iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Apple Updates iBooks with Better Asian Language Support, Paid Japanese Books Wed, 06 Mar 2013 20:04:27 +0000 Read More]]> iBooks update

With Asia a major source of revenue for Apple, and its products becoming hugely popular in countries such as Japan and China it is not surprising that the company is releasing more of its online services in the region.

On Tuesday, Apple updated the iBooks application with improved Asian language support on the books available in the iBooks store, and finally opened up Japan to the iBookstore. Now, users in Japan will be able to download books through the online store directly to their iOS devices.

What’s New in Version 3.1

The iBookstore in Japan now has hundreds of thousands of books available for purchase, including fiction, manga, light novels and more. This version of iBooks also includes a number of improvements for reading Asian language books.

Apple did not limit the book titles available to Japanese users, allowing them to download books from all over the world, including a large selection of Japanese titles. Types of books include fiction, manga, light novels, and many others. iBooks 3.1 is a sizeable 43.1 megabyte update and is now available through the App Store on both iOS and through iTunes [Direct Link].

{Via AppleInsider}

]]> 0 Apple’s Education Media Event Video Now on Website and Podcast Fri, 20 Jan 2012 19:04:20 +0000 Read More]]>

On Thursday, Apple held a special education event in New York City and introduced a number of software products, including the newest version of iBooks, iBooks 2, bringing textbooks to the iPad from large publishers including Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton-Mifflin.

Now anyone can create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad. All you need is an idea and a Mac. Start with one of the Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. Add your own text and images with drag-and-drop ease. Use Multi-Touch widgets to include interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote presentations, 3D objects, and more. Preview your book on your iPad at any time. Then submit your finished work to the iBookstore with a few simple steps. And before you know it, you’re a published author.

Apple also released an iBooks Author application, which allows users to create their own textbooks for the iPad 2. Since then, Apple has posted the video of the event to its site, alongside all other past events.

The Cupertino company also posted the Podcast for the event in both HD and standard formats. Apple is continuously increasing support for iBooks and is attempting to move into the e-reading market to compete with other popular reading devices such as the Nook and Kindle.

]]> 3 Apple Releases iBooks 2 With Interactive Textbooks For iPad Fri, 20 Jan 2012 04:43:24 +0000 Read More]]>

On Thursday, Apple announced, at a special education event in New York City that they have updated the iBooks application to iBooks 2 for iPad to accommodate interactive textbooks, something that has remained unchanged for generations. Apple is looking to redefine the usgae and distribution of textbooks and information, and is using its already available iBookStore and bracnhing out.

Introducing iBooks 2 — now with iBooks textbooks.

– Experience gorgeous Multi-Touch textbooks designed for iPad
– iBooks textbooks are filled with interactive features, diagrams, photos, and videos
– Tap to dive into images with interactive captions, rotate 3D objects, swipe through image galleries, watch videos in full screen, and more
– Use a finger as a highlighter when swiping over text in a textbook
– Take advantage of Study Cards to help you memorize important highlights, notes, and glossary terms
– Tap glossary terms to see definitions of key topics and concepts without leaving the page

With the addition of textbooks in iBooks 2, Apple is trying to make textbooks into what the App Store is today, by increasing reliance on Apple’s services to get books and materials for students. This is very similiar to how Apple created the iTunes Store, revolutionizing music, and the App Store.

Apple is currently partnering with McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which are responsible for 90% of textbook sales in the United States. McGraw-Hill and Pearson are releasing several titles for the iPad today and will be releasing more as time progresses.

Prices of textbooks range from $14.99 or less and allow authors of the textbooks to add information as they like through their ‘iBooks Author’ app which allows users to create their own textbooks. iBooks, which caused a small stir during its introduction and is slowly picking up as a major part of Apple’s education movement.

iBooks 2 is currently available in the App Store as an update to the current application.

]]> 6 iBookstore Purchases Blocked and Unreadable on Jailbroken Devices Tue, 15 Feb 2011 21:51:14 +0000 Read More]]>

What seems like Apple’s latest attempt to deter jailbreakers has emerged today after the company has blocked jailbroken devices from opening books purchased from the iBookstore. The latest version of iBooks – 1.2.1 – triggers a “jailbreak check” before it opens a DRM-protected book and then refuses to open it if it detects that the device is jailbroken.

