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Intel Can Now Make Ebook Apps for Windows, Meego (video)

There’s an interesting bit of news that was swallowed up by the Amazon Kindle event last week. Intel held their annual Appup developer’s conference and one of the neat new tricks they unveiled was an an ebook app maker.

This is the app maker that I first uncovered about a month ago. I didn’t know much about it then, but now I do. And I’m not sure it’s worth the bother.

BTW, Intel’s Ebook App Maker is actually one half of a new app maker that Intel launched last week. The other half makes web apps, and you can use that part to create stand-alone, single purpose browsers that pulls content from Youtube, RSS feeds, Twitter etc (more on this in another post).

The Ebook app maker is currently in open beta, so you can try it if you like. Right now it accepts an Epub file and outputs an App for either Windows or Meego. Actually, the test apps are available for the 2 platforms; if you decide to publish your ebook app it will be sold through the Intel Appup app store.

The app maker is actually pretty simple, so by all means go play with it. But if you just want to try the output, here are a couple install files for the app I made. The Epub I tried is just a basic one from Feedbooks. I would have like to have tried an enhanced Epub but the app maker doesn’t support any advanced features (I checked).

  • Windows
  • Meego

You have a few options for the app maker, including orientation (landscape & portrait), 2 resolutions for the window size, laptop or tablet output (not sure what that means), as well as 8 different stock themes. The formatting is replaced by whichever of the themes you choose.  So far as I can tell, there’s no option for font size, font type, or for editing the Epub after you upload it.

The finished app can only display the text, images, and links from the Epub. It doesn’t have any abilities like notes, dictionary, search, or pretty much anything you’d expect from an ebook. You can’t even change the font size.

It also lacks pretty much any of the interactive features you might have been expecting. And forget about audio or video; they think that’s a great idea and it will be added to  the planned feature list.

To be honest, I really don’t see a reason to mess with the ebook app maker. As it is, the app maker takes an Epub and makes something less useful, less portable and less functional. But to be fair it is only in a beta release, so it might get better as updates are released.

But if you find it useful please let me know.I’m always eager to learn new things.




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