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Initial iBook 2 titles offer disappointing interactivity

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
The initial results of existing publishers' use of iBooks Author has been underwhelming, according to both industry players and users commenting on several of Apple's iBookstore titles.

Inside Apple's efforts to expand iPad content with iBooks Author

Disappointing initial results from Old Media

Slader, a collaborative online educational service that provides academic resources for high school students, compared conventional textbooks with the initial iBooks offered by the same publishers and noted, "It’s akin to reading a PDF copy of the printed textbooks that exist in classrooms today. The interactive features promised are virtually nonexistent. Beyond the usual iPad features (highlighting and in-page definitions), there’s nothing new included in the publishers’ math iBooks."

The site added, "Provided with the opportunity and tools to create a ground-breaking learning experience for students, the established textbook companies took an easy route. Given first dibs at a new, revolutionary platform, they chose to push the same stale content."

It then concluded, "the most exciting piece of Apple’s announcement this past week revolves around the ability for anyone to author a textbook; Apple has provided the tools and distribution network to develop content that far surpasses the current offerings. New authors could easily exceed the publishers’ low standards. Is that enough to shake up the textbook market?"

Individual reviews of iBookstore textbooks also conveyed a general disappointment. "Pretty poor showing for a launch of the new interactive iBooks," one reviewer complained about DK's "My First ABC" title for children. "I can't believe this is the poster child for interactive book debut. There's nothing to interact with!" another said.




A red flag for conventional book publishers

The initial iPhone apps that debuted in the App Store in 2008 and the first iPad apps introduced in 2010 were both largely impressive right from the start. The difference here is that iBooks are being created by non-programmers who are accustomed to creating books, and particularly books that have limited competition in a market that doesn't change very quickly.

That suggests conventional book publishers have more in common with the music labels and movie studios, who hesitantly tiptoed into iTunes with the horrified terror of a cat being forced to take a bath. Software developers, in contrast, pounded on Apple's door to demand that it let them make cool software.

This further suggests that, while Apple can eventually turn the publishing industry into a modern industry capable of delivering innovative, dynamic content, the company also has the potential to expand the technology behind iBooks Author to deliver more general purpose titles, ranging from comic books to fiction to even subscription content along the lines of magazines and blogs.

Apple focused on delivering subscription content for iPad users last year, but it targeted setting up a business model for publishers rather than giving them the tools to develop their content. The result was that publishers attempted to deliver static PDFs, exported Flash content, or essentially giant photos of their magazine pages, rather than investing the effort to actually develop dynamic new content.

Amazon has experienced similarly problems in trying to push publishers to deliver dynamic, interactive subscription content for its Kindle platform, with many reviews of the Kindle Fire complaining that magazine content was virtually unusable on the device.

The company's initial focus on producing high school textbooks makes the most sense for an initial effort, but after gaining a foothold, Apple appears poised to revolutionize how interactive publishing is done, taking a clear swipe at Adobe.

Segment three looks at how iBooks threatens to leverage web standards to not only replace Flash, but also to replace conventional page layout with dynamic, web-based technologies.

Sencha embeds interactive CSS3 animations in iBook Author
post #2 of 41
Well, that's that. Apple has failed and no one will use this system in the future to make things better.

Publishers will shy away from the system entirely and it will be looked at by its competitors with a half-turn and a smug smile before they go back to their business.

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post #3 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Well, that's that. Apple has failed and no one will use this system in the future to make things better.

Publishers will shy away from the system entirely and it will be looked at by its competitors with a half-turn and a smug smile before they go back to their business.


While I appreciate what you're insinuating - that of course this isn't the end of the line and the initial use of a V1 product doesn't mean the idea or intent is wrong - I can also appreciate what the reviewers of the books on iTunes are saying. Apple is the kind of company where you just expect them to show their best and prove why you want their stuff. It sounds like this time they didn't quite do it, at least not yet. They just chose poorly, and the first batch of books doesn't prove to people what iBooks 2 can really do, or what they wished it could do.

You would have thought Apple would have screened the books and gone back to the publishers saying - "Hey, you can do better. You're not using our technology well. We want you to wow these people!"

