iBooks 2

Apple wants to re-invent the textbook for the digital age. The company unveiled iBooks 2 for the iPad today, with support for digital textbooks that make use of nifty new features including video 3D animations, image galleries, and other features that your old physics textbook would scoff at.

Digital textbooks are also easier to keep up to date than their physical counterparts and an iPad is a lot lighter to carry in your backpack than 5 or 6 heavy textbooks. Apple says 1.5 million iPads are already being used in educational settings and there are tens of thousands of educational apps available for the tablet.

When you’re using iBooks 2 you’ll be able to make notes or annotations and even turn your notes into flash cards. Book publishers can also include quizzes in their books.

Apple isn’t the first company to try to take textbooks digital. Kno launched a line of tablets aimed specifically at the textbook market before scrapping the hardware business and focusing on software for the iPad. Now Kno’s software will go head to head with iBooks.

On the one hand, iBooks 2 definitely offers an attractive alternative to the traditional textbook model. On the other hand, while iPads certainly seem to be ubiquitous these days, there’s no getting around the tablet’s $499 starting price. Yes, textbooks are expensive, but you don’t need to shell out nearly five hundred dollars before spending another dollar on the first book. There’s also no way to buy used iBooks.

The good news is that once you actually have your hands on an iPad, books shouldn’t cost too much. Apple says some of the top textbook publishers have agreed to make titles available at $14.99 or less. Part of the reason textbooks tend to cost so much in the first place is that it’s expensive to print and distribute limited quantities. Digital distribution solves part of that problem.

via Engadget

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8 replies on “Apple launches iBooks 2, supports interactive iPad textbooks”

  1. iBooks 2 is iOS-only today.  Apple can release versions for other platforms if they choose, and I suspect they will in time.

    More troubling is the EULA that users of Apple’s iBooks Author program must sign.  It limits the sale of content created using iBooks Author to the iBookstore.  No Amazon, no Google, no sales direct from the publisher.  It might have made more sense to require a modest royalty payment.

  2. The Unprecedented Audacity of the iBooks Author EULAhttps://venomousporridge.com/post/16126436616/ibooks-author-eula-audacity

    Greed and Control is Apple’s paranoid state right now.   So, big, can’t really get bigger, so if they slide back a little, this alters the attraction for stockholders, the stock price drops, and that affects the company.

    Same problem Microsoft has.   How to get smaller, if growth goes the other direction.   So, Apple has now involved themselves in the practice of slavery (of content creators) in order to keep itself growing.  Sounds a bit like Apple is tuning into a Jabba the Hut type of creature.

  3. It would be great if someone thought of an open standard markup language
    that could be utilized by all and browsed easily from any platform. . .
    . 😉

    such things already existed under DOS …. black magic.
    thus this is nothing new but an old mare in an apple wrapup to bind authors and clients (schools) to the iImpire.
    btw 1: the help file system allows the same for ages under windows and might be translated into other epub formats.
    btw 2: what apple tries to sell as an innovative feature
    was the hype of all multimedia authoring systems some 10-15 years ago. user forget things much too easily

    1. apparently my sarcasm didn’t come through. . .

      web, html5, etc. . 

  4. There’s a big negative to all this.

    The book is locked in to iBooks. From what I’ve gathered if the writer used apple’s publishing tools they cannot offer the text on any other competing platforms–iBooks ONLY.

    That’s NOT cool. It’s one thing to say that the iBooks formatted book is iBooks only but to then restrict the writer from offering their book elsewhere is just wrong.

    Furthermore, the ipad really isn’t the best device for this–something that’s a little more sturdy is needed. How often will you need to replace your ipad because you are dragging it around everywhere with you, and how often will you have to upgrade your ipad because apple stops support for it or pushes a feature that’s required and only works on the newest hardware?

    A universal platform is needed, not a closed locked-in one, if we want to see students using ebooks as the norm.

    It would be great if someone thought of an open standard markup language that could be utilized by all and browsed easily from any platform. . . . 😉

Comments are closed.