Apple Launches iBooks 2 with Interactive Textbooks

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At its education-focused media event today, Apple introduced iBooks 2, an updated version of the company's e-book software for iOS devices. The update comes as part of a push into interactive digital textbooks in partnership with a number of major publishers.




From the iBooks 2 description:
Introducing iBooks 2 -- now with iBooks textbooks.

- Experience gorgeous Multi-Touch textbooks designed for iPad
- iBooks textbooks are filled with interactive features, diagrams, photos, and videos
- Tap to dive into images with interactive captions, rotate 3D objects, swipe through image galleries, watch videos in full screen, and more
- Use a finger as a highlighter when swiping over text in a textbook
- Take advantage of Study Cards to help you memorize important highlights, notes, and glossary terms
- Tap glossary terms to see definitions of key topics and concepts without leaving the page
Apple is partnering with McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on the textbook front, with the three companies currently responsible for 90% of textbook sales in the United States. McGraw-Hill and Pearson are rolling out a handful of introductory titles today, with more coming soon.

Apple's initial focus for its textbook effort is on high school textbooks, with books priced at $14.99 or less. Authors can continually update their content, and the students get to keep their copies indefinitely.

iBooks 2 is a free download from the App Store, available as an update to the existing iBooks app.

Apple also released iTunes 10.5.3 with support for syncing the new textbooks.
iTunes 10.5.3 allows you to sync interactive iBooks textbooks to your iPad. These Multi-Touch textbooks are available for purchase from the iTunes Store on your Mac or from the iBookstore included with iBooks 2 on your iPad.
iTunes 10.5.3 weighs in at 102.15 MB for Mac, 66.11 MB for 32-bit Windows, and 67.98 MB for 64-bit Windows.

Article Link: Apple Launches iBooks 2 with Interactive Textbooks
 

webspinner

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2010
17
0
This is awesome! But it still doesn't change the price of high school text books. The books are bought by the students. So if the school plans on paying for them, it will have to buy a new set of books every semester for $14.99 per student. Typically high schools use books for 3 to 5 years and they cost about $100, but they can pass them from student to student. With this price point, the cost of the books for the schools will be $14.99 * 5 years * 1 to 2 semesters per student (depending on whether it is a 2 or 1 semester course). So really, it will cost schools $75 to $150 per 5 years, which is about what they pay now for a single text book.
 

MasterHowl

macrumors 65816
Oct 3, 2010
1,017
17
North of England
This looks really cool :) I hope they bring out some good Geology text books, I'm sick of carry all mine round all day. I'm so pleased about this!

I was just looking on the iBook Store at some of the children's books from DK, and they look really cool.

Saying that, when I was a kid, I used to love having a shelf full of thick encyclopaedias and flicking through them before bed... I think the magic will be lost with things like this, even if they do have interactive stuff.
 

marcusj0015

macrumors 65816
Aug 29, 2011
1,024
1
U.S.A.
Not to be annoying or anything, bt why are you calling it iBooks 2? it's really just iBooks version 2.0...

Js i got confused during the announcement, went looking for iBooks 2, and it doesn't exist.
 

kas23

macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2007
5,626
291
I think this is an excellent way to learn. Now we just have to see if it will get adopted by schools. This will never happen in inner-city schools though, the iPads are too expensive for their average family to buy and if the school buys them to distribute, they'll never see them again.

As for more affluent schools, I still can't see schools having the money to purchase every student an iPad. Perhaps more affluent parents could buy them for their children. You'll still have at least 1 iPad stolen per week.