I guess maybe they realized the books weren't that great and that's why they only really showed Life on Earth.
post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Well, that's that. Apple has failed and no one will use this system in the future to make things better.

Publishers will shy away from the system entirely and it will be looked at by its competitors with a half-turn and a smug smile before they go back to their business.


Doomed. If Steve Jobs was still with us, this wouldn't be allowed to happen. He would demand PERFECTION from these launch titles.

Don't worry. Interactive books are still pretty new. It'll take authors a while to get the hang of it.

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post #5 of 41
Well, I was wondering what bad news would crop up before the earnings numbers to ratchet them back from all new highs. I wonder if this is enough though...
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

You would have thought Apple would have screened the books and gone back to the publishers saying - "Hey, you can do better. You're not using our technology well. We want you to wow these people!

That's probably exactly what happened.

But who is going to pay for this?

Creating interactive content on every page, is very expensive. And I doubt school book publishers have the content already available in a form that could be used interactively 'as is'.

Classic chicken and egg situation.

Apple: Publishers, please updated your books with interactivity - to make books more interesting and sell more.

Publishers: We don't even know how many people will use these new textbooks. Let's frist sell them and make some money, then we can pay for making them interactive.


Apple is the only one losing out here. If their effort fails, this will tarnish their image.
If publishers fail to sell interactive books, well, they just go back to their old ways of selling real books. They don't care.


So you could argue Apple should have paid for this. At least the first round.
With all the billions in their bank Apple could have given each publisher a one or two book 'starter pack' where Apple helps to create interactive content and pays for it.
Shame they didn't do that.
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Creating interactive content on every page, is very expensive. And I doubt school book publishers have the content already available in a form that could be used interactively 'as is'.

Interactivity should only be used when it's an added benefit not simply because it can be done. I'm sure some buyers expected interactivity on all pages but that's ridiculous. The focus should be improved education not improved entertainment.

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post #8 of 41
I agree Steve Jobs would of demanded perfection before launch.
post #9 of 41
This is sad. Tim Cook is f***** up.
Apple should have had a full blown interactive text book, that was a mix of all the basic high school subjects, before launch. They had enough time. Time Cook better watch himself.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by xavier83 View Post

I agree Steve Jobs would of demanded perfection before launch.

I think memories of Apple with Jobs at the helm are quickly getting warped. Apple under Jobs was notorious for delivering well done but limited features in both HW and SW. High focus in core features without muddying the waters out of the gate. This is what iBooks Author looks like to me. On top of that, Jobs only stepped down as CEO less than 6(?) months ago sonits inconceivable to me that iBooks Author in the first post-Jobs special event does not have Jobs DNA all throughout.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The focus should be improved education not improved entertainment.

Absolutely.

Depends on a book's audience too.

Like the review poster for the ABC book for kids, probably has a point that these should be interactive on every page. To support the fun, playful learning for kids.

A history text book on the other hand might not need much.


Yet that is also the challenge.
I can imagine enlivening historic content by interactive maps of e.g. military advances over time, adding personal accounts (audio/video) of people involved, having 3D views of important historic artefacts, having interactive time lines which allow to compare parallel developments easily, etc.


To be fair though any of this is not something that can be done quickly.
Al Gore's book by Pushpoppress took many months - and those were pros doing it.
Textbook publishers have (presumably) little in-house knowledge of multi-media content creation. How long will it take them to do it? Would they be willing to outsource it?

Should Apple have waited another year before introducing this project - as that is likely the time it would take these publishers to update a few of their titles with more interactivity.


On a side note:

About 15-20 years ago Apple had a similar push on interactive learning with multi-media CDs.
The Voyager Company developed some amazing titles. Documentaries, music lectures, historic accounts, virtual museum tours, etc. all based on HyperCard stacks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Company

It didn't catch on though and Voyager went out of business.
I wonder if interactive textbooks will have a similar fate.

Though it would be wonderful if some of these titles could be re-made into iPad interactive books. I wonder if the original data still exists...
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

That's probably exactly what happened.

But who is going to pay for this?

Creating interactive content on every page, is very expensive. And I doubt school book publishers have the content already available in a form that could be used interactively 'as is'.

