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Amazon inviting Apple's iOS developers to port apps to Kindle

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Amazon is actively enticing Apple's iOS App Store developers to bring their efforts to the Kindle platform, particularly educational apps, in a strategy that attempts to push ebook readers up into competition with more sophisticated, general purpose tablets.

Henri Hansen, the developer of Atomium, a periodic table reference app that sells for $0.99 in the App Store, contacted AppleInsider to note that Amazon had invited him via email to bring the app to Kindle, noting that the company was especially interested in educational apps.

The company has arranged a March 29 conference call to discuss its Kindle app plans with third party developers.

Amazon's Kindle is based around an E-Ink display that gives the device a long battery life while promoting clear text, less eye strain and glare compared to a conventional LCD display. However, the technology is also slow to refresh and is limited to black and white content.

That prevents the Kindle from running many general purpose apps or fast-paced games, leaving the company mostly interested in reference apps related to education, where Kindle already has some traction as an ebook reader.

Microsoft similarly hoped to poach iOS developers for its Windows Mobile, Zune and WP7 platforms, but despite reports of having paid developers to bring their apps over, appears to have found little interest.

Google has also worked to recruit Apple's iOS developers, but only a relatively small number of bestselling titles have added Android support, partly due to Google's focus on ad-supported software, and partly due to problems with Google's retailing savvy, issues that Amazon itself hopes to address with its new, independent Android app store.

Kindle racing Nook to apps

While sales of Amazon's Kindle have been compared to Apple's iPad, market research firms have stated that consumers are more likely to buy both for separate uses than to choose between them. As a low cost ebook reader, the Kindle appears to face more direct competition from Barnes & Noble's Nook, which offers a color display on its newest model and is based on Android (Kindle uses Linux, but is not Android based).

After first attempting to stop users from converting the Nook into a general purpose Android device, Barnes & Noble recently announced through the Home Shopping Network it would be pushing out a Nook Color update in April that would essentially upgrade the $250 ebook reader into a basic 7 inch Android tablet similar to Samsung's Galaxy Tab.

In December, the company was rumored to release an upgrade for the Nook Color that would bring Android 2.2 by January 2011, but this update never materialized and the company insisted at the time that it had no plans to upgrade the ebook reader into a general purpose small tablet.

HSN now markets the Nook Color "with Apps" for $329.90, with a regular price of $379.96 and a "Retail Value" of $504.

post #2 of 41
LOL I love that the Kindle has The Art of Choosing on the display.
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post #3 of 41
ipad for tablet needs, kindle for reading. works for me

Either that or allow people to change the white background to a gray color. Has almost the same effect of less eye strain.
post #4 of 41
nook already has apps, you just gotta root it. amazon app store and a free app every day. they still offer rio for free.
post #5 of 41
I could be wrong but I thought Amazon was positioning Kindle as a dedicated e-reader that is less heavy, easier on the eyes, and has longer battery life than an iPad. Basically taking the "we do one thing and we do it better than everyone else" approach. Calling for developers to port apps to Kindle seems to be a 180 degree turn from that strategy.

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post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I could be wrong but I thought Amazon was positioning Kindle as a dedicated e-reader that is less heavy, easier on the eyes, and has longer battery life than an iPad. Basically taking the "we do one thing and we do it better than everyone else" approach. Calling for developers to port apps to Kindle seems to be a 180 degree turn from that strategy.

Well, this is what happens when sales are stolen when the "other stuff" is enough to pay extra bucks. People think, "Oh, I want an e-reader, but this iPad is so popular, maybe I'll pay more and see what the fuss is about."
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I could be wrong but I thought Amazon was positioning Kindle as a dedicated e-reader that is less heavy, easier on the eyes, and has longer battery life than an iPad. Basically taking the "we do one thing and we do it better than everyone else" approach. Calling for developers to port apps to Kindle seems to be a 180 degree turn from that strategy.

It seems likely they will keep an inexpensive eInk-based Kindle, but it also seems likely that Amazon will leverage its cloud storage, internet presence, video store, music store, book store, and now Android Appstore to take on the iPad for this newly reborn tablet category utilizing Android Honeycomb.

I don’t think Amazon’s interest in Android apps will be solely as a distributor. There best option is to use grow their Kindle brand into a proper tablet option that will rival the iTunes Store ecosystem. If they don’t they could see themselves losing out on their movie and music digital investments and eventually even being rivaled by Apple’s iBookstore.
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post #8 of 41
Amazon is making a good move. Given the budget restraints that schools are under, a Kindle ereader (at less that a third the price of an iPad) is a good deal, particularly given the fact that savings from using ebooks could recoup that cost. And seeing kids struggling home with packs loaded with 20-30 pound of books, a slender and light Kindle is an excellent idea. But to win with schools, Apple needs more than digital textbooks. It needs to offer a total education experience. If millions of school kids start carrying Kindles, app developers could do quite well.

Keep in mind that the less than instant-refresh screen has an advantage, it consumes no power when simply displaying text. That makes is very useful for daily calendars, as well as shopping and to-do lists. Amazon has also improved the designed enormously from the Kindle 1. The only real irritation left in the Kindle UI is the dreadful keyboard and that could be fix by simply adding Bluetooth keyboard support.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Amazon is making a good move. Given the budget restraints that schools are under, a Kindle ereader (at less that a third the price of an iPad) is a good deal, particularly given the fact that savings from using ebooks could recoup that cost.

If the Kindle includes apps for typing papers etc then you might have something.

As for costs, schools aren't worrying about that as much as you think. Grants from all sorts of sources cover these pilot programs. And when they can show that the iPad system is cheaper than textbooks it is pretty easy to get a shift in funds

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post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I could be wrong but I thought Amazon was positioning Kindle as a dedicated e-reader that is less heavy, easier on the eyes, and has longer battery life than an iPad. Basically taking the "we do one thing and we do it better than everyone else" approach. Calling for developers to port apps to Kindle seems to be a 180 degree turn from that strategy.

