iBooks Author gets a competitor-Inkling Habitat

Apple reinvented the textbook with iBooks 2 but to create books publishers had to use iBooks Author.

iBooks author was a great mac app which was easy to use and really productive. Only a few days later iBooks Author has a competitor-Inkling Habitat.

Complete details about the Inkling Habitat are available here.

Publishers can also take part in the early adopters program to get early access to this software.

Google acquires Apture

Google has continued its mammoth spending spree in 2011 with the acquisition of instant search startup Apture, a company dedicated to adding “new dimensions to the web” and enhance users’ social experience on websites. Google also acquired Katango, an automated friend sorter, along with Apture. Both these companies will now join the Google team to be a part of, and enhance, Google’s Chrome and Google+ services.

“Since day one, we’ve been working on getting the Apture experience into as much of the web as possible. While we’re proud of having helped thousands of publishers enhance their websites, we think now is the best time to expand our efforts by joining Google’s Chrome team to help build the next generation user experience directly into the web.”

Apture says they have enhanced more than a billion web pages with their products since its formation in 2007 and feels “now is the best time” to expand their efforts with another team just down the road “that shares our vision of making the web better.”

Apture will discontinue its product and services on December 20, following which users will no longer be able to highlight and search terms with Apture on websites availing of Apture’s services.

FAQ:

When Apture’s service is discontinued, will that break my website or cause problems for users?

Nope, your pages will continue to load normally, but users will no longer be able to highlight and look up terms using Apture.

What will happen to data Apture has collected from my websites?

All data from your website has been deleted.

What will happen to Apture AutoEnhance links and Hotspots after Apture’s service is discontinued?

After December 20th, Apture Hotspots will no longer appear on your website and all AutoEnhance links will appear as regular links.

Via Apture

HOT: Apple announces App Store subscriptions for iTunes

The rumors refused to die and eventually it happened. Apple’s iTunes Store has now got a subscription service – available for EVERYTHING that’s available on the store.

“All we require,” said Steve Jobs in the press release, “is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app.”

Press Release

Apple Launches Subscriptions on the App Store

CUPERTINO, California-February 15, 2011-Apple® today announced a new subscription service available to all publishers of content-based apps on the App Store℠, including magazines, newspapers, video, music, etc. This is the same innovative digital subscription billing service that Apple recently launched with News Corp.’s “The Daily” app.

Subscriptions purchased from within the App Store will be sold using the same App Store billing system that has been used to buy billions of apps and In-App Purchases. Publishers set the price and length of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly). Then with one-click, customers pick the length of subscription and are automatically charged based on their chosen length of commitment (weekly, monthly, etc.). Customers can review and manage all of their subscriptions from their personal account page, including canceling the automatic renewal of a subscription. Apple processes all payments, keeping the same 30 percent share that it does today for other In-App Purchases.

“Our philosophy is simple-when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers.”

Publishers who use Apple’s subscription service in their app can also leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app. For example, publishers can sell digital subscriptions on their web sites, or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers. Since Apple is not involved in these transactions, there is no revenue sharing or exchange of customer information with Apple. Publishers must provide their own authentication process inside the app for subscribers that have signed up outside of the app. However, Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app. In addition, publishers may no longer provide links in their apps (to a web site, for example) which allow the customer to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app.

Protecting customer privacy is a key feature of all App Store transactions. Customers purchasing a subscription through the App Store will be given the option of providing the publisher with their name, email address and zip code when they subscribe. The use of such information will be governed by the publisher’s privacy policy rather than Apple’s. Publishers may seek additional information from App Store customers provided those customers are given a clear choice, and are informed that any additional information will be handled under the publisher’s privacy policy rather than Apple’s.

The revolutionary App Store offers more than 350,000 apps to consumers in 90 countries, with more than 60,000 native iPad™ apps. Customers of the more than 160 million iOS devices around the world can choose from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

Press Contacts:
Trudy Muller
Apple
tmuller@apple.com
(408) 862-7426
Tom Neumayr
Apple
tneumayr@apple.com
(408) 974-1972
NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information visit Apple’s PR website, or call Apple’s Media Helpline at (408) 974-2042.

David Beckham asked to ‘drop his pants’ to prove himself

The pretty fresh David Beckham sex scandal has taken a new twist yesterday: Irma Nici (the hooker), who claims she had a threesome with Becks, has asked the Former English Football Captain to ‘drop his pants in court’ to prove he is innocent. She claims she knows of intimate “distinguishing characteristics” which will support her plea.

Becks sources branded her a desperate, raving liar, and he has lodged a 16 million pounds writ after the 26-year-old Bosnian hooker challenged him to drop his pants in court to prove his innocence.

Team Beckham lawyers vowed to step up their bid to sue her and the US magazine, which published the vile slur for 16million pounds damages.

“This should be seen for what it is – the ravings of a desperate woman,” the Sun quoted a source as saying.

“She is a malicious fantasist without a single shred of evidence to support her pack of lies.

“The writs stand against her, the magazine and its publishers. The statement is further proof that she has absolutely no evidence.

“If she had, she would have disclosed it by now to one of the many publications she has been trying to hawk her story to. It is not surprising that she’s had no takers,” the source said.

The source added: “Attention is now being focused on the magazine publishers as to why they maliciously went ahead with this article, knowing it was based on lies.”

However, Nici seems unmovable from her words.

Nici””s management said earlier: “Irma stands by her previous statements. Any lawsuit against her is a publicity stunt and without merit.

“Any attorney who brings an action against her should be prepared to face sanctions and pay all legal costs because they will lose.

“There is more to the story that Irma hasn””t told yet. We are highly confident that Irma can provide enough detail and other forms of proof to persuade a jury that her tryst with David Beckham did indeed take place.

“Mr Beckham had better be prepared to drop his pants in court if he wants to pursue this matter as he has distinguishing characteristics which will prove without a doubt that Irma is telling the truth.

“Mr Beckham’s baseless lawsuit is understandable. After all, he has to tell Posh something,” the management added.

Becks’ 21-page writ was lodged with a Los Angeles court on Friday. It details his claim for around £16million plus punitive damages.

In addition to Nici and US magazine In Touch, which printed the story, the mag’s publishers Bauer and its editor Michelle Lee are also named as defendants.