Although not a complete surprise, Apple launched an impressive application at their New York event on January 21st: iBooks Author.
Together with iBooks 2, the update of iTunes U, the immediately availability of free (US) textbooks and the fact that iBooks and iBooks Author are free of charge, clearly shows Apple's ambitions regarding the educational market.
It was not a complete surprise since it was specifically mentioned in Jobs' biography: "In fact Jobs had his sights set on textbooks as the next business he wanted to transform. He believed it was a $8 billion a year industry ripe for digital destruction."
You can imagine that we at WoodWing were specifically interested in iBooks Author as the creation tool.
Asia has been a hotbed for newspaper iPad (and other tablet platform) editions right from when the iPad came out in 2010 and other tablets emerged after that. In Indonesia, Kompas Gramedia was the first daily newspaper in Asia on the iPad. In Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post was the first English daily newspaper in Asia on the iPad. In WoodWing Asia Pacific's backyard of Malaysia the newspaper publishers have also been quick to embrace the iPad and other tablets. The Star successfully launched first on the iPad, followed closely by the New Straits Times Press who launched three daily apps: Harian Metro, Berita Harian and the New Straits Times.
Yesterday was an exciting day.
For Apple fans with the release of iOS5 and iPhone 4S. For publishers even more so with the launch of the Apple Newsstand.
With the Newsstand magazines and newspapers now have their own shelf on your iPad homescreen. This means they no longer they have to compete for a space on your homescreen with Angry Birds and the other 140,000 iPad Apps. Even more important is the automatic download and notification. When you are subscribed to a title your new issues will be delivered automatically on your iPad. Like the good old days of print when your issues where delivered to your doorstep.
We're happy to see many WoodWing customers appearing in the Newsstand at launch. From the Americas I saw titles such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend Magazine, Once Magazine and multiple titles from Meredith: Better Homes & Gardens, Parents Magazine and Fitness Magazine. European titles such as VG Helg, Klick (Aftonbladet) and Corriere dello Sport (daily newspaper publishing 4 regional editions every day) and Asian titles such as PhotoJ etc.
Now it's the day after, so let's explore what Apple can (and should) improve to make this great concept even better.
Time Inc. earlier this week announced that they will launch tablet editions for their complete US portfolio. All of the 21 titles will launch on all leading tablet platforms: Apple iPad, Android Marketplace, HP TouchPad, Next Issue Media’s store and Barnes & Nobles NOOK Color. That's a bold move: launching 17 new titles, 4 apps each, so 68 Apps in less than 5 months... And all designed for tablet, interactive magazines.
It's clear that Time Inc. believes in the future of tables after the initial sucess of their 4 flagship products: TIME Magazine, People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune. Time Inc.
Last month Sports Illustrated shared how they have fully integrated tablet publishing into their workflow. This reveals an important secret how Time is able to move so agressively to all these tablets: There Is No “Digital Department”
We're very proud to see how WoodWing's Enterprise Publishing System is used as important corner storen to enable and support Time Inc's digital ambitions.
I want to start a little series about usability and best practices for interfaces in general and for magazines in particular. This time I want to cover buttons.