Part Most of Instagram's well-known popularity and success came directly from its easy-to-use interface that can make just about any picture enticing without the user having to work up even a drop of sweat. With the app exposing the huge market for such social networks, tons of developers are having a go at gaining the title of the "Instagram of video." YouTube, in conjunction with its parent company, Google, today released a new application that makes it easy for users to record and upload their videos to YouTube - undoubtedly another competitor taking a shot at the aforementioned title.
Apple has released information today on how to self-publish your book on the iBookstore. The requirements are not all that stringent, and the opportunity for aspiring authors to be in the iBookstore are unparalleled. You can sell your book in multiple countries, and even set the price per country. The financial agreement is similar to apps, with Apple retaining 30% of the sale price.
The basic requirements are being able to create an EPUB file that passes EpubCheck 1.0.5, and the ability to obtain a valid ISBN for each title. The full requirements are detailed below.
Apple today released iTunes 9.1 which brings several changes and enhancements, including support for syncing the iPad. In anticipation of the iBookstore, the "Audiobooks" section of iTunes has been renamed to "Books" and now allows users to manage both audio books and eBooks.
However, in addition to the other features mentioned below, some users are reporting that iTunes 9.1 seems to have broken sync on some jailbroken devices. Initially it had appeared that my jailbroken iPhone 3GS was affected, although rebooting my computer re-enabled sync. If you experience issues with syncing your iPhone or iPod touch after applying the update, restarting your computer should fix the problem.
Following up on last week's story that the iPad will support the Project Gutenberg's ePpub file format, App Advice is reporting that it has observed a significant number of free titles from Project Gutenberg included directly in the store. If you're not familiar with the Gutenberg Project, it's a free online digital library supported by volunteers. This library already includes over 30,000 free eBooks from the public domain.
An initial look at Apple's iBookstore has revealed that Apple has decided to include assorted Project Gutenberg titles directly. These files are apparently appearing as free downloads.
Apple has signed deals with four of the top publishers to sell books on the iBookstore but the largest of the group, Random House, is still refusing to sign. Random House says (subscription required) that they have concerns over Apple's pricing model, predicting that this model will erode publisher profits. Ironically, the other publishers have been pressuring Amazon to use the same pricing model as Apple.
Perseus, one of the largest independent publishers who also distributes works from 330 other small presses, signed a deal last week with Apple to sell their books via the iBookstore on the iPad. The deal is similar to deals Apple has made with five of the six biggest publishers in the industry. Perseus says they will have books available in the iBookstore when the iPad is available on April 3.
With Apple's iPad en route for April 3rd, the cool cats at TiPb.com have pointed out that Apple is using the ePub format for its iPad Bookstore, which should actually allow access to hundreds of thousands of free books. And while Apple's iBooks will contain a FairPlay DRM layer which won't work on other eReader devices, the Project Gutenberg books, which are still in ePub format, should work on the iPad.
Perhaps one of the coolest parts of the Internet, Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize thousands of books that are out of copyright. Per Apple's comments, users can "add free ePub titles to iTunes and sync them to the iBooks app on your iPad."
With only a few weeks until the iPad's April 3rd launch, Apple is apparently making "last-minute" changes to its upcoming iBookstore along with certifying apps to run on the iPad. Per Forbes, San Francisco-based Busted Loop is said to have learned about the iBookstore categories while working on a project designed to make it easier for the public to find apps. The category infomation comes from data supplied to Apple enterprise partners.
Although Apple's new iPad ad didn't show off any new features, several eagle-eyed viewers have managed to spot some interesting items. According to 9 to 5 Mac, iBookstore pricing seems to have fallen below Kindle's pricing. A listed Ted Kennedy memoir, "True Compass", retailed for $14.95 for the iPad version (the hardcover goes for $23 while the black and white Kindle version sells for $19.25.
Although a fair amount of attention has been paid to Apple's negotiations with book publishers to bring content to the iBookstore once the iPad launches, little has been mentioned as to how to extend the iBookstore into the international market.
According to MacRumors, a new listing over at Apple's job site has confirmed that Apple is looking to hire a manager for its "Asia Pacific & Canada" iBooks division. While the exact geographic coverage for the position is not given, it appears at this time to be primarily focused on Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with other countries also in the mix.