The message some users are receiving when they attempt to open their iBookstore purchases reads:

There is a problem with the configuration of your iPhone. Please restore with iTunes and reinstall iBooks.

Clicking ‘OK’ on the error simply returns you to your book shelf within iBooks so that you can admire the front covers of all the books you’ve purchase but cannot read. It seems, however, that books and PDFs that aren’t purchased from the iBookstore, and therefore aren’t DRM-protected, can be opened and read as normal.

Comex, a member of the iPhone Dev-Team, explained through a tweet earlier today how Apple’s new jailbreak check works:

It seems that before opening a DRMed book, iBooks drops an improperly signed binary, tries to execute it, and if it works concludes that the device is jailbroken and refuses to open the book.

At the moment it seems iBooks is the only application affected by jailbreaking an iOS device, and there are no system-wide issues to be reported. It’s believed that this move is part of Apple’s plan to minimize e-book piracy, however, what might be the next move the Cupertino company takes to thwart jailbreakers? If they can block a jailbreaker’s access to iBooks, could they block usage of the Safari, Mail, SMS, or Phone applications?

Of course, one easy way to get around this issue would be to install a previous version of iBooks…

{via AppleInsider}

]]> 1 Did Apple’s iPad Help Amazon Sell More Kindle eBooks? Tue, 20 Jul 2010 21:55:42 +0000 Read More]]> About six and a half months ago (January 27th, 2010 to be specific), most technology bloggers and analysts chose the casket for the Kindle. The iPad was going to kill the Kindle device and distribution model. iBooks was going to take over as the de-facto eBook marketplace just like iTunes became the world’s biggest music store. Amazon looked like it was going to be another victim on the road to Apple dominance.

Jump back to the present and it seems that the early demise of the Kindle product line is not going to be so fast or simple. Amazon today announced that their eBook sales are outpacing regular hardcover book sales. For the last three months, Amazon sold 148 eBooks for every 100 hardcover books. Further, last month, Amazon sold 180 eBooks for every 100 hardcover books. These numbers defied all expectations. So what happened?

No one can say for sure what happened since Amazon does not release any data about where the majority of the sales were made and which device is used more extensively, but there were several factors that definitely helped. Aside from the hardware differences between the iPad and the Kindle devices (weight, display type, comfort in holding, etc…), Amazon dropped the price down on the Kindle devices. At $189 for the 6” Kindle and $389 for the 9.7” Kindle, these devices are priced much lower than when they were released and the math works much better. Avid readers who read multiple books each month realize the savings alone in the cost of the book. A reader reading 20 books a year will pay for the device in the cost saving when compared to purchasing hardcover books.

But the most interesting theory behind these numbers is that one of the reasons for the increase was the release of the iPad. On the same day of the release, Amazon’s Kindle App for the iPad was also released. Further, Amazon started a marketing campaign targeting iPad users. The purpose was to convert users from using iBooks to using the Kindle App. It looks like they succeeded. There is no doubt that the iPad as a hardware device is a great device and many people do not care about the display type when reading is involved. Amazon succeeded in doing something that many companies have failed. They turned the iPad into “their” device. They created a platform and delivery mechanism that worked the same across not just one device (the iPhone version of iBooks only became available recently) and allowed the user to switch between devices effortlessly with features such as location synchronization.

Jefferies analyst Youseff Squali’s analysis of the Kindle circulation estimates further supports this theory. Squali wrote:

We believe that Kindle’s e-book sales are benefiting from the launch of the iPad, since the Kindle e-book store offers a broad (and probably the richest) selection, with over 630K titles, which iPad owners can easily chose from. Our current estimates for 2H10/FY11 could also prove conservative as we assume only 10% Y/Y growth in Kindle device sales with no contribution to e-book sales from the iPad. A more probable scenario, based on a higher unit sales of Kindle and e-books, yields an additional ~$100M and $200M upside to our revenue estimates for FY10 and FY11.

Essentially, Squali deduces that due to a small growth in Kindle device sales, it is clear that the growth in eBook sales is due to other devices and specifically the iPad.

