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Apple's iBooks 2 is revolutionary, but not yet

0. phoneArena 20 Jan 2012, 09:33 posted on

Education in America is something that is in dire need of a reboot, and Apple is looking to do just that with its new iBooks, iBook creation tools and iTunes U features, but just don't expect this to be a quick change...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:03 12

1. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

nice read. I was very impressed by the layout of the apple ibooks. i wondered how they would handle this.. since i was hoping cook wouldnt keep things run like a despot like jobs did. Sad to see that nothing has changed. Apple wants to force publishers to make much much less, so they can maintain their 70% profit margins selling iPads.

Apple is again demanding that an entire industry bend to its will like they did with music. the difference is, that the book industry isnt in dire need of being forced into a new millennia like the music industry was. Its already there.

I dont use physical books for my college education. I havent for a long time. My android tablet already has a book store on it, and many major book companies already have a specific ebook reader for apple and android.. and they already have multimedia components. It may not be as fluid and eye catchy as what apple just showed off, but it more than gets the job done... and its already better than regular books.

In short, what excitement there was died the moment that you went into all of apple's insane rules and regulations for book publishing and pricing. There is absolutely nothing to justify the industry bending to apple on this when competitors already do 90% of that and can easily add the other 10%.. all without crazy publishing rules and regs through the amazon, barnes and noble, and/or google book store.
Apple fired the first shot... dazzled us.. then ultimately missed. I await Amazon's return volley.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:10 3

4. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 660; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)

I agree with you.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 11:32 1

11. chapizzo (Posts: 116; Member since: 13 Sep 2011)

totally agree with you remix. Nice take.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 11:42 1

12. sorcio46 (Posts: 435; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

Me too with my Android tablet, i don't want Apple closed system !

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 11:53 1

17. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)

well said as usual. good job done

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 22:51

31. stealthd (unregistered)

The three companies Apple made deals with make up 90% of textbook sales in the US. The industry is already there.

Steve Jobs was clearly not the only one out there employing the reality distortion field. You really have a way of warping everything into the Apple-hating/Google-deifying fantasy world you seem to live in.

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 00:03

32. RazaAsad (Posts: 100; Member since: 24 Nov 2011)

Well said.

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 12:00 2

34. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

I put it beyond any of you guys to look anything at anything Apple-related objectively. You guys spend all your time praising customizability and options and when there's a good option like the ibooks 2 stuff, you guys shut it down.

Apple is not demanding anyone to do anything. This is an option that publishers can choose to participate or ignore. If major book companies already have their specific ebook readers, why can't Apple come up with their own. You said yourself that its eye catchy and more fluid, which is a great reason!

There is a good reason though, for the industry to consider. The major difference between ibooks2 and other options is that there's a single place to get access to many textbooks from many different publishers.

And if this was such a terrible idea, why have some of the major publishers already signed on?

posted on 22 Jan 2012, 12:04

38. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

u did not read the article or the comments apparently. way to blind post.

1) if you publish with apple books, by their publishing agreement, you can not publish anywhere else or they will sue u.

2) not a single publishing house has declared they have signed on.

posted on 22 Jan 2012, 13:47 1

39. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

Not really. I'm not a fan of ebooks and online textbooks, but I'm not going to knock on it just because Apple is doing it.

1. We don't know the exact details of that yet. And this is most likely referring to making an identical version on another platform (probably protection against Android when it finally follows to join in). They don't want the publishers using their software to make the books and then port it over to Android. I think what is saying is that if you're going to make it for another platform, make it different version not using our tools. Also, they don't want publishers using their tools and then use the ibook textbook and turn it into their own personal ebook for their website or something. I could be wrong though, but that's what I think is going on. I don't blame them either, their design and interactivity is really unique.

2. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson. These are three of the largest publishers in the US

posted on 22 Jan 2012, 18:25

41. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

"Or at least when it comes to high school books as McGraw-Hill, like other publishers, has not announced whether it will distribute college textbooks through the iBooks 2 platform"


wow, that was hard to research. :)

posted on 22 Jan 2012, 18:38 1

42. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

"For this latest effort, Apple partnered with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson, three of the largest textbook publishers in the country, to sell educational titles in the iBookstore starting at $14.99."
- washington post

"The aim of the iBooks Author app is to make it easy to get these impressive multimedia elements....- whether you're a self-publisher looking to write your first book...or a publishing powerhouse like the textbook trifecta of McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt."
- LA Times

"The company's partnered (initially) with textbook makers Pearson, McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, as the trio are responsible for 90 percent of all textbooks sold -- as well as DK and the E.O. Wilson Foundation"
- Engadget

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 23:21

37. Immolate (Posts: 310; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)

Completely agree. If publishers agree to handcuff themselves to a proprietary standard that doesn't work on most tablets, Apple will have won a great victory on the road to losing the war. The wonder of private enterprise is that it abhors a vacuum. If you have to get a tablet priced at twice the market rate to purchase a specific textbook, you'll either find a useful alternative, or you'll pirate the textbook in a format that works on your less-expensive tablet. Publishers who commit to open standards will make money, publishers who do not will lose it. The smart publishers will eventually take the market away. That is how it should be. No company, no matter how wealthy, should be able permitted to dictate terms to its customers. Trust me, we won't permit it.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:05 8

2. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 660; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)

Now it's time for Android to bring all this into the Classrooms. Just imagine only going to school with one device filled with all your books, and letting your 5 yr old sibling submitting his own children book into Android Booket [Android Book Market]. I love Apple but, this time I want Android to better this for everyone. Only selfish Apple fans will thumb me down. Cos this won't benefit the majority but the minority that can afford an iPad, while Android can be loaded into a cheap tablet as little as $50 [which can be used only for books, not games as this will destruct students from learning and playing games]

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:34 3

7. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

i already do that. been doing it for years. In my bookbag is my notes binder and my tablet. Last semester i had 9 books to read. Yet, in my bag you only find my tablet. lol. Good stuff. :)

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 15:01

29. c.hack (Posts: 609; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)

I love tech as much as anyone - and have 2 tablets - but using them in labs, study groups, highlighting and flipping back/forth is just too much easier with plain old books.

When I drop a book, I wipe it off and walk on. What do you do when you drop a tablet, or somebody sits on your backpack?

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 16:09

30. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

There are flip sides to everything. The choice between lugging volumes of books around and paying a little extra attention to the tablet is easy for me. I got a nice thick leather case to help with damage.
Good thing about my ebooks is I can also read and edit them from any computer or internet device. You can't do that with apple.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:09 5

3. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 660; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)

And oh! As always, a very very very good article. I like the way you tackle topics, by giving your opinion and supporting it with facts. All PA writers should learn a thing or two from you.

Good Job Michael

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:17 3

5. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

Very true. Realisticaly speaking,the future of ebooks belongs to Android. How else are children and college students supposed to be able to afford etextbooks,if for doing so thet must first become financially independent ,so that they can afford the "glamour" of ipads? Android is a tool for learning,a tool that is accessible to all and that moreover works really well. Apple has become a company aimed at the affluent with plenty of extra disposable income. Nothing wrong with that,but as far as cultivating the student population,not the way to go.

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 12:08

35. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

Well we haven't seen Android as a platform make any major moves to secure its future with ebooks. The average money spent for textbooks a year is about $600-$800 if you google. The price of the iPad will be covered within the first year. And let's not forget that most of the tablet buying population want iPads anyway. This just gives students more reason to buy one. A lot of students will be happy picking up iPads knowing that they're actually saving money and getting a very popular device at the same time

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:25 2

6. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)

gr8 article. again a must read from Mike. good job done :)

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:36 5

8. theoak (Posts: 324; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)

I know at university ... I highlighted and commented my text books like crazy.

