Apple iBooks 2 was released to the public just a few days ago and the support for it has been astonishing. Within the first 3 days of the new iBooks being available, 350,000 iBooks Textbooks were downloaded from the iBookstore. Alongside this, 90,000 copies of Apple’s iBooks Author e-book creation software were downloaded from the Mac App Store in the same period of time.
iBooks Textbooks are seen by Apple as the future replacement to the current bulky classroom textbooks that cost a small fortune to make. Apple’s iBooks can reduce the cost of producing a textbook by up to 80%. This means cheaper books for students, as well as a more available book source.
Alongside the release of iBooks Textbooks this morning, Apple has also released an app called iBooks Author. Available for free on the Mac App Store, iBooks Author is a tool that allows anyone to create a textbook, storybook, or any other kind of book with relative ease. These books aren't just text either--you can add videos, 3D objects, photo galleries, web widgets, and more. Once you're satisfied with your book, you can then export it for personal use, or publish it to the iBookstore for sale or as a free download. Check out the video above for a full rundown of how it all works.
Today Apple took the stage in New York City to unveil its education initiative, and at the heart of it all is the release of iBooks Textbooks. Textbooks require an iPad running iBooks 2, and Apple hopes this will open up a whole new world of learning to the masses. Bringing with them dynamic, interactive, and updateable content, textbooks on the iPad become instantly relevant and engaging. Apple also made sure to point out that an iPad is much lighter than a backpack full of heavy books. The video above demonstrates Apple's vision for the future of the textbook. iBooks 2 is available now, as are a handful of textbooks from publishers like DK, Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, focusing on the K-12 market for now. Textbooks are $14.99 or less, which is another breakthrough (although you won't be able to sell these back when you're done with them like you can an actual book.)