I don't see it that way. As tech improves Amazon can add new features without adversely affecting the device. In the end consumers will gravitate to more flexible and feature complete devices. However both the Kindle and the Nook need a user interface overhaul before they can compete with iPad.
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Amazon is making a good move. Given the budget restraints that schools are under, a Kindle ereader (at less that a third the price of an iPad) is a good deal, particularly given the fact that savings from using ebooks could recoup that cost. And seeing kids struggling home with packs loaded with 20-30 pound of books, a slender and light Kindle is an excellent idea. But to win with schools, Apple needs more than digital textbooks. It needs to offer a total education experience. If millions of school kids start carrying Kindles, app developers could do quite well.

Keep in mind that the less than instant-refresh screen has an advantage, it consumes no power when simply displaying text. That makes is very useful for daily calendars, as well as shopping and to-do lists. Amazon has also improved the designed enormously from the Kindle 1. The only real irritation left in the Kindle UI is the dreadful keyboard and that could be fix by simply adding Bluetooth keyboard support.

I dunno. I think once you get a taste of real apps on a machine designed to run them (ala the iPad), trying to slog through app-like anything on a device like the Kindle is just going to be an exercise in frustration.

As a single purpose eReader the Kindle's display has advantages. Trying to make that work for anything more is just barking up the wrong tree, IMO. We're entering the era of tablet computing, and trying to make a tablet out of a Kindle goes against the tide. It'd be like trying to boost the fortunes of some old monochrome PDA by pretending like it can do some limited subset of smartphone things. I'd warrant most people wouldn't bother.
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post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

If the Kindle includes apps for typing papers etc then you might have something.

As for costs, schools aren't worrying about that as much as you think. Grants from all sorts of sources cover these pilot programs. And when they can show that the iPad system is cheaper than textbooks it is pretty easy to get a shift in funds

hmmm.... so.. If I can handle 100 high schools for $1Million dollaers with iPads, or 300 High schools with kindles... which is a more effective grant?

I love my iPad2, but I wouldn't vote for you on my school board or my non-profit foundation.

If you can show that a $400ish tablet is cheaper than books, it's even easier to show that a Kindle at $120 with the minimum specs would be even cheaper.

We need a small gadget to hold a years worth of books, be fairly indestructable, allow for the taking of standardized quizzes/tests, and play a few simple learning games/apps. Typing isn't a requirement schools are required to provide now. Notetaking... all of a sudden, your 'tablet' isn't sharable, and now requires an infrastructure to support it (backups/recovery... Wait until 'you provided the typing App and no backups? Then flunked this kid when he lost his iPad? The Court rules that you must provide a data backup/recovery and D/R plan and Device Encryption for your fleet of iPads....' ). Think Minimum necessary.... learning materials, and a test taking platform. Static and totally replaceable by a trip down to the A/V center.

The Kindle would be adequate... The iPad2... the same, but at 3 times the price. Now... once you go to college, then let's make every student buy an iPad2 [and a macbook air, and an iPhone5, and ATV3];-) (yeah, I'm long AAPL ;-))
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I dunno. I think once you get a taste of real apps on a machine designed to run them (ala the iPad), trying to slog through app-like anything on a device like the Kindle is just going to be an exercise in frustration.

As a single purpose eReader the Kindle's display has advantages. Trying to make that work for anything more is just barking up the wrong tree, IMO. We're entering the era of tablet computing, and trying to make a tablet out of a Kindle goes against the tide. It'd be like trying to boost the fortunes of some old monochrome PDA by pretending like it can do some limited subset of smartphone things. I'd warrant most people wouldn't bother.

The issue is that in the 'real market' that's a great argument, however, in the edu market, 'real apps on a machine designed to run them' doesn't fly. I'd love everyone to have a a Cray-2 [yes, I'm that old] in their pocket with a HUD and a T3 wireless connection, but as a property tax owner, I'd prefer my school district to spend as little as possible on something that will likely have a shelf life of about 1.5 school years (how many tablets will be thrown into urinals? no really... I went to high school... I know what goes on there... ;-) How many will fall out of backpacks in the rain? How many will have the dog gnaw on them?

Bottom line: we don't need limosines when a bus will do when it comes to publically funded personal computing. I'm all for replacing the cost of 1000's of 3lb books with 100's of personal readers, especially if they can also do test taking (multi-choice), and also run some educational apps/games. But I'm not paying for iPad2s, unless someone can show me they are more durable, more cost effective for the required set of duties a school needs them to do, and/or someone proves an iPad raises the lower quartile SAT scores by 20%.

Let them eat kindle. ;-)
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

hmmm.... so.. If I can handle 100 high schools for $1Million dollaers with iPads, or 300 High schools with kindles... which is a more effective grant?

I love my iPad2, but I wouldn't vote for you on my school board or my non-profit foundation.

Penny wise, pound foolish people like you are part of the reason why the US is failing in education.

You think "saving" $250 on a piece of hardware is a big deal, unaware that there is no way for organizations to manage and secure hundreds of Kindles using tools similar to Apple's deployment and configuration tools. Got any idea how much it costs to manage IT? A lot less than an few bucks you save getting crap hardware. You don't know that, but you vote for cheap hardware. Good job proving how uninformed democracy is the best way to dive to the bottom of the pile, as America has been doing ever since Reagan. Of course, that's why corporations have their shareholders vote on everything they do, because the more ignorant people are involved in making an uninformed decision, the better things work out. Right. All we need is a government run by old cheapskates. This Tea Party thing is really working well.

And do you really think that buying obsolete products that can only flicker through black and white pages in super slow mo is a "good deal" at half the price of a device that can actually teach kids something rather than just checking off the "spent some money" box, and hoping that works?