Classic chicken and egg situation.

Apple: Publishers, please updated your books with interactivity - to make books more interesting and sell more.

Publishers: We don't even know how many people will use these new textbooks. Let's frist sell them and make some money, then we can pay for making them interactive.


Apple is the only one losing out here. If their effort fails, this will tarnish their image.
If publishers fail to sell interactive books, well, they just go back to their old ways of selling real books. They don't care.


So you could argue Apple should have paid for this. At least the first round.
With all the billions in their bank Apple could have given each publisher a one or two book 'starter pack' where Apple helps to create interactive content and pays for it.
Shame they didn't do that.

Engrossing, educational interactivity is a nascent art from. There probably aren't that many people or organizations with the programming, scholastic, publishing and design chops to pull it off well. Even given time and money, I'll wager most text book publishers just aren't set up to produce excellent interactive texts. What was Apple supposed to do, buy a publishing house outright?

But what may happen is that something genuinely compelling is going to come from outside of the textbook industry, become a huge success, and drive the publishers to go back to the drawing board. In other words, competition in an industry that has seen precious little.
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post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Depends on a book's audience too.

Like the review poster for the ABC book for kids, probably has a point that these should be interactive on every page. To support the fun, playful learning for kids.

Certainly! Every letter should state the letter and have some animation when pressed. This is clearly to stimulate the child which in turn helps them retain the information better. We've had electronic versions of such things for decades.


Mattel See 'n Say, 1965

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post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

This is sad. Tim Cook is f***** up.
Apple should have had a full blown interactive text book, that was a mix of all the basic high school subjects, before launch. They had enough time. Time Cook better watch himself.

Apple isn't a textbook publishing business. What you mean is that they should have somehow forced a textbook publisher to do excellent work, and all the time in the world can't guarantee that.

They've put the tools out there. If they've done their job well, someone (not necessarily an incumbent textbook publisher) will produce something great-- something that is compelling, instructive, fun and engrossing.
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post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Engrossing, educational interactivity is a nascent art from. There probably aren't that many people or organizations with the programming, scholastic, publishing and design chops to pull it off well. Even given time and money, I'll wager most text book publishers just aren't set up to produce excellent interactive texts. What was Apple supposed to do, buy a publishing house outright?

But what may happen is that something genuinely compelling is going to come from outside of the textbook industry, become a huge success, and drive the publishers to go back to the drawing board. In other words, competition in an industry that has seen precious little.


I for one could care less about the effing publishers. They are pimping public domain info anyway.
It will have to be up to us as future/existing entrepreneur s to make incredible interactive book. The same way video games are made is the same way these new book HAVE to be made.
post #16 of 41
I wonder if Ad Libs and/or Choose Your Own Adventure styles iBooks. I wonder if the format can dynamically alter the content in such a way that you could have multiple experiences from the same book.


Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

I for one could care less about the effing publishers. They are pimping public domain info anyway.

With interactive books publishers have new ways to get personal info from users. I would think they would be very happy about this option.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

What was Apple supposed to do, buy a publishing house outright?

In an ideal world Apple should have arranged an agreement with Mike Matas and the team from Push Pop Press.

Instead of (allegedly) forcing them to stop Push Pop Press interactive book production (and a resulting buyout by Facebook) they should have made the Push Pop Press team an integral part of Apple in charge of interactive textbooks.

They could have been put in charge to help textbook publishers update their textbooks for the 21st century.
Initially as a free service by Apple (a 'start-up investment' to get publishers and readers hooked, for a couple of books per publisher), later-on for a small cut of the proceeds.


Shame this didn't happen.
post #18 of 41
Well personally, I absolutely love the iBook textbook I downloaded. Maybe try more than just one? I've also got a pdf of the textbook, and the two are nothing alike.
post #19 of 41
Just because you have a top of the line camera, DOESN'T MAKE YOU A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER..

