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TechCrunch summarizes notes from today's media event. Of interest, they seem to reveal that Apple's interactive textbook format is not quite the official ePub 3 spec:

Books are not technically in the EPUB format, but they borrow from it (likely EPUB 3). Certain interactive elements of the books require the files to be done in the slightly different iBooks format, Apple says.

Earlier rumors had suggested that Apple will adopt ePub 3 for their new iBooks, but according to this note, it's slightly different. It's not clear what this means and if the changes are meant to eventually fold back into the ePub standard or not.

Apple's iBooks Author application creates content in this new format and projects made from that application can only be sold through the iTunes Store. At this point, however, it seems no other vendors yet support the format.

Top Rated Comments

Darth.Titan Avatar
135 months ago
cool tool, but with Amazon being a 500lb gorilla in the room and them supporting ePub, Apple should really fold these changes back into ePub and let the authoring app export into ePub format rather than just being hooked into the iBookstore.
I'm not sure where you got the impression that Amazon's Kindle supports ePub, but they do not. Kindles can't read ePub files without converting them first.

In fact, Kindle is the only mainstream e-reader that can't natively use ePub files. It's kind of sad.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
135 months ago
I don't want it in PDF, because, it is inferior on any device. My book is in HTML which reformats and is readable on any device I can put it on. I've also sold site licenses which aren't possible with Apples model.

Any book you create with the Apple program cannot be sold, unless through the iBookstore. There are other free authoring tools available that don't have that restrictions. And Pages will generate epub output you can sell without restriction.

iBook Author is just a proprietary tool to create books for a proprietary target system (and not all Apple products at that!) that can only be sold through Apple's store. The price of iBook Author is right.

That's right, and Apple isn't in the business of providing you with well-designed free software that you can then use to profit elsewhere. That's kinda the point of a business.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
longofest Avatar
135 months ago
cool tool, but with Amazon being a 500lb gorilla in the room and them supporting ePub, Apple should really fold these changes back into ePub and let the authoring app export into ePub format rather than just being hooked into the iBookstore.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
layte Avatar
135 months ago
Embrace and extend.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Amazing Iceman Avatar
135 months ago
As a person who has an "ebook" that's been around for about 10 years I looked at this with interest. But there are numerous issues that make this a "no go":


* If you want to sell your book, it must be sold on the Apple iBook store
* Books sold on the Apple Bookstore can only be read in iOS devices (not Macs, PCs, Kindles, or other tablets).


Sure it's got animations, but it's an undesirable lock-in.

On the customer end, licensing terms are unsuitable for K-12 unless the costs of ebooks drop to reflect their actual savings (or they can be resold) they aren't really good for college level either. This doesn't solve the problem of the textbook publisher oligopoly. We really needed Steve Jobs "free K-12 books if you buy our iPods" model to make the lock-in acceptable.
You can always export to PDF to make it compatible with the other inferior devices. And you are not forced to use the iBookstore; you can save or email the file to distribute it.

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Ibooks Author does not support importing pdf's.
I believe its only work or pages documents.
PDF documents, unless tagged, will import into any application as a total mess.
If you have a PDF, convert it to Word or Pages, then go from there.
If you wrote a book to distribute as PDF, you should have the source document, as you would need it to make updates to your book.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
linuxcooldude Avatar
135 months ago
And not everything Apple does is THE RIGHT THING to do.
Apple is taking an e-book format and trying to shoehorn it into a multi-media delivery system.

They're taking a perfectly good knife on its own, and tacking on crappy scissors, a mediocre toothpick, a crappy nail-file, a useless screwdriver, unusable cork-screw,... turning what was a GOOD knife into a crappy knife, and a crappy everything.
(Yes, I'm saying Swiss army knives are crappy knives. Because they ARE.)

Just like what they did to the iPhone when they got erections over what they could tack onto it while TOTALLY ignored what is was SUPPOSED to be in the first place (a PHONE for Pete's sake).
And don't even try to claim the iPhone's phone app is good. It hasn't changed since v1, and still has UI inconsistencies.

Apple needs to stop trying to make something else something it isn't, and stop and focus on fixing and refining what they've already got. Put some polish into it (and i don't mean polish as in tack on a shiny UI).

That's what Steve did.
He refined what Apple had, and actually added some quality and value. He didn't just add feature upon feature, like what Apple is currently doing.

A jack of all trades is NEVER an ace of one.

I'll have to disagree with you on this point. You are thinking as a computer user and not as an educator. I've had some training as a teacher so I see where they are going with this.

There are several different learning methods to retain information. One is reading, another by listening to words by audio, another is multimedia for visual. Its better to use all these methods have a better chance of remembering.

Children's books is another great way of using Apples software books.

A child's attention span is very short, so the book needs to be engaging as possible to want the child to read.

By the use of video and if the book reacts to how the child touches the screen and interacts with them ( like moving objects around he is more likely to use it in the future. )
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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