Today Apple SVP of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller announced that the company is launching a new application called iBooks 2. Schiller described iBooks 2 as a “new textbook experience for the iPad.” When you open the app, textbooks appear on the shelf. When you open a textbook, it will appear in the full screen and it can be paired with embedded video content. Using multitouch, you can navigate the textbook pages and manipulate 3-D models.
Textbooks in iBooks 2 also support note-taking, highlighting, and Q&A features at the end of each chapter. As you take notes and highlights, flash cards are created. Each textbook will have free samples, but the full versions will cost about $14.99 or less. Apple’s current textbook partners include Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton Mifflin. These three companies account for 90% of all textbooks.
A large number of Apple products are being used by schools. About 1.5 million iPads are currently being used by educational institutions and schools. Around 1,000 universities and colleges participate on iTunes U, which has free lectures, videos, books, and podcasts. There is over 500,000 pieces of educational audio and video material on iTunes U, which have been downloaded over 700 million times.