Publishing startup Inkling began by adapting textbooks to the iPad, adding interactive 3D graphics, multimedia, social sharing, and other digital-first enhancements that have since been added by Apple itself with iBooks Author and iBooks 2.

Now Inkling is taking its interactive ebooks to the web. Its new Inkling for Web HTML5 client will let you read its books with full support of all features on any computer, tablet, or smartphone with a WebKit-based browser — and the company is setting its sights on much more than just textbooks.

"We've always had a broad view of publishing, not just textbooks," says Inkling CEO Matt MacInnis. "But we started with textbooks as one of the toughest forms of content to do right for digital devices. We've found that the technology we've developed for content production works beautifully anywhere where text alone is not enough."

Initially, Inkling for Web will be supported for desktop versions of Chrome and Safari. (It works on mobile versions of both browsers, but in the case of Safari, MacInnis recommends using Inkling's iOS app for the iPad to optimize the interface for touch.) Books' highlights, notes, and bookmarks will all sync between devices. And any book purchased is available on all compatible devices.

This turns Inkling into a platform

Besides textbooks, Inkling already offers travel guides, cookbooks, and how-to series on the iPad (and in the case of travel partner Frommer's, the iPhone). MacInnis sees Inkling for Web and the company's Habitat publishing tool as a chance to further broaden its base.

"We now provide a one-click publishing process from Inkling Habitat to iPad and web," he says, calling Inkling "the first cross-platform publisher of interactive books," and promising new publisher partnerships and more books for the iPhone in the months to come. "We're here to change the way the world publishes information, and what you're seeing with Inkling for Web is the next big milestone in our story."