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Thanks for the Customer Reviews! – CourseSmart
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Thanks for the Customer Reviews!

August 14th, 2009 by CourseSmart

The initial response to CourseSmart’s “eTextbooks for the iPhone” app has been amazing. Many thanks to everyone that downloaded and reviewed the app in the App Store.

We are using the App Store reviews to prioritize enhancement for app updates. While several of these suggestions are already in the works, we need more reviews to make this the best iPhone app possible.

In addition to suggestions, the reviews included several questions and concerns about our commitment to preserving “true digital equivalency”:

  • Why didn’t CourseSmart use reflowable text like other eReaders and news applications?
  • Why is “true digital equivalency” so important?

Commitment to True Digital Equivalency

We want the CourseSmart eTextbook experience to be just like the regular book, but with the added benefits of the digital format.

Why? Students and instructors demand it.

Students don’t need a biology textbook for the BIO 101 class. Students need THE textbook required by his or her instructor.

Students and instructors want to make sure an eTextbook is exactly the same as printed versions. The table of contents, page numbers and figure numbers must match. When these are not the same (which happens with reflowable text and pdf eTextbooks), it is impossible to follow along in class or during study groups.

Illustrations are another reason to choose digital equivalency over reflowable text. Charts, graphs, tables, drawing, and other graphics are critical to comprehension and mastery of new concepts.

CourseSmart uses image files to display true digital equivalents of the textbook pages. As you will learn, this has a big impact on the “eTextbooks for the iPhone” application.

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6 comments for “Thanks for the Customer Reviews!”

  1. 1

    I understand the need for having the exact page image.

    However, the option to (in addition) display the page as reflowable text would be a great advantage considering the small screen size.

    This shouldn’t be a problem as you can copy text from the online reader or the Windows application.

    It is great to be able to have all of my books on my phone for quick reference, but reflowable text and resizeable fonts would make it a much more useful tool. You could implement two different modes so that one could always switch back to the page image if you need to refer to a picture or chart. 90% of time spent reading a book is actually spent reading the words on the page. And that would be much easier on the eyes with reflowable, resizable text.

    Thanks again for listening!

    John Murphy

    Added on August 14th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

  2. 2

    [...] text, photos, charts, etc. are included on the same pages with the same page numbers. According to CourseSmart blogs, students and teachers demand this exactness, but it also causes [...]

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    Added on August 14th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

  3. 3

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    Added on December 10th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

  4. 4

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  6. 6

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