Today’s Apple Announcement: iBooks 2 Update – What’s in it?

Just so you know, it’s already in the app store. Go get it.

So, iBooks has been around since the iPad came out. It’s over 2 years old. There are a lot of iPads out there, and Phil Schiller tells us that there are now even 1.5 million iPads in use in education institutions. Apple is taking iBooks to the next level, focusing on Textbooks.

iBooks 2 — the second generation of Apple’s popular app — will bring movies, multitouch gestures, links, lightning-fast searches, photo galleries, visual Q&A sections, 3-D models and other interactive elements to textbooks. iBooks 2 will be available for download today (and, like its predecessor, the app itself will be free).

They’re adding a number of awesome features to textbooks:
- Notes
- Highlights
- Videos
- Interactivity (diagrams, photos, and videos)
- Study cards (you can memorize your highlights, or even glossary terms)
- Definitions, and concepts on tap without leaving a page.

Already there are textbooks from major publishers McGraw-Hill and Pearson. These textbooks are currently available to customers in the United States. Textbooks from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are coming soon. iBooks textbooks are created with iBooks Author — now available as a free download on the Mac App Store.

This is a major innovation, and something I think we’d all like to see. Texbooks are boring. Textbooks don’t usually start with intro moves, Rosner points out.

For now, there’s only seven textbooks for $14.99 each as well as the free download of Life on Earth. The books range in size from about 750MB to nearly 3GB for the Biology textbook — a full set would take up most of a 16GB iPad’s storage.

I can tell you that movies load quickly, page turns are smooth, and as Apple goes, animations work exactly as you’d expect. The glossary, table of contents, and notes buttons are are very well designed. The study card section is very cool, I think you’re kids are going to be ecstatic.

Image Source: iTunes App Store

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