EU rules e-books can’t be subject to lower taxes

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 5, 2015

The top court of the European Union has determined that e-books shouldn’t be treated like their printed counterparts when it comes to taxes and therefore should be subject to higher tax rates, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

“But the European Commission signaled it may change the rules next year to allow for equal taxation of books in any form,” reads the report. Read More


Pre-order ‘Becoming Steve Jobs,’ a new book on Apple and its mercurial co-founder

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 2, 2015

Though it may seem the world doesn’t really need another book on Steve Jobs, I beg to differ given Walter Isaacson’s disappointing biography on Apple’s famous co-founder and late CEO.

Written by the The Wall Street Journal and Fortune reporter Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, Executive Editor with Fast Company, Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader promises to be the Steve Jobs book that true fans deserve.

Scheduled to arrive on March 24 via Crown Publishing Group, it’s now available for pre-order over at Apple’s iBooks Store or Amazon’s Kindle Store for $15. Read More


OS X Yosemite Interactive Starter Guide

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 1, 2014

Looking for a a quick way to get up to speed on all of OS X Yosemite’s most outstanding features? Our OS X Yosemite Interactive Starter Guide is a visual tool to help you become quickly acclimated with some of Yosemite’s most notable new additions, improvements, and changes.

Each item showcased includes a hand-crafted video walkthrough with guided voice over. More importantly, it’s designed to be easily digestible.

You may have noticed that over the past few weeks, we’ve posted excerpts from the guide right here on iDB. In fact, you can read all of its excerpts by visiting the guide’s tag page. Of course, you also have the option to buy the OS X Yosemite Interactive Starter Guide directly from the iBooks store for only $0.99. Not only do you get a guide that you can take with you and reference while offline, but you also get to support iDB in the process. It’s a win-win scenario. Check inside for more details. Read More


Apple releases iBooks version of its ‘iOS Human Interface Guidelines’

By Cody Lee on May 14, 2014

Last night, Apple published an iBooks version of its ‘iOS Human Interface Guidelines.’ The move is notable because until now you could only access the user interface guidelines for iOS 7 via the developer portal, which required a $99-per-year membership.

For those unfamiliar with the document, the guidelines are essentially Apple’s suggestions to developers for designing their iOS applications. The goal is to ensure that all 3rd party apps share similar UI principles, so that they’re both cohesive and intuitive… Read More


How to set up an iTunes and App Store allowance

By Sébastien Page on Apr 19, 2014

I recently found out there is a feature in iTunes that allows you to set up an allowance for someone to have access to a pre-determined amount of money to spend each month in the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store.

A perfect illustration of this feature would be the case where parents would be able to set up an allowance for their kids. This way, kids have access to a credit they can spend each month, either on apps, movies, musics, books, etc.

In this post, I will show you how to set up an iTunes allowance so you can send a monthly iTunes Store credit to anyone… Read More


Apple enables gifting for iBooks in time for the holidays

By Cody Lee on Dec 17, 2013

If digital books are on your Christmas shopping list, then you’ll be happy to hear that you can now do at least part of your shopping in Apple’s iBookstore. The company has enabled gifting for iBooks just in time for the holidays.

Gifting in the iBookstore works exactly like it does in Apple’s iTunes and App Stores. Once you’ve chosen the book you’d like to gift, then simply tap on the drop-down arrow next to the price on your Mac, or the Share button in iOS… Read More


New Jony Ive bio book hits iBooks Store, here are juicy bits

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2013

I’ve been following Leander Kahney for quite some time now, going all the way back to his Wired and The Guardian years. Kahney now runs the Cult of Mac Apple blog and he’s already published three books about technology and Apple’s culture: Inside Steve’s Brain, the New York Times bestseller about Steve Jobs, Cult of Mac about the creation of the Mac and Cult of iPod which chronicles how Apple’s music player came to be.

Building on the experiences in writing these books, Kahney has now taken a crack at demystifying Apple’s arguably most powerful executive after Tim Cook, the guy who put sexiness in Apple’s gadgets and flattened all your icons – 46-year-old British industrial designer Sir Jonathan Ive.

I’ve skimmed through the book and cherry-picked a few interesting anecdotes… Read More


Apple patents new iBooks gifting choice

By Ed Sutherland on Oct 24, 2013

Unlike other media Apple sells, such as music and video, you’ve not been able to gift e-books – until now (perhaps). As we head into the holiday season, the iPhone maker has filed for a patent on sending to friends the e-books you’ve already purchased through the iBookstore. The patent filing would enable you to select a passage in an e-book that reminds you of someone, then gift the book, complete with a personalize message… Read More


Apple updates iBookstore for authors with larger in-book images and more

By Cody Lee on Sep 27, 2013

Apple sent out an email to authors and publishers last night, announcing that it has updated the iBookstore with a number of backend improvements including versioning support and increased pixels limits for book images.

While the changes won’t be readily noticeable to iBooks users, they will eventually lead to an enhanced shopping experience once content providers begin utilizing them in their content. We’ve got more details after the fold… Read More


Apple posts iOS 7 user guides for the iPad and iPod touch

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 18, 2013

With each new iOS release, Apple typically makes available the accompanying user guide through the Manuals section of its website. With the advent of iBooks and the iBookstore, the company started reformatting these manuals for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, making them available as free downloads on the iBookstore.

