Apple Launches iBooks 2 with Interactive Textbooks
At its education-focused media event today, Apple introduced iBooks 2, an updated version of the company's e-book software for iOS devices. The update comes as part of a push into interactive digital textbooks in partnership with a number of major publishers.
From the iBooks 2 description:
Introducing iBooks 2 — now with iBooks textbooks.
- Experience gorgeous Multi-Touch textbooks designed for iPad
- iBooks textbooks are filled with interactive features, diagrams, photos, and videos
- Tap to dive into images with interactive captions, rotate 3D objects, swipe through image galleries, watch videos in full screen, and more
- Use a finger as a highlighter when swiping over text in a textbook
- Take advantage of Study Cards to help you memorize important highlights, notes, and glossary terms
- Tap glossary terms to see definitions of key topics and concepts without leaving the page
Apple is partnering with McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on the textbook front, with the three companies currently responsible for 90% of textbook sales in the United States. McGraw-Hill and Pearson are rolling out a handful of introductory titles today, with more coming soon.
Apple's initial focus for its textbook effort is on high school textbooks, with books priced at $14.99 or less. Authors can continually update their content, and the students get to keep their copies indefinitely.
iBooks 2 is a free download from the App Store, available as an update to the existing iBooks app.
Apple also released iTunes 10.5.3 with support for syncing the new textbooks.
iTunes 10.5.3 allows you to sync interactive iBooks textbooks to your iPad. These Multi-Touch textbooks are available for purchase from the iTunes Store on your Mac or from the iBookstore included with iBooks 2 on your iPad.
iTunes 10.5.3 weighs in at 102.15 MB for Mac, 66.11 MB for 32-bit Windows, and 67.98 MB for 64-bit Windows.