May 31, 2011

zhAke Rattle and Roll - iPad App for ebooks

Today's Bangkok Post discussed a new home-grown iPad app to read magazines and books called zhAke, which is pronounced "Shake", despite the fact that there is no "sh" sound or any "z"s in the Thai language. Nevertheless, it is from a developer in Thailand, which is refreshing seeing how most games and apps in Thailand seem to be repackage jobs from Korea.

From the Bangkok Post:

Once the market grows it then will be developed to an interactive version. "With the same format as a printed magazine or PDF file, the publishers do not need to make high investments," Silaraks said, adding that Outer Box's team has already prepared everything for the publishers from start to finish.
Based on transactions, 30% of revenue will go to Apple, while the publishers and Outer Box will take 50% and 20%, respectively.
The 50% to the publisher is the same percentage that Asiabooks ebooks store is offering, which isn't bad, so I decided to download the app on my iPad. Right now, the only ebooks are from Ajarn W. Vajiramedhi, who is a famous monk that always seems to be on TV and the commercials before the movies. The magazine section is a bit sparse too, which proves the Bangkok Bugle's point that iPad apps for magazines in Thailand are duds. They really need to get more publishers on board to get this app off the ground, but there is definitely potential.

The layout is nice, and the swiping on the page is crisp, but there is just not enough content yet. There is also no monetization of anything at the moment, so it will be interesting how they accomplish this feat, because hardly anyone in Thailand has a credit card.

I download "Delightful Duties", one of W. Vajiramedhi's books, for free in the zhAke app and it's in both Thai and English. Under "A Husband's Duties Towards his Wife" it lists that one should "Let her take charge of household duties". That's something I'm onboard with, and I hope there's more ebooks to follow (both Thai and English).

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