Apple has finally entered the realm of digital textbooks. We reported earlier that Apple has taken board many major textbook publishers and intends to transform the textbook industry. However, surprise is being expressed over the fact that currently, only eight Apple textbooks are available. Is this too meagre a number to start with? And are the publishers still taking this as a test venture or are they serious about it and intend to take it as a long-term project?
Any iPad user, after updating to the latest version of iBooks, can view these eight books. The books which are currently available are mostly offered by Pearson and McGraw Hill, two leading publishers. These books are about biology, algebra, geometry, chemistry, physics and environmental sciences. Primarily, these books serve the purpose of being mere samples for users to get an idea of what exactly a digital textbook will be like.
A problem that has been reported with these books is that they are very heavy. A single textbook weighs about 1 GB in size, which is a very large size for a digital book. In fact, it has been said that when one of these books, sized 1 GB, was launched on iPad 1, it caused the tablet to crash. If this problem persists, Apple may have to look into reducing the size of these textbooks.
While Apple has launched this new venture with just 8 textbooks, we can rest assured that in the coming days, a lot more digital books will be on their way. This is because some major publishers are collaborating with Apple on this. At the same time, we can hope that Apple improves the formatting of the books so that they are more iPad-friendly and are not as heavy as they currently are.