Apple again made headlines this week with its effort to revolutionize the educational market through the iPad, with an updated version of iBooks and a new app for iTunes U. Combined with the Mac-based iBooks Author, the company is poised to help put iPads in thousands more schools across the United States and indeed, even more worldwide.
Apple has set the stage for a textbook revolution with the new iBooks 2 and free iBooks Author software, but as it turns out, that was only the first of the company’s plans to unveil in New York City today -- Cupertino is also introducing a new iTunes U app for allowing colleges and universities to share their knowledge with the world.
A hectic schedule doesn’t mean your brain has to go hungry -- just let your ears do the reading during your next commute. Audible (audible.com) offers downloadable audiobooks, comedy, and news programs, periodicals, and more for sale individually or in subscriptions starting at $14.95 a month. If you’re on a tight budget, check your local public library’s website. Many libraries now loan downloadable audiobooks playable on your Mac or iOS device.
We’re all Apple fans. But why? Deep thoughts like that -- and 50th issues -- call for a countdown! But don’t worry, we balanced our enthusiasm with a hard-hitting look at the dark side of Apple...
Turning 50 is certainly a milestone, and we’ve been saving something special for our 50th issue: a countdown that examines all the reasons that Apple fans are Apple fans. After all, as the Microsoft Stores so perfectly prove, no other tech titan can inspire the same level of devotion.
But there’s no single reason we love our Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods -- in fact, we thought of a lot more than 50. It took some of the most epic staff meetings we’ve had in Mac|Life history -- we haggled, we argued, and we picked on Nic and Flo because teasing them is pretty fun -- but in the end, we emerged with a thoughtful, incisive look at what makes Apple so successful.
If you’re one of the many who have downloaded iTunes U content over the past three years, Apple says you’re not alone -- the popular online educational catalog has just topped 300 million downloads and counting.
When people reminisce about their college days, they look back with misty-eyed fondness on the flowing beer and promiscuity. But few get nostalgic for the lectures. So when iTunes U first opened its virtual doors on May 30, 2007, and presented the public with lectures and class notes, we marveled at the range of knowledge presented by some of the world’s finest minds, free of charge--and promptly ignored it.
But in the thirteen months since iTunes U has been available, the content has expanded considerably. (Over 60 accredited universities and colleges, 25 institutions, and several public radio channels have put content online.) Initially, iTunes U only provided the public with lectures, language lessons, and campus tours. Now, if offers music and dance performances, poetry readings, and a wealth of audio and video content that is as entertaining as it is informative.