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Apple releases iBooks 1.2.2; GREE acquires OpenFeint social gaming platform

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Apple on Thursday released a minor update to its iBooks e-book app, while Japanese gaming company GREE announced the purchase of the iOS social gaming platform OpenFeint.

iBooks 1.2.2

Apple quietly released iBooks 1.2.2 on the App Store Thursday.

The 14.9MB download includes a number of important stability and performance improvements, including:
Addresses issues playing video included with enhanced books from the iBookstore.
Resolves a problem where some books open with a different font than expected.
Makes iBooks more responsive when navigating books with many items in their table of contents.

The last major update to iBooks came in December 2010. iBooks 1.2 added fully illustrated books, personal Collections and PDF and notes printing using AirPrint.

Apple launched the iBookstore alongside the iPad in April last year in hopes of establishing the tablet as a viable e-reader.

OpenFeint

GREE and OpenFeint jointly announced the acquisition, which cost $104 million plus unspecified additional capital for OpenFeint's growth, in a press release on Thursday. All told, the combined gaming ecosystem will reach 100 million users worldwide.

"At GREE, we are socializing the next evolution of games and, as the best-in-class US-based mobile social network, OpenFeint is the ideal partner for us to offer the best mobile social games to the largest global audience, said Yoshikazu Tanaka, founder and CEO of GREE.

OpenFeint was founded as an independent gaming studio named Aurora Feint in 2008. Originally focused on the App Store, the company developed a social gaming platform for iOS that has found its way into over 5,000 games. OpenFeint has since expanded to the Android platform, where it has added over 200 Android games to its network.

GREE's purchase of OpenFeint represents the first expansion by the company outside of Japan. According to the release, CEO and founder Jason Citron and team will remain on board with "long-term incentives."

Japanese game developer and GREE rival DeNA purchased a 20 percent stake in Aurora Feint in 2009.

For its part, Apple released its own social gaming network Game Center last year. Similar to OpenFeint, Game Center offers leaderboards and achievements. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Apple had poached prominent gaming industry marketing executives from Nintendo and Activision.
post #2 of 12
iBooks for OSX plz. with Lion would be fine.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRR View Post

iBooks for OSX plz. with Lion would be fine.

Agreed.

When I first downloaded a free book on my iPhone and realised I couldn't continue reading on my Mac I was pretty disappointed. Apple have created a lovely ecosystem of hardware but are so far behind with a software & data ecosystem, much of the value is lost.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

Reply
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Agreed.

When I first downloaded a free book on my iPhone and realised I couldn't continue reading on my Mac I was pretty disappointed. Apple have created a lovely ecosystem of hardware but are so far behind with a software & data ecosystem, much of the value is lost.

Why is this "behind" - the mac is not designed as an eBook reader, there is no publicity that suggests that books bought on the iBook store (only available on iOS) can be be read anywhere than on iBooks on iOS devices - who wants to read a novel on a desktop computer?
post #5 of 12
i tried using the ibookstore on my ipad 2 and it's horrific. Amazon is so much better and easier.

hope that apple moves it to itunes or some other easier way to browse books. after you pick a category the only way to browse seems to be by author. what a joke
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple on Thursday released a minor update to its iBooks e-book app, ...

iBooks is a terrible app IMO.

The main thing that bugs me about it is the silly wooden shelf, which aside from being ugly is just not a good UI. Unfortunately, it's so popular and such a flagship app that it's unlikely to change.

Leaving that aside though it's also possibly the slowest app on iOS today. Loading even a few books into it means waiting 5 seconds or so whenever you open one up, or decide to switch from one to the other. That may seem alright when you write it down but 5 seconds when using iOS is an interminable wait in practice. It also doesn't handle PDF's with non standard pages sizes well at all, doesn't automatically zoom content, and only reads a very few formats.

It's basically set up as a tool for eBook purchases on the iBooks store (with a basic PDF reader thrown in as a bonus), which is alright, but what most people would like to see (judging by all the alternative readers) is a simple easy to use app that reads *everything*. Normal people who read, don't generally divide up their reading materials by book "type." My (real) wooden book shelves at home aren't separated by hardcover vs. softcover or different kinds of bindings, why should my virtual book shelves be?
post #7 of 12
As important as the iBook, Apple should have an App that will help writers create their iBooks.

This should include easy integration of words and images, links, video and audio and other mass media. The integration of the aforementioned would allow iBooks to meet the demands of the future books and other more technical books (science-technology and biomedicine) beyond the standard mainly text books that the likes of the Kindle and other eReaders focus on.

At the very least, Apple should provide a more recent update of the ePub and improve image presentation much better than the current PDF.

If Apple create such an App, writers would become their own publishers. In effect, Apple can even loosen the stranglehold of publishing companies.

Apple Ecosystems
post #8 of 12
@Prof: I understand your pref for something other than the wooden bookshelf - but that's an esthetic thing - maybe Apple should allow user customization of the present format other than shelf or list. Fair enough. BUt I'm not seeing your challenges with iBooks on my iPhone 4 - it snaps open with a load of 20 books and 10-15 pdfs on average and switches between book in just a second or two. I have a couple categories set up that meet my needs including assigning pdfs into sep areas. So while you may LOVE cramming all your material on one humungous shelf - some of us like to be able to categorize. BTW, all of MY pdfs work flawlessly zooming, formating, etc. Not sure where you are sourcing pdfs from - but is it possible they are just badly formatted pdfs? In which case why not open them up in Acrobat and reformat them to behave?

