Apple’s January 19th event will focus on eduction, according to the invite sent last week. ArsTechnica weighs in today to provide some clarity as to what we might see at the event.
iBooks currently uses the ePub 2 standard along a few proprietary extensions, but they expect Apple to support the ePub 3 standard, removing the need for these extensions. The bigger news here is Apple’s intention to offer tools that make it easy to create interactive e-Books. The sources indicate this would essentially be “Garageband for e-Books”. If you are unfamiliar with Garageband, it’s a relatively easy application that allows novices to create songs. Bringing such a tool to e-Book creation would help foster a robust distribution platform.
Apple is reportedly selling a large number of iPads into K-12 education institutions, but these aren’t currently replacing traditional textbooks. Apple’s announcement on Thursday is likely intended to drive content creation that will be distributed through iPads and iPhones.
Garageband for e-Books sounds like it might just be a traditional textbook killer. I still remember the days of trading in college textbooks for $1.45, just months after paying upwards of $80 or more. There has to be a better way. We’ll find out more on Thursday.