Buying a digital book for your iPad is a very odd experience. If you fire up iTunes, you can find music, movies, apps, even audiobooks, but there is no category for digital books. You need to first download the iBooks app, and then buy books within that app. So it is like a marketplace within a marketplace that also happens to be a reader. The Kindle app also works that way. It is confusing.
But if you go into the App Store, you can find a whole category of iPad apps which are books. Many of them are interactive and tend to be children’s books like Green Eggs And Ham ($3.99) or Miss Spider’s Tea Party ($7.99). Increasingly, more and more books will end up in the App Store for a variety of reasons. The biggest one is simply because apps are more interesting.
If a book publisher wants to add any features beyond what is available in iBooks, including adding informational apps, links to the outside Web or sharing excerpts with friends on Twitter and Facebook, they are better off publishing the book as an app. Startups like Rethink Books (which I covered yesterday) are developing software platforms for publishers to do just that—turning books into social apps.
Right now, books remain somewhat hidden in iTunes. There is no clear book category up top, other than audiobooks, among the main media types. You have to dive into the iBooks app or find book apps in the App Store. But if Apple is serious about making the iPad a book reading device, it should make it a little easier to find all the books that can be read on it in one place.
The Apple iPad, formerly referred to as the Apple Tablet, is a touch-pad tablet computer announced in January 2010, and released in April 2010. It has internet capabilities running on either WiFi or 3G, and offers an optional dock with a full size mechanical keyboard. The iPad is a line of tablet computers designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc. primarily as a platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games, and web content. Its size and...
Launched in March 2009, Kindle for iPhone is an iPhone application for the Kindle e-reader, developed by Amazon. The Kindle application does replicate much of the functionality provided by the namesake device. You can read any Kindle-compatible book youâ€™ve purchased from Amazonâ€™s catalog, read the first chapter of other books for free, adjust text size, bookmark pages, and view notations made on the Kindle. See MobileCrunch’s coverage here.
Rethink Books is a technology company focused on helping readers buy, interact, and share more books. But there is more to it than that… We believe everyone has a story…and everyone likes to read a great story. That is why we devote so much of our vision, time, and heart to working with publishers and authors and giving their books wings. Call us crazy, but we believe technology can help us engage with books in exciting new ways. Why can’t...