Mactracker for Mac review

Mactracker for Mac lets you look up and compare the specifications of every product ever made by Apple through a straightforward interface. You can browse by category or search for a specific model, and you can even create smart categories to highlight products with certain specifications.


Detailed entries: The entry for each product listed in this app includes detailed information in a variety of categories. And to make accessing the information you're looking for even more convenient, the app features multiple categories of information for each product including General, Memory and Graphics, Connections and Expansions, History, and Notes.… Read more

Review: iBooks Widget lets you preview free and paid books from your Mac dashboard

iBooks Widget allows you to quickly preview in your dashboard both paid and free books available in the iBookstore. This widget's well-designed interface and legible typography make it a good choice for any digital bookworm, though the graphics and the buttons could do with a redesign. Still, if you love books you'll love this app.

iBooks Widget installs to your Mac dashboard, giving you a nice display of current titles in the iBookstore, along with detailed book information and short plot synopsis. You can browse through interesting titles quickly and filter displayed results by categories such as fiction, … Read more

Create stunning e-books

Apple's iBooks Author is a free tool that lets users create stunning e-books from scratch in no time.

iWork suite users will feel at home, as at first glance iBooks Author looks like a combination of Pages and Keynote. You can't change the page format, however, as it is designed specifically for the iPad.

The application's user interface is uncluttered and very nicely designed, with all the tools available at a glance. At first launch, you'll need to choose a template from the six default options, but you can also create your own. Since iBooks Author … Read more

Apple's iBooks reader with books and textbooks

iBooks is a stylish, crisp-looking, colorful e-book reader and storefront that runs on Apple's iOS devices. The latest version of the software includes support for textbooks, a new addition to the iBookstore for students.

As with other e-book readers, iBooks responds to the device's accelerometer and switches between landscape and portrait modes. Its controls disappear when unused, and a swipe (or tap on the left or right side of the screen) will cause the pages to turn. iBooks' page-turning is smooth and engaging, with page corners digitally curling toward you as you advance, but this behavior is only … Read more

Apple sells 350,000 textbooks in three days, analyst says

Since digital textbooks are still in their infancy, it might be tough to determine success in that market just yet. But so far, it appears Apple is doing quite well.

The iPhone maker reportedly sold 350,000 digital textbooks through its iBookstore in just its first three days of availability, Global Equities Research has revealed, according to All Things Digital, which obtained the data from the analyst firm. Global Equities Research monitors textbook downloads through its own "proprietary tracking system," All Things Digital said today. The firm doesn't disclose how that system works.

Last week, Apple unveiled digital textbooks for its iPad. … Read more

iBooks 2 was Steve Jobs' vision, textbook publisher says

Apple's new digital textbook initiative is Steve Jobs' brainchild, McGraw-Hill CEO Terry McGraw says.

"Sitting and listening to all of this, I wish Steve Jobs was here," McGraw told All Things Digital in an interview referring to Apple's iBooks 2 announcement yesterday. "I was with him in June this past year, and we were talking about some of the benchmarks, and some of the things that we were trying to do together...This was his vision, this was his idea, and it all had to do with the iPad."

Apple yesterday unveiled its plans … Read more

6 things we don't know about Apple's e-textbooks strategy

Textbooks aren't a terribly sexy topic, but give it to Apple for trying to make it sexy.

Yes, today Apple officially rolled out an upgraded 2.0 version of its iBooks app that now supports interactive textbooks while also releasing a free Mac application, iBook Author, that lets people create electronic textbooks on their computers.

Seems clear enough, right? Apple jumps headlong into an entrenched, inefficient industry, threatening it with "digital destruction," or, to put it another way, textbook go boom.

But the truth is, the announcements stirred up more questions than they answered. So with that … Read more

Apple iBooks in schools: Devil is in the hardware

There was an Apple II in my third-grade classroom. We used it to play Oregon Trail. Then it died.

Therein lies the problem with iPads in high school: devices break. When Apple announced digital textbooks for primary schools via iBooks 2 this morning, the first thing I thought was: Oh, God, what about the hardware? I've done hard, rewarding time in public schools. Both my parents were high-school teachers and I've chaired the PTA at my children's public grade school and can say with certainty that the best software in the world won't make it practical … Read more

Apple's new iBooks Author targets e-book creators

Although Apple's education event in New York focused on students, the company today also unveiled a new author platform.

Dubbed iBooks Author, the free Mac OS X application lets authors create textbooks and other books with simple drag-and-drop mechanisms. According to Apple, the application gives authors basic templates to quickly create titles that offer both text and interactive elements such as videos and images. To add multimedia content, iBooks Author lets users drag and drop content onto pages.

In deference to those who want to create more unique titles, Apple says folks who can code in JavaScript and HTML … Read more

This Day in Tech: LulzSec hacks U.S. Senate site; Man gets sued after tweeting about wife's affair

Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET for Thursday, June 16.

Clouds gather over RIM The BlackBerry maker reports $4.9 billion in earnings, below the $5.2 billion it expected, and announces layoffs starting next quarter. Shares of the company were halted just before the news hit. More

Senator renews pledge to update digital-privacy law Sen. Patrick Leahy says law enforcement concerns kept him from proposing that search warrants be required for police to learn the previous locations of Americans' cell phones. More

'Sleep' author: I don't support piracyRead more