A month after Apple announced its plans for entering the digital textbook market, Samsung has unveiled its Learning Hub service which provides an Android alternative. The battle between print books and eBooks intensifies.
In launching its iBooks 2 platform for the iPad, Apple has partnered with Pearson, McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - three companies who between them control 90% of the K-12 textbook market.
Next week at the Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona, Samsung is planning to debut a new educational service, Learning Hub, that will incorporate interactive education on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablets. Intended to facilitate self-guided learning for people of all ages, from elementary school students to adults, the Learning Hub will initially include automatic scoring, note-taking abilities and learning management options,
Samsung says it will provide 6,000 textbooks and videos from education providers across the world.
So who benefits from the move to ebooks. According to this infographic students benefit by not having to lug around heavy textbooks that are expensive and quickly out-of-date.
As far as developers are concerned there's huge scope for apps - from simple tests and quizzes through to authoring entire interactive materials.
The advantage of developing educational materials for Android is that, for the time being at least, there is a more free and flexible environment in which to create apps.
One of the biggest problems programmers face today is making a single code base work across a range of systems. How a giant company like Google solves the problem is obviously going to be interesting. [ ... ]