And where's the potential for animation, for color, for hands on multitouch apps, and how about a library of software that actually exists, including textbooks you can actually buy now and use as reference materials?

A Kindle is fine for reading a romance novel page by page, but it's nearly worthless if you're doing research and flipping between pages, or want to watch video or any number of things that make it worth vastly more than 3X the price of the Kindle, not just a purchase but also for subsequent resale.

Do the world a favor and don't vote.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

The issue is that in the 'real market' that's a great argument, however, in the edu market, 'real apps on a machine designed to run them' doesn't fly. I'd love everyone to have a a Cray-2 [yes, I'm that old] in their pocket with a HUD and a T3 wireless connection, but as a property tax owner, I'd prefer my school district to spend as little as possible on something that will likely have a shelf life of about 1.5 school years (how many tablets will be thrown into urinals? no really... I went to high school... I know what goes on there... ;-) How many will fall out of backpacks in the rain? How many will have the dog gnaw on them?

Bottom line: we don't need limosines when a bus will do when it comes to publically funded personal computing. I'm all for replacing the cost of 1000's of 3lb books with 100's of personal readers, especially if they can also do test taking (multi-choice), and also run some educational apps/games. But I'm not paying for iPad2s, unless someone can show me they are more durable, more cost effective for the required set of duties a school needs them to do, and/or someone proves an iPad raises the lower quartile SAT scores by 20%.

Let them eat kindle. ;-)

I understand the cost argument, but I don't think the idea of "apps" on a Kindle does anything to enhance the value of going that way. I can't imagine what educational apps or games would be sufficiently engaging to really be anything more than a novelty, on the Kindle's screen.

At some point even a cash strapped school system is best off getting the most bang for the buck. If cost is the entire bottom line, why even mess with Kindles? OTOH, for the cost of two Kindles you get one iPad which does vastly more and can be integrated into a great many more classroom scenarios. There are already bunches of educational and classroom oriented apps for the iPad; I guess someone might bother to write something for the Kindle but it would have to be pretty bare bones. And then again they might not.

As I say, buying Kindles to replace textbooks might make sense. I don't think it makes any sense at all to expect those Kindle's to become poor men's iPads-- that does an injustice to your students.
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post #16 of 41
Note that Kindle developers have to pay for any bandwidth their app uses, in perpetuity. So any internet-based apps aren't very attractive; you sell the app for $3 or whatever once, and the better and more useful your app is, the less money you make because you get billed for users' internet usage forever.
post #17 of 41
I believe we'd see an Android Kindle tablet, and then an improved color e-ink Kindle reader with educational apps, at 2 different price points. Android Kindle tablet will be something like the Nook color (7") with the Amazon Appstore, which will likely be selling for around $299. The color e-ink Kindle reader will probably be sold for $199 or less, emphasis on reading and educational apps. These things could actually be more popular than the Xoom/GalxyTab/etc combined.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

hmmm.... so.. If I can handle 100 high schools for $1Million dollaers with iPads, or 300 High schools with kindles... which is a more effective grant?

I love my iPad2, but I wouldn't vote for you on my school board or my non-profit foundation.

If you can show that a $400ish tablet is cheaper than books, it's even easier to show that a Kindle at $120 with the minimum specs would be even cheaper.

We need a small gadget to hold a years worth of books, be fairly indestructable, allow for the taking of standardized quizzes/tests, and play a few simple learning games/apps. Typing isn't a requirement schools are required to provide now. Notetaking... all of a sudden, your 'tablet' isn't sharable, and now requires an infrastructure to support it (backups/recovery... Wait until 'you provided the typing App and no backups? Then flunked this kid when he lost his iPad? The Court rules that you must provide a data backup/recovery and D/R plan and Device Encryption for your fleet of iPads....' ). Think Minimum necessary.... learning materials, and a test taking platform. Static and totally replaceable by a trip down to the A/V center.

The Kindle would be adequate... The iPad2... the same, but at 3 times the price. Now... once you go to college, then let's make every student buy an iPad2 [and a macbook air, and an iPhone5, and ATV3];-) (yeah, I'm long AAPL ;-))

Adequate? Is that what you are after?

There is a lot more to interactive education than reading books (we read as a family, several times a week).

AirPlay alone opens up many possibilities for education, presentation and collaboration in the classroom.

.
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post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I don't see it that way. As tech improves Amazon can add new features without adversely affecting the device. In the end consumers will gravitate to more flexible and feature complete devices. However both the Kindle and the Nook need a user interface overhaul before they can compete with iPad.

I agree. The eReaders cannot handle the image rich even video requirements of "technical reading" demanded by science and technology, and biomedical sciences.

In fact, I was looking at the iBooks, and even that seems limiting to me. Apple should spearhead the development of new iBooks template that would make it easy to integrate not only to include words and images, and in color, but also in three dimensions, make them move like videos, integrate audios, etc. The iBook must seamlessly connect with the resources available through the internet also, or at least have the means to "transiently store" to access relevant internet resources.

In other words, the new iBook form must have the rich features of Apps more associated with gaming and entertainment. That should be and will be the iBook of the future -- both rich in text but further augmented by audio-visuals and the powers and features offered by the internet and mobile computing.

The ePub which is the only one available offered by Apple, to non-techies creating books is just too limiting. What was more surprising is that even the ePub is not given as much emphasis. I could not find any expert in the One-to-One who is an expert on the ePub.

This is a disappointment because I could not even integrate what I consider simple stuff in some of the iBooks I wanted to create. And, I am not even asking for GPS or those other features already integrated in iOS devices.

Any experts here who can help?

CGC
post #20 of 41
Amazon's platform offers me nothing to want to developer for it. The areas of development are very limited. Sorry, but the iOS Platform covers a broad and deep spectrum which only expands in order of magnitude with OS X proper.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

I agree. The eReaders cannot handle the image rich even video requirements of "technical reading" demanded by science and technology, and biomedical sciences.