All of this leads to a very interesting question regarding who will be crowned king of the eBooks platform. Unlike iTunes, Apple does not have a first-to-market advantage when it comes to eBooks and has made some execution mistakes with iBooks. Barnes and Nobles is also making a move for this market and have released their own eBook reader application for the iPad. It is clear that Amazon is the current king but no one knows how long that will last for.

Which device do you use for eBooks? Are you an iPad reader using the Kindle App or the iBooks App? Which do you like better? Let us know your thoughts.

]]> 6 Publish your own ebooks with Apple via iBookstore Mon, 31 May 2010 16:40:30 +0000 Read More]]> This is a story that has sort of drifted under the radar for a while. Back in early May Lulu announced that they offer a service to aspirng writers for them to publish their own works via their service, which could then be distributed in the iBookstore.

This is a valid way to get into publishing your works. But it was always hinted by Apple that you could also go direct to them if you wish.

Apple has now clarified this for us all. And it is indeed possible to publish directly with Apple without going through Lulu or Smashwords. There are a few steps, which you need to take. But you can totally go it alone if you wish. So the choice is now yours.

In order to publish direct with Apple, via the iBookstore this is what you need to do, as well as write a book of course!

After you have applied for a publishing account. First you need to obtain an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for each of the works you wish to publish. Details on how to do this are here.

Secondly you need to have a copy of your book in ePUB format. There are many free ways to do this. Details here.

Finally, you need to use a Mac running at least OS X 10.5, in order to encode your book with Apple’s software. You can always borrow a friend’s Mac if you are PC based.

The business model is supposed to be similar to that of iTunes App publishing, or iTunes music distribution. With you able to set the price and Apple taking a cut, and you setting which countries you wish your book to be published in.

This is the perfect use for an iPad and Pages in my opinion. Imagine sitting on a beach and writing books with an iPad – and making that your career!

]]> 2 UK iBookstore Launches Fri, 28 May 2010 18:11:34 +0000 Read More]]> ipad uk ibookstore

It was looking for a while as if the European, and UK pickings in Apple’s iBookstore might have been a bit lean. Apple was said to be having some problems getting parters to come into the iBookstore fold. Part of the reason for this was apparently to do with differing regulations for book agencies in the UK particularly.

As of this morning in the UK, Hachette UK, Penguin, HarperCollins and Pan Macmillan have all opened their doors, metaphorically, in Apple’s new virtual book emporium, iBookstore, on the iPad.

The good news is that there seems to be a lot of content to choose from, and Apple are offering sample portions of books. The bad news is that prices are not as competitive as some had hoped.

Unfortunately prices seem to be a little higher than through other online eBook services, some people are reporting. Hopefully Apple can iron that out moving forwards.

Have you picked up an iPad in the UK today? Are you planning on using iBookstore for your reading material shopping?
Let us know in the comments.

[9to5mac] ]]> 0 Apple’s iBookstore Ready for International Launch Fri, 21 May 2010 16:16:00 +0000 Read More]]>

In a perfect world, well Apple’s version of a perfect world, there would be no iPads outside of the US at the moment. But there are! In a few of the countries that the iPad will officially be launched the iBookstore app is starting to show up some locally available content. So we can see Apple starting to breath life into its services a little ahead of their official launch.

The content is limited at the moment. And most offerings seem to be coming from the free Project Gutenberg titles. Hopefully we’ll see more in coming weeks. As well as the iBookstore app on iPhones and iPods when iPhone OS 4.0 drops.

One of the reasons for this limited amount of content is because of different regulations for book copyright in some territories, as well as ongoing negotiations by Apple to sign publishers up. In the UK, for example, competition law regulates that publishers must be in control of book pricing. This presents problems for Apple’s iBookstore agency style model.

“The legality of the model in the UK is yet to be established,” reports The Bookseller. “Industry sources have warned for several weeks that the agency model used to sell e-books through the iBookStore could face legal hurdles.”

But it does seem that Apple are committed to making this work in other places than the US alone. And that will be a good thing for books, just as it was a good thing for music with iTunes.

