Books that teach • 20 January 2012 • The SnowBlog
Books that teach
For a while now I've been mentally preparing for a world where non-fiction books could go digital and could contain interactive, intelligent, visually responsive content. Last year I talked about the possibilities here. If Adobe were on the ball, they'd have created a platform for these things, but they seem to be letting the world of e-books pass them by. Unsurprisingly, Apple have stepped into the breach and produced a free authoring program for creating interactive textbooks. You can go here and see their video about the ideas behind this new technology and what it's already capable of. Yes, the video is full of treacle and meaningful shots of multi-ethnic kids smiling, but I defy you to not get a little bit excited about the potential here. I've already downloaded a free copy of iBooks Author and when I get a chance I'm going to properly explore it. And remember, this is Version 1. Apple have a strong history of building on their innovations until they really create something powerful.
Downsides: to run iBooks Author you'll need a Mac. And it'll need to be running Lion, the latest version of the OS. Other downsides: if you work in non-fiction publishing you've suddenly got a lot more work to do.
update: check out my follow-up post with what I consider is some solidly bad news about the iBooks 2.0 platform.