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  • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 23. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Publishing Market, , , , , ,   

    Tablets and eReaders 

    Pew: Tablet and eBook reader ownership nearly double over the holiday gift-giving period; http://eicker.at/TabletseReaders

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 23. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “The share of adults in the United States who own tablet computers nearly doubled from 10% to 19% between mid-December and early January and the same surge in growth also applied to e-book readers, which also jumped from 10% to 19% over the same time period. – The number of Americans owning at least one of these digital reading devices jumped from 18% in December to 29% in January. … These findings are striking because they come after a period from mid-2011 into the autumn in which there was not much change in the ownership of tablets and e-book readers. However, as the holiday gift-giving season approached the marketplace for both devices dramatically shifted. In the tablet world, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet were introduced at considerably cheaper prices than other tablets. In the e-book reader world, some versions of the Kindle and Nook and other readers fell well below $100.

      Pew: “The surge in ownership of tablet computers was especially notable among those with higher levels of education and those living in households earning more than $75,000. More than a third of those living in households earning more than $75,000 (36%) now own a tablet computer. And almost a third of those with college educations or higher (31%) own the devices. Additionally, those under age 50 saw a particularly significant leap in tablet ownership. … The story with the growth in e-book readers was somewhat different from the story with tablet computers. Ownership of e-readers among women grew more than among men. Those with more education and higher incomes also lead the pack when it comes to e-book ownership, but the gap between them and others isn’t as dramatic.

      NYT: “The holiday season spawned a huge marketing and advertising push for the Nook Tablet, Barnes und Noble’s latest color device, and the Kindle Fire from Amazon. While many consumers bought the costlier Apple iPad at $500, tablets from Barnes und Noble and Amazon cost less than $250, a more tempting price for a Christmas gift. Some black-and-white e-readers cost less than $100. – ‘Publishers are putting a lot of effort into e-books; apps developers are cranking out more and more tools for tablets; libraries and tech companies are making e-books easier to borrow,’ Lee Rainie, director of the Internet and American Life Project, said in an e-mail. ‘So the ecosystem of these devices is making them more valuable.'”

      VB: “Leading the pack is Amazon, which sells a slate of Kindle e-readers and tablets. The online retail giant claimed to have sold units in its Kindle lineup at a rate of one million e-readers per week during the holiday push. … However, money still plays some role in whether or not a given consumer decides to spring for a tablet. – While some demographic factors such as race and gender showed little or no statistically significant variations among tablet owners, education and correlating factors such as income showed strong proportional relationships to tablet and e-reader ownership.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 18:03 on 19. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , iBooks 2, iBooks Author, , , , , , , iTunes U, iTunes U App, , , , Kno, , , , , , Publishing Market, , ,   

    iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U 

    Apple wants to reinvent textbooks and eBook publishing: iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U; http://eicker.at/iBooks

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 18:03 on 19. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Apple: “iBooks Textbooks for iPad. – Introducing an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, current, engrossing, and truly interactive. A textbook created by publishers using a new authoring tool from Apple. A textbook brought to life by iPad. … For hundreds of years, textbooks have put a world of knowledge in the hands of students. But while the way people learn has changed dramatically, the traditional textbook has stayed the same. … Today’s students have grown up completely immersed in technology. iPod, iPad, computer – these are the ways they interact with their world. They need a textbook made for the way they learn. … A Multi-Touch textbook on iPad is a gorgeous, full-screen experience full of interactive diagrams, photos, and videos. No longer limited to static pictures to illustrate the text, now students can dive into an image with interactive captions, rotate a 3D object, or have the answer spring to life in a chapter review. They can flip through a book by simply sliding a finger along the bottom of the screen. Highlighting text, taking notes, searching for content, and finding definitions in the glossary are just as easy. And with all their books on a single iPad, students will have no problem carrying them wherever they go.