In fact, I was looking at the iBooks, and even that seems limiting to me. Apple should spearhead the development of new iBooks template that would make it easy to integrate not only to include words and images, and in color, but also in three dimensions, make them move like videos, integrate audios, etc. The iBook must seamlessly connect with the resources available through the internet also, or at least have the means to "transiently store" to access relevant internet resources.

In other words, the new iBook form must have the rich features of Apps more associated with gaming and entertainment.

The ePub which is the only one available offered by Apple, to non-techies creating books is just too limiting. What was more surprising is that even the ePub is not given as much emphasis. I could not find any expert in the One-to-One who is an expert on the ePub.

This is a disappointment because I could not even integrate what I consider simple stuff in some of the iBooks I wanted to create. And, I am not even asking for GPS or those other features already integrated in iOS devices.

Any experts here who can help?

CGC

Check out Inkling (the iPad app, not the Ai poster). They have plenty of text book sample chapters to DL and thy sell as whole books or by the chapter. I have purchased many chapters and enjoy the interactive design. While Inkling may not be the future of textbooks, their general concept will be.

iBooks cant do what they do, but its grown since first released last year. Its likely that Apple will increase that even further, but I hope that the end result will be a robust open source version that will work well with all textbooks.
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post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archos View Post

Penny wise, pound foolish people like you are part of the reason why the US is failing in education.

You think "saving" $250 on a piece of hardware is a big deal, unaware that there is no way for organizations to manage and secure hundreds of Kindles using tools similar to Apple's deployment and configuration tools. Got any idea how much it costs to manage IT? A lot less than an few bucks you save getting crap hardware. You don't know that, but you vote for cheap hardware. Good job proving how uninformed democracy is the best way to dive to the bottom of the pile, as America has been doing ever since Reagan. Of course, that's why corporations have their shareholders vote on everything they do, because the more ignorant people are involved in making an uninformed decision, the better things work out. Right. All we need is a government run by old cheapskates. This Tea Party thing is really working well.

And do you really think that buying obsolete products that can only flicker through black and white pages in super slow mo is a "good deal" at half the price of a device that can actually teach kids something rather than just checking off the "spent some money" box, and hoping that works?

And where's the potential for animation, for color, for hands on multitouch apps, and how about a library of software that actually exists, including textbooks you can actually buy now and use as reference materials?

A Kindle is fine for reading a romance novel page by page, but it's nearly worthless if you're doing research and flipping between pages, or want to watch video or any number of things that make it worth vastly more than 3X the price of the Kindle, not just a purchase but also for subsequent resale.

Do the world a favor and don't vote.

Hey, Archos, please tell us how you REALLY feel today!
post #23 of 41
[eh. screw it, no need to do that rant.]
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post #24 of 41
That if recent moves by traditional publishers are any indication of the direction of the industry, there is no true discount for digital versions. One major publisher cheerily annoucned this fall there would be no surcharge for digital versions! Um, no. Even the end user cost for the Pearson books don't allow for resale of used books, so their 50% off ebooks are no cheaper over 4 years. They have a revenue stream to maintain. So no real end user savings there by moving to digital. Public school textbooks wear out, and the book companies rely on repeat purchases every few years, not to mention content refresh. So far no mechanism for that either.

It's a great concept, but you have to imagine the music industry going straight from vinyl LPs to iTunes. You think they put up a fight with CD>MP3? This is arguably worse for the print world. The flagship of the newsprint industry, the NYT can think of on other solution than to charge you the same for their digital edition as for their print edition. Their less-than-elegant model has you buying the sunday paper, tossing it directly into the bin in order to get the best deal for reading online.

The keyboard is not so much a problem as the flat joystick being the only navigation tool. Apps that were made for mouse or multitouch switching to an arrow pad? You'll put up with that for about three minutes. You'll be begging for the elegance of a ThinkPad red dot.

Amazon's problem right now is two-fold: they were the first wave, and they need to either layer another technology on top if they really want to compete with general-purpose tablets, or decide they'll be the best book channel, or simply make their brand hit everyone. They can't really think they'll be in the hardware business long term when there's an iPad around - they should focus on making the killer ebook app for any platform they can. Which I thought was a better idea than making uber-Kindles. Make one good cheap unit - heck, give it away and remember you only exist because you were innovative on concept using the existing distribution methods - UPS, Web and put yourselves in the middle with a new model for shopping. Think that way and you'll move forward. Think that people have to have your first wave hardware in their hands, and you'll be surprised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Amazon is making a good move. Given the budget restraints that schools are under, a Kindle ereader (at less that a third the price of an iPad) is a good deal, particularly given the fact that savings from using ebooks could recoup that cost. And seeing kids struggling home with packs loaded with 20-30 pound of books, a slender and light Kindle is an excellent idea. But to win with schools, Apple needs more than digital textbooks. It needs to offer a total education experience. If millions of school kids start carrying Kindles, app developers could do quite well.

Keep in mind that the less than instant-refresh screen has an advantage, it consumes no power when simply displaying text. That makes is very useful for daily calendars, as well as shopping and to-do lists. Amazon has also improved the designed enormously from the Kindle 1. The only real irritation left in the Kindle UI is the dreadful keyboard and that could be fix by simply adding Bluetooth keyboard support.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

...I'd love everyone to have a a Cray-2 [yes, I'm that old] in their pocket with a HUD and a T3 wireless connection, but as a property tax owner, I'd prefer my school district to spend as little as possible on something that will likely have a shelf life of about 1.5 school years (how many tablets will be thrown into urinals? no really... I went to high school... I know what goes on there... ;-) How many will fall out of backpacks in the rain? How many will have the dog gnaw on them?

