Apple announced iBooks 2 for iPad yesterday with the major new announcement of iBooks textbooks. iBooks textbooks are not simply digital versions of their paperback counterparts but they contain interactive photos, videos, navigation, diagrams and so much more. This is a major step by Apple towards helping out students. Companies such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, and Pearson will be offering educational titles in the iBookstore and most books will be priced at $14.99 or less as compared to the paperback versions which cost anywhere from $60 to $100.
Despite being available at a cheaper price, iBooks textbooks will always be updated with the latest content and provide an unparalleled experience of learning that traditional paper textbooks just can’t provide. All students have to do is download the new iBooks 2 app from the App Store to get started and try out the samples before deciding on buying their choice of textbooks.
iBooks textbooks feature all the multi-touch gestures that we’ve all become used to such as swipe, pinch to zoom, drag and drop and more to make the content come alive and provide an immersive experience. The interactive experience includes 3D graphics, images, galleries, videos, and more. Textbooks also support features such as highlighting, taking notes, search, definitions, lesson reviews and study cards to make learning more effective.
iBooks textbooks can be created using the freely available tool in Mac App Store called iBooks Author which lets just about anyone to create amazing looking interactive books and publish them in the iBookstore. Apple provides pre-designed templates to help authors easily get started. Authors can also share their created textbooks without using the iBookstore for free with their students. Although, doing it through the iBookstore wouldn’t be free and Apple would take the usual $30 cut of the revenue.
iBooks has come a long way since its launch last April. Despite what was initially a bare bones book reading app, Apple slowly added features such as collections and print support, audio and video functionality, iPhone and iPod support as well as PDF reading capability. Today it rivals the bookstores such as the Kindle and Nooks’ e-book stores.
Apple has quite possibly revolutionized the textbook with this announcement and it’s not surprising that iPad is the enabling platform for all this. Educational institutes had been testing iPad programs ever since its launch but now they really have the content to convince them that every student should have an iPad.