Today, Apple had its education-focused media event. During the event, the company made a series of announcements. Right off the bat, Apple started off the keynote by introducing iBooks 2, an updated version of the company’s e-book software for iOS devices. The update comes as a part of a dive into the interactive digital textbooks in partnership with a number of major publishers.
Apple has partnered with McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the textbooks. These three publishers are currently responsible for 90% of textbook sales in the United States. In addition, McGraw-Hill and Pearson are rolling out a handful of introductory titles today, with more coming soon. Apple’s initial focus for its textbooks is on high school textbooks. The books are priced at $14.99 or less, which is amazing because usually a textbook of this kind would cost $50+. 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
iBooks 2 is available for free from the App Store, available as an update to the existing iBooks app.