Former Apple Engineers team up with Al Gore to launch dynamic App Store ebooks

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, former employees of Apple, left the company to develop an new ebook publishing format using Apple's iOS Cocoa Touch, and are now launching their first title with Apple board member Al Gore.



Matas and Tsinteris' new firm Push Pop Press has put together a rich format for ebooks that incorporates audio, video, geolocated photos and interactive graphics using intuitive pinch gestures.



Rather than simply repackaging books' text with simple embedded media files as existing ebook formats used by Amazon's Kindle or Apple's own iBooks do, Push Pop volumes are native Cocoa Touch apps, making them animated, dynamic, fast and responsive, much more so than epub, Adobe Flash or web-based content can be.



The company wants to serve as a publishing platform for authors, turning their works into dynamic works that can be sold through the App Store.



?The app is the richest form of storytelling,? Matas said in a profile by Wired . ?[Push Pop Press] opens doors to telling a story with more photos, more videos and interactions.?



To demonstrate the format of the new dynamic publications, Push Pop Press worked with author and Apple board member Al Gore, developing an iOS app version of his new book "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis."



The company has also posted a demonstration of the book's features in Al Gore's Our Choice Guided Tour on Vimeo.







Tsinteris originally worked at Apple as an engineer working on Mac OS X and on the Maps app for iPhone, while Matas was hired by Apple from Delicious Monster in 2005 at the age of 19 to to help develop the visual style of Mac OS X and iOS user interface designs.



The duo's new publishing format takes aim at Adobe's competing Digital Publishing Suite solution, which dumps existing works in InDesign into a quasi-native iOS app format that consists largely of static graphics. That solution is currently used by a variety of Conde Nast magazines to deliver their iPad editions, including Wired, but the format is very large and limited in a variety of respects, such as its ability to present text in variable sizes.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    echosonicechosonic Posts: 462member
    Now pretend for a moment that this app was created through a partnership with George W Bush, and that he was narrating.
  • Reply 2 of 53
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,272member
    Now this is how you deliver rich, informative content to your base. You become so immersed that you forget Al Gore had his dirty palms all over this project.
  • Reply 3 of 53
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Postulant View Post


    You become so immersed that you forget Al Gore had his dirty palms all over this project.



    A characteristic common to those who work for a living.
  • Reply 4 of 53
    PLEASE, does anyone care about the global warming scare-monger of nonsense Gore who won't debate his NONSENSE?!



    http://www.heartland.org/policybot/r...re_Debate.html
  • Reply 5 of 53
    andyappleandyapple Posts: 152member
    Jeepers, Al Gore's delivery was so robotic, I kept expecting his head to split neatly apart in a demonstration of deeply immersive interactive animatronics.



    But that platform looks pretty good, hope it gains traction.
  • Reply 6 of 53
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Setting aside the politics, the project looks interesting from a technology standpoint.



    I'd be interested in seeing Apple develop a standardized set of tools for easily developing these kinds of apps. Similar tools for creating content for the iBook store would also be nice. I'd buy both versions.



    Also, it's nice of these former Apple employees to give Gore a hand paying his alimony.
  • Reply 7 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    Setting aside the politics, the project looks interesting from a technology standpoint.



    I'd be interested in seeing Apple develop a standardized set of tools for easily developing these kinds of apps. Similar tools for creating content for the iBook store would also be nice.



    Yes the technology is really interesting (I agree.. lets avoid the politics here).



    The iBookStore is limited with the ePub format, Apple needs to broaden out and help develop the next type of interactivity (in magazines and books). They have writing, audio and video programs, as well as Xcode - why don't they have a brilliant authoring system?



    Oh, the "Toy Story" book (free so they can sell you the sequels!) is an app too instead of a book. Apple needs to find a way of putting these book-apps into the iBookStore at the very least. It just makes sense. to group them together.
  • Reply 8 of 53
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 511member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by andyapple View Post


    Jeepers, Al Gore's delivery was so robotic, I kept expecting his head to split neatly apart in a demonstration of deeply immersive interactive animatronics.



    But that platform looks pretty good, hope it gains traction.



    If you pinch his head you can get back to the table of contents. Go ahead, pinch his head. Now pinch again to hear him talk like a robot. Amazing.



    I thought this book would be something more interesting based on the talk of new technology, but it seemed to mostly be a normal book where you now have to pinch the pictures instead of tapping or double-tapping them. Zzzzzzz.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 511member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by echosonic View Post


    Now pretend for a moment that this app was created through a partnership with George W Bush, and that he was narrating.



