Textbooks coming to iPhone, iPod touch

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voiceover-20090608The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is joining Amazon in the digital textbook business.

CourseSmart, which provides e-book subscriptions for college students, is making its 7,000-plus library available on Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch devices. An app will allow subscribers to access full electronic textbooks, keep digital notes and search for specific words and phrases.

Textbooks Offered for iPod, iPhones — Wall Street Journal (subscriber content)

Recently, after Arizona State University launched a pilot program to provide textbooks via Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, advocates for the blind sued because the Kindle, while it has a reading function for the vision-impaired, lacks such accommodation in its navigation menus.

Apple’s iPhone, it seems, doesn’t have the same problem.

Image: Apple

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Scott Kirchhofer

One of Nerdvana's founding bloggers, Scott Kirchhofer is a graphic artist and designer of the Nerdvana logo, as well as a gamer and comic book movie fan.

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  • I think this is going to be very useful for students. I doubt students would use the iphone for homework, but to look something up on the fly is an awesome tool. Wish this was available when I was in university!!

  • I think this is going to be very useful for students. I doubt students would use the iphone for homework, but to look something up on the fly is an awesome tool. Wish this was available when I was in university!!

  • I don’t know that the etextbooks will prove to be a viable option for college students, at least not all of us. I think the tangibility of actual textbooks has it’s own value. Being able to write and highlight in the book, being able to skip around the book quickly and skip to the index if necessary are all things that you lose with the etextbooks. And I understand that textbooks can be expensive, and cumbersome to lug around, but there are ways around both of those. To combat the prices I always use the textbook search engine http://www.bigwords.com (which has their own iphone app now btw) And if you don’t want to lug all your books around all day, get there early and find a good parking spot and only carry the book you need for the next class. And one more thing that textbooks are the iphone isn’t – durable! I can imagine a lot of iphones getting broken if they are treated the way a normal textbook gets treated.

  • I don’t know that the etextbooks will prove to be a viable option for college students, at least not all of us. I think the tangibility of actual textbooks has it’s own value. Being able to write and highlight in the book, being able to skip around the book quickly and skip to the index if necessary are all things that you lose with the etextbooks. And I understand that textbooks can be expensive, and cumbersome to lug around, but there are ways around both of those. To combat the prices I always use the textbook search engine http://www.bigwords.com (which has their own iphone app now btw) And if you don’t want to lug all your books around all day, get there early and find a good parking spot and only carry the book you need for the next class. And one more thing that textbooks are the iphone isn’t – durable! I can imagine a lot of iphones getting broken if they are treated the way a normal textbook gets treated.

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