updated 04:10 pm EST, Wed January 18, 2012
Company unlikely to use native app approach
Apple's digital textbook project is internally codenamed "Bliss," an AppleInsider source claims. The site says it actually received the tip earlier in the week, but it wasn't until a Wall Street Journal report corroborated some of the details that it decided to publish the information. This includes the assertion that Roger Rosner, Apple's VP for iWork, is overseeing the project.
In detail the source adds that senior Internet software VP Eddy Cue is handling the distribution side of the effort, while Rosner's main task is controlling development of an editor used to create textbooks, as well as a matching reader, intended for students and teachers. The idea is to make textbooks more interactive, the source says.
One of the major inspirations for the project was allegedly the the Al Gore book Our Choice, released last April as a native iOS app. The title is media-rich and highly interactive, something that fits with Apple's rumored plans for evolving textbooks. The company is unlikely to demand that people publish textbooks as native apps, though, given the resources and expertise required. Instead the general expectation is that Apple will support some variant of ePub 3, which should allow something similar to Our Choice.