iBooks 2 gets our early look
Apple committed iOS to education in a big way at its event by launching iBooks 2. We've taken a look at Apple's first dip into a full digital textbook platform and come back fairly impressed. Read ahead for more details and what this might mean for Amazon, Kno, and others hoping to get into e-books for schools.
Blio e-books now ready for Android
Blio Reader has swung over t for Android devices (free, Android Market). The app is built on video gaming technology and offers the same 3D-aware, full color, complete page-width e-reading. It works on both smartphones and tablets running Android 2.2 or higher.
Joined by assortment of new and improved tools
Developer Quark has formally announced QuarkXPress 9, a long-awaited upgrade of its flagship publishing suite. The software has traditionally been used to create layouts for print and web content, but in version 9 Quark is concentrating on smartphones and tablets, particularly the iPad. For the latter QuarkXPress now includes the App Studio, a component used to produce native iPad apps. Users can repackage existing content or create apps from whole cloth.
Dell Streak 7 gets ad treatment
Dell's plans for a seven-inch Streak were confirmed today as a leaked treatment for a TV ad has given away some of the details. Now known to be called the Streak 7, the larger tablet will still use Android 2.2 with Dell's custom Stage UI. The primary differences Engadget spotted in the ad copy should be the addition of Blio Reader for e-books and fast graphics for gaming.
Blio reader ready for PCs, Android and iPad soon
Blio today set down a launch schedule for its upcoming e-reader app for both the desktop and mobile. It now plans to post the Windows version of Blio on September 28 and to follow up with Android and iOS versions shortly afterwards. Mac, Linux, Symbian and other versions are expected in the future.
Ray Kurzweil touts Blio over iBooks
Futurist and Blio founder Ray Kurzweil today criticized Apple for doing nothing to help e-books with the iPad. He insists that most e-reader devices and apps, including Apple's, "destroy" any complex formatting and discourages complex text layouts, such as for children's books or textbooks. ePub books like those in the iBookstore may scare away publishers and may have forced Apple to play with text to get an acceptable look.
Blio offers full-color e-books with text-to-speech
Well-known futurist Ray Kurzweil is about to introduce a new e-book format specifically optimized for devices like the iPhone or tablets. Called Blio, the standard is intended to overcome the limitations of digital text by allowing for complex image and text formatting, such as diagrams, without sacrificing the ability to search the text. It would support full color and allow text-to-speech much like most Kindle books.