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iBooks Desktop App

2364 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Jun 6, 2013 8:34 AM by Pickle Pumpers RSS
Jswiss59 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 5, 2013 4:13 AM

Looking for people to help me develop a iBooks Mac OS X app. It appears Apple isn't even entertaining the idea so I whatever I guess i'll try because it's such a bummer to buy a book on iBooks and not even have the option of being able to read it on my MacBook Pro and sorry if I don't have an iPad but i'm sure i'm not the only one. The idea is simple, the app will sync with iBooks, back up on iCloud and allow the desktop and iPhone app to constantly be in sync with each other so that if I make a highlight/bookmark on my phone and go to my computer to conitinue reading BOOM highlight/bookmark is there right where I left it. Thoughts....Anyone???

Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • BobHarris Level 6 Level 6 (12,505 points)
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    Mar 5, 2013 5:48 AM (in response to Jswiss59)

    If the book is DRM'ed you would need to get a license to use the code that decodes the book.  See Apple Legal <https://www.apple.com/legal/contact/>


    If it is not DRM'ed then just get Calibre to read the book.

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,880 points)
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    Mar 5, 2013 9:59 AM (in response to Jswiss59)

    Bob is right. Apple is never going to let anyone have iTunes DRM. It is the only DRM that hasn't been broken yet. ePub documents are just HTML files. If they aren't encrypted, you can unzip them and view them in a web browser.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,500 points)
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    Mar 5, 2013 2:01 PM (in response to Jswiss59)

    If you were able to do that, you'd be sued out of existence by Apple and the publishing industry.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)
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    Mar 7, 2013 3:13 AM (in response to Jswiss59)

    You can do exactly what you want with 'Kindle for mac.app' on all your devices (mac, iphone, android etc)

     

    Avoid iBooks. It'll be abandoned by Apple sooner or later. You know Amazon are not going to drop Kindle support, ever.

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,880 points)
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    Mar 7, 2013 4:49 AM (in response to softwater)

    softwater wrote:

     

    You can do exactly what you want with 'Kindle for mac.app' on all your devices (mac, iphone, android etc)

     

    The original poster is talkling about writing an app to interface with iBooks. Amazon isn't going to let any 3rd party developer compete with their DRM-based product any more than Apple will.

     

    Avoid iBooks. It'll be abandoned by Apple sooner or later. You know Amazon are not going to drop Kindle support, ever.

     

    Because Amazon makes so much money from Kindle? You are aware that Amazon has yet to even make a profit at all? Perhaps Amazon will go out of business and take its Kindle infrastructure with it. Unlike Apple, Amazon has the ability to go into your Kindle and delete your books if it so desires and it has done just that in the past. Perhaps Apple is just waiting for all the Kindles to get bricked in Amazon's bankruptcy and then Kindle users will be buying iPad - an all new books.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)
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    Mar 7, 2013 5:32 AM (in response to etresoft)

    Etresoft! It's been awhile....

     

    No, my point is this. Apple are not heavily invested in the book business. It's a passing fad for them. Evidence for this is the simple fact that they haven't even made iBooks compatible across their own devices, despite debuting it at least a year and a half ago (or longer? I can't be bothered to check). In contrast, Kindle software has been available for every major platform (with syncing across devices) for at least two years to my knowledge.

     

    iBooks should have come out as being compatible across iOS and OS X when it debuted, but even overlooking that, the fact that it still isn't available on OS X is seriously hurting adoption. It tells people - "this is an afterthought, we're not heavily invested in it". As a result, they've already lost the 'window of opportunity' to capture significant market share, and they certainly will drop it in the future. That's guaranteed by simple market economics. It's just a question of 'how long'.

     

    As for this

     

     

    etresoft wrote:

     

     

     

    You are aware that Amazon has yet to even make a profit at all?

     

     

    Amazon first turned a profit in 2001 and has turned a profit most years since.  2011 profits were just shy of $80m. The third quarter of 2012 saw their first loss-making quarter in four years. Moreover, given that Amazon had a $12bn turnover in 2011, if they can't make a decent profit out of bookselling, you can be **** sure that Apple can't either.

