Despite the fact that kids just got out of school, Apple has launched its annual Back to School promotion. This year, those purchasing a Mac, iPad, or iPhone for education will receive an App Store gift card along with the purchase. Macs get a $100 gift card, while the iOS devices get $50. In order to qualify, the purchaser needs to be a college student, a student accepted into college, a parent buying for a college student, or a teacher. Apple's Back to School promotion runs through the summer, and the App Store gift cards are good for anything in the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBookstore.
Read More | Apple Back to School
Apple has announced Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks at this mornings WWDC 2013 keynote. Stepping away from the big cats theme, the new version of OS X takes on a new California-based naming scheme. Key features in OS X Mavericks include a tabbed Finder, tagging, support for full-screen apps on multiple displays, and more. AirPlay connected HDTVs can even acts as full-on monitors as well now. There's also a new, lighter font used across the OS as well.
Other technologies include App Nap, which keeps active apps optimized and background apps still available without taking up precious resources. If an app is visible, it gets power, but if it is covered by other apps and running in the background, resources for that app are reduced. Timer Coalescing is a feature which reduces CPU utilization up to 72%, and compressed memory optimizes the inactive memory in your Mac to give it better performance.
Continue past the break for more on OS X Mavericks!
Apple has announced a new version of iBooks this morning at its iPad mini event. iBooks 3.0 features vertical scrolling on a page, negating the need to turn pages. It also has Facebook and Twitter sharing, where you can just select a passage, and share it to one of these social networks. iBooks also supports 40 languages now as well. It's a free update, available today. Download it now.
The concept is still the same as last time. They take the indie game bundle model and bring it to ebooks. You can pay whatever you want for five DRM-free books, but if you pay more than the bonus price of $7, you get two bonus books. You decide how much to give to the authors, how much to give to StoryBundle to keep the business going, and you can choose to donate part of your purchase to one of two charities. That's good enough to make it our Deal of the Day.
With the today's expected iOS 6 release, Apple has started to roll updates to its downloadable apps in the App Store to capitalize on the new firmware update and the new iPhone 5's screen size hotness. Don't be timid and get to tapping. One notable update is Find My Friends, which now includes location-based alerts, geofencing, friend suggestions, and favorites.
In the midst of Apple and ebook publishers collusion allegations brought forth by the Department of Justice (DoJ), Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley (Democrat), is tossing in her hat by filing a civil antitrust lawsuit. Three book publishers are shelling out over $69 million, $2 million of which is going to Massachusetts customers, to settle out of court. The ongoing lawsuit alleges that Apple got together with publishers and devised a plan to raise ebook prices in Apple's own iBookstore, which is in direct competition with Amazon's Kindle ebook store. Amazon is known for selling it's ebooks at rock-bottom prices, often at the expense of publishers and authors. So, although it appears that the DoJ's lawsuit greatly benefits consumers, who it really benefits is Amazon. Look at it this way: Amazon makes its lion share of money from many different sources, therefore, it can afford to sell ebooks at a loss since consumers buying through Amazon Kindle are exposed to advertisement promoting everything else they sell. Meanwhile, other booksellers are going out of business unable to compete, inadvertently creating a monopoly where Amazon reigns supreme. In the long run, who is this really benefiting? The way I see it, the DoJ lawsuit, although good intentioned, will eventually have the opposite effect of what its trying to achieve; and while now it appears to benefit consumers, in the end, Amazon wins.
Ebook publishers Macmillan and Penguin have not settled and Apple vowed to fight the allegations in court.
Read More | Boston Globe
Do you like deals? Reading? Supporting a good cause? Here's something that's got all three in one.
StoryBundle is a new site that's selling indie bundles for whatever you want to pay. It's just like the indie game bundles you've heard about before, like Humble Bundle, and allows you to get five books (or, seven, if you go over the bonus price of $7,) that works on any ebook reader you have. That means that you can load 'em up on on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Kindle, Nook, Android device, and just about any other ebook platform you can think of. You get to decide how much you want to give to the authors and how much you want to give to StoryBundle, plus you can donate part of your purchase to two charitable causes as well.
If you're looking for a cheap and easy way to get books for your tablet, smartphone or ereader, this is it. All these books are hand-selected by StoryBundle and they all have good reviews on Amazon, so you're getting quality reads.
Read More | StoryBundle
Apple released a bunch of software updates today to bring all of its services and devices in parity with each other, and that includes iBooks Author. iBooks Author is the free software that allows you to create rich eBooks for the iPad. WIth the new Retina display iPad being launched today at the iPad event, it's only natural that iBooks Author would see Retina display support. You can grab the update from the Mac App Store.
Apple iBooks 2 was released to the public just a few days ago and the support for it has been astonishing. Within the first 3 days of the new iBooks being available, 350,000 iBooks Textbooks were downloaded from the iBookstore. Alongside this, 90,000 copies of Apple’s iBooks Author e-book creation software were downloaded from the Mac App Store in the same period of time.
iBooks Textbooks are seen by Apple as the future replacement to the current bulky classroom textbooks that cost a small fortune to make. Apple’s iBooks can reduce the cost of producing a textbook by up to 80%. This means cheaper books for students, as well as a more available book source.