Apple: Readying a Kind of GarageBand for eBooks? (ArsTechnica)

Will Apple announce a platform and tools for creating interactive e-books — a kind of “GarageBand for eBooks,” as Chris Forseman at Arstechnica puts it? Here’s the skinny.

It sure makes sense. And now our sources confirm it, too. The invites are out for Apple’s January 19 media event in New York, which likely will include the unveiling of a platform and tools for ebook self-publishing. Think of it, says Arstechnica, as a sort of “GarageBand for eBooks.” Well put

Reporter Chris Forseman at ArsTechnica does a great job of framing Apple’s upcoming announcement and the rumors around it.Find the entire piece at Ars here. Short excerpt below:

Apple is slated to announce the fruits of its labor on improving the use of technology in education at its special media event on Thursday, January 19. While speculation has so far centered on digital textbooks, sources close to the matter have confirmed to Ars that Apple will announce tools to help create interactive e-books–the “GarageBand for e-books,” so to speak–and expand its current platform to distribute them to iPhone and iPad users.

Along with the details we were able to gather from our sources, we also spoke to two experts in the field of digital publishing to get a clearer picture of the significance of what Apple is planning to announce.

So far, Apple has largely embraced the ePub 2 standard for its iBooks platform, though it has added a number of HTML5-based extensions to enable the inclusion of video and audio for some limited interaction. The recently-updated ePub 3 standard obviates the need for these proprietary extensions, which in some cases make iBook-formatted e-books incompatible with other e-reader platforms. Apple is expected to announce support for the ePub 3 standard for … click here for the whole story at Ars.

Speculation here in Silicon Valley conflicts on whether Apple is gunning for textbook publishers or co-opting them. Probably both. We’ll be live blogging this for you here at Stay tuned.

No textbooks here -- yet.

Photo Credit: Boomerang Books