      GigaOM: “Textbooks in iBooks 2 also incorporate highlighting, note-taking, and interactive Q&A sections at the end of each chapter, which also provide immediate feedback; no more hunting for a key in a separate book or appendix to see how you did. Notes and highlights are automatically turned into flashcards for study purposes. In short, it looks like Apple has taken a lot of the best aspects of services like Inkling and Kno and integrated them into its own product. – The new textbooks reside in a dedicated iBookstore category, and will offer free samples before you buy. The iBooks 2 app is free, and is available today via the App Store. Textbooks will be priced at $14.99 or less, and initially be aimed at the high school market. That’s some seriously competitive pricing, and Apple’s initial partners are Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which together are responsible for 90 percent of textbooks available, according to Schiller.”

      TC: “This move is centered around reinvent the textbook. Schiller explained today that Apple sees textbooks as amazing devices, but they’re heavy, not searchable or durable. According to Apple the iPad is the perfect counter. It’s portable, durable, interactive, searchable, current and capable of containing even richer content. … This announcement puts Kno in a bad position. iBooks 2 packs many of Kno’s prime features into a native iPad app. Kno might have the edge with content, though. The company has long worked with the top education publishers and has an impressive library of textbooks. Kno, as a 3rd party app, has the advantage of being able to embrace other platforms like the web and Android where iBooks 2 will likely remain only on the iPad.

      Apple: “iBooks Author.Available free on the Mac App store, iBooks Author is an amazing new app that allows anyone to create beautiful Multi-Touch textbooks – and just about any other kind of book – for iPad. With galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, and more, these books bring content to life in ways the printed page never could. … No need to let the blank page scare you. Just start with an Apple-designed templates. Each template has a variety of page layouts to choose from – or create one of your own. … iBooks Author makes it simple to flow in text, graphics, movies, and more, so your book looks exactly the way you want. Drag and drop a Pages or Microsoft Word document to the Book navigator to add it as a new section. Then, when you drag and drop in images, your type automatically flows around them. … iBooks Author has everything you need to create a great-looking book. Add text, shapes, charts, tables, and Multi-Touch widgets anywhere on the page with a single click. Mask images, use alignment guides – even add reflections and shadows. It’s as easy as using a word processor, but powerful enough to design more advanced layouts. … As you’re building your book, check out how it looks by previewing it on your iPad. When it’s just the way you want and you’re ready to publish, iBooks Author helps you submit to the iBookstore for purchase or free download. You can also export it in iBooks format to share on iTunes U or to give to anyone with an iPad.

      GigaOM: “iBooks Author comes with a template choose to help you get started quickly, and then you can click and drag your own media to add images, video, audio and other content to your book. You can even add things like 3-D models, which we saw demoed in the iBooks 2 unveiling earlier, as well as interactive elements like image galleries. … Amazingly, Apple’s iBooks Author is free, and is available today on the Mac App Store. This will definitely help attract content creators to the iBooks platform, and could also seriously impact the ability of competitors to sell publishing suites aimed at doing similar things.

      TC: “All the magic happens in a new OSX application called iBooks Author, which gives users a simple way to integrate different types of media in order to create iBooks of any stripe. What’s more, iBooks Author will be available today for free, so all you aspiring iBook creators can get started post haste. … That’s all well and good, but the real meat here is the ability to add interactive elements to an iBook with minimal headaches. Presentations created in Keynote can be dragged directly into iBook Author for inclusion as an interactive widget, and those who have worked with HTML and JavaScript can create more robust widgets on their own. Also included are a nifty glossary creation tool (essentially a two-click process), and the ability to publish the iBook directly into the store.

      Apple: “iTunes U – If you’re an educator at a university, college, or K-12 school, now you have an easy way to design and distribute complete courses featuring audio, video, books, and other content. And students and lifelong learners can experience your courses for free through a powerful new app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. … The free iTunes U app gives students access to all the materials for your course in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations. See a list of all the assignments for the course and check them off as they’re completed. And when you send a message or create a new assignment, students receive a push notification with the new information. … The iTunes U app integrates with iBooks, iCloud, and other apps to make it easy for students to keep up with your course. For example, new iBooks Textbooks2 and other books for the course are available right from the app, where students can tap them to start reading the assigned chapter. Notes taken in iBooks are consolidated for easy reviewing in the iTunes U app. If an assignment includes watching part of a video, one tap goes straight to a specific spot in the video. And iTunes U keeps documents, notes, highlights, and bookmarks up to date across multiple devices.

