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Former Apple engineers team with Al Gore to launch dynamic App Store ebooks


Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, former employees of Apple, left the company to develop an new ebook publishing format using Apple's iOS Cocoa Touch, and are now launching their first title with Apple board member Al Gore.

Matas and Tsinteris' new firm Push Pop Press has put together a rich format for ebooks that incorporates audio, video, geolocated photos and interactive graphics using intuitive pinch gestures.

Rather than simply repackaging books' text with simple embedded media files as existing ebook formats used by Amazon's Kindle or Apple's own iBooks do, Push Pop volumes are native Cocoa Touch apps, making them animated, dynamic, fast and responsive, much more so than epub, Adobe Flash or web-based content can be.

The company wants to serve as a publishing platform for authors, turning their works into dynamic works that can be sold through the App Store.

“The app is the richest form of storytelling,” Matas said in a profile by Wired . “[Push Pop Press] opens doors to telling a story with more photos, more videos and interactions.”

To demonstrate the format of the new dynamic publications, Push Pop Press worked with author and Apple board member Al Gore, developing an iOS app version of his new book "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis."

The company has also posted a demonstration of the book's features in Al Gore's Our Choice Guided Tour on Vimeo.

Tsinteris originally worked at Apple as an engineer working on Mac OS X and on the Maps app for iPhone, while Matas was hired by Apple from Delicious Monster in 2005 at the age of 19 to to help develop the visual style of Mac OS X and iOS user interface designs.

The duo's new publishing format takes aim at Adobe's competing Digital Publishing Suite solution, which dumps existing works in InDesign into a quasi-native iOS app format that consists largely of static graphics. That solution is currently used by a variety of Conde Nast magazines to deliver their iPad editions, including Wired, but the format is very large and limited in a variety of respects, such as its ability to present text in variable sizes.