Apple unveils interactive textbooks, revamped iTunes U
Apple might make the heavy backpack an endangered species: There won’t be much students can’t do with a few taps and swipes of their Apple iPads after the tech giant’s introduction of iBooks 2—a bookstore that now includes interactive textbooks—and an iTunes University app that could create a comprehensive school experience inside the popular computer tablets. Apple officials confirmed Jan. 19 weeklong speculation that the company would jump into the textbook market during a press event at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, where Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, introduced the next iteration of the iBooks app, which for the first time will offer textbooks that start at $14.99 or less for high school students.
The iBooks 2 app is available for free in Apple’s Apps Store. Pricing for college textbooks wasn’t immediately available. Apple’s iBooks 2 will be stocked by publishing giants Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, which make up 90 percent of the U.S. textbook market.
Textbooks available on the iPad through the iBooks 2 app will have interactive photos, videos, and diagrams, along with 3D images that can be manipulated and rotated with a touch of the screen. Students can highlight sections of a digital book with the swipe of a finger and create digital index cards inside the book without leaving their current page. Read More…