      VB: “I can’t remember the last time anyone was so interested in education technology, but leave it up to Apple to whip up excitement. The company held an ‘education related’ event at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum today, where many expected it to take on the textbook industry with new, interactive e-books. … But Apple isn’t done yet. Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, came on stage to discuss how the company is going to help teachers ‘reinvent the curriculum’ with iTunes U, a service that lets students download lectures and other materials from iTunes. Cue says Apple has seen over 700 million downloads from iTunes U, and that it has mostly been used for lectures. … All of this is very exciting, but it’s strange that Apple made no mention of how students can more easily get a hold of iPads in the classroom. While cool, Apple’s plans to reinvent education could leave a lot of students out in the cold.

      NJL: “The day the bookshelf shook: Four lessons for news orgs from today’s Apple iBooks announcements – The focus was on education, and Apple faces some significant hurdles in getting their products into actual schools (where textbook and technology purchasing are constricted by forces bureaucratic, fiscal, and otherwise). But in truth much of what Apple announced was squarely aimed at further disruption of the publishing industry – in this case, the book publishing industry, already facing disruption from Amazon and ebooks more broadly. … How will news organizations react to that newfound ease of publishing? … In the print book era, deciding to try one of these ideas would involve estimating the potential audience, deciding whether it’s worth investing the time to design it, guessing at a print run, figuring out how to get it in the hands of local retailers, and a host of other complications. But with ebooks – if publishing those ebooks is uncomplicated, just a few more steps than hitting File -> Save As…, built around common templates – what kinds of value could be unlocked? … Once books stop being only finished, whole things – when they can also be works in progress, works in development – the possibilities for journalists open up. … I can’t imagine news organizations need any further evidence that reading is going to keep moving from big screens to smaller ones, from stationary to mobile. But judging by a lot of news sites’ abysmal mobile experiences, maybe they do. So here’s one more data point: Apple’s investing big in a creating a new kind of reading experience for a new kind of content, and they’re completely ignoring every desktop and laptop computer in the universe.

      RWW: “In his official biography of Apple’s late cofounder, Walter Isaacson revealed that in addition to television and photography, one industry Steve Jobs was hoping to revolutionize next was textbooks, which he saw as being ‘ripe for digital destruction.’ – Today’s demonstration very much echoed Jobs’ vision for textbooks, which he saw as cumbersome, heavy and slow to update. … This is not an all together shocking direction for Apple to move into, considering its somewhat recent foray into e-books with iBooks and how the iPad is already being used for educational purposes. That the tablet form factor makes for a potentially excellent educational tool is not at all a new concept, and it’s one that Apple has already been using to help sell the iPad pretty much since day one.

    • Gerrit Eicker 07:31 on 20. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      RWW: “It’s hard to wrap my brain around the cold cynicism of Apple’s releasing a new tool to democratize the publishing of eBooks today, only to include in the tool’s terms and conditions a prohibition against selling those books anywhere but through Apple’s own bookstore. There’s just something so achingly awful about it. … Here’s section 2b of the End User License Agreement of the new iBook Author program. ‘B. Distribution of your Work. As a condition of this License and provided you are in compliance with its terms, your Work may be distributed as follows: (i) if your Work is provided for free (at no charge), you may distribute the Work by any available means; (ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.'”

      GigaOM: “It’s possible that Apple is planning to open up its new iBook textbooks, either by embracing the ePub standard or making it easy to move texts out of its system and into another, so that iBooks can live alongside Inkling textbooks or CourseSmart books or Kno books — but if it is planning to do that, we didn’t hear anything about it on Thursday. All we heard was how Apple wants to do the same thing to the textbook market as it has done to recorded music and mobile gaming: that is, own and control it.