     

    The truth is there's never been much money in bookselling (trust me, I used to be in the trade), and it's certainly no place for half-hearted bit-players like Apple. They'll drop it simply because it won't have any practical commercial value for them but will tarnish their image for doing it badly. As I said, it's just a matter of time.

     

     

    And while I'm on (since I know you love a good scrap)

     

     

    etresoft wrote:


    The original poster is talkling about writing an app to interface with iBooks. Amazon isn't going to let any 3rd party developer compete with their DRM-based product any more than Apple will.

     

     

    This was way off target, too. The OP is frustrated that he can't read his eBooks on different platforms. That's WHY he's talking about writing such an interface. I pointed out he doesn't need to; he could read his e-content across platforms with existing technology if he abandoned iBooks and used kindle.app, which is ALREADY available for iOS/OS X/Android/PC/Linux distros (and has been for years).

     

    No need to waste time and effort developing an interface for an app that Apple will drop in the near future anyway. Switch now and save yourself the pain.

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,880 points)
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    Mar 7, 2013 5:47 AM (in response to softwater)

    Apple just released an update to iBooks with Japanese support. Apple recently filed a patent for supporting personal ebook resales and loans. Apple is pioneering interactive eBooks. Are these the actions a dabbler?

     

    Apple isn't interested in market share. Apple wants to make great products. Anything else is pure speculation on your part, which is, I remind you, against the terms of service for Apple Support Communities.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)
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    Mar 7, 2013 6:12 AM (in response to etresoft)

    etresoft wrote:

     

    Are these the actions a dabbler?

     

     

    Absolutely, when the worldwide market is for English language e-books that are accessible across platforms.

     

     

    I remind you, against the terms of service for Apple Support Communities.

     

    Oh, not the old 'You're breaking the ToU' argument! I expected better, like addressing the substantive points I made earlier.

     

    Fact: Apple is at least two years behind Amazon in terms of cross-platform compatibility.

    Fact: Apple does not have the same investment in terms of securing revenue as a dedicated book seller like Amazon.

    Fact: Apple does not have the same reputation or experience in book retailing as Amazon (or even Barnes & Noble, for that matter).

    Fact: Apple has not made their primary e-book software available across their own devices.

     

    Given the huge number of book publishers and retailers that go out of business compared to those that survive, its a reasonable inference - regardless of your quoting ASC ToU at me - that Apple will not seek to maintain an unproftitable presence in the book retailing market in the long-term. And as for this:

     

     

    Apple isn't interested in market share.

     

    That's just silly. Apple is a public company responsible to its shareholders. To ignore market share is irresponsible at best, possibly illegal at worst.

     

    It's just like the old days. You know, when you used to make stuff up to keep an argument going even though you know little about the subject at hand...

  • BobHarris Level 6 Level 6 (12,505 points)
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    Mar 7, 2013 6:17 AM (in response to softwater)

    Keep in mind that Apple is a hardware company that provides software and services to sell that hardware.

     

    They do not need to make a profit on iBooks sales as long as they come close to breaking even on running the iBook store, and that store sells hardware.

     

    As long as they think it is selling hardware, they will keep the service alive.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)
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    Mar 7, 2013 6:29 AM (in response to BobHarris)

    I agree, Bob. And that's what brought them into it and has kept it alive for the moment.

     

    But as I've been trying to say, and which is evidenced by the OP's frustration, doing it badly is worse than not doing it all. It's that fact that means iBooks is on a short license.

     

    History shows that Apple have never been shy of dumping product lines that aren't adding long-term value.

     

    Bear in mind I have a lot of experience in the book trade, and despite etresoft's faux attempt at silencing me by quoting ToU, the facts are incontrovertible. Bookselling is not for the faint-hearted or the half-committed. Apple's behaviour with iBooks suggests they are both.