As we count the remaining hours until today’s iOS 7 release, we’ve just spotted the official iOS 7 manual on the iBookstore… Read More


In proposed settlement, customers could receive up to $3 per e-book downloaded

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 30, 2013

While much recent discussion regarding Apple’s guilty verdict on e-book price-fixing charges, we’re now getting the first glimpse at how consumers may benefit. Based on a proposed $162.25 million fund established by the five publishers who earlier settled, consumers could receive up to $3.06 per New York Times bestselling e-book they downloaded to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

The exact amount depends on whether your purchased e-book was listed on the NYT bestseller list, with a smaller $0.73 disbursed if your e-book did not make it on the list… Read More


Apple Store app now offering free iBooks content

By Cody Lee on Aug 12, 2013

Apple quietly seeded an OTA update to its Apple Store app this morning, bringing the ability to download new content for free. The Color Zen game has been replaced with the children’s book ‘Away in My Airplane’ by Margaret Wise Brown.

This is just the latest move in Apple’s effort to entice customers to download and use its Apple Store app in hopes of spurring more hardware sales. Earlier this month, it started offering a free game download  within the application… Read More


Publishers file objection to DoJ’s e-book settlement proposal on Apple’s behalf

By Cody Lee on Aug 7, 2013

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this evening that the five book publishers who settled with the US government in the e-book antitrust case have filed an objection with the court on Apple’s behalf.

In the filing, the companies argue that the Department of Justice’s settlement proposal for Apple, which it submitted last week, would violate their settlement agreements they had before the trial began… Read More


Apple revises iTunes terms to allow educational accounts for children under 13

By Cody Lee on Aug 4, 2013

Apple has altered its iTunes Terms and Conditions to permit children under the age of 13 to operate individual iTunes accounts created at the request of an ‘approved educational institution,’ signaling the beginning of its next big push into education.

Previously, the company restricted iTunes accounts to children aged 13 or older. But with it landing major iPad distribution deals with school districts, the Mac-maker has announced that it will be changing its policy with the fall release of iOS 7Read More


Apple calls DoJ e-books settlement proposal ‘draconian’ and ‘punitive’

By Cody Lee on Aug 2, 2013

Earlier today, the Department of Justice filed new court documents, offering Apple a settlement for its e-book price fixing case. The iPad-maker was found guilty last month of conspiring with 5 major book publishers to raise e-book prices.

In the filing, the DoJ essentially asked that Apple completely restructure its e-book business model. And unsurprisingly, it filed its own brief this afternoon, calling the proposal a “draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple’s business…” Read More


Government pressures Apple to let Amazon and others link to e-books within their iOS apps

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 2, 2013

The U.S. government Friday offered Apple a proposal to settle an e-book price-fixing case which the technology giant recently lost. Among the requirements: end current agency agreements with the publishers involved, allow Amazon and others to provide external links to e-books within their iOS apps and institute a five-year probation from signing any new e-book distribution deals.

The proposed “remedy” offered by the US Department of Justice, while imposing some restrictions on Apple, could bypass potential fines reportedly near $500 million… Read More


Apple to distribute free iBooks to employees ahead of Mavericks, iOS 7 Launch

By Cody Lee on Jul 29, 2013

Apple will begin providing its Apple Store employees with free iBooks titles next week as part of a new ‘iBooks Discovery’ program. According to a new report, the company announced the initiative at its quarterly retail meetings, which took place over the weekend.

The move is said to be part of an effort to get retail staffers more familiar with both the iBookstore and the iBooks app ahead of the arrival of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks this fall. Apple is reportedly looking to make a heavy retail push for both operating systems… Read More


Eddy Cue talks Steve Jobs, page curls and iBooks launch at e-book hearing

By Cody Lee on Jun 17, 2013

Eddy Cue once again took the stand today in Apple’s ongoing antitrust case with the Department of Justice. The company’s SVP of Internet software and services took the stand on Friday to talk about Steve Jobs’ involvement in Apple’s iBooks project. And this morning, he offered up a few more details.

Cue spoke more candidly on the witness stand today, providing several interesting tidbits about Jobs’ participation in Apple’s iBooks launch back in 2010. Apparently, the then-CEO had a big hand in the project, doing everything from designing minor UI details to choosing which book to offer for free… Read More


Apple says it owns one-fifth of e-book market

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 12, 2013

Under questioning by U.S. government lawyers, an Apple executive testified that the company owns about 20 percent of the U.S. e-book market – double the figure many observers had assumed.

The surprising percentage was revealed as the head of the company’s iBookstore service refuted government charges of conspiracy to set e-book prices.

During the sixth day of testimony in the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Apple, company director Keith Moerer said iBookstore grabbed twenty percent of e-book sales soon after opening, a figure it continues to hold. Additionally, he said iBookstore sales increased 100 percent in 2012 with more than a hundred million customers… Read More


Apple bringing iBooks to Macs with OS X Mavericks

By Cody Lee on Jun 10, 2013

After 3 years of being an iOS-exclusive, Apple is finally bringing its iBooks Store (and app) to the Mac via its new desktop operating system OS X Mavericks—something that [no doubt] millions of iBooks users have been clamoring for for ages.

With the new Mac portal, users will be able to access their full iBook libraries, as well as browse the Store, all from the comfort of their computers. The bigger screen should provide a number of advantages for users—particularly students and teachers… Read More

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