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:09 on 29. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Civic Life, , , Community Events, Community Information, , , , Crime, Cultural Events, , , , , , , , , , Government Activities, Housing, , , Job Openings, , , , , , Local Information Ecosystem, Local Information Environment, , , Local News Ecosystem, , , , , , , Local Subjects, Local Topics, , , , , , , Media Platforms, , Mobile Connections, Neighborhood, Neighborhood Events, , , , , , , , , , Popular Local News Topics, Popular News Topics, Popular Topics, , , Publishing Market, Real Estate, , , Schools, , , , , , , Social Services, , , , , , , Tax Issues, , , , , Transportation, , , , , , , Zoning   

    Localisation 

    Pew: How people learn about their local community. Topics, Newspapers, TV news, Internet; http://eicker.at/Localisation

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:10 on 29. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “Contrary to much of the conventional understanding of how people learn about their communities, Americans turn to a wide range of platforms to get local news and information, and where they turn varies considerably depending on the subject matter and their age… Most Americans, including more tech-savvy adults under age 40, also use a blend of both new and traditional sources to get their information. Overall, the picture revealed by the data is that of a richer and more nuanced ecosystem of community news and information than researchers have previously identified.”

      Pew: “The local news and information environment is changing in ways that most people believe makes it easier for them to get the specific information they want about their communities. More than half of Americans (55%) say it is easier today to get the local information they want than it was five years ago. … Top Popularity of Different Local Topics: Weather (89%), Breaking News (80%), Politics/Campaigns/Elections (67%), Crime, Arts/Cultural events, Local Business, Schools/Education, Community/Neighborhood events, Restaurants/Clubs/Bars, Traffic/Transportation, Taxes/Tax issues, Housing/Real estate, Government activities, Job openings, Social services, Zoning/Building/Development”

      Pew: “The survey indicated that newspapers play a far more complex role in the civic life of communities than many Americans believe. … Younger adults, age 18-29, were especially unconcerned. Fully 75% say their ability to get local information would not be affected in a major way by the absence of their local paper. … [W]hen asked about specific local topics and which sources they rely on for that information, it turns out that many adults are quite reliant on newspapers and their websites.

      Pew: “Local TV (which for the purposes of this survey includes both televised broadcasts and local television websites) is the most popular source for the two topics that almost everyone is interested in – weather and breaking news.”

      Pew: “The internet has already surpassed newspapers as a source Americans turn to for national and international news. The findings from this survey now show its emerging role as a source for local news and information as well. … Among the 79% of Americans who are online, the internet is an even more significant source for local news and information. Looking just at this group, the internet is the first or second most important source for 15 of the 16 local topics examined.”

      Pew: “Two other factors seem to drive people to the internet when it comes to getting information about local subjects: mobile connections via smartphones or tablet computers and participation in the digital environment by sharing or creating local material themselves.”

      Pew: “In addition to the three biggest media platforms – newspapers, television and the internet – the local news and information ecosystem involves a complex mix of other sources as well. And for several local topics, citizen-based systems such as word of mouth (which does not include online social networking), print newsletters and bulletins, and the local government itself make appearances as sources that some residents rely upon.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:18 on 28. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Amazon Appstore, Amazon Appstore for Android, , Amazon Prime, , , , , , , , BlackBerry PlayBook, , , , Brand Recognition, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Publishing Market, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Kindle Fire 

    Amazon’s Kindle Fire might finally change the whole publishing industryirrevocable; http://eicker.at/KindleFire

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:19 on 28. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC: “On Wednesday morning in New York City, Amazon will unveil the Kindle Fire. Yes, this is the name Amazon has settled on, to help differentiate the product from the e-ink Kindles… It will be a 7-inch backlit display tablet that looks similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook. … [H]aving played with a DVT model myself, I can assure you that it’s better than the PlayBook because the software is better and, more importantly, the content available is much better. … We also originally heard that Amazon Prime would be included, as a big enticement for would-be buyers. That may be off the table for now as well – but it’s not yet clear. It’s possible Amazon will release one version with Prime included for $300 and a version without it for $250. Getting Amazon Prime for $50 would still be a deal, since it’s normally $79 for the year.”

      pC: “The success of the Kindle shows Amazon is prepared to think differently from others and to disrupt its own products – in the Kindle’s case to disrupt the cash cow of print book sales – in order to be innovative and seize early advantage in digital markets. If Amazon’s hardware is undifferentiated and virtually the same as RIM’s PlayBook then Amazon has to differentiate elsewhere with content, experience and business models. Otherwise it will suffer the same fate as RIM’s PlayBook. … Amazon will build a true media tablet. The first true media tablet. The Kindle tablet will focus on the future of all media – TV, movies, music, books, magazines – to enable Amazon to become the dominant digital media retailer. That is Amazon’s ambition.

