How to Enrich Your Interactive Ebooks With Kotobee Mini-apps

If there’s one thing technology has taught us, it’s that nothing remains the same forever. Everything changes as new innovations come to light. Things become more advanced, have multiple functions, and keep evolving. That includes ebooks. From basic interactive elements to book widgets and now Kotobee Mini-apps, ebooks have come a long way.

While many ebook formats prevent this technology from evolving in some aspects, others, such as the EPUB3, are constantly giving ebooks room to grow. We’ve gone beyond static ebooks and limited options. We’re now at a point where anything is possible.

Kotobee mini-apps

What are Kotobee Mini-apps?

Kotobee Mini-apps is the newest member of the Kotobee family. As with the rest of the Kotobee products, its main role is to enhance your ebook creation process and enrich the interactive experience. With this new addition, you can extend how far you can go with your ebook without the need for development tools and diving into coding.

Simply adding images, videos, and audio isn’t enough anymore; the mini-apps allow you to do much more than that. To see them in action, you can head on to Kotobee’s website and download the latest edition of Kotobee Author.

Kotobee Mini-apps Vs Book Widgets

Looking at the mini-apps, one can easily start to compare them to the already available book widgets. After all, they both extend the functionality of the ebook and enhance the interactive ebook experience. While they might seem quite similar, it’s important to note that there are a couple of distinct differences.

The first is that the mini-apps are set and ready for use within Kotobee Author v1.7.0 and all later versions and there’s no need to upload them. They’re much easier to customize from within the app, rather than doing it outside then adjusting them when you upload.

The second is that book widgets are embedded inside the ebook pages. The mini-apps, on the other hand, are independent of the content. That means you can open them no matter where you are in the ebook, not just in a particular chapter.

Get to Know the Mini-apps

So how many mini-apps are available for use right now? Well, there are 29 mini-apps ready for use, with a lot more on the way.

Kotobee mini-apps

Here’s an introduction to the ones currently available:

Games Mini-apps

Crosswords

This mini-app allows you to display crossword puzzles using your own words and clues. It’s a fun addition to children’s books or educational books, as it gives your users a break from reading and helps stimulate them with an interesting activity.

Roll the Dice

Add fun to your ebook by allowing your readers to roll a single or pair of dice. This mini-app is handy for make-your-own-adventure ebooks where readers can leave the choice for their next move to the dice. This will make for an interesting reading experience.

Sudoku

Now you can display sudoku puzzles inside your ebook to strengthen your readers’ arithmetic abilities. It’s a fun addition to children’s books or mathematical books. This mini-app can give your readers a fun break from reading and help stimulate them with an interesting activity.

Wordsearch

Challenge your readers to a fun game of Word search by adding this mini-app inside your ebook and letting them test their word search skills. Create your own custom word search game that is fun to play and is also educational. You can make it as simple or difficult as you’d like. This mini-app is perfect for elementary school teachers, or anyone who wants to engage their readers in a brain teaser.

Google Mini-apps

Google Forms

Your readers can use this mini-app to fill a form straight from Google Forms inside your ebook. This is particularly useful for questions you want to ask your readers, or for getting direct feedback from them.

Google Calendar

Readers can access events of a shared Google Calendar of your choice through this mini-app. It’s particularly useful for coursework with set dates for readings or assignments. This way users can access the calendar and know what is due and when.

Google Maps

How cool is it to be able to put an actual interactive map anywhere in your ebook! Using this mini-app, readers will be able to access Google Maps from inside the ebook. They’ll also be able to store certain locations in memory. It’s a great addition to ebooks on travel and history, to help readers locate specific sites to visit when later on.

Google Slides

Now you can let readers access a Google Slides presentation from within your ebook by using this mini-app. It also allows your users to access ebook resources without having to leave the ebook. This way, you can easily add any additional resources to your coursework from Google Slides.

Google Translate

Sometimes while reading, one finds himself wondering about the meaning or translation of a word. So instead of opening your browser to search for the translation, this mini-app allows your users to enter words and phrases to be translated using Google Translate’s powerful translation API. It’s especially useful for language-related books or books with a lot of foreign words. You may set the language your readers will use or allow them to choose one from a selection of languages using the drop-down menu.

Information Mini-apps

Contact

Using this mini-app, you can display a contact form that your users can use to send a message to an email address of your choice. It’s ideal for teachers looking for feedback or questions from students, or any professional offering services that people need to sign up for. You also have the option to allow the reader to enter his name and/or email address.

Flash Cards

Creating and displaying several flashcards containing questions can help readers learn information easily. Once your user clicks on any of the flashcards, the card will flip and the respective answer will appear. It’s particularly ideal for educational ebooks with a lot of information that readers need to memorize.

Glossary

This mini-app will allow you to enter a list of words or phrases for your readers, along with their respective definitions. It’s recommended for ebooks with a lot of difficult words to understand for the readers. Whether it’s a language ebook, a scientific ebook, or merely one full of terminology, this glossary will be of great help. The list of words and their definitions can be searched and scrolled through.