Are you looking forward to digital book distribution on the iPad in Europe and elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…

[9to5Mac] [The Bookseller] ]]> 0 Weekly news roundup on all things “Touch” Sun, 14 Mar 2010 17:02:58 +0000 Read More]]> Apple shares are still rising, iPads are selling like hot cakes “virtually”, as well as receiving last minute design changes. Microsoft, Palm and Android are playing catch-up in the mobile space at GDC, and in sales figures. Some with more success than others…. Oh, and eBooks, or iBooks?, may be in a format you recognise and can be read aloud, but will come with DRM when bought from iTunes…

iPad selling like hot cakes!

We reported in the last few days that iPad pre-order sales are going extremely well. Various bloggers and business sites, using a variety of dark arts, are trying and gauge exactly how fast the pre-orders are going. Some are citing 20 – 25,000 units being sold per hour, based on Apple Store order numbers. Others are using more scientific methods and talking to industry analysts. But the bottom line is numbers are being limited by Apple to 2 per business or individual. Everyone who has a tech web site or blog seems to have one or two on order, and it’s clear that sales were in the order of 90,000 plus for the first day. The iPad seems to be a success before anyone even has one in their hands!

iPad last minute specification changes

Video output from the iPad has had a quick update prior to actual launch. The iPad will also support Motion JPEG in an AVI wrapper, which is still a common video format for many digital point-and-shoot cameras. More importantly Apple has altered the externals slightly on the iPad to take away the mute switch and add a universal orientation lock. An update welcomed by many who plan to lie at all sorts of angles on their sofas and in bed to read and type!

AAPL rises above $225 per share

Apple’s hoard of cash is no secret. And it’s share price circa $200 per share is a fair reflection of the cash reserves and investments it has on hand. But that doesn’t really reflect it’s continuing growth, and potential sales of the iPad, iPod and iPhone, as well as it’s growing computer market share. The city seems to agree, and shares in AAPL continue to rise. They are at $226.60 as of the writing of this article. This also to some extent seems to be driven by the encouraging iPad pre-order figure estimates. Will they continue to rise as we approach the iPad launch? What will they do after?

Android sales figures on the rise

Various tech sites are reporting that the Android will outstrip the iPhone in sales by 2012. I am not convinced, but any competition is good in the marketplace. It just seems that the figures people are citing are not that impressive yet.

According to the latest mobile subscriber report by comScore, when it comes to platform market share, the iPhone could be nervous of Android as Android market share in the United States is growing, in fact Android garnered the largest market share gains out of all 5 top smartphone OS’s reports Fortune.

Google’s Android platform, over the last 3 months has managed to grab hold of a 154 percent increase, growing from just 2.8 percent up to a nice 7.1 percent.

Blackberry maker Research In Motion still commands the top slot in the smartphone arena in the US with a whopping 43 percent of the market and looks to be growing even faster than Apple. Apple market share grew, but only by 1.2 percent.

Palm and Microsoft want in on mobile gaming

We reported earlier this week that Palm finally released a generally available Beta of it’s updated SDK which now allows developers to target OpenGL ES. Android already has a way that developers can access OpenGL ES. What this means is many of the high performance 3D titles which are already available on the iPhone and iPod platform can be quickly and easily ported to Palm’s smart phones. OpenGL ES is by far the most commonly used high-speed 3D graphics API employed on mobile devices.

Microsoft have gone another way (unsurprisingly), and are sticking with a version of their proprietary Direct3D API (also used on PCs and XBox) for mobile games. Both Microsoft and Palm announced gaming titles at GDC (Game Developers Conference in San Francisco). Palm with 20 titles almost ready and Microsoft with a couple of upcoming gaming titles being shown as work in progress versions for their Windows Phone 7 Series. So far it seems that Palm, as late as they are with this update to their SDK, have the more hopeful outlook of the two platforms.

iPad iBooks will feature DRM

Unsurprisingly eBooks downloaded from iTunes from the “iBookStore” will feature Fairplay DRM and won’t be compatible with other e-readers. Some slightly better news is that the book app in the iPad will support the ePub format, so many eBooks already out there which are DRM free can be loaded onto your iPad via iTunes. Another tidbit is that the iPad will be able to use “VoiceOver” to read the contents of any book out loud. Cool!

Another exciting week in “Touch” land.

Let us know your thoughts below. Did we miss anything?

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