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Random House hopes book-apps for kids are the next big thing

There’s a huge market in iPad apps for kids. Tablet-owning parents are discovering that Apple’s device is good both for keeping children amused alone, and for using together. Meanwhile, iPad is also bringing a dash of interactivity to e-books.

Publisher Random House is hoping to blend these two trends. It’s signed a deal with a design agency called Smashing Ideas, in order to make a series of ‘book-based children’s apps’ for mobile devices. iPad, yes, but presumably iPhone and other smartphones too.

They appear to have got the right person for the job too: Smashing Ideas’ head m-publishing person previously released Alice for iPad (pictured), which is one of the best examples so far of how a children’s book can be jazzed up with interactivity for iPad.

Random House is keeping details of the new apps close to its chest, other than saying that it will include “key book authors, illustrators and brands to produce innovative digital products that marry story, design and technology”.

We reckon this ties in with another upcoming trend too. When Apple launches its second-generation iPad – rumoured to be arriving as soon as this year, with a camera and FaceTime compatibility – there will be plenty of early adopters looking to upgrade. What to do with their first-generation iPads? Load ’em up with child-friendly apps and hand them over to the kids…

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