When Apps Are Not Necessary

By Dianna Dilworth Comment

Apple’s new in-app purchasing rules were enforced earlier this week, forcing Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Google to remove links to outside eBook stores. Apple wants to take a 30 percent commission on all sales made through iOS apps–prompting Kobo and The Financial Times to build web-based alternatives outside of Apple’s App Store.

At Mediabistro’s Publishing App Expo on December 7th and 8th, eBook Architects founder Joshua Tallent will explore app alternatives in a timely and practical presentation entitled: “eBooks vs. Apps: When Apps Are Not Necessary.”

Here’s a description from the program: “Some projects just call out for an app, but for many publishers are not sure when an app is needed and when it is not. As eBook formats become more robust, the line between apps and eBooks is shifting. This session will show you what eBooks can do, the limitations they have, and the costs and benefits of choosing an eBook over an App.”

What do you think? Should publishers consider more app alternatives? A number of readers have weighed in on this controversial topic.

Debra Eisert wrote on the GalleyCat Facebook page: “Apple products don’t make the best readers anyway. Not an Apple hater, just think other devices offer superior reading experience. I think that Apple will regret this decision down the line.”

Self-published author Jeremy Tarr told eBookNewser: “eBooks have completely democratized the publishing industry — they’ve given writers a direct path to consumers. Any blockade erected to limit that path is against the better interest of the writer and the reader. If Apple believes the readers should stick with the iBookstore over the Kindle or the Nook, they should strive to create an ever-better product rather than claw back the power of the people.”

Andrew Rhomberg tweeted: “People thought iPhone wouldn’t sell without support for Flash. By comparison the new app rules are just a drop #in the ocean.”