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iBooks

iBooks is Coming to the Desktop, As Apple Claims 20% of eBook Market

Marc Bodnick Elevation Partners

As a part of its upcoming operating system release OS X Mavericks, Apple is bringing iBooks to the desktop. The expansion will allow readers who have purchased books through iBooks on their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to read their library on their Mac computer and vice versa. Readers who want to shop on their computers for books, can also access the titles on their other iOS devices.

Apple is catching up with the competition with this new offering. Amazon already has a desktop reading app for Kindle, and Barnes & Noble offers one for Nook. But Apple’s share of the eBook market is growing. Apple revealed in court testimony today that they own twenty percent of the eBook market. The company offers more than 1.8 million titles in the iBooks store.  Read more

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Zuckerberg Admits: If I Wasn’t the CEO of Facebook, I’d Be at Microsoft (VentureBeat)
Entrepreneurs flocked to Stanford University to hear Mark Zuckerberg, the T-shirt wearing chief executive of Facebook, open up about the company’s early days at Startup School, an annual conference, by the outspoken founder of Y Combinator, Paul Graham. “I probably would have taken an engineering job … [and] always had a lot of respect for Microsoft,” he said. “A lot of people from Harvard went to work there.” CNET Graham, who runs the most influential start-up incubator anywhere, didn’t ask about the stock price or about the impact that Facebook’s messy IPO has had on start-up funding in general. He didn’t ask about the ad business, and he didn’t even once mention the word “mobile.” TechCrunch Zuckerberg reiterated again and again the fact that in the beginning, he didn’t intend for Facebook to be the massive business it is today. Initially it was not a company at all, he said — it was “a project.” Gizmodo Zuckerberg said he predicts the rate of sharing will double every decade. That’s an awful big increase, don’t you think? Is there even 1,000 times as much stuff to share? AllThingsD Much of the other advice Zuckerberg offered to the young crowd were the usual platitudes — listen to your users, stay simple, be reliable. But his most important point was clear: punch above your weight class. If your product is better than anything out there, the users will let you know it. Read more

iBookstore Now Part of iTunes Store. iBooks Page Sync is Automatic

ibookstore_itunes

Apple’s iBookstore is now integrated into the iTunes Store. You can find its link at the top of the iTunes window between “App Store” and “Podcasts.”

iBookstore in iTunes

The book categories includes the enhanced books which includes some children’s books with human narration in a read-along mode. The bookstore includes a selection of $2.99-or-less books as well as two free books (listed below).

L.A. Noire

Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2011

I bought a copy of Robert Charles Wilson’s SF novel “Spin” for $2.99 to test the purchase process and found it quick and painless. The novel was a fast 1.4MB download. I placed it on my iPhone 4 and my iPad 2. Unlike Amazon’s Kindle (and its apps), over-the-air page syncing was performed immediately without asking for permission. Some people will find this useful and welcomed (I’m in that camp). Others may be taken aback. There does not appear to be an option in settings to turn this off.

Apple iBooks 1.3 Update Supports Childrens’ Books with Human Narrators

ibooks_13

Lost among the numerous big announcements Apple had this week is an update ot their iBooks ebook reader app. Version 1.3 adds a read-aloud feature for some children’s books. The twist is that a real human narrator reads the text instead of a synthesized voice.

- Help your children learn to read with the new read-aloud feature included in select children’s books from the iBookstore.

- The read-aloud feature uses a real narrator to read the book to you, and in some books, it will even highlight the words as you read along.

- Enhanced books can now automatically play audio or video included with the book.

It is not clear, however, how to find and identify these narrated childrens’ books in the iBooks store.

Apple’s iBooks app is available for free in the iTunes App Store. It also works with PDF and ePub doucment files in addition to ebooks purchased from the iBooks store.

iBooks 1.3 (iTunes App Store)