Apple just emailed customers who pre-ordered the book “Inside Apple” from the iBookstore to let them know the book is now available to download and read. Those interested in downloading the book can do so from this direct link. The Amazon Kindle version should be available in less than an hour.
Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple cofounder and former CEO Steve Jobs, is among the attendees of the State of the Union address scheduled for 9 p.m. tonight (live stream here). According to the official guest list, the White House invited Powell Jobs, along with other distinguished individuals, to attend the State of the Union address, including billionaire Warren Buffett’s secretary Debbie Bosanek, cancer survivor Adam Rapp, and Mark Kelly, former astronaut and husband of outgoing Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The news becomes interesting knowing the White House usually invites people that have something to do with a proposal or initiative the President will outline in the address. Powell Jobs may have been invited for her focus on education, the arts and women’s human rights.
Vanguard has it that Obama will welcome Powell Jobs to his State of the Union address out of respect for her late husband. According to the White House, Powell Jobs will watch Obama’s speech from First Lady Michelle Obama’s box in the House of Representatives. In December of last year, Obama gave Jobs’ widow a seat on the White House Council for Community Solutions. Chaired by former Gates Foundation CEO Patty Stonesifer, the body advises the President on job creation and social issues. eBay CEO John Donahoe and singer Jon Bon Jovi are also among the members.
Powell Jobs’ ties in education could also prove key, as education is allegedly one of key focus areas of tonight’s State of the Union address. Let’s not forget that Apple held an education-focused media event last week, debuting digital textbooks on the iPad priced at $14.99 or less and a free tool that lets anyone create and publish digital textbooks to iBookstore. In just three days, more than 350,000 copies of digital textbooks were downloaded from the store. Oh, and Obama is an avid fan of Apple’s tablet.
Apple created a new section on its website dedicated to the enhanced iTunes U service that was updated during last week’s education announcement. The new web-based resources available at www.apple.com/support/itunes-u contain a wealth of information and how-to topics for educators to implement the new iTunes U digital features into their workflow. Specifically, training course are available for iTunes U Public Site Manager and iTunes U Course Manager, as well as various guides on publishing on iTunes U. Educators and students can also learn about creating different types of educational content, such as audio recordings, video clips, and interactive presentations.
According to Global Equities Research (via AllThingsD), the new inexpensive digital textbooks Apple launched last Thursday at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City was downloaded over 350,000 times in just three days. iBooks Author, a new free of charge Mac tool to author iBooks Textbooks, saw 90,000 downloads in the same period. This data is not official and is derived from the investment firm’s proprietary tracking system that monitors Apple’s iBook sales.
Global Equities Research’s Trip Chowdhry said the numbers could be deciphered as “a recipe for Apple’s success in the textbook industry.” Apple’s new digital textbooks are priced at $14.99 or less and are available from several launch partners, including Pearson, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and DK Publishing.
With Apple’s education event now behind us, there is a lot to digest here. In addition, today has brought us three interesting software releases: “iBooks 2” and ”iTunes U“ apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and the “iBooks Author“ program for the Mac. If you missed our live coverage and have been wondering why all the fuss, a clip Apple played at the presser should get you up to speed.
Available for viewing by clicking on the above image, the video sports both teachers and students who rave about the mess that is the United States education system and how Apple is arriving to the rescue. As always, the video is heartwarming and it is well worth the 7 minutes and 22 seconds of your time. You may also want to check out this resource on Apple’s website dedicated to iBooks Textbooks for iPad that contains many video tours.
image via the Verge
NOTE: The full coverage is right after the break.
McGraw Hill CEO Terry ..wait for it.. McGraw is in attendance.
10:00am: Schiller time! “We’re proud to help students learn”…and “Students are being introducd to the iPad”
10:03: “In general Education is in the dark ages”
10:05: 20,000 EDU apps on iPad. Many more in iBookstore
10:07: 1.5M iPads used in Education.
10:08: “Reinventing Textbooks”
10:09: How do textbooks measure up? Content amazing but portability and durability are bad.