Hopefully when "real" creative and imaginative people start using iBooks Author, then we'll see great interactive books..
post #20 of 41
The iPad at Work book is the first thing I downloaded when I wanted to see the new text books in action. It's free and I'm sure showcases some of the things that the platform can do. It does weave well in and out of static and dynamic content. Not flashy. Just makes sense.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by drumrobot View Post

Well personally, I absolutely love the iBook textbook I downloaded. Maybe try more than just one? I've also got a pdf of the textbook, and the two are nothing alike.

I agree with you, PDFs seem dead after these, this is more like The Daily Prophet
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post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Just because you have a top of the line camera, DOESN'T MAKE YOU A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER..

Along the same lines ... Apple's DeskTop Publishing in the mid 1980s allowed ordinary folks to (almost) professionally type and layout content for themselves for the first time in history, sadly it produced some of the most horrific printed material possible and thanks to computers and printers people still do to this day . Thank heavens Apple set iBook Author up to be nearly fool proof and not as free form as iWeb for example. However, DTP did unleash many talented folks as will this I am sure. I liken this to iTunes with music and pod casts. I suspect we will see a mass of small companies and individuals breakthrough into book production that could never have done so before.
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post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think memories of Apple with Jobs at the helm are quickly getting warped. Apple under Jobs was notorious for delivering well done but limited features in both HW and SW. High focus in core features without muddying the waters out of the gate. This is what iBooks Author looks like to me. On top of that, Jobs only stepped down as CEO less than 6(?) months ago sonits inconceivable to me that iBooks Author in the first post-Jobs special event does not have Jobs DNA all throughout.

This......
Though inevitably history will be forever rewritten in Steve Jobs' name. Sadly.

Hopefully (author) competition will ensure that the quality of iBooks will become as high as we know they can. If not there is an opportunity out there waiting to be exploited.
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

In an ideal world Apple should have arranged an agreement with Mike Matas and the team from Push Pop Press.

Instead of (allegedly) forcing them to stop Push Pop Press interactive book production (and a resulting buyout by Facebook) they should have made the Push Pop Press team an integral part of Apple in charge of interactive textbooks.

They could have been put in charge to help textbook publishers update their textbooks for the 21st century.
Initially as a free service by Apple (a 'start-up investment' to get publishers and readers hooked, for a couple of books per publisher), later-on for a small cut of the proceeds.


Shame this didn't happen.

That's because Apple was already working on what Push Pop intended to do and already had a team.. And the result of that is iBooks Author. It's not the greatest thing since slice bread but it's a great start.

Apple allegedly forced Push Pop out for allegedly using Apple IPs..
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

That's because Apple was already working on what Push Pop intended to do and already had a team.. And the result of that is iBooks Author. It's not the greatest thing since slice bread but it's a great start.

Apple allegedly forced Push Pop out for allegedly using Apple IPs..

Didn't the folks involved start at Apple and had inside knowledge too? I'm not suggesting anything nefarious, it's a wonder though that Google didn't grab them and protect them from law suits with big $s so as to have an Android version of this. It seems weird they got so far along and Al was involved too as an Apple Director with pushing their product. What a waste of effort to have these two teams working in parallel.
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post #26 of 41
First off much of what Apple releases is far from perfect. The evolution of the iPhone is a prime example, there where releases that where barely functional. All while Steveo was at the helm. Steve was more interested in the direction of development than perfection at anyone point.

Second the big publishers will not be the ones to excel with iBooks. It is jump to far for them. Instead new hungery developers will be the key to the success of iBooks. Think of the current books as placeholders that will eventually be replaced as developers evolve their skills and proven techniques are offered.

Look at the other paradigm shifts Apple has been responsible for, none of them happened over night. This is the case with both hardware and software. It takes time to develop market mind share. Likewise developers take time to develop their skills.

As for interactivity that is simply not something that is suitable for every page of a text book. In some cases there will be little interactivity at all. Frankly think about school and the classes where interactivity is possible and works.