Hopefully the interface will allow one to create "notes" or "comments" and similarly a "highlighting tool" (with different colors). What would also be cool if one's notes and highlighted material could be searched along with the rest of the text of the book.

It would also be cool if I could add hyperlinks in my own "notes" like "the definition for this word is found on page 100" ... where I could drill down on page 100 in my personal note and get there.

Lots of potential.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 11:52 1

16. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 660; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)

Thumbed u down by mistake. I hope Android take your ideas and develop something like that. 1 million thumbs up

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 12:57 1

23. theoak (Posts: 324; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)

Thanks ...

The only thing that keeps me on physical books is the ability to mark it up ... add notes the professor may say ... scribble a drawing ... add a note to a graph that might be in the text book ... highlight one color here, another color there ... circle a paragraph ... essentially mark it up as I see fit.

If an "electronic" book allowed me the same freedom ... tap a paragraph for example and add my notes, drawings, scribbles ... add multiple bookmarks ... perhaps tagging my drawings so I could search on them too ... with searching capabilities on the "stuff" I added ... .then I would be more inclined for electronic books for education.

Hopefully the publishers do not take the attitude "this is our book and you can't alter it by your mark ups".

Hmmm ... and if I missed a class one day ... I could get the "mark ups" from my friend and integrate them into my book. Maybe I could purchase the mark ups from a student that took the class a prior year ... ;)

I think we are almost there ...

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 14:20

27. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

they already do that. My ebooks have highlighters , note editors, interactive media ,and the ability to be edited by a group. You can see your friends highlights and notes by the teacher. That's my point. Apple is doing what they always do... take a product, refine it, try to take full control of everything, and call it a revolution.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 10:39 6

9. tacohunter (Posts: 408; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)

If anyone can revolutionize it then it's apple (or windows). They have both done a lot for education, apple did actually more (if you think about it). Competitors will catch up, but I don't know how they're going to make this better? If you look at it these textbooks are really great. I can't think of an idea to improve it in anyways. The only minor of it, is that it is not affordable for everyone.

Roadblock #1: Textbook pricing

The publishers could easily make textbooks cheaper because they don't need to print. I agree with this.

Roadblock #2: iPad cost

This is just hoping they will reduce the cost of the iPad. But the iPad is affordable for most people.

Roadblock #3: The Apple lockdown

This is the interesting part of your article . Apple wants to control it all. The only disadvantage I see, is that you can only sell your work at the apple's ibook store. With other words this controls a lot. But for now it won’t matter because apple is the only one right now who has these new textbooks.

If a competitor comes within half a year with their idea of revolutionized textbooks then they rushed it to much. This is only the start of it. I got the iBooks 2 update but can’t even test the free textbook just because I don’t live in the US. I request that you make an article of this again half a year later, to early

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 11:09 5

10. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

Ebooks are already cheaper. Great example, my current book is $120 at the book store. I got the Ebook for $50 and it includes all media, ect ect ect.. with no hardware restrictions.

#2) The ipad is NOT affordable for most people. $600 is a huge expense when american unemployment stands at 20% in true numerical form. Apple may post large world wide sales of ipads but they are still an extremely niche product compared to the world population.

#3) Apple is in no way shape or for the only one that has interactive Ebooks. Yes, theirs is far nicer than anything else thats out right now. But nice enough to get locked into apple only, at reduced profits, where apple controls the industry and makes more than the book publishers? That id love to see.

Competitors already have ebooks, ebook stores, and the like. And they do it without demanding pricing or trying to control the process. With some minor updates amazon/google/barnes n noble/ whoever/ can have all the benefits that apple just showed off, without any of apples controls.
It is absolutely obsurd to me that Apple thinks they can demand control of an industry.. again. Like i said in the earlier post. The book industry isnt in need of the upgrade like the music industry was. It already made the upgrade without apple.

