When Apple announced its iBooks Author program, Megha asked on the blog “what does it mean for the other textbook makers such as Inkling?” Apparently for Inkling, it was a call to evolve. In a notably unsplashy announcement today, the interactive e-book publisher debuted their own authoring tool called Inkling Habitat. Habitat will roll out slowly, their plans include a small group of early adopter publishing partners, a growing base of content creators through the spring, and public access within the year.
One of the benefits of Habitat may be that its style and function is based on software production rather than publishing. Rigorous testing features are built into the site to ensure that everything functions correctly and the pages are more web than paper. The significant difference between the platforms seems to be that Inkling holds no claims to content or structure beyond its own store. Inkling has been using Habitat internally since 2009, but the step to fold in more content creation should add flexibility to a company with proven e-book clout. With this kind of arms race on the horizon, it will certainly be an exciting year in digital textbooks.