Entrepreneurial

from MediaFile:

Inkling launches digital textbooks 2.0 for iPads

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.

Banjo mobile app keeps travelers in touch

A missed opportunity to connect with friends at an airport was the impetus behind a new social discovery service targeted at smartphone users.

The free service, Banjo, is the brainchild of 38-year-old tech entrepreneur Damien Patton. It launched this week and is available for iPhone and Android owners.

“It was started because I missed out on a personal connection,” Patton said. “It brings all the social information together into one convenient place on the mobile device.”

App is crap

- Mark Suster is a partner at Los Angeles-based venture capital firm GRP Partners and the author of the blog “Both Sides of the Table”. The opinions expressed are his own. -

I recently wrote a blog post entitled App is Crap: Why Apple is bad for your health, in which the thrust of the argument is that the technology ecosystem will be better served by applications on mobile devices that work inside your browser, rather than applications you download onto your device.

The downloaded world is a hugely costly proposition for software developers and also makes it harder for new phone manufacturers to produce products. Neither is good for innovation in the long run.

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