Here's to hoping that apples greedy power grab falls flat on its face.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 11:44 3

13. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

oh, figured I'd clarify #2. True numerical form. Just incase anyone didnt know this, unemployment counts ONLY people that are ON unemployment benefits AND seeking a job. It does not count the millions who no longer get benefits, gave up searching for a job even though they get benefits, or are extremely underemployed. We had a statistical drop in unemployment last month for 1 reason.. like 2 or 3 million people lost their unemployment benefits for being unemployed so long. The actual number of people looking for work/out of work did not change. When you add in all those people that are truely unemployed the number gets dangerously close to 20%. We are in a true recession/depression.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 11:44 2

14. sorcio46 (Posts: 435; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

+1 and iPad cost in Europe is even more !

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 12:02 3

19. tacohunter (Posts: 408; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)

@ sorcio46

I live in europe I know that

If you talk about controll talk then about every big company, the only thing that's right is that apple wants the biggest controll of their products. Althought sometimes they lower or tighten it.

I'm done posting.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 12:00 4

18. tacohunter (Posts: 408; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)

#1) this new textbook is just a start, your ebooks are not the same YET

#2) the previous ipad will always be discounted when a new arrives. It is reasonable affordable, and sure the price will drop later, and maybe you will receive special actions like the back to school action 100€ off a mac and other stuff also discounted.

#3) Yes they try to 'controll' many things but it's not such a great issue as it seems. You forgot that with iOS 5 the 'control' is losened. The pc free feauture, you don't have to install iTunes or own a pc. When itunes was made for windows the controll is also lowered. Eventually they will. If you talk about apple controlling it would be weak of you not to talk about other companies controlling

But google has also 'controlled' alot. Simple said they're a monopoly, they controll the entire internet. they can say wich site is more important, and ask sites to pay to google so they can be prior of that word you just googled. But I hear no one complaining because google earned it. (read in the newspaper) Google search is just good. And I'm only talking about the search engine here.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 12:54 1

22. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

dude seriously?

Apple loosening its control is just shy of more believable than iran and china touting human rights.
name me 2 other instances in digital media where the curator of the store (aka apple) forces people to sign exclusivity contracts so that they can never ever ever sell their product anywhere else, then demand pricing, and take a cut of that. NOWHERE ELSE does that happen.

Google is not a monopoly. Google gives options. They dont intrude, or even try to intrude on your choice to use somewhere else. They dont force u to use a single option of them. You obviously dont know what a monopoly is. BING that definition and get back to me.

Your still not getting it. Most schools are cutting back and laying off teachers to make shrinking budgets which are based on tax revenue, which are obviously shrinking because of the depression. Even if they took $100 whoooole dollars off of the ipad, that still makes it a 400-500 purchase. Most people still cant do that.

Have u used an Ebook lately? My ebooks are chock full of pictures, videos, can be updated, highlighted by groups, and all sorts of stuff. The ONLY thing the apple book does is make it prettier and adds a few tools for the teacher. Nothing that cant already be accomplished with the current system, and without apple's dictator like controls.
Like I said. apple's ebook was impressive, but they completely dropped the ball when they made everyone remember that they are in fact, apple, and think they can force people to do what they want, whenever they want.
Good luck getting those publishers to sign exclusive deals with MS and Google lurking in the wings with similar products, cheaper, and less demands for control.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 13:23 5

25. tacohunter (Posts: 408; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)

Watch the keynote.

And I read an interesting article about google yesterday in the newspaper written by a technology journalist.

mhh who's opinion would i believe more? a fan boy or a journalist???? Can't decide HELP

Lol remix you should be a technology fan rather then hating, not what you do now whenever you say smth good about apple and yes you do, then you need to say ten things bad about apple later.

