Kno is an education-centered app that allows users to view digital college textbooks. The app itself is free, whilst Kno charges for each college textbook. Students can create book lists (including receiving recommendations from Kno) for each of their courses using the handy course manager function. And, with over 100,000 textbooks to choose from, the selection surpasses most reader apps for selection of content.
The functionality of the app also brings in all that you would expect from a market leading reading app as well as some impressive, niche focused, extras. Highlighting, annotating and making notes on the text book is intuitive and fun, whilst extras such as automated quizzes and 3D diagrams within text books make interaction both educational and stimulating. Unfortunately, the prices of the text books are hardly reflecting the manufacturing savings. Whilst I did not go through the entire catalog, most were well over US$200 so it is safe to say that what the publisher may save in printing they are charging for the interactive elements. That said, the bookshop offers six month loan periods for books which would be suitable for the average student who normally sells their text books at the end of each semester.
Also, there are handy case studies and study guides that run cheaper and are purposefully designed for the Kno app. Overall, Kno is a game changing product that well and truly pushes the ipad reading experience beyond the reach of its hard copy predecessors. Not to mention it puts pay to the days of students having to lug a day’s worth of text books around in their bag! [itunes]