Dogs will only chew on them if they contain homework.
post #26 of 41
.

Here's an interesting take from Dave Winer (emphasis mine):

An Internet inside an Internet

Quote:
Then I remembered the work we were doing with the World Outline, and how we needed everyone to own some web storage for it to work. Just a place to put some static XML files. I put that problem down because because of that limit. Well, it's time to pick it up again.

There's also S3, which makes a whole bunch of other, similar things possible, if you assume all your users have accounts there. Well, with EC2-for-Poets, which is coming along wonderfully -- all the users do have S3 accounts. So I store each user's cache in S3 space. It's quite fast. And with the JSON architecture we're using now for rivers and user interface, you can use S3 almost as if it were RAM. In fact, I kind of do.

Read an article that says Amazon has everything lined up to do a tablet. They also have everything lined up to be something much bigger.

There's a new kind of software coming online. Just beginning to see the outlines of it. This is the kind of work I live to do. This is exactly where I like to be.

It feels like a new Internet is springing to life inside a corner of the Internet. It's like opening a jewel box and finding a universe in there.


For those of you don't know:

-- S3 is online storage offered by Amazon. Amazon S3 Pricing

-- Dave Winer is one of the pioneers - LivingBBS, ThinkTank, RSS, UserLand... Dave Winer


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post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

ipad for tablet needs, kindle for reading. works for me

Either that or allow people to change the white background to a gray color. Has almost the same effect of less eye strain.

Triple click the Home button to turn it white on black.
post #28 of 41
I love the concept of e-readers. When I can buy a paperback book for $7.95 and the same book in e-book format costs $7.50 there is no way I'm buying it at that price.

E-books need to be priced at less than half the paperback price before I'll get an e-reader. To me the price needs to be about a quarter of the paperback price before it would even seem like a fair price.

What is my incentive to buy an e-reader? If I live in a house or apartment with space to keep a few books I don't see the overwhelming need to buy an e-reader. If I were living in a tiny sailboat taking a trip around the world then an e-reader would be a practical tool.

If e-books were priced much lower than paperback books then I could see the incentive to buy them. Does anybody else feel the same way?
post #29 of 41
These comparisons aren't accurate. First, the Kindle is great at reading black and white. That is it. everything else it is painfully slow. To make it not so painful would require significantly raising the specs for the device. That would increase the cost. Moreover, the Kindle is not nearly as rugged as the iPad. That means something when kids are involved.

Apple's iPad can be used for for a multitude of uses and its performance is great. Moreover, Apple has a big advantage over Amazon. Namely, it has an entrenched sales channel developed over the last twenty years selling computers to schools. Apple can sell schools iPads for a significant discount and still make a profit. It could even get more aggressive by selling last years models at more savings. This advantage is what has keep Apple as the number one selling device to some education markets often beating out other competitors like HP and Dell. Further, purchasers know Apple will stand by the product. Amazon would have a similar problem competing with Apple in the education market as Apple did against IBM in the business market when Apple first came on the scene. Educators trust Apple and Apple has dedicated significant resources to keep this trust intact.

Moreover, Amazon's business model relies on people buying content. Apple relies on people buying hardware. Amazon would want educators to buy the content from Amazon since it makes next to nothing on the hardware sale. Apple would allow the educators to get content from a variety of sources including through Apple.



Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

hmmm.... so.. If I can handle 100 high schools for $1Million dollaers with iPads, or 300 High schools with kindles... which is a more effective grant?

I love my iPad2, but I wouldn't vote for you on my school board or my non-profit foundation.

If you can show that a $400ish tablet is cheaper than books, it's even easier to show that a Kindle at $120 with the minimum specs would be even cheaper.

We need a small gadget to hold a years worth of books, be fairly indestructable, allow for the taking of standardized quizzes/tests, and play a few simple learning games/apps. Typing isn't a requirement schools are required to provide now. Notetaking... all of a sudden, your 'tablet' isn't sharable, and now requires an infrastructure to support it (backups/recovery... Wait until 'you provided the typing App and no backups? Then flunked this kid when he lost his iPad? The Court rules that you must provide a data backup/recovery and D/R plan and Device Encryption for your fleet of iPads....' ). Think Minimum necessary.... learning materials, and a test taking platform. Static and totally replaceable by a trip down to the A/V center.

The Kindle would be adequate... The iPad2... the same, but at 3 times the price. Now... once you go to college, then let's make every student buy an iPad2 [and a macbook air, and an iPhone5, and ATV3];-) (yeah, I'm long AAPL ;-))
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

I agree. The eReaders cannot handle the image rich even video requirements of "technical reading" demanded by science and technology, and biomedical sciences.

In fact, I was looking at the iBooks, and even that seems limiting to me. Apple should spearhead the development of new iBooks template that would make it easy to integrate not only to include words and images, and in color, but also in three dimensions, make them move like videos, integrate audios, etc. The iBook must seamlessly connect with the resources available through the internet also, or at least have the means to "transiently store" to access relevant internet resources.

In other words, the new iBook form must have the rich features of Apps more associated with gaming and entertainment. That should be and will be the iBook of the future -- both rich in text but further augmented by audio-visuals and the powers and features offered by the internet and mobile computing.

The ePub which is the only one available offered by Apple, to non-techies creating books is just too limiting. What was more surprising is that even the ePub is not given as much emphasis. I could not find any expert in the One-to-One who is an expert on the ePub.

This is a disappointment because I could not even integrate what I consider simple stuff in some of the iBooks I wanted to create. And, I am not even asking for GPS or those other features already integrated in iOS devices.

Any experts here who can help?

CGC

ePub 3.0 includes quite few new improvements: http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-overview.html

Read it. It looks like they are borrowing as much from HTML 5 as they can while maintaining XHTML well-formed requirements.

