Chegg announced on Tuesday that it had released a student-centric app for Android (News - Alert) and iOS devices that helps students with textbooks and coursework. The company’s first mobile app duplicates the functionality available from its main website.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Chegg, Inc. started as a nationwide textbook renting company in 2007. Its offerings have since evolved, expanding into textbook sales, eTextbook sales and rental, a reader and note-taking application, various homework aids, course information and ratings.
The app has several convenient features that students will find helpful. Textbooks can be searched for by ISBN, title or author. It supports the purchase and renting of textbooks and has a library where students can preview titles. The eTextbook reader, previously available only on a desktop or laptop, is now part of the new app. Chegg also has a repository of guided solutions and provides two free solutions per week.
All aforementioned solutions are available on iOS devices. Only the last two, the eTextbook reader and the guided solutions are available on Android devices.
Chegg’s new app is a necessary paradigm shift the company had to make to survive in a world gone mobile. According to research firm Outsell, textbook sales in the US are expected to reach $13.7 billion in 2013. College students will spend an average of $1,200 per year on textbooks, according to the College Board. The ability to get a textbook in digital form is huge because of the potential savings.
Current research data shows that students prefer e-books and expect the trend to grow. The Pearson Foundation conducted a survey in 2012 showing a huge shift towards digital books.
Nearly two-thirds of both college students (69 percent) and high school seniors (63 percent) think that textbooks will be replaced by tablets within five years. A majority of college students prefer reading e-books to printed ones both for coursework (58 percent) or recreational reading (57 percent).
The global shift away from computers and towards mobile devices and a similar shift away from printed textbooks to digital ones dictated that Chegg make the changes it did. The company may have been driven more by self-preservation than modernizing its technology.
Edited by Alisen Downey