Apple has just unleashed iTunes 9.1 into the wild, and with it comes the ability to sync your iPad, as well as the ability to start managing ebooks. Interestingly enough, it looks like the iBooks store will only be accessible on the iPad itself, and not within iTunes, if we are understanding this correctly:
- Sync with iPad to enjoy your favorite music, movies, TV shows, books and more on the go
- Organize and sync books you’ve downloaded from iBooks on iPad or added to your iTunes library
- Rename, rearrange, or remove Genius Mixes
Remember, iTunes does support DRM-free ePub ebooks also, so if you have any, feel free to add them to your iTunes library after installing 9.1!
Looks like Apple’s hopes that colleges and universities around the country will adopt the iPad as an educational tool may be coming to fruition. Seton Hill University, based in Greenburg, Pennsylvania, has just made it public knowledge that they will be giving all full-time students an iPad, starting with the next upcoming fall semester. Other schools have tried this with the Kindle, but in our opinion, the slowness of the Kindle screen refresh kind of killed that one. We don’t know that the iPad will fare much better, but it certainly has a better shot at success.
A quick clip from CNN as they go over the upcoming launch of the iPad, and the fact that Apple has just made deals with publishers Perseus and Workman to distribute books on the iPad. They also look at the pressure that Amazon is feeling as it pertains to the Kindle, as publishers want Amazon to mimic the Apple agreement method of selling eBooks.
You can pre-order an iPad now.
Just like the Barnes & Noble iPad app that we talked about previously, an Amazon Kindle app that is specifically made and formatted for the iPad is also on the way. The folks over at the New York Times were able to get a look at it, and it sounds fairly similar to what we saw from Apple with their iBooks app. You can control the speed of a page turn with your finger, and it has a couple of new ways for people to view their entire eBook library. One of those, above, shows books covers with a background of someone reading a book under a tree. The position of the sun in the background changes depending on the time of day, which is fairly cool.
We find the whole things with both B&N and Amazon rushing to get their eBook reader apps ready for the iPad to be very interesting. In a nutshell, the iPad is now the only mobile device that will let you read eBooks purchased from Apple, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble. All the other devices are tied to one store. Between the eBook stores, and apps like Instapaper, the iPad is prepped to be the most feature-rich eBook reader on the planet, and that doesn’t even take any of its other features into account.
Read More | NYT
If you’re an iPhone OS developer who has been hard at work on getting an app ready in time for the lainch of the iPad, now is the time to start polishing it up if you want Apple to consider it for inclusion for the grand opening of the iPad section of the App Store. Basically, just log in to iTunes Connect, submit your app, and you’ll receive feedback on its readiness for the grand opening. We know, it’s difficult to fully debug an app when you don’t even have the actual hardware that you are developing for, so our guess is that Apple is running submitted code on actual iPads, and if things work nicely and the app is up to snuff, you’ll be in. You’ve got until 5:00 PM PDT on March 27th to submit your apps.
Oh, and in case there was any doubt, yes; the iPad App Store will open the same day that the iPad goes on sale. April 3rd can’t come fast enough.
Above you’ll find a demo that Wired magazine gave during SXSW 2010, showing off what they figure their app will look like on portable tablets like the iPad and HP Slate. As you can see, it’s more than just a color PDF reader, as they have video elements and animated images in the magazine content, so they’ve actually taken the time to tailor the reading experience to the device. Consider us subscribed once this is available.
Looks like Apple has been hard at work making some final tweaks to the design and functionalist of the iPad. As you can see in the image above, previously there was a mute switch above the volume rocker, similar to what you’d find on an iPhone or iPod touch, but now that switch has been reassigned to provide a different function. It’s not a quick way to enable and disable the automatic screen rotation when turning the device from landscape to portrait. Our thoughts on this one? Good move.
Don’t forget, you can now pre-order your iPad.
Just a quick heads up to any of you who want to get in on all that hot iPad action as soon as you possibly can. As of this morning, you can pre-order the Apple iPad, you know, their magical and revolutionary device, and have it delivered to your doorstep on April 3rd (although, if you pre-order the 3G version, that’ll ship in late April.) If you are the more adventurous type, you can also head on over to your local Apple Store and pre-order there, and your iPad will be ready for pick-up there on April 3rd. Probably your best bet if you don’t want to be sitting at home all day on a Saturday, waiting impatiently for UPS to show. Either way, get to it!
Read More | Pre-order the iPad
At CES 2010, Microsoft gave us a sneak peek at the Windows 7-based HP slate tablet device. We didn’t get much info at all, but more has trickled out since then. However, now HP is taking an obvious jab at Apple and the iPad, having released the video above that shows off the slate tablet running Flash and Adobe Air, right on the device. Of course, the highlight here comes near the end, when the person playing with the HP Slate pulls up Hulu and begins watching content right on the device, something that the iPad can’t do just yet (although we are hearing that Hulu is working hard to become iPad-compatible.) Hey, one thing the iPad has on the Slate? It has a solid launch date that is just a little over 3 weeks away.
Read More | AppleInsider
Looks like Apple isn’t the only company looking to capitalize on the iPad hype in order to sell eBooks. Barnes & Noble has just made it public knowledge that they plan on releasing an iPad-optimized version of the B&N reader app, with the goal being to have it ready in the App Store on day one. We must say, we like it. In fact, this may cement the iPad as the best reader device around, because you’ve got the B&N app, the Kindle app, and of course, the Apple iBooks app as well (among others.) This means that you can purchase a book in any of those three ebook marketplaces, and read them all on your iPad. That’s something you just can’t do with a Kindle or nook. Let’s just hope that Apple doesn’t give these apps the same treatment that they’ve given to others, like Google Voice.