iBooks Author is now gone. RIP
Joe Kissell is a writer and author with over 60 technical books to his credit. He’s a contributing editor with Tidbits, and recently became the owner and publisher of the Take Control series of eBooks. Early in his career, Joe had a strong interest in language and holds a Master’s degree in Linguistics. Along the way, however, he also got very technical with computers, and that landed him a job as a product manager with Nisus. Subsequently, Joe was a software developer for Kensington. In 2017, he accepted an offer from Adam Engst to acquire Take Control Books. Joe and his wife run that business—currently using a brand new iMac Pro. When not editing, Joe pursues T’ai Chi, cooking, walking and travel. Joe tells his career story, chock full of technical serendipity, with awesome charm.
Just what exactly is an intelligent speaker? It’s a companion robot that just sits, without mobility. Who wants that?
The highly anticipated and controversial new book about the development of the iPhone, The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, is now available. Initial reviews reveal that the book isn’t the “complete” history of the iPhone that most were expecting, but that it does provide a number of new stories and insights about the inner workings of Apple and the relationships between the company’s executives and its partners during this crucial time in Apple’s history. Early press excerpts from the book caused some controversy, and its release was timed perfectly with last night’s interview with ex-iOS chief Scott Forstall. Check it out now at Amazon, or download the Kindle or iBooks versions to start reading right away.
A cool website called BookBub offers eBook recommendations. You can choose from a variety of book genres you’re interested in, including Mysteries, Thrillers and Action; Romance; Fiction; Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror; Teen and Young Readers; and Nonfiction. BookBub specifically suggests eBooks that are on sale. I’ve used BookBub for a couple of years, and I’ve gotten eBooks as low as US$0.99. It displays eBooks from Amazon, Google Play and iBooks. BookBub has an iOS app, but that version only shows iBooks offerings. If you sign up via the website, you’ll also see Amazon and Google offerings. After you select the genres you like, you can get a daily email with eBook deals.
When you’re looking for an iTunes replacement, you want something that can do just about everything Apple’s software can do, but better. WALTR has been a good contender in this arena, and WALTR 2 offers functionality that iTunes doesn’t. The question is, does it work as designed? Come along with Jeff Butts as he reviews WALTR 2 and uncovers how well it performs.
If you’re an author, you can self publish your books on iBooks. You’ll want to leverage multiple platforms to increase your visibility, but don’t forget Apple. As The Mac Observer editor-in-chief, Bryan Chaffin, wrote, Apple’s eBook platform isn’t perfect, but it is worthwhile to use.
Evidence suggests Apple stopped loving iBooks. Bryan and Jeff go over that evidence and discuss why Apple should rekindle that love and make iBooks great again. They also take a few minutes to experience some schadenfreude over Samsung’s battery factory fire, and argue that a loss of market share demonstrates Samsung’s lack of software relevance.
Today the World Wide Web Consortium and the International Digital Publishing Forum have completed a merger. The new initiative, called Publishing@W3C, will use web technologies to improve publishing, authoring and reading of interactive eBooks. The goal is to make an eBook a self-contained ecosystem with rich interactions using dynamic documents, search, and multimedia. The self-contained part means that the web elements can work even if you’re offline, without needing an always-on connection. Work is underway on APIs and packaging formats to enable these eBooks to act more like apps or web pages. The move could dramatically overhaul the ebook market, which is currently dominated by Amazon, with Apple’s iBooks as a distant second. It remains to be seen how having the W3C’s weight behind an ebook standard could affect the market, but it could give authors, publishers (including independent authors), and readers more options. It could also have a big impact on the textbook industry.
It’s a battle between two corporate giants. In one corner we have Apple. In the other corner is the networks. Neither side needs the other. Each side would like to gain, by agreement, from the other’s strengths. Neither side wants to give in much, thinking they know a lot about their own industry. How will it end? Which side is better prepared for the future?