updated 01:50 pm EST, Thu March 11, 2010
Book categories in flux
Apple is making a variety of "last-minute" changes to categories at the iBookstore, as well as its process for certifying iPhone apps to run on the iPad, according to Forbes. A San Francisco company, 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.
There are now said to be 20 top-level book categories, such as "Fiction and Literature," "Reference," "Romance," "Cookbooks" and "Comics & Graphic Novels." Within these are over 150 sub-categories, such as "Manga," "Fantasy" and "Science Fiction & Literature." In some cases shoppers will be able to browse sub-sub-categories, like "Historical" or "Paranormal."
Apple has notably inserted not one but two "Erotica" sections, listed under Fiction and Romance, respectively. The arrangement stands in contrast with the App Store, where Apple has deleted thousands of "overtly sexual" apps, merely leaving titles from wealthy magazines like Playboy and Sports Illustrated. It is these that Apple may intend to support at the iBookstore.
The Busted Loop data reveals that Apple has changed categories multiple times. In late February Apple is reported to have been managing as many as 35 top-level categories, which could have become unwieldy.
The company is meanwhile said to be coping with a relatively slow certification of apps for the iPad, a new process. Only about 16,700 titles are believed to have been certified so far, out of a total of well over 100,000 iPhone/iPod apps. The iPad certification is thought to be happening in parallel with App Store approval, as developers are being given the option to test compatibility. Apple could potentially "bump up" approval of some apps to improve the situation before the iPad launch, suggests Busted Loop cofounder Josh Kastelein.
All titles are noted to be getting "iPad Wi-Fi" and/or "iPad 3G" designations; approximately 40 to date have been given the 3G flag exclusively.