In any event lets see how much of this negativity is a problem in 5 years. By such time iBooks will either have become a winner or have died.
post #27 of 41
Hopefully the big textbook companies are currently hiring creative and dynamic people for their interactive books departments! The companies never had to manage video and interactive graphics before, so it may take a little time to get them to fully integrate modern content into these books. (by a little time I mean less than a year, I mean how long could it take?) Anyway, it seems to me that in order to produce an awesome history textbook, the publishers will need to incorporate content from documentary film footage. WWII footage will need to be contained throughout the book, what kind of licensing fees would the film owners demand? How would this affect the pricing of awesome full featured history books? Once new players in the iTextbooks industry release awesome new interactive tomes, what will be the political ramifications be? I can envision a future where AAPL's social reach induces a backlash among Evangelical Conservative types calling for an AAPL boycott or even iPad burnings similar to what they did when John Lennon scared them. (Kind of like the Flesh Fairs from the movie A.I.) Either way, I hope the upcoming textbooks really blow us away, and really create a spark for kids to want to learn. When I watched the video last week, when they unveiled in NY, I was blown away.
post #28 of 41
It's a pity they didn't even make the math ones more interactive. That seems like the lowest hanging fruit, in that math is what computers are good at. You could embed live formulas and graphers in to the page.

One thing that I haven't heard mentioned is the possibility of interacting with other people through the book. For example voice chat with other people currently reading it. Or the publisher has an army of retired teachers sitting in a call-centre somewhere, and the kids can ask questions.
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

But who is going to pay for this?

I don't know if you've been in school lately, but unless textbook authors make around 9 billion dollars a minute, I think the publishers have the cash to pull this off.

That said, Apple probably should have sent over some personel for guidance after seeing the initial crop of books. At this point, you can't really expect publishers to have a firm grasp on this type of software [though it would be very nice if they had taken that initiative given the state of technology today...].
post #30 of 41
Well, I`ve tried iBooks Author already and created the book which I`ll publish on this week in iBookstore.
So, the problem of iBooks Author is that people who made it, they didn`t study well InDesign and its developing history. iBooks Author has a lot of things which have to be "by default" because these are most useful funtions (footnotes, correction of existing styles or styles which you are making during production, menu and UI in fullscreen mode are not acceptable).
BUT, here is first version and I didn`t wait too much from this except more comfortable operations with multimedia content and appearance of the books.
Anyway, I would like to see good development in future and looks like we have same thing like FCPX but in books production.
Producer wants to make something too simple and productive but forget about small BUT very important details which ruin his creature.

For information.
I`ve been working in publishing business since 1993 up to 2001. At this moment I`m publishing or producing anything for own pleasure.
post #31 of 41
Another underwhelming release by Tim Cook. When the AppStore opened, there were a number of impressive 3rd party titles to show what can be done. When iAds were released, the first iAds were again very impressive. Though in both cases the quantity may have been low, the quality was high. Whether it was Jobs that insisted on high quality or the 3rd parties involved just wanted to impress, point is they were good showcases.
post #32 of 41
IMO
Books (reading with sub purpose of interactive)
Apps (interactivity with sub purpose of reading)
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post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

While I appreciate what you're insinuating - that of course this isn't the end of the line and the initial use of a V1 product doesn't mean the idea or intent is wrong - I can also appreciate what the reviewers of the books on iTunes are saying. Apple is the kind of company where you just expect them to show their best and prove why you want their stuff.

...
You would have thought Apple would have screened the books and gone back to the publishers saying - "Hey, you can do better. You're not using our technology well. We want you to wow these people!"

You mean like they should have done with their own Final Cut Pro X?? \
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post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


That suggests conventional book publishers have more in common with the music labels and movie studios, who hesitantly tiptoed into iTunes with the horrified terror of a cat being forced to take a bath.


Good job, DED!

Wonderful turn of phrase, despite the mixed metaphors (a horrified cat would hardly tiptoe).

Please reread Hunter S. Thompson's better stuff. You could do worse than to emulate his style. He was a master of the visceral phrase. You do your best when you employ "no holds barred" descriptions. Colorful and entertaining descriptions are one of your unique and unusual talents.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

IMO
Books (reading with sub purpose of interactive)
Apps (interactivity with sub purpose of reading)

Maybe. But what is wrong with changing the paradigm? That is the whole point of the new venture.

A picture is worth a thousand words. And at a framerate of 30 pictures per second, the available information can be multiplied vastly. Think about, for example, an old-timey painting of the Battle of Gettysburg, which might illustrate a history text. Now think of a video clip of a cannon being loaded with balls of shot, and blowing a thousand holes through a target painted like soldiers.

