Inkling launches digital textbooks 2.0 for iPads

September 6, 2011

Apple dominates the tablet market — its iOS tablet software accounted for more than 60 percent of the tablet market in the second quarter, while Google’s Android made up about 30 percent, according to Strategy Analytics. So it’s no surprise that more than 40 educational institutions  in the United States either require or recommend in-coming freshman or first-years come equipped with an iPad.

For example, that list includes  the medical schools at Brown, UC Irvine, Cornell and UCF; undergrads at Boston University, Abilene Christian University and Georgia Perimeter College; business students at Hult Business School, Lamar Business School and Seton Hill. Even prep schools are in on the act including South Kent, Princeton Day School and Madison Academy.

Certainly it’s appealing to slip an iPad into a backpack rather than massive tomes that students need to lug around campus.

One e-book company based in San Francisco  is betting that more educational institutions adopt this line of thinking.  Launched a year ago and backed by venture capital such as Sequoia Partners and text book publishers like McGraw-Hill and Pearson, the e-text book company Inkling recently released its 2.0 version of textbooks for iPad. Some key features let co-eds make notes, ask questions and add comments anywhere in the book to be shared among classmates or the wider community using the same material across other campuses.

The e-books can save a student as much as 40 percent off the dead tree version and Inkling allows students to purchase the book by the chapter for a few bucks each should they choose to do so.

“I think this fall is a turning point,” said Matt MacInnis, Inkling founder and CEO, about iPad adoption.  “Enough people are going to know someone else using an iPad (for content) that it will reach a tipping point.”

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Inkling really is leading the way in digital textbook platforms. I can’t wait to see what they come out with next. I don’t have an iPad yet but I do plan to purchase online textbooks this next semester, so I need to get one.

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