paper copies?



    Sad but true fact: the cost of textbooks usually has little to do with the printing costs. Most textbooks (and non-bestsellers) don't sell in the millions of copies to get economies of scale working for them. Publishers have to recoup some *very large* up front costs (editing, copy editing, technical reviewing, artwork, etc.) before the used book market (from which they receive nothing) eats them alive. Yes, if you've got a book that's used in all the classrooms in some particular state, you're doing really well. But keep in mind that such "hits" are just like the music industry -- you get one of those for every thousand failures. The sad fact is that the publishers *have* to cover the cost of the failures with the profits made by the "hits". Printing costs are the same for hits and failures, but amortized up-front costs are much greater for the failures.



    The main issue that will force lower-priced ebooks is the fact that you'll be able to "rent" them (say for a term or a year) and there won't be a used book market killing sales of the text. Effectively, you'll be "selling the book back to the bookstore" when you rent the ebook, and that's where the savings will come in (still a good deal for the student). If publishers *can* eliminate used book sales, you *might* see a lowering of textbook prices**; but we'll have to see about that.





    ** For people who don't realize this, used book sales are the #1 reason why textbooks (at the college level, anyway) are so expensive. The publisher has to make all their profits in one or two terms because most of the sales will be used book sales after that.
  • gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rhyde View Post


    I think you grossly underestimate the amount of value added the publishers provide to their authors. I've just spent 10 months working with the editors on the *second edition* of my book. The amount of work they put into the book was phenomenal. Very few authors have the publishing, graphic arts, English (or other natural language), and marketing expertise to do everything themselves. Anyone who has looked over several "self-published" books knows what I'm talking about.



    A good analogy is to compare quality-controlled commercial software against the many "freeware" or "shareware" offerings. Yes, you can find some horrible "quality-controlled" commercial software and you can find some great freeware offerings. But by and large, the commercial stuff is better.



    This is particularly true for technical and other non-fiction texts.



    I'm not saying you won't see a lot of self-published e-books. However, when they do start appearing, we're going to hear about how the glut of such books is akin to the glut of "fart" apps and other low-grade applications we see on the iPhone today.



    I, for one, will continue to take my 15% from the publisher and let them invest heavily in the quality of the text.



    You sound like a professor talking about their latest textbook. What you say is true, but only for that category.



    It's not "particularly true for technical and other non-fiction texts," it's basically *only* true for *most* technical and non-fiction texts. There are some cases in the category where your example falls down (the public domain information making up the majority of all lower level University texts), and it's just not true at all for things like general fiction, poetry, etc.



    Apple hasn't actually said that they will support authors or independent small publishers in the same way as they do developers. But even if they do, the technical book and textbook market could be one of the only areas the big publishers still hold sway because of these very issues.
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