Kno Textbooks App for iPad: Totally Unimpressive. Here’s Why…

One year ago, after considering what the Kno dual-screen tablet had to offer college students, I wrote:

The Kno needs to widen its potential customer base and shrink its prodcut very soon. If not, I predict, this will be a footnote product like the Palm Foleo.

In February of this year, Kno announced they were abandoning their behemoth dual-screen tablet plans and would transfer into a software company.

Kno Text Book Tablet No More?

Engadget reported that Kno just released an app that brings their version of textbooks to the iPad.

Kno brings textbooks to iPad, millions of children now dread getting Apple tablet for Christmas

While Engadget appears to tie Kno’s textbooks to children, it is actually aimed at college students. College students were also the target market for the Kno tablet. I took a look at two of the sample books Kno provided with the app and was surprised to learn that the books were, for the most part, simply replicas of paper books. This was true right down to the “This page left intentionally blank” notes. There is very little interactivity in the books with the exception of images that can be expanded. Then, there’s the oddness of the “study break” quiz on various pages of the Psychology textbook. Since it is obviously a replica of a paper book, the answers to the quiz are printed upside down. However, since the iPad has an accelerometer, the only way to see that answer text (without reading upside down) is to lay the iPad flat and turn it without activating the accelerometer which would flip the page right-side up.

The Kno is not impressive in its first iteration on the iPad. You can find the app at:

Textbooks (iTunes App Store)

The app is free with textbook material ranging in price from $1.99 to $119.99 as in-app purchases.