I first learned of Inkling for iPad last August. Inkling is a free iPad app that sells access to interactive textbook material via in-app purchases. Individual chapters or entire books can be purchased for a wide variety of prices. Individual chapters appear to range from $1.99 to $9.99 while entire books are over $60. Anyone who has looked at college textbook prices will realize that $60 to $70 is a bargain for some textbooks. Inkling’s e-textbooks are more than just simple replicas of the printed page. They provide interactive material that is not possible with conventional paper books. Inkling’s approach to e-textbooks impressed me enough (based on a video overview, not hands-on) to write:
Venturebeat reports that textbook publishing giants McGraw-Hill and Pearson announced that they will provide financial support for Inkling’s continued development.
Inkling only has 14 textbooks available for their iPad app right now. So, they have a long way to go before college students seriously consider their platform for their textbook needs. But, it seems to me that they are heading in the right direction and have the right publishing partners to make this work.
Inkling 1.3 (iTunes App Store)