Multimedia is part of the ePub 3.0 spec which is broken down into 4 specs.

http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-...#sibling-specs

Quote:
The EPUB® specification is a distribution and interchange format standard for digital publications and documents. EPUB defines a means of representing, packaging and encoding structured and semantically enhanced Web content including HTML5, CSS, SVG, images, and other resources for distribution in a single-file format.

In short, they are trying to make as much reuse as possible for the author to leverage and make the viewport the area in which the formatting varies the most.
post #31 of 41
.

Mmm...

Another interesting article:

Amazon Plans 'Locker' to Store Music, Video

.
"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
Reply
post #32 of 41
I wonder if this signals that Amazon is preparing to release a color e-ink Kindle in the near future. That could be really nice.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Check out Inkling (the iPad app, not the Ai poster). They have plenty of text book sample chapters to DL and thy sell as whole books or by the chapter. I have purchased many chapters and enjoy the interactive design. While Inkling may not be the future of textbooks, their general concept will be.

iBooks can’t do what they do, but it’s grown since first released last year. It’s likely that Apple will increase that even further, but I hope that the end result will be a robust open source version that will work well with all textbooks.

Thanks for the lead. What I have in mind is indeed similar to what inkling is doing, but more. Also, I do not want to be just the consumer of such interactive books but the creator, or at least help others create such interactive books of the future.

This means what I need is not the creations of those interactive books but the ability to buy the App (software or template) that created such books. There's a company in New York that developed an App for authors. But, they don't really sell you the App but let you use for a basic price of $600 for the simplest version. So, for a project that I have been working on for years, a republication and update (to an interactive book), is a 55-volume history series.

That means at least $33,000 for the use of that App alone. What I was hoping is for Apple to use its resources and expertise to create the equivalent of the Aperture, Garage Band, iMovie or Final Cu Pro of book publishing.

I would not mind paying even a thousand dollars for such an App if it comes from Apple, becaause I know it is likely to be updated, and I can use the One-to-One service to learn such App.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

ePub 3.0 includes quite few new improvements: http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-overview.html

Read it. It looks like they are borrowing as much from HTML 5 as they can while maintaining XHTML well-formed requirements.

Multimedia is part of the ePub 3.0 spec which is broken down into 4 specs.

http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-...#sibling-specs



In short, they are trying to make as much reuse as possible for the author to leverage and make the viewport the area in which the formatting varies the most.

Thanks for the info. I will lookk further into it. Right now, I am just beginning to learn the default ePub suggested by Apple. I asked some of the "experts" involved in the One-to-One and not one seems to have an expertise on the ePub or published anything that would allow insight to iBook. I do trial and error now.

I taught myself basic html (not the advanced features of html5) so I can layout a website more precisely than even a template, if needed.

If I can make the ePub to behave a bit to have features like a website, like being able to have pop-out notes that would solve the "in-page" footnote common in old historical books. Right now, ePub, as practiced by Project Gutenberg, all in page footnotes are placed at the end of the book. That is impractical if you are dealing with books with several hundred pages, and there are literally three to six footnotes in some pages. I doubt too many readers with go back and forth from a page to the back just to read a footnote, especially if we are talking about more than 300 pages of a history book.

I wish to be able to hhave more flexibility in the layouting, but it seems the ePub default in the Apple pages does not allow that. More than likely, this is intrinsic in the ePub itself because of the feature that allows the reader to change fonts and size of the fonts. In this resrtictive layout, only a signle column can be allowed.

The only alternative provided (or suggested by Apple is to use PDF, but that has also its limitation.

Has anyone actually use the ePub to create eBooks? I would be interested to see what people are doing, and the limits of the ePub. Or, rather the extent that ePub can explore.

CGC

Bookmarked the links provided. I will try to look at them possibly later this week. \\
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

....

I would not mind paying even a thousand dollars for such an App if it comes from Apple, becaause I know it is likely to be updated, and I can use the One-to-One service to learn such App.

I agree with this wish as well. Apple really must step up their offerings regarding software for the creation of:
  1. iBooks, ePub, etc.
  2. HTML5 websites and web-apps

as well as synchronized management from iDevices of iTunes and iPhoto.

When you look at the amazing software they have created for consumers with GarageBand and iMovie on the iPad, as well as iWork apps, the above "low-spec" apps shouldn't be such a challenge, and shouldn't be taking this long.
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post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archos View Post

Penny wise, pound foolish people like you are part of the reason why the US is failing in education.

You could have stopped right there Archos in your reply to Geoff. I can certainly agree with that statement.

@TheOtherGeoff

So you're an "experienced" educator still without a clue, of the psychological aspects of what gets students excited, motivated, and making it fun to learn?

You put "today's finances" instead of ROI over say 3-5 years? Look at what the iPad 1 delivers TODAY in performance over the Kindle, or even a future Kindle, and tell me that it is a bad investment. TODAY it delivers performance and Apps that deliver a far better experience than I would expect a Kindle to deliver in 2 years, regardless of future specs (Moore's Law) and improvements.

In addition to my first statement, on the psychological side re: students... you tell me what you think a student would prefer to have, and would gladly take care of. I seriously believe your initial cost-saving tactic of forcing a Kindle on them, rather than a cool, must have device...would be literally and physically, be throwing your money "into the the toilet". Because that's where you would be fishing for your lost Kindles most of the time.

With that said, yes... I'll agree it is a sad state of affairs when children can't be expected to take care of whatever it is you give them to learn with, including the "lowly printed book" form. However: it is reality, and you and your job as an educator, with your high degree of intelligence, pay and perks... should be able to focus on the job at hand: adapt and do whatever it takes to educate these kids, with the resources you have. If you are in a position of administration and controlling the financial side of that seemingly impossible job... don't forget:

1) the "fun factor" i.e. psychological side...
2) nor to forget to ask yourself, "what would I prefer to learn on or with if I was a kid today".