      Guardian: “Amazon hopes its brand recognition and loyal book-buying customer base will enable it to do battle with Apple, which produced 75% of the tablets sold this year. – Research firm Forrester reckons the Kindle tablet could sell between 3m and 5m units in its first year.”

      VB: “The timing of Amazon’s announcement might have something to do with competition from Barnes and Nobel, which is also allegedly scheduled to announce a new Nook Color tablet that will also retail for $250.”

      ATD: “In 2010, magazine publishers got giddy about the prospects of selling their stuff on the iPad. This year’s version of the story: Lots of enthusiasm, tempered with a little bit of skepticism, over Amazon’s new tablet. … Publishers will keep around 70 percent of all Amazon sales, and the retailer will share some customer data with the publishers. … The publishers who are on board with Amazon view their decision to link up as a no-brainer: They want more distribution channels for their stuff, not fewer. And they’ve been begging, unsuccessfully, for a credible competitor to the iPad since April 2010.

      TC: “With the launch of the Kindle Fire tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to write a little bit sci-fi and imagine what the publishing market will look like in the next ten or so years. I’m a strong proponent of the ebook and, as I’ve said again and again, I love books but they’re not going to make it past this decade, at least in most of the developed world. … 2025 – The transition is complete even in most of the developing world. The book is, at best, an artifact and at worst a nuisance. Book collections won’t disappear – hold-outs will exist and a subset of readers will still print books – but generally all publishing will exist digitally.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:33 on 28. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC: “Amazon Fires $199, 7-Inch Tablet At Apple – The Fire itself is rather characterless and dull. It looks a lot like the 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook (probably for good reason) and features just enough tech to pass as acceptable. There’s a two-point multitouch screen (the iPad has a 10-point screen), and an unspecified CPU… The most notable change is obviously the multitouch 7-inch LCD rather than an e-ink display, but moreover, the Kindle Fire is a complete storefront for the retailer rather than just an ereader. The tablet features apps for Amazon’s Android Appstore, Kindle store, Amazon MP3, and Prime Instant Video. … Amazon is pricing this model aggressively. Bloomberg is reporting prior to Amazon’s official event that the Kindle Fire hits at just $199 and comes with 30-days of Amazon Prime.”

      TC: “Amazon has revealed a new line of E-Ink Kindles that looks to bolster their ‘traditional’ eReader lineup. The three new models have taken the stage: the $79 Kindle, the $99 Kindle Touch, and the $149 Kindle Touch 3G. – The new super small, non-touch Kindle was announced to appeal to Amazon’s legion of eReading purists. It’s small enough to fit in a pack pocket, and will cost users a scant $79 – customers can order today, and Amazon says it will ship today too.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 11:57 on 29. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      GigaOM: “They say Apple has met its first real tablet competitor. And no, it is not Samsung or Motorola. Instead it is from a company that started out selling books on the Internet: Amazon. And while there is some truth to that assertion, I wouldn’t put a lot of weight in the argument. … With the new Kindles, Amazon has been able to define the hybrid retail environment. … Given that we are increasingly shifting away from buying physical media and are instead opting for digital goods, Amazon is smart in its introducing the new Kindle tablet. … Amazon’s primary business is selling us things – lots of them – and getting them to us as cheaply as possible. And that includes physical and digital goods and services. That is its corporate DNA, and that DNA is going to influence all of its decisions – whether it is redesigning its website or defining new tablets. … The bottom line is that Amazon will be successful – at least more successful than Motorola or HTC – but it won’t come at the expense of Apple’s iPad or Samsung’s Android-based tablets.

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