Apple's digital textbooks with iBooks 2 were 'vision' of Steve Jobs

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


Apple's newly unveiled textbook initiative for the iPad with iBooks 2 was a project spearheaded by the late Steve Jobs before his death.



Speaking with Peter Kafka of All Things D, McGraw-Hill CEO Terry McGraw said that he met with Jobs last June about the project and discussed their goals. McGraw-Hill is one of the first publishers already on board with Apple's new e-textbooks for iBooks 2, which cost no more than $14.99 each.



"He (Jobs) should be here. He probably is (in spirit)," McGraw said. "This was his vision, this was his idea, and it all had to do with the iPad."



The CEO said he's been interested in the iPad as a learning tool since Apple first launched the device in 2010. He sees Apple's new iBooks 2 platform as a way for textbooks to evolve and improve education.



"Apple has really essentially turbocharged the process (of building e-books), and it's just going to open up the world of learning to more people," McGraw said. "Anything we can do to be a part of that, we're going to do."











Textbooks were one of three industries Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he had hoped to reinvent. The other two revealed in Jobs's authorized biography were the television and photography.



While Jobs's vision for the future of textbooks was unveiled by Apple at this week's media event in New York City, what the late inventor had in mind for televisions remains to be seen. Rumors continue to persist that Apple is secretly working on a new, voice-controlled television set that could be released as soon as the end of this year.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    Photography's easy. Apple just needs to buy that light field lens company RIGHT NOW and incorporate their stuff into all Apple products.



    Television is even easier. A6 Apple TV that does 1080p out, has a better interface than LowTide, and which has deals directly with individual shows instead of channels or the cable/satellite providers.



    Education is truly the hard thing.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    I'm very curious how he think he's gonna "reinvent" photography. As a part-time photographer I just see no need.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    I'm very curious how he think he's gonna "reinvent" photography. As a part-time photographer I just see no need.



    You don't need to "re-invent" photography to "re-imagine" the workflow process or the learning curve required to produce great photos.



    Nothing will ever replace things like how you choose a subject and compose a shot etc - what can change is who easy it is for the unskilled to take a photo that has the same quality as a professional - at least from a technical perspective in terms of capturing an image onto media - at the same time just as a good portion of the 500,000 Apps available for iOS devices are of questionable "quality" in one sense - vanishingly few don't operate or cause problems or crash the device etc.



    So I think it is fair to say that Apple has reinvented the smartphone/portable electronics device (market? industry? biosphere?) and they did not have to "re-invent" transistors or computer logic etc to do so.



    In other words a little bit of perspective and a heaping dose of sematics would go a long way here.



    Which is not to say that the media isn't prone to hyperbole and that "re-invent" may to far to strong a term to be applied here.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    801801 Posts: 271member
    Yes on the light field camera purchase.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    Now if they can just invent a break-proof screen, so it doesn't cost $400 every time the kid drops it on the ground.
  • Reply 6 of 34
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    I'm very curious how he think he's gonna "reinvent" photography. As a part-time photographer I just see no need.



    Huh, I just finished the book a couple weeks ago and I don't remember anything about reinventing photography. On the other hand the book included quite a bit about how the textbook industry could/should be blown up and rebuilt. That is, the book specifically pointed out that Jobs was passionate about "fixing" the textbook mess; it didn't go into great detail about how he planned to do it. And the now famous "reinvent television" thing is based on maybe half a page of the book.



    I just searched the Steve Jobs book on my Kindle for "photography" and that word appears a grand total of 3 times. On the other hand "textbook" shows up 9 times including "Jobs had his sights set on textbooks as the next business he wanted to transform. He believed it was an $8 billion a year industry ripe [for something] (this Kindle touch is so slow and clunky I can't be bothered to find the rest of the quote)."
  • Reply 7 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Photography's easy. Apple just needs to buy that light field lens company RIGHT NOW and incorporate their stuff into all Apple products.



    Television is even easier. A6 Apple TV that does 1080p out, has a better interface than LowTide, and which has deals directly with individual shows instead of channels or the cable/satellite providers.



    Education is truly the hard thing.



    Plenoptic photography is interesting because it relies on some very clever computation to create the image, but once the image has been synthesized it offers great options for refocusing an already taken picture and even the possibility of repositioning a virtual camera in a scene. Wild stuff.
  • Reply 8 of 34
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,709member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    I'm very curious how he think he's gonna "reinvent" photography. As a part-time photographer I just see no need.



    I was under the impression this one had already been achieved - iPhoto, Aperture, first and foremost.
  • Reply 9 of 34
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    Huh, I just finished the book a couple weeks ago and I don't remember anything about reinventing photography. On the other hand the book included quite a bit about how the textbook industry could/should be blown up and rebuilt. That is, the book specifically pointed out that Jobs was passionate about "fixing" the textbook mess; it didn't go into great detail about how he planned to do it. And the now famous "reinvent television" thing is based on maybe half a page of the book.



    I just searched the Steve Jobs book on my Kindle for "photography" and that word appears a grand total of 3 times. On the other hand "textbook" shows up 9 times including "Jobs had his sights set on textbooks as the next business he wanted to transform. He believed it was an $8 billion a year industry ripe [for something] (this Kindle touch is so slow and clunky I can't be bothered to find the rest of the quote)."



    My first instinct was the same - what are they talking about? You've confirmed the photography discussion is not in the bio. I believe the TV discussion came after the fact - i.e. not included in the book but mentioned copiously by Isaacson while dining out on his imperfect book.
  • Reply 10 of 34
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,709member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Education is truly the hard thing.



