TED Books app launched for iPhone and iPad
July 20, 2012 | 9:30 am
By Paul Biba
From the press release:
TED, the nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” today officially launched its TED Books app for iPhone and iPad. The free app dramatically updates the current and future line of TED Books, which sell for $2.99 each, with video and audio embeds, social integration, and a suite of multimedia features.
“TED Books are designed to communicate a powerful idea in approximately one hour of reading” said TED Curator Chris Anderson. “Our new format allows the inclusion of powerful multimedia elements but without distracting from the narrative journey that any good book offers. We think they’re an exciting solution for an age in which digital tools have never been more exciting, yet time has never been in shorter supply.”
TED Books are short, original, electronic books produced every two weeks by TED. Like the best TEDTalks, they’re personal and provocative, and designed to spread great ideas. TED Books are typically under 20,000 words — long enough to unleash a powerful narrative, but short enough to be read in a single sitting.
Through the new app, TED Books are now able to embed video and audio content, timelines, and links to outside sources, as well as social features that allow readers to discuss the book online. Multimedia components can also be turned off within the app for a more traditional reading experience.
Multimedia versions of all 16 TED Books published to date will be available in the TED Books app, including Demise of Guys by Philip Zimbardo & Nikita Duncan, Weekday Vegetarian by Graham Hill, Make Love Not Porn by Cindy Gallop, Smile by Ron Gutman, What’s Killing Us by Alanna Shaikh, Beyond the Hole in the Wall by Sugata Mitra, Hybrid Reality by Parag & Ayesha Khanna, and Cheating the Impossible by Philippe Petit.
“Our ebooks are built on a compelling narrative, and these multimedia extras add dimension without feeling like a gimmick,” said James Daly, editor of TED Books. “They are designed to provide a broader and deeper understanding of a topic. The additional features also suit the wide-ranging expressive palette of our authors, many of whom use photographs, audio, and video in addition to the printed word to express the full range of their ideas.”
The new app will also offer a subscription option for TED Books. Three-month subscriptions will cost $14.99 and, as an added bonus, founding subscribers that sign up in the first 90 days will also receive free access to the entire back catalog of TED Books.
“We will be urging our readers to choose subscription as the default mode of consuming TED Books,” said Anderson. “Just as people trust TED to post a high-quality TEDTalk every day, we’ll be inviting people to trust our selection of a new TED Book every two weeks. This means automatic exposure to a broad swathe of original thinking in a wonderful new format.”
The TED Books app is based on technology developed by Atavist, a software and media company selected by TED for the power and elegance of its e-book offerings. The TED Books app can be downloaded from Apple’s app store.
All TED Books will continue to be available for purchase on Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and Apple’s iBooks store at $2.99 each.
For more information and a video introduction to TED Books go to www.ted.com/tedbooks
To download the TED Books app go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ted-books/id511071050?ls=1&mt=8
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs; the annual TEDGlobal conference is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.