Apple ought to implement "eTextbook streaming" for 8GB iPad minis

Discussion in 'iPad' started by leukotriene, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. leukotriene macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2008
    Ok so lets say Apple does end up selling an 8GB SKU for the iPad mini, sold for $200 with aggressive bulk educational discounts.

    8GB is totally not enough to fit more than a few textbooks on.

    What Apple should do is stream those textbooks on demand just like how AppleTV streams movies. Those textbooks are really just HTML5 anyway. In the same way that AppleTV aggressively caches/deletes streamed content to make room for space, the iPad could self-manage space as well.

    It'd also solve the problem of a teacher spending hours trying to download a textbook onto a classroom of 30 iPads.

    (And I seem to remember a rumor about a year ago of the AirPort Extreme gaining the ability to download content once from Apple and then push that cache out to multiple connected iOS devices?)
  2. KandyKane, Oct 18, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012

    KandyKane macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2009
    My PDF textbooks are quite small.

    Holman Heat transfer (758 pages) is 13MB (yes, 13!)
    SVA intro to Thermydynamics (709 pages) is 120MB
    Perry's Chemical Engineering (2400 pages) is 240MB
    Reece Campbell Biology (1500 pages) is 184MB
    Feymans lectures on physics (all 3 volumes) is under 100MB

    I have 20 more, but can't be bothered checking.

    How many textbooks does the average person carry?
    I keep the ones I don't use in my drop box account as well.
  3. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    My Kindle has 4GB of storage and even with over 100 books on it there is still plenty of room. I guess when you're considering some of the multimedia iBooks they will take up more room but 99.9% of the books people download aren't that media rich and are just text. 8GB may not be enough to carry around your whole library if you have a lot of the enhanced iBooks but for almost all users, it'll be more than enough.
  4. leukotriene thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2008
    Yeah but I'm talking about a classroom of K-12 kids doing things the "Apple way" by some kind of turn key classroom solution that Apple could theoretically offer. Like 30 iPad minis each with 10 textbooks.

    Those textbooks are 1.5-2GB each (the K-12 books on the iBookstore). Storage capacity could be a serious limiting factor but would be relieved by "streaming" cached content to the iPad.
  5. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 601


    Jul 10, 2008
    I suppose. Then again how many text books do you really need at once. And how many schools are putting out the big bucks for higher capacity iPads. Most of the deals to supply classrooms have been for the 16GB iPads. Sure that's 2x the memory offered by a 8GB mini but it's also a smaller form factor that's less multimedia friendly compared to the normal iPad. Chances are most school districts looking to go with iPads will opt for the full sized as it has more uses even if the mini is cheaper.

    Additionally, most schools utilizing iPads are not using the fully multimedia rich content from iBooks but instead their own material or stuff from elsewhere that is much smaller in size (this info came from a contact within Apple's education sales). In most cases they have just a few text books rather than their entire book load on their iPads.
  6. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Exactly how many schools do you think have wireless networks that they allow students to use? No, you don't get to count college. Around here, electronic devices seem to be treated just a slight bit better than the "only drug dealers have pagers and cellphones" days when I was in school. If I was in high school now and they told me I couldn't use a MacBook or iPad, I'd be all "asphincter says what?"

    I cannot tell you how much it helped me when I took some classes after I graduated from college to use a notebook PC. I can type 80 wpm. I can write maybe 15. I can tell you a million times when I would stop taking notes in high school and college because I COULDN'T KEEP UP.

    Back on track, I don't think textbooks are what would fill up iPad storage. If you're just talking text, it won't take up much. The biggest magazine issues I have only take up 750MB, and those seem to be pretty much full-size PDF resolution.

    I can't imagine it would make sense to make an iPad with 8GB of storage. The 16GB iPad is almost insane. I don't think Apple is going to aim for a $200 price point, and I also don't think people are going to love 8GB storage devices a couple of months after they use them. Considering the fact that my iPhone 4S tells me it has 14GB available for apps, music, etc., that would mean an 8GB iPad mini would start out with 6 GB. There are some HD movies that would fill that. Apple makes too much money off the App Store to hinder such a product.

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