Apple iWork VP Roger Rosner involved in new iBooks textbook effort

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014


Apple's new digital textbooks initiative, scheduled for announcement at its education event this week, is reportedly being led by Roger Rosner, the company's vice president overseeing the development of its iWork productivity applications.



According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Rosner is "closely involved in developing the new digital-textbook service."



The report also noted that the upcoming event, scheduled for Thursday, "isn't expected to focus on textbooks that exist today, but rather around tools for building digital textbooks."



A report by Fortune earlier today downplayed the subject of the event as being a "GarageBand for ebooks," quoting a publisher who said "Apple does not want to get into the content publishing business."



Enhancing Apple's existing iBooks, iBookstore



Apple's iBookstore, operated in parallel to the iTunes Store and App Store, already offers a way for publishers to market digital textbooks that can be used on iOS devices including iPad.



Last month, Apple introduced minor improvements to its free iBooks app with the release of version 1.5. The updated software added a night reading theme, full-screen mode and new fonts.











Apple also already offers basic support in Pages 09 for creating ebooks in the EPUB format used by iBooks. However, the reported involvement of Rosner in Apple's digital textbook initiative suggests an association between the iWork tools he currently oversees, including Pages, and the development and deployment of digital texts.



The iWork group originally developed iWeb, a tool for creating simple web pages that could easily be published through the company's MobileMe web hosting service. Rather than being bundled with Pages, Numbers and Keynote in the company's iWork productivity suite, iWeb was included in its iLife suite of media apps including GarageBand and iDVD, which it shared more in common with in its user interface.



A new direction for web development



Last year, Apple started selling its iWork and iLife apps as individual titles in the new Mac App Store, rather than bundled as two suites of apps in retail boxes. The company also abandoned both iWeb and its web hosting services when it shifted to iCloud.











In addition to changing the direction of its mobile cloud services, Apple had also shifted its strategy in web development tools over the past year and a half.



At the introduction of Xcode 4 in the summer of 2010, AppleInsider projected that the company's increasingly sophisticated, graphical software development tool could portend new HTML5 development tools.



Our report specifically noted that "one example of how the company's significant investments in creating Xcode 4 could be applied is in shipping a web development tool aimed at creating HTML5 content for the web and for use within web-based tools such as Apple's iAd mobile advertising program."



iAd Producer



Six months later, Apple released a sophisticated tool for creating HTML5 content called iAd Producer. That tool is still limited to creating content intended for use with the company's iAd mobile advertising service.











It appears likely Apple's event will involve both enhancements to its iWork publishing tools and its iBook and iBookstore deployment tools for publishers, offering additional features optimized for textbooks.



Apple's event on Thursday is also expected to involve Eddy Cue, the company's vice president of Internet Software and Services, which involves oversight of iTunes, its App Store and iBookstore, as well as iAd and iCloud.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    Hey Roger, never mind textbooks, how about an update to iWork. We're going into year 3 here.
  • Reply 2 of 35
    801801 Posts: 271member
    Any word this presentation will be avalibe online?
  • Reply 3 of 35
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 988member
    When are we getting iWork '12 or iWork '13? Maybe with ODF support this time.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    When are we getting iWork '12 or iWork '13? Maybe with ODF support this time.



    It'll be iWork '99; Apple names by coincidence sometimes.



    As for when it'll be released, Apple will first have to work out a way to make us pay again instead of getting the updates for free, since iWork is in the Mac App Store now. That'll be an interesting precedent to set. Will Apple allow other developers to charge for updates or will Apple just not charge for the next versions at all?
  • Reply 5 of 35
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 988member
    Just have it as a paid update. I think there are some apps that do that. Or they could have it as a separate app, so people can have both iWork '09 and whatever the future version might be numbered.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    As for when it'll be released, Apple will first have to work out a way to make us pay again instead of getting the updates for free, since iWork is in the Mac App Store now. That'll be an interesting precedent to set. Will Apple allow other developers to charge for updates or will Apple just not charge for the next versions at all?



    Or will Apple just charge $29 for the iWork suite to everyone, end of story?
  • Reply 7 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    Just have it as a paid update. I think there are some apps that do that.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by urbansprawl View Post


    Or will Apple just charge $29 for the iWork suite to everyone, end of story?



    I didn't think Apple allowed paid updates. Hmm. Well, if that's the case, it's pretty simple; you're right.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,005member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    It'll be iWork '99; Apple names by coincidence sometimes.



