Five Ways Apple’s iBooks 2 Can Influence Your Business | PCWorld Business Center

Five Ways Apple’s iBooks 2 Can Influence Your Business | PCWorld Business Center.  (No longer available online. Original text included below.)

Apple today revealed iBooks 2, its version of “GarageBand for e-books”. Targeted primarily at textbooks, the effort will include tools that make it easier to create multimedia textbooks, and provide students with learning material that is dynamic and interactive. Though the focus is on the educational market, iBooks 2 will have an affect on small businesses as well. Here are just a few of the ways a successful iBooks 2 could impact your business.

1. Content Creation

In order to provide the type of content that is needed, Apple released a free app called iBooks Author. iBooks Author can create “Gorgeous, full screen books; Interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos; Fast, fluid navigation; Highlighting and note-taking”. The app isn’t just for textbooks, Apple suggests it’s a great tool for “cookbooks, history books, picture books and more”. The tool includes templates, works through drag-and-drop, and allows the inclusion of widgets for photo galleries, video, slideshows, and 3D objects. For businesses, this could be a great tool for promotional materials, training manuals, or if your business provides content, a new way to generate and sell your media.

2. Employee Training

If iBooks 2 succeeds, and education shifts from paper books to multimedia, expect other types of training to follow. The change will likely be similar to moving from overheads to PowerPoint slideshows. Once you’ve seen a PowerPoint presentation, a stack of overhead transparencies will no longer compare. Any training your business provides is likely to take the form of what your fresh-out-of-school hires are familiar with. Having the tools to combine all of this into an easily digested form will be convenient. Having to turn otherwise boring, static, boilerplate information into a dazzling show will be extra work.

3. Demand for Tablets

Tablets are on the rise, and this will be one more way that every student will end up using one. Expect to see Apple’s competitors release similar offerings, and for tablets to eventually become a standard school supply. In the same way that nearly every college student today needs a laptop, soon they will all need tablets. Once in the workplace, and having been trained on a tablet, they will expect to use a tablet for their daily duties, so businesses should not only expect to accommodate tablets, but to embrace them as an important business tool.

4. Demand for Apple

iPad currently dominates the tablet market with over 70 percent market share. The competition is improving, and more options are becoming available, but it’s possible this early lead could stick for some time. Like the portable music market, Apple could remain in control, and if that happens, expect greater demand for Apple products at work. First the iPod, then the iPhone were seen as “gateway drugs”, indoctrinating users into the Apple ecosystem, and making them want more Apple products. The iPad could become the new gateway as students are exposed to them from a young age, and will expect Apple products at work.

5. Better Employees?

Why move from paper to multimedia? For Apple and its competitor, there is certainly a financial gain. From a pedagogical standpoint, will it be a better educational tool? Perhaps a change in the tool, and addition of multimedia won’t make any difference. Perhaps the addition of audio, video, pictures and widgets will provide a passive experience in which students just watch the flashing lights and moving objects and don’t learn anything. Hopefully, the ability to convey information in the best format possible will engage students, make it easier for them to absorb the information, and provide us with a better educated, stronger workforce.