I would expect that "fun" for you as an educator, would be "winning" at the end of the day your students attention, and seeing their advancement in their educational goals. It sure makes me happy and proud when my 2.5-year old nephew is all excited about learning and showing what he can do with his iPad... and yes, even books and other toys.

Whatever it takes, but most of all make it "fun and cool" to learn. It'll make your job 10 times easier. Believe me.

My apologies for the lecture.
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post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post

I agree with this wish as well. Apple really must step up their offerings regarding software for the creation of:
  1. iBooks, ePub, etc.
  2. HTML5 websites and web-apps

as well as synchronized management from iDevices of iTunes and iPhoto.

When you look at the amazing software they have created for consumers with GarageBand and iMovie on the iPad, as well as iWork apps, the above "low-spec" apps shouldn't be such a challenge, and shouldn't be taking this long.

Yes, I do hope Apple is working on something like this. In the meantime, are there any developers here who would be interestedd to create such an App. I would be interested to collaborate (share my concepts) with developers who would consider this project.


CGC
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

Thanks for the lead. What I have in mind is indeed similar to what inkling is doing, but more. Also, I do not want to be just the consumer of such interactive books but the creator, or at least help others create such interactive books of the future.

This means what I need is not the creations of those interactive books but the ability to buy the App (software or template) that created such books. There's a company in New York that developed an App for authors. But, they don't really sell you the App but let you use for a basic price of $600 for the simplest version. So, for a project that I have been working on for years, a republication and update (to an interactive book), is a 55-volume history series.

That means at least $33,000 for the use of that App alone. What I was hoping is for Apple to use its resources and expertise to create the equivalent of the Aperture, Garage Band, iMovie or Final Cu Pro of book publishing.

I would not mind paying even a thousand dollars for such an App if it comes from Apple, becaause I know it is likely to be updated, and I can use the One-to-One service to learn such App.




Thanks for the info. I will lookk further into it. Right now, I am just beginning to learn the default ePub suggested by Apple. I asked some of the "experts" involved in the One-to-One and not one seems to have an expertise on the ePub or published anything that would allow insight to iBook. I do trial and error now.

I taught myself basic html (not the advanced features of html5) so I can layout a website more precisely than even a template, if needed.

If I can make the ePub to behave a bit to have features like a website, like being able to have pop-out notes that would solve the "in-page" footnote common in old historical books. Right now, ePub, as practiced by Project Gutenberg, all in page footnotes are placed at the end of the book. That is impractical if you are dealing with books with several hundred pages, and there are literally three to six footnotes in some pages. I doubt too many readers with go back and forth from a page to the back just to read a footnote, especially if we are talking about more than 300 pages of a history book.

I wish to be able to hhave more flexibility in the layouting, but it seems the ePub default in the Apple pages does not allow that. More than likely, this is intrinsic in the ePub itself because of the feature that allows the reader to change fonts and size of the fonts. In this resrtictive layout, only a signle column can be allowed.

The only alternative provided (or suggested by Apple is to use PDF, but that has also its limitation.

Has anyone actually use the ePub to create eBooks? I would be interested to see what people are doing, and the limits of the ePub. Or, rather the extent that ePub can explore.

CGC

Bookmarked the links provided. I will try to look at them possibly later this week. \\

I'm adapting two of my novels in development to ePub now.

Of course, I've got 10+ years in XHTML now HTML 5 and CSS development knowledge, not to mention 10+ years of LaTeX knowledge and how to leverage TeXLive with Memoir for Book Publishing.

From Apple's Guideline for ePub format [http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4168] it's clear they have work to be done to incorporate the ePub 3.0 specification.

Of course, any HTML 5 Browser will be able to parse your document.

Source: http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-contentdocs.html

FORMAT RELATIONSHIPS: http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-...relations-html

Quote:
1.2.1 Relationship to HTML5

The XHTML document type defined by this specification is based on W3C HTML5, and inherits unless otherwise specified all definitions of semantics, structure and processing behaviors from the HTML5 specification.

In addition, this specification defines a set of extensions to the W3C HTML5 document model that Authors may include in XHTML Content Documents.

This specification defines a simplified processing model that does not require Reading Systems to support scripting, HTML5 forms or the HTML5 DOM. EPUB Reading Systems conformant with this specification are only required to be able to process a conforming EPUB Content Document. As support for scripting and HTML5 forms are optional Reading System features, a conformant Reading System may not be a fully-conformant HTML5 User Agent (i.e., it may not implement the complete HTML5 processing model).

Examples are here: http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-...html#sec-xhtml

There appears to be some work left for them to be ironed out and then of course one should be able to test inside Safari or especially WebKit Nightly as it's feature set is months ahead of Safari 5.0.4 on the Desktop or Safari Mobile 4.x on iOS 4.3.1. I plan on running basic document wide structure tests, myself.

It seems reasonably to conclude Apple will incorporate ePub 3.0 shortly after the spec is considered vetted and stable.
post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

I agree. The eReaders cannot handle the image rich even video requirements of "technical reading" demanded by science and technology, and biomedical sciences.

In fact, I was looking at the iBooks, and even that seems limiting to me. Apple should spearhead the development of new iBooks template that would make it easy to integrate not only to include words and images, and in color, but also in three dimensions, make them move like videos, integrate audios, etc. The iBook must seamlessly connect with the resources available through the internet also, or at least have the means to "transiently store" to access relevant internet resources.

In other words, the new iBook form must have the rich features of Apps more associated with gaming and entertainment. That should be and will be the iBook of the future -- both rich in text but further augmented by audio-visuals and the powers and features offered by the internet and mobile computing.

The ePub which is the only one available offered by Apple, to non-techies creating books is just too limiting. What was more surprising is that even the ePub is not given as much emphasis. I could not find any expert in the One-to-One who is an expert on the ePub.

