ABC Video Bookstore
FREE + $7.99 In-App Purchases
Tested on: iPad 2 (iOS 4.3.1)
ABC Video Bookstore is a brand new reading experience that showcases the very best of ABC News. With this free app for the iPad, you'll get access to ABC's video books. Currently, there are two titles available, i.e. "A Modern Fairy Tale: William, Kate and Three Generations of Royal Love" which tells the story of how Prince Williams and Kate Middleton grew up, fell in love and got engaged, and "The Amanda Knox Story: A Murder in Perugia". More titles will be added on a regular basis.
Now, the great thing about this app is it works even without any internet connection. You can easily notice that in all of the screenshots I took, I set my iPad on airplane mode with no Wi-Fi connection. All of the videos can be played in full length without any internet connection. This would provide a great experience, as you would expect from a (video) book. You pay for the content and you get to own the content, regardless whether the internet is connected or not.
The other thing I notice is that this video book offers a great new feature in timeline mode. It allows the user to browse the contents in a time-based manner. I'm still unsure about this, but the video previews I've seen so far have embedded a promise that the book contents will be updated by ABC whenever there's a new relevant information to be added. Well, if it does, then I think this might be a well worth purchase of a (video) book.
I think the bookstore is awesome, but we need to see more titles before it can be considered as a valid bookstore. I like the idea of keeping the content once you've paid for them. And I hope I get this right by saying that the content might be updated should relevant information is available in the future. I still believe that the application can be more innovative, since it hasn't used the full potential of an iPad, e.g. taking notes, sharing quotes with friends, etc. I'd love to see how this video book concept may be explored.
What do you think would make a good video book? As far as I know, the History of Jazz is an awesome iPad app, which also features a timeline approach.