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Apple Unveils iBooks 2.0 and iBooks Textbooks

Apple has just announced iBooks 2 at its education themed event in New York. It’s the next evolution of eBooks for the iPad that Phil Schiller calls “amazing — graphic, fun, engaging”. Apple also announced iBooks Textbooks, a new initiative to bring digital textbooks to students thanks to content deals with publishers, starting with the United States.

The new iBooks will support multitouch gestures to move throughout an iBook which can be full of “rich, engaging interactive experiences” — even featuring 3D models so a student can see, for example, inside a cell. In the demo iBook, switching the iPad to portrait re-orientated the content so that the student could focus on reading the text. That way, books can have two completely different experiences, simply by re-orientating the iPad.

As you can see, authors have total freedom in terms of laying out text and graphics.

The iBooks can also bring up definitions that can include images; there is search within the book, links between pages, pages can have slideshows and more. As for those end of chapter review questions that are so common in textbooks, iBooks can now feature “visual, interactive Q&A sections” that are much more engaging than the typical, long list of unengaging questions.

Note Taking

Another super critical study tool is highlighting and notetaking — your finger is always a highlighter. You just swipe. You can change the color. If you want to leave a note just tap.

With iBooks 2.0, Apple has brought a range of note taking features to help students with their study routine. There is everything from the traditional highlighting (just drag your finger over the desired text) to adding notes by tapping and then typing. An awesome feature here is that iBooks automatically takes all of your notes and highlights, chucks in any glossary terms and creates some study cards for revision.

I don’t think there’s ever been a textbook that made it this easy to be a good student.


Textbook Section in the iBookstore

These new textbook iBooks are now all available in a new ‘Textbook’ section that is on the iBookstore - all collated in one section. As is standard with iBooks, you can even get a free sample to see what the textbook is like.

These are stunning books. They take full advantage of what can be created.

Apple has worked with some partners and has brought some high school textbooks to the iBookstore and they’ll be available for $14.99 or less. Some of the publishers that have begun creating textbook iBooks includes Pearson, McGrawHill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - the three publishers that make 90% of textbooks. DK Publishing is also on board with four iBooks – they’re publishers of educational books for younger children. Finally, the E.O. Wilson Foundation is also on board, bringing the book ‘Life on Earth’ exclusively to the iBookstore - the first two chapters are available for free with the rest coming as they are completed for a “reasonable price”.

Of course, the authors can make these books and keep them up to date. But what’s most exciting is that it’s their book, for students. They keep it.


iBooks 2.0 will be available as a free update to the iBooks app today. Jump the break for Apple’s full Press Release.

Apple today announced iBooks 2 for iPad, featuring iBooks textbooks, an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive. iBooks textbooks offer iPad users gorgeous, fullscreen textbooks with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos, unrivaled navigation and much more. iBooks textbooks can be kept up to date, don’t weigh down a backpack and never have to be returned. Leading education services companies including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson will deliver educational titles on the iBookstore℠ with most priced at $14.99 or less, and with the new iBooks Author, a free authoring tool available today, anyone with a Mac® can create stunning iBooks textbooks.

“Now with iBooks 2 for iPad, students have a more dynamic, engaging and truly interactive way to read and learn, using the device they already love.”

“Education is deep in Apple’s DNA and iPad may be our most exciting education product yet. With 1.5 million iPads already in use in education institutions, including over 1,000 one-to-one deployments, iPad is rapidly being adopted by schools across the US and around the world,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Now with iBooks 2 for iPad, students have a more dynamic, engaging and truly interactive way to read and learn, using the device they already love.”

The new iBooks 2 app is available today as a free download from the App Store™. With support for great new features including gorgeous, fullscreen books, interactive 3D objects, diagrams, videos and photos, the iBooks 2 app will let students learn about the solar system or the physics of a skyscraper with amazing new interactive textbooks that come to life with just a tap or swipe of the finger. With its fast, fluid navigation, easy highlighting and note-taking, searching and definitions, plus lesson reviews and study cards, the new iBooks 2 app lets students study and learn in more efficient and effective ways than ever before.

iBooks Author is also available today as a free download from the Mac App Store and lets anyone with a Mac create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books and more, and publish them to Apple’s iBookstore. Authors and publishers of any size can start creating with Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page layouts. iBooks Author lets you add your own text and images by simply dragging and dropping, and with the Multi-Touch™ widgets you can easily add interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote® presentations and 3D objects.

Apple today also announced an all-new iTunes® U app giving educators and students everything they need on their iPad, iPhone® and iPod touch® to teach and take entire courses. With the new iTunes U app, students using iPads have access to the world’s largest catalog of free educational content, along with over 20,000 education apps at their fingertips and hundreds of thousands of books in the iBookstore that can be used in their school curriculum, such as novels for English or Social Studies.* The iTunes U app is available today as a free download from the App Store.

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