@apple-ecosystems: you may want to try this link for ePub info:
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4168
which gives the basics on converting to ePub formatting and provides a sample doc as well. I use calibre to convert pdfs to or augment existing ePub books, available here:
http://calibre-ebook.com/
as an open-source (and thus free) ebook lib mgmt app. MacLife did a brief write-up here:
http://www.maclife.com/article/howto...ok_kindle_ipad
and there are any number of helpful and/or costly sites and services that are out there to assist you.

I can export direct to ePub format from Pages, and usually do, but I also use Calibre to adjust and clean-up my pubs.
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post


@apple-ecosystems: you may want to try this link for ePub info:
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4168
which gives the basics on converting to ePub formatting and provides a sample doc as well. I use calibre to convert pdfs to or augment existing ePub books, available here:
http://calibre-ebook.com/
as an open-source (and thus free) ebook lib mgmt app. MacLife did a brief write-up here:
http://www.maclife.com/article/howto...ok_kindle_ipad
and there are any number of helpful and/or costly sites and services that are out there to assist you.

I can export direct to ePub format from Pages, and usually do, but I also use Calibre to adjust and clean-up my pubs.

Thanks for the tip fecklesstechguy,

I do use the ePub template by Apple but it appears that it might be version 1, mainly text and images. I understand that ePub now is in in version 3 (beta?) that can integrate more. apart from text and images. I have not tried version 3 yet.

I know how to convert Pages to PDF, but I understand that you lose many features of the Pages content, layout and features when converted to ePub (using Apple's template). Apple's ePub template typography and layout features seem to be more limiting compared to the ePub documents I see in the Intenetarchive.org

The "Calibre" looks interesting. You stated that you clean up your work with "Caliber" Can "Caliber" be used as a "Creator-Editor" Apps, just like the Pages App and ePub template? Also, is the cleaned up "Caliber" version of an eBook (originally created from ePub) ready for submission as an iBook?

I watched the "Caliber" demo briefly for Apple products, is there a version specific for an iBook optimized specifically for the smaller iOs and separately for the iPad? I am not sure how old the Demo is, but it has only one option for Apple devices.

Apple Ecosystems
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

iBooks is a terrible app IMO.

The main thing that bugs me about it is the silly wooden shelf, which aside from being ugly is just not a good UI. Unfortunately, it's so popular and such a flagship app that it's unlikely to change.

Leaving that aside though it's also possibly the slowest app on iOS today. Loading even a few books into it means waiting 5 seconds or so whenever you open one up, or decide to switch from one to the other. That may seem alright when you write it down but 5 seconds when using iOS is an interminable wait in practice. It also doesn't handle PDF's with non standard pages sizes well at all, doesn't automatically zoom content, and only reads a very few formats.

It's basically set up as a tool for eBook purchases on the iBooks store (with a basic PDF reader thrown in as a bonus), which is alright, but what most people would like to see (judging by all the alternative readers) is a simple easy to use app that reads *everything*. Normal people who read, don't generally divide up their reading materials by book "type." My (real) wooden book shelves at home aren't separated by hardcover vs. softcover or different kinds of bindings, why should my virtual book shelves be?

FWIW the iBooks app has improved in speed, particularly on the iPad 2. As for the books sorting, I can't comment because I don't really read books nowadays... They could have a view of it arranged so that just the spines not covers are visible and sorted, like you mention by title, author or category.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

who wants to read a novel on a desktop computer?

Who only reads novels?

One of the main reasons I still buy books for the Kindle is the Mac Kindle app.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

The main thing that bugs me about it is the silly wooden shelf, which aside from being ugly is just not a good UI. Unfortunately, it's so popular and such a flagship app that it's unlikely to change.

Wow, that the thing that bugs you is so easy to change - just drag the bookshelf down to reveal the search bar, and on the right hand side you can pick a list view that replaces the bookshelf with - gasp! - a list!

Quote:
Leaving that aside though it's also possibly the slowest app on iOS today.

The update puts it easily on par with the Kindle app.

Quote:
It's basically set up as a tool for eBook purchases on the iBooks store (with a basic PDF reader thrown in as a bonus), which is alright,

Yup, that's all Apple promised. Darn them!

Quote:
but what most people would like to see (judging by all the alternative readers) is a simple easy to use app that reads *everything*.

That's what I have GoodReader for. You can use <insert your favorite app here> if iBooks isn't sufficient for you. That's what's great about the iOS ecosystem - plenty of choice and support for just about all the edge cases you could want.

Quote:
Normal people who read, don't generally divide up their reading materials by book "type." My (real) wooden book shelves at home aren't separated by hardcover vs. softcover or different kinds of bindings, why should my virtual book shelves be?

Again, it's pretty easy for you to change it - perhaps you should play with it a bit more? Or read about it a bit more? Changing the view from the bookshelf to list view was in every review for iBooks I read. Granted, accessing the search or the list vs. bookshelf view isn't the most obvious at first, but it is there.
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