This is a disappointment because I could not even integrate what I consider simple stuff in some of the iBooks I wanted to create. And, I am not even asking for GPS or those other features already integrated in iOS devices.

Any experts here who can help?

CGC

As a matter of fact, yes

I write dictionaries (no kidding, really, google me, Joseph Segen) and for years had all of my material in a DTP environment; last year, I finally realised that you just can't manage 100+K entries as DTP files--you can, but WHAT A PAIN! So I began porting it all over to Filemaker Pro. I can now publish a standalone 250-1000 page product in less than a week, but I made a lot of mistakes in the process and had a steep learning curve with the ePub format; I was forced to undo the DTP "bells and whistles" to make viable products for the Kindle. No one told me this, but to get a product into an ePub format (unless you're an HTML mavin), your files have to be in one column, have only one font with 3 tiers of size and you're limited to bold, italic and underlinethat's it. So if you have books with illustrations, video clips, sound and all kinds of other cool stuff, you're dead in the water

Until next month

Quark XPress, the venerated DTP publisher is releasing version 9 (i've use XPress for 20 years). As far as I can tell, 9 comes with the tools you need to include illustrations for ePub right out of the box

But there's more

Quark is putting the final touches on a programme that will be in a future (apparently within 3 months) update and free to anyone who purchased same within the last month, that isspecifically designed to create iPad apps. So if you have content that you want to convert into a compelling product and don't have a big budget, XPress9 should do the trick. I'll be buying one myself.

AND once the iPad "bolt on" is added (in 3 months), I suspect that the very robust and creative XPress developer community will come up with products that will take you to the places you want to go.

If you're not already an XPress user, I'd recommend that you buy it ASAP and start playing around with it, so that when the iPad is released, you won't have to faff around learning the whole programme at once

Good luck, mate
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I'm adapting two of my novels in development to ePub now.

Of course, I've got 10+ years in XHTML now HTML 5 and CSS development knowledge, not to mention 10+ years of LaTeX knowledge and how to leverage TeXLive with Memoir for Book Publishing.

From Apple's Guideline for ePub format [http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4168] it's clear they have work to be done to incorporate the ePub 3.0 specification.

Of course, any HTML 5 Browser will be able to parse your document.

Source: http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-contentdocs.html

FORMAT RELATIONSHIPS: http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-...relations-html



Examples are here: http://idpf.org/epub/30/spec/epub30-...html#sec-xhtml

There appears to be some work left for them to be ironed out and then of course one should be able to test inside Safari or especially WebKit Nightly as it's feature set is months ahead of Safari 5.0.4 on the Desktop or Safari Mobile 4.x on iOS 4.3.1. I plan on running basic document wide structure tests, myself.

It seems reasonably to conclude Apple will incorporate ePub 3.0 shortly after the spec is considered vetted and stable.

Maybe I can pick your brain sometime. I know what I already want to do, but I do not have the background nor the experience on the technical aspect of things.

Does the ePub group itself has a template like the Apple ePub template? That would be one step forward for me.

CGC
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsegenmd View Post

As a matter of fact, yes

I write dictionaries (no kidding, really, google me, Joseph Segen) and for years had all of my material in a DTP environment; last year, I finally realised that you just can't manage 100+K entries as DTP files--you can, but WHAT A PAIN! So I began porting it all over to Filemaker Pro. I can now publish a standalone 250-1000 page product in less than a week, but I made a lot of mistakes in the process and had a steep learning curve with the ePub format; I was forced to undo the DTP "bells and whistles" to make viable products for the Kindle. No one told me this, but to get a product into an ePub format (unless you're an HTML mavin), your files have to be in one column, have only one font with 3 tiers of size and you're limited to bold, italic and underlinethat's it. So if you have books with illustrations, video clips, sound and all kinds of other cool stuff, you're dead in the water

Until next month

Quark XPress, the venerated DTP publisher is releasing version 9 (i've use XPress for 20 years). As far as I can tell, 9 comes with the tools you need to include illustrations for ePub right out of the box

But there's more

Quark is putting the final touches on a programme that will be in a future (apparently within 3 months) update and free to anyone who purchased same within the last month, that isspecifically designed to create iPad apps. So if you have content that you want to convert into a compelling product and don't have a big budget, XPress9 should do the trick. I'll be buying one myself.

AND once the iPad "bolt on" is added (in 3 months), I suspect that the very robust and creative XPress developer community will come up with products that will take you to the places you want to go.

If you're not already an XPress user, I'd recommend that you buy it ASAP and start playing around with it, so that when the iPad is released, you won't have to faff around learning the whole programme at once
\\
Good luck, mate

I will take this into consideration, and possibly consider even trying it if they have a free 30day trial, if it is really the one best for my purpose.

When I considered a more advanced tool better than the iPhoto, I was surprised that the one-to-one Apple tutor that I got extolled the Adobe Elements over the Aperture, even if I asked specifically in the notes to be given a brief introduction to Aperture.

My concern with other third party software is that they have not always delivered fo rme when I needed it most. And that is true with my experience using Adobe products. Apart from the cost, the greater cost and issue for me is what it would take to get technical support in person when I needed it.

I need someone to help me resolve issues that I cannot resolve on my own, after even viewing those introductory videos and supplements. In the case of Aperture for example, in just one session, the tutor, who happens to be an expert of Aperture taught me a trict to radically changed the amount of time to edit photos of the pages of old books -- more than 55.000 for one of the projects I have been working on and off for years now, just because of the enormity.of the task.

And, just one simple trick from the tutor. I could finish in a day or two perhaps a week with the final touches, what would have taken me two to three months using the old fashion way.

The ability to be able to talk directly to Apple experts, not on the phone but in person, dealing with specific issues encountered is the tipping point on the software or App, I am going to adopt fro my needs.

CGC
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