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,880 points)
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    Mar 7, 2013 6:32 AM (in response to softwater)

    softwater wrote:

     

    Absolutely, when the worldwide market is for English language e-books that are accessible across platforms.

    Il ne se concerne pas toujours de vous anglophones.

     

    Fact: Apple is at least two years behind Amazon in terms of cross-platform compatibility.

    Since when was Apple ever concerned with cross-platform compatibility?

     

    Fact: Apple does not have the same investment in terms of securing revenue as a dedicated book seller like Amazon.

    Apple does not have any investment in terms of securing ebook revenue. For Apple, eBooks are a value-added service, not a revenue stream.

     

    Fact: Apple does not have the same reputation or experience in book retailing as Amazon (or even Barnes & Noble, for that matter).

    I'm not going to argue with that. Apple has a good reputation and provides authors and publishers with a great experience. Amazon dictates terms to authors and publishers and pays half what Apple does.

     

    Fact: Apple has not made their primary e-book software available across their own devices.

     

    "The iPad is a joke because it only a device optimized for consuming content!"

    "Apple is dumbing down OS X to make it just like the iPad! Apple Fail!"

    "Why can't I consume content on my Mac like I can on my iPad? Apple fix this now!"

     

    Apple will not seek to maintain an unproftitable presence in the book retailing market in the long-term.

     

    Your logic is seriously flawed. Amazon is a company focused on the eBook market, doesn't make any money, and is a long-term reliable player? Apple is a company focused on the mobile device market, prints money like publishers print books, has been in business for over 30 years, and is going to abandon this value-added market because it isn't profitable?

     

    That's just silly. Apple is a public company responsible to its shareholders. To ignore market share is irresponsible at best, possibly illegal at worst.

     

    Have you been living under a rock for 30 years?

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 6:44 AM (in response to etresoft)

    etresoft wrote:

     

     

    Il ne se concerne pas toujours de vous anglophones.

     

     

     

    You may not be, but the global market is for English language books, even in non-native English language markets (perhaps with the exception of France), particularly Asia (fastest growing markets in the world and all that...)

     

     

    Since when was Apple ever concerned with cross-platform compatibility?

     

    You've hit the nail on the head. Never. But when it comes to e-books, that's precisely why iBooks will always be a loser. Apple doesn't keep developing things that add no value. iBooks won't survive another two years is my prediction because people aren't generally interested in buying something AGAIN that they can already read on EVERY other device.

     

     

    Amazon is a company focused on the eBook market, doesn't make any money,

     

    Both of those assertions are false, and readily provable so by use of your 'google' search bar.

     

     

    Have you been living under a rock for 30 years?

     

     

    On top of clay, actually. But you need to check out the responsibilities companies owe to their shareholders as required by US law if you don't understand the point.

     

    The other points I didn't reply to because they didn't make any logical sense.

     

    Message was edited by: softwater

  • Pickle Pumpers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 6, 2013 8:34 AM (in response to softwater)

    You may not be, but the global market is for English language books, even in non-native English language markets (perhaps with the exception of France), particularly Asia (fastest growing markets in the world and all that...)

     

    Exactly right. This is expecially true with technology books. France has a xenophobic fear of changes to their language that keeps them from accepting that less complex languages are more useful for technical communication.

     

     

    softwater wrote:

     

    You've hit the nail on the head. Never. But when it comes to e-books, that's precisely why iBooks will always be a loser. Apple doesn't keep developing things that add no value. iBooks won't survive another two years is my prediction because people aren't generally interested in buying something AGAIN that they can already read on EVERY other device.

    Again you are absolutely correct. Worst of all Apple seems to have this split personality; they claim to want to be in the book business but refuse to release an iBook reader for the desktop. This is just silly. I'm about to buy two reference books and I want them on my iPad and my MacBook Pro. I can't do this with iBooks so you know who I'm buying from? Amazon.

     

    Until Apple releases a desktop version of iBooks I'm not buying any more iBooks. This is exactly why iBooks could fail: they are driving people who want to buy Apple products to their biggest eBook competitor. Which is a bummer because I do love the iBook interface.

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