What is the difference between an “Ebook” and a “Book App”?


This is a tricky question. The confusion is largely because the goalposts are seemingly always moving. In the most general sense, Ebooks are “electronic books” or “digital books”.

Up until spring of 2010, a typical digital book was long form, whose primary “intelligence” or “interactivity” was changing the size of the font with the result that the books layout reflowed to accommodate this adjustment, bookmarking and such. This is the way of most of the offerings on most ebook readers.

Once the iPad was introduced, new possibilities emerged. On the Ebook side of things, the iPad was particularly well suited for visually rich content – coffee table books, travel books, cook books and children’s books. This is in addition to their being a “Book” category in the App Store. In Apple’s world, the big difference between Ebooks and “Book” Apps is the ecosystem in which they live. Apps are small applications sold in the App Store, Ebooks are sold in the iBookstore.





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