    And I believe that through iBooks2, iTunesU, and Ibooks Author, as well as the work already done with the major publishers Apple has set the ball rolling in a big way. iTunes U is an amazing resource. The way teachers and lecturers now can structure individualized course work trough iTunesU (Now open to K12) things are really going to change. iPads are expensive by themselves but the entire landscape needs to be re-evaluated. Text books are cheap and with grants and financial aid available to students from low income families to purchase iPads this whole thing could ... should ... be a game changer and quite possibly be very cost effective.
  • Reply 11 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Demitod View Post


    Now if they can just invent a break-proof screen, so it doesn't cost $400 every time the kid drops it on the ground.



    How many times do you know where that has happened?



    Seriously, we have children ages 12, 13 and 16 [next week]. Each has had an iPad for over a year (we have a total of 6). Each iPad has an iPad case. All have been dropped -- but none have been damaged and all work fine.



    If anything, the kids understand the "value" of their iPads and take great care to protect them.



    I believe that if children, at a young age, learn the cost-value of their possessions that they will assume appropriate responsibility for them.
  • Reply 12 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    I believe that if children, at a young age, learn the cost-value of their possessions that they will assume appropriate responsibility for them.



    What's this? Actually taking the time to raise children to value their possessions and take appropriate care of them causes them to learn how to take care of things owned by themselves and others in the future?



    How shocking.



    I'm forever in debt to my mother who, in opposition to apparently nearly every single other mother of the people of my generation, continued to pass on the wisdom of all things to me so that I might grow up to fit in more with my respectable elders than the rest of the ilk my age. While I don't generally like to think about time travel to the past (because I love looking forward to future tech too much), I feel I'd fit in much better a few generations ago. I seem to have mannerisms and a mindset lost on people these days.
  • Reply 13 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    What's this? Actually taking the time to raise children to value their possessions and take appropriate care of them causes them to learn how to take care of things owned by themselves and others in the future?



    How shocking.



    I'm forever in debt to my mother who, in opposition to apparently nearly every single other mother of the people of my generation, continued to pass on the wisdom of all things to me so that I might grow up to fit in more with my respectable elders than the rest of the ilk my age. While I don't generally like to think about time travel to the past (because I love looking forward to future tech too much), I feel I'd fit in much better a few generations ago. I seem to have mannerisms and a mindset lost on people these days.



    I agree!



    One of the greatest lessons taught/demonstrated by my parents (and theirs) was:



    If you cannot afford a quality product, do not buy junk as a substitute -- rather, do without until you can get what you want at a price you want to pay.



    A bargain is quality at a good price!



    Junk at any price is no bargain -- just junk!



  • Reply 14 of 34
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,154member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    I agree!



    One of the greatest lessons taught/demonstrated by my parents (and theirs) was:



    If you cannot afford a quality product, do not buy junk as a substitute -- rather, do without until you can get what you want at a price you want to pay.



    A bargain is quality at a good price!



    Junk at any price is no bargain -- just junk!







    +1 I was taught the same lessons. All so true.
  • Reply 15 of 34
    nobody has mentioned apple's cut of an ibook yet. Are we to assume its the same 30% they take on music?
  • Reply 16 of 34
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,709member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    How many times do you know where that has happened?



    Seriously, we have children ages 12, 13 and 16 [next week]. Each has had an iPad for over a year (we have a total of 6). Each iPad has an iPad case. All have been dropped -- but none have been damaged and all work fine.



    If anything, the kids understand the "value" of their iPads and take great care to protect them.



    I believe that if children, at a young age, learn the cost-value of their possessions that they will assume appropriate responsibility for them.



    I agree. Obviously all 'school' iPads need to be insured and above all, proper covers are key.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    I will be interested to see how they deal with iBooks on iPhone. All of this new interactivity and large layouts seem a little much for iPhone screen size and I don't see how they can have iBooks 2 just for iPad and iBooks for iPhone as two different levels of capability with almost the same name. Seems confusing for the end user.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    Here is some interesting information (highlights mine):



    Lots of possibilities to improve learning [education]!



    Charts



    Census















    And, of course:



    A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work.m4v



  • Reply 19 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I will be interested to see how they deal with iBooks on iPhone. All of this new interactivity and large layouts seem a little much for iPhone screen size and I don't see how they can have iBooks 2 just for iPad and iBooks for iPhone as two different levels of capability with almost the same name. Seems confusing for the end user.



    I think there are some iOS apps that work only on the iPad -- larger screen, etc.



    I don't think schools (especially K-12) will be as permissive with smart phones in the classrooms as with WiFi-only iPads.
  • Reply 20 of 34
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    How many times do you know where that has happened?



    Seriously, we have children ages 12, 13 and 16 [next week]. Each has had an iPad for over a year (we have a total of 6). Each iPad has an iPad case. All have been dropped -- but none have been damaged and all work fine.



    If anything, the kids understand the "value" of their iPads and take great care to protect them.



    I believe that if children, at a young age, learn the cost-value of their possessions that they will assume appropriate responsibility for them.



    Understanding the value of your iPad or iPhone does not help if someone bumps into you and knocks it out of your hand. But I suppose it would be your fault for not holding it properly in the first place, as Steve would say.



    And I suppose cars should not have seat belts or airbags because the person driving that car should know how to drive safely.



    And I suppose Apple should not have developed Magsafe power connectors either because your dog should know to stay away from the cord.



    Are you going to come back with a response like "Since you seem to encounter so many dangers every day, how can you even go outside"?
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