The first gets a glance. The second sends a chill down your spine.
post #36 of 41
Enough with the Tim Cook/Steve Jobs whining. People are remembering with rose colored glasses, there were plenty of screwups under Jobs and the stuff that's coming out now likely still had much of his influence. Frankly I think there's a good chance that things could even improve a bit under Cook, particularly quality control and actually listening to what customers want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Interactivity should only be used when it's an added benefit not simply because it can be done. I'm sure some buyers expected interactivity on all pages but that's ridiculous. The focus should be improved education not improved entertainment.

The main example in this article is an ABC book. The info pushes the sound effects as a major selling point, but as one of the reviews pointed out, most objects don't have sounds. And the implementation that would make sense would be touching the letter and you hear the letter and sound spoken, touch the picture and you hear the sound effect for that, touch the word and it plays the word. Instead there are play buttons off to the side.

A book like this aimed at kids learning letters and building vocabulary. In this particular case users absolutely would expect interactivity on just about every page, at least minimally so. And things like speech and sound effects are the easiest (and cheapest) things to add to something like this.

It is surprising Apple didn't screen this book and send it back for improvements. With the terrible reviews I wonder if the company will create a revised version and allow buyers to update it. I was thinking about buying this for my kid to check it out, glad I read this first so I didn't waste my money.

And with the other books, Apple is hyping this as being more than just a PDF. If they want it to take off, they need textbooks published that are more than just PDFs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

We've had electronic versions of such things for decades.

Heck, the See 'n' Say wasn't even electronic, it's a mini phonograph that runs via pulling the string, no batteries needed.
post #37 of 41
Poor workmen will always blame their tools and this is no exception.

People without a clue had a quick dabble over the weekend and gave up moaning.
The "game changers" are still working on their ibook now and will be for some months to come.

No software will allow a nobody become a somebody over a weekend.
post #38 of 41
I bought Al Gore book for iPad, was expecting much more. Very disappointed and quickly deleted it. Effects were only for show, took huge amount of space for no benefit. Also the same with the first newstand magazines I got. Just used effects for no real benefit, didn't utilize form factor, no meaningful interactivity. Tried maybe a dozen free issues, deleted them all. Even the photography magazines were more frustrating then useful.

On the other hand, I have used some really nice children books that my granddaughter loves. Only about 1 out of 10 maybe I get, but the tools and technology are there (thanks Apple, just fix the content size issue NOW, a gigabyte for a book? really?). Developers/Publishers just need to get out of the box.
post #39 of 41
It's like when CD drives first came out. All sorts of horrible crap the publishers just crudely repurposed from their original use. Unfortunate, I suppose, but as someone who's inspired by iBooks Author to try putting a textbook together (in a technical, but visual field), the fact the big boys aren't taking this seriously (yet) is just fine with me.
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Slader, a collaborative online educational service that provides academic resources for high school students, compared conventional textbooks with the initial iBooks offered by the same publishers and [URL=http://blog.slader.com/post/16350801118/slader-covers-ibook-content


noted[/URL], "It’s akin to reading a PDF copy of the printed textbooks that exist in classrooms today. The interactive features promised are virtually nonexistent. Beyond the usual iPad features (highlighting and in-page definitions), there’s nothing new included in the publishers’ math iBooks."

Individual reviews of iBookstore textbooks also conveyed a general disappointment. "Pretty poor showing for a launch of the new interactive iBooks," one reviewer complained about DK's "My First ABC" title for children. "I can't believe this is the poster child for interactive book debut. There's nothing to interact with!" another said.

Pretty much useless and unnecessairly negative reviews. Did these self-professed paragons of educational content review stop to consider no one could magically transform their existing e-Book materials to Apple's new platform overnight? Most likely, initial offerings would be based on the previous technologies in the form of PDFs.

Rather than seemingly dismiss the Apple platform outright, it might have been better to give authors and/or texbook publishers a more reasonable amount of time for conversion, and increasing student-to-content interaction. It's not the platform, it's the content. And Apple doesn't create the content.
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