    As for when it'll be released, Apple will first have to work out a way to make us pay again instead of getting the updates for free, since iWork is in the Mac App Store now. That'll be an interesting precedent to set. Will Apple allow other developers to charge for updates or will Apple just not charge for the next versions at all?



    Oh so cynical ....
  • Reply 9 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    Oh so cynical ....



    Which part? I'm generally a pessimist because that's the easiest way to not be disappointed by Apple releases.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    It'll be iWork '99; Apple names by coincidence sometimes.



    As for when it'll be released, Apple will first have to work out a way to make us pay again instead of getting the updates for free, since iWork is in the Mac App Store now. That'll be an interesting precedent to set. Will Apple allow other developers to charge for updates or will Apple just not charge for the next versions at all?



    I think what will be interesting is how they manage the situation if Pages can create ePub docs where are you going to save them since there is no file system on iPad. If you want to maintain compatibility between Pages for OS X and Page for iOS how do you edit and export epubs when on iOS? Perhaps iCloud but it seems awkward because ePub requires several folders to work.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I think what will be interesting is how they manage the situation if Pages can create ePub docs where are you going to save them since there is no file system on iPad.



    The same place they're saved now, perhaps?



    Quote:

    If you want to maintain compatibility between Pages for OS X and Page for iOS how do you edit and export epubs when on iOS?



    In iOS, documents auto-save to iCloud as well as the device on which you're editing them already.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    The same place they're saved now, perhaps?







    In iOS, documents auto-save to iCloud as well as the device on which you're editing them already.



    I understand but the work flow is not conducive to re exporting the entire project when you only need to fix a typo. You need to be able to edit the individual files inside the compressed archive. The problem with ePub is that it is not a single file like a Pages file.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    The problem with ePub is that it is not a single file like a Pages file.



    Really? Because all of my ePub files are one file. If you mean there are multiple 'files' contained within an ePub file, aren't all files like that?
  • Reply 14 of 35
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Really? Because all of my ePub files are one file. If you mean there are multiple 'files' contained within an ePub file, aren't all files like that?



    Not really. For example in an enhanced ePub you have CSS linked movies JavaScript etc. I am thinking that it needs to be a situation where you can make a minor change to a js or CSS file and then recompress like with the ePub zip apple script application does now on OS X . The last thing I want to do is open the entire project in a WYSIWYG Pages app project and re export. Then I have to re proof the entire document.



    If it was like Xcode where you could open the enclosed files it would work fine but Pages is not like Xcode at all.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I think what will be interesting is how they manage the situation if Pages can create ePub docs where are you going to save them since there is no file system on iPad. If you want to maintain compatibility between Pages for OS X and Page for iOS how do you edit and export epubs when on iOS? Perhaps iCloud but it seems awkward because ePub requires several folders to work.



    Can we agree that the iPad is not a heavy duty creation tool? No earthly reason why Apple couldn't release a powerful e-book creation tool for the Mac.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by scades View Post


    Can we agree that the iPad is not a heavy duty creation tool? No earthly reason why Apple couldn't release a powerful iBook creation tool for the Mac.



    Oh, is THAT what he was saying? I don't believe for a second there will be an ePub creator on iOS. It'll definitely be OS X only, certainly.
  • Reply 17 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I think what will be interesting is how they manage the situation if Pages can create ePub docs where are you going to save them since there is no file system on iPad. If you want to maintain compatibility between Pages for OS X and Page for iOS how do you edit and export epubs when on iOS? Perhaps iCloud but it seems awkward because ePub requires several folders to work.



    Can we agree that the iPad is not a heavy duty creation tool? No earthly reason why Apple couldn't release a powerful e-book creation tool for the Mac.
  • Reply 18 of 35
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by scades View Post


    Can we agree that the iPad is not a heavy duty creation tool? No earthly reason why Apple couldn't release a powerful e-book creation tool for the Mac.



    I think you guessed that I feel Pages is not the ideal ePub authoring environment. You would be correct.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    cmfcmf Posts: 60member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    I didn't think Apple allowed paid updates. Hmm. Well, if that's the case, it's pretty simple; you're right.



    They still haven't said a word about how they want developers to convert direct customers into using the App Store, and no, telling people to buy the app again is NOT the answer.



    The few 3rd party apps I have are great (Coda FTW), but I don't think developers want to force people into a purchase, just leaves a bad impression with customers.
  • Reply 20 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CMF View Post


    They still haven't said a word about how they want developers to convert direct customers into using the App Store, and no, telling people to buy the app again is NOT the answer.



    They've not come up with a method of conversion for their own apps either, so I wouldn't be too worried.
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