Link

The Link mini-app allows you to create hyperlinks to external websites. When you click on the URL in the mini-app, the external website will open. You may choose whether the website opens in an external window or a popup inside the same window. It is ideal for ebooks that link out to online resources or with references the readers might want to view.

PDF Viewer

This mini-app allows you to display a PDF file inside your ebook. This can be useful for instructions, guides, or handbooks for your readers.

References

Many times, books use a lot of outside research that needs to be referred to, and that’s where the References mini-app comes in. This mini-app allows you to create a list of references along with their hyperlinks and display them to your users in a draggable window. You can choose whether to have the links open in an external window or as a pop-up inside the ebook. 

RSS Reader

You can use this mini-app to read and display RSS feeds inside your ebook. It’s a good addition to ebooks from specialists that have a constant stream of information and news coming out every day. That way, your readers can keep tabs on the latest content you release.

Math Mini-apps

Calculator

This simple but handy mini-app allows your users to do basic arithmetic from inside the ebook. They won’t need to go in search of a real or online calculator to do some basic calculations. It’s ideal for ebooks on Mathematics and Physics that contain equations for the students to solve, or any ebook with basic calculations involved.

Calconic

Now you can embed custom calculators created using Calconic with this mini-app. The calculator is displayed in a draggable popup window, which gives the readers more freedom on where to place it throughout their ebooks. It is Ideal for mathematical and scientific ebooks.

Currency Converter

With this mini-app, you can convert to over 160 different currencies using the latest daily exchange rates. It can also help users stay updated with new exchange rates. This feature is particularly ideal for books on foreign countries, or books on finance.

Ruler

Taking measurements (in different units) is now easier with this mini-app, which allows your readers to display a ruler on the screen. There are horizontal, vertical, and triangular rulers available. The ruler can be dragged, rotated, and even altered in size. This mini-app is popular with K12 Math and Geometry-based ebooks.

Scientific Calculator

This mini-app allows you to add a scientific calculator to your ebooks that will open in a draggable popup window. It’s a great addition to scientific or mathematical textbooks. The calculator supports complex operations such as sin, cos, tan, log, and more.

Unit Converter

With 9 different categories, your users can use the Unit Converter to convert between different units of measurement. This mini-app is particularly ideal for scientific or mathematical books for children. It can also be useful for ebooks on diets and meal plans.

Multimedia Mini-apps

Image Viewer

To make the most out of the interactive features and multimedia of ebooks, this mini-app allows you to display a gallery of images that can be opened, zoomed in, and panned around. The images can be opened by clicking on their respective thumbnail images or by navigating through them using Next/Previous buttons. This mini-app is useful for many types of ebooks where you’d like to display photo albums of different subjects and have them accessible easily from anywhere inside your ebook.

MP3 Player

Using the MP3 Player mini-app, your users can listen to your playlists, with audio controls appearing in a draggable pop-up. This is particularly useful for children’s books or books with narration that need to be listened to in a particular order. You can also customize the different playlists you would like to play.

Soundscapes

Soundscapes are great for creating a specific ambiance while reading. This mini-app allows your readers to choose a track from a list of 10 different soundscapes to play while they are reading your ebook. The soundscape will play without blocking the ebook.

Voice Notes

The Voice Notes mini-app allows your readers to record voice notes and list all the previously recorded ones. That’s why it’s perfect for those who don’t like to type a lot.

Productivity Mini-apps

Checklist

If you are looking to create customizable checklists for your users, then this mini-app is perfect for you. Each checklist opens in a draggable window, allowing users to check or uncheck items off the list. It is particularly ideal for educational or training ebooks that include milestones or steps that users might need to check off a list. Moreover, the checklist and its window are customizable.

Reminder

The Reminder mini-app allows you to create text and image-based reminders that will appear to your users after a specified time. It’s a helpful addition to display encouraging quotes, such as “don’t forget to drink water”, “you can rest for a few minutes” or even asking questions like, “what have you learned so far?”. This makes it an ideal addition for medical ebooks, or ebooks on nutrition, sports, or diets.

Scratchpad

The Scratchpad mini-app allows your users to write and save notes. It will be easily accessible for your users from inside any chapter. This mini-app is ideal for ebooks that contain study materials where users might want to take notes. The notes can be saved locally or on the cloud.

Conclusion

It’s time to expand the pre-established way we see and use ebooks. With technology making the impossible possible, we can go beyond what we already know. Kotobee Mini-apps is just one of many innovative ways we can do that.

As we mentioned before, this is just the beginning as there are many more mini-apps in store! In fact, if you have any suggestions for new ones, you can let us know by emailing support@kotobee.com. You can also click on the links to learn how to add and customize your mini-apps. What are you waiting for? Download Kotobee Author and give it a try.

Read more here.

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