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Thanks for your interest in eTextbooks for the iPhone – CourseSmart
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Thanks for your interest in eTextbooks for the iPhone

August 7th, 2009 by CourseSmart

We will be blogging here throughout our launch as we get questions and suggestions from the community about our app.

Feel free to download the app, check out the free demo, then buy your textbooks as eTextbooks from  Once you do you will have access to them online from your computer AND anywhere you have your iPhone or iPod touch.


16 comments for “Thanks for your interest in eTextbooks for the iPhone”

  1. 1

    Just downloaded the app onto my iPhone and it looks great. One question I had was whether I needed to purchase my book in the subscription format in order to view it on my iPhone, or if the downloadable format would also allow access.

    On an unrelated note, I also own an Amazon Kindle, and would love to have access to my CourseSmart textbooks in Kindle format!

    Jake Shkolnick

    Added on August 10th, 2009 at 11:20 am

  2. 2

    Is there a text to speech( accessibility) and can you download to your PC?

    Melanie Hamman

    Added on August 10th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

  3. 3

    It doesn’t matter if you buy the CourseSmart downloadable eTextbook or the online eTextbook. Either way you can access your eTextbook via the iPhone app. The only difference is, for now, you won’t be able to access your notes if you have the downloadable version. Those are resident on your local computer and difficult for us to synchronize with the iPhone app. But we are looking into ways to make this work.


    Added on August 11th, 2009 at 6:58 pm

  4. 4

    There is currently no text to speech function. If you choose the downloadable eTextbook when you purchase your eTextbook from CourseSmart you can download the title to your PC. Our downloadable version also supports some speech to text capabilities.


    Added on August 11th, 2009 at 8:02 pm

  5. 5

    As an instructor I am using eTextbooks for the first time this semester and am glad to see CourseSmart is making this app available in time for the start of the semester. I have downloaded the app and encountered a couple of issues.

    First, when I login on the iPhone I receive an error that says I am ‘Offline” and need to connect to the Internet. As far as I can tell there I am already connected to the Internet. Second, once I click OK to clear the error, I see only a small number of the textbooks I have in CourseSmart. Unfortunately none of them are the two textbooks I am using this semester.

    I look forward to future updates to this app. I think it will be very beneficial to many of my students.

    Al Heitkamper
    Professor of Computer Science
    Oklahoma City Community College

    Al Heitkamper

    Added on August 11th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

  6. 6

    Thanks for the feedback. We will look into the “offline” message and see if others are getting it as well. As for your instructor account, you should be able to log into your account at, find the two titles you are using this semester, and request access to them from their publishers. Since the publishers have already approved you as an instructor your access with either be instant (if you have signed up for our instant access program for instructors) or within a couple of days.


    Added on August 11th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

  7. 7

    Thanks for the feedback. I do have access to the textbooks through the PC/Web interface. I just don’t see the books on the iPhone app interface. This could be a result of the ‘Offline’ error. Is there anything special that needs to be done to get access on the iPhone app if you already have access to textbooks from the PC?

    Thanks for your help.

    Al Heitkamper

    Added on August 11th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

  8. 8

    In the iPhone application, while in landscape mode there is no obvious way to turn the page.

    I have to go back to portrait mode, tap the next page button, and then go back to landscape.

    The preferred operation would be to allow swiping the screen from right to left to advance the page and from left to right to go back.

    Also reflowing the text to word wrap when zooming in would be an improvement.

    I’m happy to see this available.

    John Murphy

    Added on August 13th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

  9. 9

    I would like to buy one online book urgently but I could not register on payment procedure because access is not available in my country,Italy. So how can I buy it now? The book is “Statistics for Business and Economics, Seventh Edition
    by Paul Newbold; William L. Carlson; Betty M. Thorne ”

    Looking forwards to your reply
    Thanks and Best Regards


    Added on August 14th, 2009 at 8:17 am

  10. 10

    Wow! It’s great to see worldwide interest in CourseSmart. Unfortunately, CourseSmart is not authorized to provide eTextbook subscriptions to students Italy.

    Sean B

    Added on August 14th, 2009 at 11:18 am

  11. 11

    When viewing a textbook page in landscape orientation, the design team wants to provide the largest visible area possible.

    Since we use the swipe gesture for a higher priority need (panning and scrolling the page), we are experimenting with several solutions:

    First, we tried to incorporate omni-present semi-transparent arrow buttons. But, it was too distracting if we made it visible or impossible to find if we made them too transparent.

    Next, we tried toolbars that would hide and auto hide. The tool bars had the same buttons you see in portrait orientation (next/previous page arrows, search, notes, etc.). This did not test well. You had to tap the screen “just hard enough, but not too hard” or it didn’t work.

    We hope to have a solution in the next release. Look for a progress update soon.

    Sean B

    Added on August 14th, 2009 at 11:36 am

  12. 12

    How about two finger swiping for page turns and one finger for panning? Is this implemented in the API for developer access?

    I’d be happy with double tap to advance page.

    Or how about a next page button added to the bottom of the image of the page– sort of like the search that now appears in the iphone email app when you scroll to the top of the inbox?

    I’m fine with having to pinch to zoom in on the actual text myself but no page turning capability in landscape mode is a deal killer.

    You can actually read a page in landscape but it is impossibly small in portrait.

    Thanks for listening to feedback!

    John Murphy

    Added on August 14th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

  13. 13

    This is incredible! Do you have any plans to develope the App for the Palm Pre? If so, how soon before it will be available?

    Thank you.

    Jason Waters

    Added on September 3rd, 2009 at 6:06 pm

  14. 14

    CourseSmart will continue to listen to our students and instructors to identify which devices to support. To influence the process, update your CourseSmart profile to opt into to marketing communications. We ask about future development priorities in semi-annual student and instructor surveys.

    Sean B

    Added on September 4th, 2009 at 11:19 am

  15. 15

    I just got a Nook Color. I found my textbook online at Now would I buy the downloadable version or online version ? Not sure the difference. Or which would work ? If someone could help me that would be greatly appreciated.


    Added on December 27th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

  16. 16

    Hey Liz! If you are using a Nook Color you should purchase the online version. Currently, the downloadable textbooks require a reader that is not compatible with Nook. Sorry for the delay in answering your question!


    Added on March 17th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

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