Week #15 ~ InDesign for EPUBs, Interactive PDF, and Tablet Apps

InDesign can export publications in EPUB, Interactive PDF, and tablet app formats using Digital Publishing Suite (DPS).  There are some major differences between EPUB, interactive PDF, and DPS.  An article at Think Big Learn Smart, stated that the content using EPUB is reflowable in e-readers, while the content in a PDF is a fixed layout.  This same article continued to remark that DPS is frequently used to publish digital magazines and periodicals.  It can have scrolling text options, pop-ups options with in-depth descriptions, and live/static HTML interactions.  The big difference with DPS is that it is the final document format is as an app.

Just as there are various considerations to digital publishing, there is also various options with the type of device used to read digital publications.  Most e-readers have conformed to a six inch screen view.  The biggest upfront difference between e-readers and tablets is the price; e-readers are now being offered at lower price usually under $100.  However, when reading an article posted at Make Use Of online site, they suggested some differences are, “The display technology, the touchscreen technology, the operating system, applications and hardware.”

A recent article this past January by Which to Go, it was reported that tablets are becoming less expensive, they can do more than an e-reader, and can be used as and e-reader with the inclusion of apps.  This articles also lists the benefits of tablets over e-readers are 1.) games and apps, 2.) fast tactile responsiveness, 3.) web surfing, 4.) color screens, 5.) large screen, 6.) video and audio capabilities, and of course 7.) more bells and whistles.  However, it went on to state the benefits of an e-reader over tablets are 1.) longer battery life, 2.) eye ease, 3.) reading under sunlight, 4.) lighter weight, and 5.) security features.

Week #14 ~ Adobe InDesign for Media and Publishing

As Adobe InDesign was originally used as a print-centric program it has upgraded to be more conducive for digital publishing.  Some of the formats InDesign uses to publish is EPUB, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), and Interactive PDFs.

In an article by Digital Publishing 101, mentions that InDesign is easier to be exported for Kindle ebooks using a free Amazon plugin since the only format Kindle uses is MOBI, and DPS aids in distribution of publication as an apps.  Apps have made ebooks more accessible with the use of tablets and smart phones.

EPUB is probably the most common format to use in publishing.  EPUB originated by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and is an open standard.  EPUB3 was recently introduced to give more interactive flexibility to the types of various publications.  In an article by Digital Book World, “Going  InDesign to eBook”, IDPF also makes their focus on EPUB accessibility.


Standards and Hardware with iBooks

It’s all very confusing at times…in technology there are decisions to make for what operating system to use, what software works with which app and technology.  Even the choice of what smartphone to buy leaves you wondering which choice is the all-around best when compared to what you want to attain out of a device.

Enter iBooks and Apple’s closed system. I am making a small book using iBooks Author and iAds widgets and it appears to be so easy that it might even be fun to use.  The widgets add so many ways to add embedded videos, images, and engaging interactivity  that you would think that your imagination is the only limitation.  The con to this is the book I am creating can only be viewed on an Apple product.   The pro though, is if you already have an Apple product, then it comes with an e-reader app capability and there is no need to purchase another e-reader device.

According to  a couple of online articles that I have read, such as, the International Business Times, commented that since Apple has deviated from using the CSS standards and JavaScript in their widgets there might not be any fallbacks or forward-compatibility.  Apple offers some amazing widget capabilities such as with 3D models.  Although, caution was given when using the 3D models widgets to keep the file size to a minimum between 20,000-50,000 moderately textured polygons since not all Apple products are capable to view.

A huge pro, in my view, is the ability for teachers and others to use iBooks and the iAds widgets for educational and training material with all the rich media.  Sometimes it is easier to learn by the actual process and to see the process in action.