Textbooks Will Be Re-invented by iBooks 2 Says Apple Inc.Apple Inc announced iBooks(R) 2 for iPad(R), 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 iBookstorea” with most priced at $14.99 or less, and with the new iBooks Author, a free authoring tool available today, anyone with a Mac(R) can create stunning iBooks textbooks.
“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.”
At the press event held in the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller talked about education being deep in Apple’s DNA since the very beginning — referring to the fact that Apple built much of its early empire by getting schools to use Macintosh computers throughout the late ’80s and ’90s.
iBooks 2 is now available as a free download, and Schiller said high school textbooks will be available through the company’s iBookstore at $14.99 each or less. The authoring tool, iBooks Author, is available for free, and includes Apple-provided templates.
Features of iBooks highlighted by Apple are:
- Download many of your favorite books from the included iBookstore
- In addition to standard text, the iBookstore also offers books that are fully illustrated, and enhanced with audio, video, and animation
- Experience gorgeous fullscreen Multi-Touch textbooks designed for iPad. These textbooks are filled with interactive features, diagrams, photos, videos, and more
- Read a free sample of any book on the iBookstore before making it a part of your collection
- Reorder your books on your bookshelf or browse them in a list sorted by title, author, or category
- Organize your books and PDFs into personal Collections. Swipe left or right to jump between Collections
- Easily adjust your screen brightness to find the perfect lighting for any environment
- Change the font size and pick from six included type faces to make your books more comfortable to read
- Find a word, character, or phrase anywhere in your book with the built-in search feature
- Keep your bookmarks, notes, and your current page wirelessly in sync between iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with the automatic bookmark syncing feature
- Quickly find a specific page using the page navigator at the bottom of every page
- Read your books on white or sepia colored pages
- Switch to full screen to remove all distractions, or read in white-on-black with the nighttime mode
- Choose left or fully justified text layout from Settings
- Highlight your favorite passages and add notes with the built-in bookmarking features
- Add books in the industry-standard ePub electronic book format to iTunes and sync them to iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Add PDF documents to iBooks from Mail, or add them to iTunes and sync them to iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Print PDF documents and notes you’ve written in iBooks using AirPrint
- Use iBooks with the amazing accessibility features in iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch – such as speaking the words on a given page
The new iBooks 2 app is available today as a free download from the App Store(TM). 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(TM) widgets you can easily add interactive photo galleries, movies, Keynote(R) presentations and 3D objects.
Apple also announced an all-new iTunes(R) U app giving educators and students everything they need on their iPad, iPhone(R) and iPod touch(R) 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.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.
Michael Gartenberg, research director for Gartner, said today’s announcement “may be one of the most important” the company has ever made. He added that the “impact potentially could be far larger” than the changes the company has made in the music, phone, and other markets, but that it “will take much longer for changes in the educational system to happen.”
Apple also announced a new version of its iTunes U app, which previously had been used primarily for lectures. The new version allows users to teach, take or manage entire courses. In addition to lectures, the app now also provides such components as assignments, books, quizzes or syllabi, and is also available free from the App Store.
iBooks can be accessed within the app, and there is free educational content for the iTunes U app from such educational institutions as Harvard, Duke, Oxford and Stanford. The new app also will be extended to K-12 educators.
iBooks 2 makes extensive use of interactive multimedia, with support for gestural navigation, interactive 3D objects, videos, audio, interactive quizzes, note-taking, and other modes. “These are beautiful books,” Schiller told the news media. He added that “kids are really going to love to learn with textbooks in iBook.” The company said it has been developing digital textbooks with McGraw-Hill, Pearson PLC, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which together account for the vast majority of textbooks in the U.S.
Not including the impact from iBooks 2, 6 percent of textbooks are expected to be available in digital form in 2012, twice the percentage available last year. One distributor, MBS Direct Digital, has estimated that half of all textbooks will be digital by the end of this decade. There are about 1.5 million iPads in educational institutions, and the device has about 70 percent of the tablet market.
The event was Apple’s first since CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs died last year. Anticipation of this announcement has been fed by the importance of digital textbooks to Jobs, as described in Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography. Jobs told Isaacson that textbooks represented “an $8 billion a year industry ripe for digital destruction.”