Before visions of a new iPad start dancing in your head, AllThingsD cautions that the event is unlikely to involve new hardware—no iPad 3 or the rumored Apple television set that Steve Jobs reportedly talked about with biographer Walter Isaacson. Instead, AllThingsD pegs the likely news as “some kind of advertising or even publishing announcement,” based on the New York setting and the likely involvement of Apple executive Eddy Cue. Recently promoted to senior vice president of Internet software and services, Cue oversees everything from iCloud to iAd to Apple’s assorted online retail outlets (the App Store, the iTunes Store, and iBookstore).
Historically, Apple hardware announcements tend to be made closer to Apple’s Cupertino home. Both the iPad and iPad 2 were unveiled at press events in San Francisco.
It’s starting to seem like it wouldn’t be January without an Apple event, as the company announced on Wednesday morning that it will hold an education-related shindig in New York City next week. The fun starts on January 19, at 10 a.m. Eastern/7 a.m. Pacific.
The invitation received by Macworld shows a New York City skyline drawn on a chalkboard, with the outline of an Apple logo in the middle. The event has some swanky digs, too—the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue.
Rumors of a January Apple event first surfaced earlier this month, and they’d already crystallized around some sort of education topic. Given the New York City location, it also seems reasonable that publishing is in some way involved—perhaps an initiative for bringing textbooks to iOS devices? Will we finally see a version of iBooks for the Mac?
We’ll have to wait until next week for those questions to be answered, but rest assured that Macworld will be on hand with live coverage on January 19, so join us back here then.
When Apple executives take the stage at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on Thursday, they’ll be kicking off more than an education-themed press event. It will also mark the first of two Apple announcements within the space of a week.
Thursday’s event starts at 7 a.m. PT; Macworld will have live coverage of the event from New York.
As with most Apple briefings, the company has kept a tight lid on what it plans to unveil, other than saying any announcements would focus on education. That, coupled with the fact that Apple is straying from its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters to hold the event in New York, the capital of the book publishing industry, has fueled speculation that Thursday’s announcement will involve electronic textbooks. While Apple’s iPad has made inroads in the classroom, earlier reports from AllThingsD have played down the possibility of any hardware announcements like a new tablet on Thursday.
All we know for certain about Apple’s upcoming press event on January 19 is what it says on the invitation: It’s at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and it’s focused on education.
Sure, an education event doesn’t have the same broad appeal as one with a teaser like “Let’s Talk iPhone,” but still—this is an Apple event. We’re all eager to learn just what Cupertino plans to announce, but in the meantime, we’ll prognosticate about it instead.
To discuss the many and varied possibilities, we assembled a crack team of experts. Sadly, they declined to contribute to the article, and so it was left to us to stroke our chins and pontificate on what Apple might educate us about next week. Then we released each other’s chins and started writing. And, as you’ll see, we kept interrupting each other.
iBook ’em, Danno
Apple already offers an extensive amount of education content, as anybody who’s ever delved into the iTunes U section of the iTunes Store well knows. There, you can find lectures and classes from some of the world’s most prestigious institutions of higher education, including Oxford and MIT.
Like most of my fellow editors, my job at Macworld is multi-faceted: writing, editing, troubleshooting, tinkering, and—in my case—helping our crack features team put together Superguides, our line of how-to books and guides. Over the last year or so, as we’ve shifted away from the traditional print-and-CD model and more toward ebooks, we’ve increasingly focused on producing quality digital work for the iBookstore and Kindle store; unfortunately, it's not been easy. Our workflow is our biggest roadblock: It takes six programs to build a Macworld Superguide (BBEdit, Pages, InDesign, Calibre, Sigil, and iTunes Producer). And while the end result looks OK, the process is clunky, time-wasting, and full of unnecessary duplication.
And right now, ebook publishing is anything but. If you want to put together a simple text-only ebook, there are applications that make it relatively straightforward—Storyist and Scrivener, to name a few—but once you get into anything with images, or tables, you’re dealing with a whole different beast. And, when it comes to something like digital textbooks—or detailed technology how-to guides—images and tables are a must.
I’ve wished publicly in the past for a one-stop ePub publishing shop; if Apple does release such a tool on Thursday, here are some of the features I hope it might have.