Yes, it's what we’ve all been waiting for, and Apple has finally been able to do it. iBooks 2 is a “new textbook experience” which takes advantage of the power of the iPad hardware to make learning more interesting.
At its education event in the illustrious surrounds of the Guggenheim Museum this afternoon, Apple unveiled the revamped iBooks, which will feature interactive animations, diagrams, photos, and will make use of 3D imaging, embedded video and multitouch gestures – just think of a boring version of The Daily.
As well as the incredible interactive images, you’ll also be able to highlight text and take notes as you go along. These notes will be automatically turned into easily accessible study notes and glossary terms will also be turned into cards for easy access.
There will be a new textbook category in iBookstore where you will be able to get a free sample when you first check it out, and further textbooks will be able to be purchased using the one-click purchase system. And one of the main advantages of these textbooks over traditional paper-based books, according to Apple, is that the books will be up to date all the time - as well as weighing considerably less..
The iBooks textbooks will be US-based initially and Apple has been working with the three main publishers who publish 90 per cent of the high-school books available. The textbooks, which will be available in the iBookstore from today, will cost $14.99 each. Apple said it would be making textbooks for every subject and every level available.
As well as textbooks, interactive books will also be available and Dorling Kindersley Publishing launched four new books today.
Of course the textbook category would be pretty limited if Apple didn’t make it easy for publishers to create them and so it also unveiled iBooks Author, an app for Mac OS.
There is also a preview function to allow you to see your new iBook on your iPad before publishing it. Best of all however is that iBooks Author is going to be free for everyone in the Mac App Store from today.
there was no word however from Apple regarding a system making it easier (and cheaper) for students to purchase an iPad, which could cause some serious issues for the rich/poor divide in the States we imagine.
Let us know in the comments, if you would like to see Apple extend the new textbook platform to outside the US.