Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jan 2012 17:41 UTC
Apple Apple's education event just ended, and just as Ars Technica said, Apple announced better support for textbooks, as well as a textbook authoring tool. The textbook authoring tool is heavily inspired by Keynote and Pages, and hence, I already know it's going to be top-notch and very pleasant to use. In addition, the company also repositioned iTunes U as a Blackboard competitor. As great as all these new tools are, several large red flags went up in my mind: I remember what it was like being the only student who didn't use Windows. Update: "Any e-textbook author that wants access to the iPad-toting masses must make his or her work an exclusive to iBooks 2."
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RE[2]: Books?
by MOS6510 on Sat 21st Jan 2012 18:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Books?"
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

Well, there are extra features, but if you describe what it is these Apple books have more in common with a website than a real book.

I understand why they want to market it as books. They are meant to replace text books, so Apple markets their stuff as better books (better is better) and not as something else (something else is new, a gamble, need extra effort to learn).

It works with text books, but I don't think it would work with fiction books. Reading a fiction book tickles the imagination. If you add pictures, movies and sound to it you might as well watch the movie.

I'd label your PDFs as manuals, in the style of a book, not as books.

I read my books on an ereader, not my iPad. When I read on an iPad any lapse in my reading motivation would cause me exit and check the news, email. If the iPad doesn't draw my attention first with a notification message/sound.

My ereader is very simple. The only extra it has is that it can play MP3 files. There aren't any on it and I even wish it didn't have this option and be a pure ebook reader.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Books?
by Neolander on Sun 22nd Jan 2012 10:27 in reply to "RE[2]: Books?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Pictures, as you mention, are already a core part of the book business. Children books and comics are fundamentally based on pictures, high school textbooks tend to feature a fair share of them, and even "serious" litterature from the former centuries used to feature a few black and white illustrations to make their point.

What I'm trying to say is that websites were initially designed to be better books. It took years of evolution for web technologies to reach their modern, distinct state. Perhaps it's a part of normal litterature evolution that future "books" will in turn start to feature web-like features, just like many video cameras feature dual sensors for 3D shooting nowadays.

I totally agree that this technology overflow does not suit every use case. Content should not always attempt to use every single available feature. Traditional writing based on pure, weakly formatted text will probably continue to exist, as it is best for some content. And I'd also like a cheap A4 minimalist ereader to exist for the specific purpose of reading manuals and scientific papers. But would it be such a bad thing for multiple media to converge in a more unified direction, creating new forms of content in the way ?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Books?
by MOS6510 on Sun 22nd Jan 2012 19:02 in reply to "RE[3]: Books?"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Oh, I'm not saying it's a bad thing, in fact it's probably a good thing.

The only thing I wonder about why call it "books". Because to me it more sounds like a marketing term than a true attempt to create a digital book system.

Of course an iPad on your desk with a touch screen is more convenient and more personal than a PC accessing a website, but that's really the only difference.

Apple's iBook creator software might as well have been a website design tool. It's just a way of combining different kinds of media. Apple presents this as a "book" and made the "book" selection menu look like a book shelve.

For me it just seems they have taken if so far from the original paper book that you can't really call it a book anymore.

Reply Parent Score: 2