Wednesday, March 28, 2012
What is an App and what is an eBook?
What do apps and ebooks have in common and what do they have that makes them different? When is a book an app and an app a book?
At first the answer appears simple and straightforward. An app is a program that you download onto your smartphone or tablet that is interactive, informative and is cheap. Many apps soon start to become essential real time essential information feeds to navigate, inform and entertain us they are like real time applications. An app is a self contained unit it may go elswher to get its content and information but everything is rendered within the app. An ebook is a digital book and for the vast majority are no different to the physical book and even contain the same black pages. The ebook is a lower level container of content that can hold multi media but goes elsewhere to render it on a digital device.
They are very similar, or can be very slimilair and may be viewed as different digital containers.
As we wrote earlier this month the rights issues are also very similar and can also create new challenges.
Enter Apple who not only introduced the app but also would like to own the term exclusively. We have seen them build their walled app garden, first demanding 30% on all revenues , then dictating the development tools to be accepted, then launching their Apple only authoring tool, and now find them attempting to redefining the ebook.
Apple are trying to define the difference between an app and an ebook. They have informed some creators that their enhanced ebooks are in fact apps because they contain moving animation and images and have been enhanced!
If this is a misunderstanding from Apple then we move on. However, if they have really started to separate ebooks, enhanced ebooks and apps then we could be in for some ambiguous times. We have to also be aware of the price point differences between apps and ebooks and therefore some would suggest that enhanced ebooks should cost more than ebooks and certainly more than apps.
It’s somewhat ironic that a company who has such a long and loyal media and creative following is apparently trying to now convert them into serfdom and shackle them to their iWare. Apps and ebooks have to be platform agnostic and media enhancement does not make an ebook an app.
Source article: Apple's iBooks And App Store Price Out Creativity