Less than a month after Apple introduced its free “iBooks Author” e-book publishing platform, interactive iPad textbook startup Inkling introduced its own publishing platform called “Habitat.” Founder and CEO Matt MacInnis, who also happens to be a former senior manager of international education markets and Asia education marketing at Apple, made the announcement today in New York at the “Tools of Change for Publishing” conference.

Inkling dubbed Habitat the “First-Ever Digital Printing Press for Professionals,” and suggested the company hopes to offer a more comprehensive solution to professionals than Apple’s iBooks Author platform. In its press release, Inkling runs down some of habitat’s features: standards-based content including “guided tours, 3-D exhibits, interactive quizzes, and high definition video,” and single-click cross-platform publishing, cloud storage for collaboration, object-oriented content, and “Infinite revision management” to backup every change to your project.  The platform also has an “automated error reporting” feature to scan published content for broken links, and other issues with content…

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Inkling noted it released over 100 iPad textbooks as its main business during its first two years, and Open Air Publishing already launched the first three textbooks developed using the new Habitat platform. The company is working with “select publishing partners” initially, but expect a bigger rollout later this year. Publishers interested in seeing how the platform compares to iBooks Author (available now) can sign up for the Early Adopter Program.

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