    Instead of pinching you'd 'do that... thing... with your fingers. Now look, see, the world is ending because Jesus is risen-ating again. Now do the finger thing to go back to the pictures.'



    Wow, now I can't decide which book I want to read less.
  • Reply 10 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrstep View Post


    I thought this book would be something more interesting based on the talk of new technology, but it seemed to mostly be a normal book where you now have to pinch the pictures instead of tapping or double-tapping them. Zzzzzzz.



    It's a smooth interface and very easy to move about. It adds cleanly to what a book can do without becoming something other than a book.



    But yeah, there are many books you can read, click on an image, watch a video in etc. This one just is the best I've seen.



    One question...

    so I bought the book and downloaded it. Then I opened it and it downloaded some more. Then I opened a chapter and it downloaded some more. Why all the downloading? Is that it then, or will it download other stuff later?
  • Reply 11 of 53
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by echosonic View Post


    Now pretend for a moment that this app was created through a partnership with George W Bush, and that he was narrating.



    It would be a story about a pet goat and you would be able to hold it upside down.
  • Reply 12 of 53
    cgc0202cgc0202 Posts: 624member
    First, can one buy the App, like one could buy Aperture, Final Cut Pro, etc., and use the App to make your own iBooks? Or does one have to license it per book? Or do it through the company?



    Indeed, this App is an improvement over the ePub, which is open source, but in some applications, I would still like an electronic format that mimics a book, just like the iBook but incorporating many of the features and more of the aforementioned Apps.



    I agree with the others, I wish Apple would create an app along this line that would be intended for authors, just lke Aperture is intended for photomanagement and Final Cut Pro is intended for movie and video editing.



    CGC
  • Reply 13 of 53
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post


    PLEASE, does anyone care about the global warming scare-monger of nonsense Gore who won't debate his NONSENSE?!



    http://www.heartland.org/policybot/r...re_Debate.html



    PLEASE, does anyone other than a few TPs care about the hyperpolitical, unscientific, laughably out-of-touch heartland.org NONSENSE?
  • Reply 14 of 53
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    BTW, Apple's Pages app lets you create epub books with pictures or movies embedded in it. You just can't move them around the page when viewing the book in iBooks.
  • Reply 15 of 53
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    PLEASE, does anyone other than a few TPs care about the hyperpolitical, unscientific, laughably out-of-touch heartland.org NONSENSE?



    Guys, the debate's over. Cap and Trade failed. COP 15 failed. Al Gore's Carbon Credit market went belly up. The EPA has 2 years before Obama gets kicked out and the economy will almost certainly be in the tank the entire time. It's a dead issue that's not worth arguing over.
  • Reply 16 of 53
    cgc0202cgc0202 Posts: 624member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    BTW, Apple's Pages app lets you create epub books with pictures or movies embedded in it. You just can't move them around the page when viewing the book in iBooks.



    I would be interested to see links for this. The ePub template provided by Apple does not have the feature.



    CGC
  • Reply 17 of 53
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post


    I would be interested to see links for this. The ePub template provided by Apple does not have the feature.



    CGC



    Yeah, I noticed that myself. But I did check it by creating a book with a movie in it (Weird Al's Fat) and loading it onto my iPad. It works just fine.



    The only trick needed it to mark the movie as "inline" rather than "floating" in Pages. Then, just export it to epub format, copy it into iTunes, and sync it to your iPad.
  • Reply 18 of 53
    Excelsior!



    Good luck with that, Mr. Gore. They already have this new media for rich interactive reading called the Internets. Oh wait, you invented that too.
  • Reply 19 of 53
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Excelsior!



    Good luck with that, Mr. Gore. They already have this new media for rich interactive reading called the Internets. Oh wait, you invented that too.



    He drove the funding junior. As the lead US Senator he pushed for all the funding for the research for the entire time he was a US Senator, but don't worry about it. If you cared about facts you'd know that already.
  • Reply 20 of 53
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    He drove the funding junior. As the lead US Senator he pushed for all the funding for the research for the entire time he was a US Senator, but don't worry about it. If you cared about facts you'd know that already.



    Not to take anything from Gore on the issue, but having used DARPANET back in the early 80's, I wouldn't give them credit for the internet. DARPANET sucked.



    Researchers at CERN, using NeXT computers, developed HTML and only then did we have something that resembles the internet today.
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