You should be proud microsoft and apple exist your pc would look primitif if if one of those important companies didn't exist. But your a hater you don't look to the bigger picture.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 14:27

28. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

The only negative I've said about apple in this instance is their need to control. And thats a big negative for an industry that alreadybdoes tthis stuff. My point, if you believe me or not, is thqt ebooks are already doing most of what apple showed off.. apple was just more fluid. There is no need for an industry take over. I love the product but despise the way they want it delivered.
The only good thing is that it might make MS and Google take ebooks more seriously.

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 12:11 2

36. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

Apple is not controlling anyone. This is merely an option for publishers if they so choose. I and millions of others still prefer textbooks

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 12:12

20. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

Where do you live,TacoHunter?

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 13:23 4

26. tacohunter (Posts: 408; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


posted on 20 Jan 2012, 11:48 1

15. chapizzo (Posts: 116; Member since: 13 Sep 2011)

Bravo. Thanks again Michael for another very informative piece. Have you watched the movie limitless? I am begining to think you might be sitting on a box full of those colourless pills. Lol

Anyway, its not just in america that the education needs a reboot. Talk about Africa! I was a teacher some time back, but had to move on to other things. Believe me, apple has a great product that would totally change things down here in Africa.

But ofcourse, most of Africa is full of poor people. These are the ones that need such advances the most. But will apple ever make them accessible? I doubt it. They just love their profits way too much.

And whats with all this love to control everything? Though it had gone down with Steve Jobs (RIP). For this to grow, apple needs to relax those tight controls that they love to have on everything. I bet you if they could control the speed the earth spins at, they would.

posted on 22 Jan 2012, 16:18

40. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

I'm quite sure that education worldwide can do with some serious reform, but I can only really speak to what I know in America.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 12:16 2

21. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)

Chapizzo, the only thing Apple would do in Africa in open a factory with even lower wages and conditions than those in China.

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 12:59 3

24. danwatson (Posts: 117; Member since: 03 Jan 2012)

Roadblock #4 Limited Consumption
You will only be able to view purchased books on the ipad and possibly other idevices. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of computer users, your purchased textbooks will not be able to be viewed on your home PC, windows/chrome laptop, android/windows tablet, mobile phone, ereader, or other devices. This is a huge step backwards and negates one of the largest advantages of digital media.

Roadblock #5 Hardware lockdown
Not only are you limited to the ipad, but your textbooks are physically downloaded making them only available on your particular ipad. There is no cloud storage or remote access for those moments when your ipad is stolen, lost, out of power, or left at home. This negates another HUGE advantage to digital media over physical books.

Roadblock #6 Stolen Backpacks
I guarantee if you ever see wide adoption of this media, especially if only available on the expensive and popular ipad, you will see much higher rates of crime, especially in younger grade level schools.

posted on 21 Jan 2012, 01:19

33. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Your post reflects my thoughts on this.

Good thing Apple is doing something awesome for US education.

Bad thing Apple is forcing everyone to use an iPad in order to achieve this.

Now - this isn't like in the past Apple gave Macbooks away for students - because a Mac can run Windows as well. But can the iPad run Android? No.

posted on 22 Jan 2012, 21:21

43. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)

---" A lot of students will be happy picking up iPads knowing that they're actually saving money and getting a very popular device at the same time"---

Popular? Yes. Saving money? No.

Students thinking with their lower extremities will cost them dearly and strangle education. Apple is bent on clearing profit margins and getting ipads into as many hands as possible. What better way to do that than hitting the most easily influenced age groups? Itunes and Ibooks are designed to take many things that are free and make people pay for them. This can be costly for students on budgets. The things not obtainable through these channels will get lost from what normally can be obtained elsewhere. This will close off or restrict much of the accessible education.

There should be no place in this enterprise for Apple to grasp education with their highly concentrated vertical integrati on hold. If Apple doesn't approve of a program, it doesn't make it to students. Is this how you want your education?

What should happen, is the industry to expand the idea to all platforms so it is accessible for every student to explore every fact or opinion written in recorded History.

John B.

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