August 4, 2014 Last Updated 10:00 am

Apple releases promotional, interactive eBook for using iOS devices in the healthcare industry

Books on Monday: each Monday TNM looks at books and book publishing – either a new book on the publishing industry, a new digital book release, or industry news

Apple occasionally releases eBooks to promote certain segments. These eBooks, released under the Apple Inc. – Business account, have only recently been created using Apple’s own digital book authoring tool iBooks Author. Its eBook for the new programming language Swift, for instance, is a plain jane ePUB (that eBook was published under the main Apple Inc. account).

iOS-health-splashOne would think that Apple would be eager to showcase its own digital publishing platform, but there remains a major problem with iBooks Author: it does not produce an eBook that can be read on an iPhone.

This is especially a problem when the eBook being produced is supposed to promote the iPhone, as the new eBook iOS in Healthcare does. The objective of the eBook is to show how iPhones and iPads can be used inside the healthcare industry, and may well be the first effort to come out of the recently announced alliance between Apple and IBM.

eBook publishers have complained about the lack of iPhone support inside iBooks Author since its first release in January of 2012. Back then, most people complained about Apple’s publisher guidelines which were sloppily written and gave the impression that anything created using iBooks Author was the sole possession of Apple. Happily, that was not the intention and soon things were cleared up.

iOS-healthcare-iPadBut iBooks Author was not aggressively developed by Apple and it was not until last fall that Apple brought iBooks to the Mac and so the program was updated.

Now, with the IBM alliance, Apple wants to show that its iOS devices are perfect for business. This eBook highlights available apps and other resources for the healthcare industry and is very simple in design.

Apple has, in the past, created its own apps that both brought new resources to iOS device owners – think Garageband and the other iLife apps – as well as served as a showcase for what is possible when developing iOS apps.

But these eBooks are very practical and not at all technologic wonders. The eBook opens, for instance, with a simple splash that can be seen above. The chapter content, too, is simple in design, serving mainly as a way to access apps from the App Store.

This is a good reminder, if one was necessary, that one needn’t go crazy with animation, video and other multimedia material to make a good interactive eBook.

Now, if only one could read this eBook on an iPhone – that might be a stronger argument for using iPhones in business, wouldn’t it?

  • Good article. We all hope the new wave of Apple hardware, along with iOS 8, ushers in continued improvement and evolution to the already-stellar iBooks Author.