With iBooks 2, Has Apple Changed Publishing (and Textbooks) Forever?

Jan 19, 2012 — Collin Prior

The big story in tech today was Apple's update to its iBooks platform.

"At the Guggenheim Museum in New York Thursday, Apple announced it would update its iBooks platform to include textbook capabilities, such as indexing and highlighting text," wrote Dave Smith of the International Business Times. "It also added a new platform called iBooks Author, which lets anyone easily create and publish their own e-books."

Here's a video Apple released to show how iBooks 2 works:

In short, iBooks 2 is a game changer. And Apple, the savvy marketer that it is, does right by presenting it as a revolutionary development for not just publishing but for education.

They know that when parents and teachers get a good look at the above video (indeed, the teacher testimonials at the beginning are a bit cheesy), they will be exponentially more compelled to get their kids an iPad. "Imagine how smart our kids will be!" they'll say.

I can't blame them. I don’t really see flaws in the concept. The only issue they may be pushback from printers and publishers.

Here's a breakdown of what iBooks 2 offers:

a. Anyone can make a book
b. Make books for free
c. Easy tools to make visual books
d. Interactive experience with no programming
e. Keynote integration
f. Access to the same distribution channel as APPS, songs and Books

A textbook is:
Portable
Durable
Interactive
Searchable
Current
Great Content

An iPad is:
Portable
Durable
Interactive
Searchable
Current
Great Content?

Apple is enabling great content with iBooks 2 and Author (see above video):
Immediate Feedback – Review Questions
Highlighting and Note Taking
Study Notes (Automatic)
Flashcards (Automatic)
Glossary Cards (Automatic)

The other thing that is being talked about is iTunesU (University): The world's largest catalog of online lectures.

Now you can create full online courses:
Lectures
Curriculum
Lecture Notes
Assignments
Videos
See all your courses
(All for Free!!!)

Apple is aligning with universities and colleges in 123 countries and now they are allowing grade schools to do the same, so stayed tuned for more news about this (potentially revolutionary) concept.

Apple knows how to present a product. At their core, they are a marketing company. They are extremely good at delivering entire cohesive experiences that have ties across their entire ecosystem.

Apple is deliberately targeting textbooks because it tells a story that is emotional, a story with which people can connect and understand. Apple is showing a commitment to education and winning over young people and parents alike. Again it’s about the story. People can then infer and create their own uses for the technology.

Takeaway message for wireless retailers:
Although this is being marketed for textbooks, the fact is anyone can create and distribute their own publications.

This presents amazing possibilities for creating training manuals and even interactive touchscreens. Imagine a salesperson being able to take advantage of a sales assistive tool for training and educating customers? Or for even training sales staff in the store?

Topics: Retail Operations, Wireless Trends, Mobile Industry, Customer Experience, Retail Marketing

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