What would be more admirable for Apple to do is to port iBooks and the iBookstore over to Android too, which would allow families/schools with limited resources to buy cheaper tablets. I just don't see Apple being that nice. This is about making cash, not revolutionizing learning in schools.
 

nepalisherpa

macrumors 68020
Aug 15, 2011
2,133
1,046
USA
Ugh...and today's the day I forgot to bring my iPad to work! Can't wait to get home and download it! :)
 

kas23

macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2007
5,626
291
iEncarta.
Yeah? What about iWikipedia. It's free. Plus, considering Wiki is public domain content, there is nothing stopping a person from using all the content from Wikipedia, making it more "interactive", then selling it for a fortune.
 

philipk

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2008
430
183
This is awesome! But it still doesn't change the price of high school text books. The books are bought by the students. So if the school plans on paying for them, it will have to buy a new set of books every semester for $14.99 per student. Typically high schools use books for 3 to 5 years and they cost about $100, but they can pass them from student to student. With this price point, the cost of the books for the schools will be $14.99 * 5 years * 1 to 2 semesters per student (depending on whether it is a 2 or 1 semester course). So really, it will cost schools $75 to $150 per 5 years, which is about what they pay now for a single text book.
Very true. Thus school boards will have to carefully decide if this is right for their district.

The big plus is that the textbooks will always be up to date.

I had a textbook in 1974 that said someday man MAY land on the moon.

The moon landing was 1969. However, the plan was outlined in 1962 or 63. That science textbook was over ten years old!
 

milo

macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
6,887
511
Definitely some benefit and some wow factor to this new stuff. But I'm skeptical about the viability of any ebook format that can't be read on mac or PC. Until that happens I'm unlikely to buy anything from iBooks.

Not to be annoying or anything, bt why are you calling it iBooks 2? it's really just iBooks version 2.0...
Go look at the page on the App store. Apple calls it both "iBooks" with "version 2.0" elsewhere, and "iBooks 2".

They're just repeating exactly what Apple is calling it.
 

SKTHEPREZ

macrumors member
Jan 5, 2012
51
0
570, PA
Nice...

In my area, we have an overcrowded High School and not enough resources for books for children to take home for homework. This innovation can essentially cut huge costs. Now for the REAL announcement that :apple: wants to capitalize off of, the post-secondary education (college) market. This is a billion, if not trillion dollar industry when you consider new, used, and rentals. Saves trees too. Awesome innovation!:D:D:D:D:D:D
 

jlc1978

macrumors 68020
Aug 14, 2009
2,446
847
I think this is an excellent way to learn. Now we just have to see if it will get adopted by schools. This will never happen in inner-city schools though, the iPads are too expensive for their average family to buy and if the school buys them to distribute, they'll never see them again.

As for more affluent schools, I still can't see schools having the money to purchase every student an iPad. Perhaps more affluent parents could buy them for their children. You'll still have at least 1 iPad stolen per week.

What would be more admirable for Apple to do is to port iBooks and the iBookstore over to Android too, which would allow families/schools with limited resources to buy cheaper tablets. I just don't see Apple being that nice. This is about making cash, not revolutionizing learning in schools.
I'm guessing this is just the first step towards a broader reach by Apple. I would not be surprised if Apple brought out an iBook Player fro other platforms at some point; with the books bought through iTunes. The challenge is ensuring the targeted devices have the horsepower to run the books and provide a good user experience. Macs and PC sure could; many tablets might not; especially cheaper ones.

iBooks Author reminds me of HyperCard - a great product that Apple killed and looks like resurrected the concept in a new form - like the Newton and the iPad.


This is awesome! But it still doesn't change the price of high school text books. The books are bought by the students. So if the school plans on paying for them, it will have to buy a new set of books every semester for $14.99 per student. Typically high schools use books for 3 to 5 years and they cost about $100, but they can pass them from student to student. With this price point, the cost of the books for the schools will be $14.99 * 5 years * 1 to 2 semesters per student (depending on whether it is a 2 or 1 semester course). So really, it will cost schools $75 to $150 per 5 years, which is about what they pay now for a single text book.
If this catches on (and I hope it does); Apple and textbook publishers have a common interest in making the economics work for schools and will come up with a pricing model that makes it a very compelling option for schools.

Some examples of advantages for Apple /and/or publishers:
Apple gets a built in user base that has used iTunes from grade school on up - a lock-in that would make MS green with envy - although Apple will be the one with the green.
Publishers get a simpler distribution model that has the potential to virtually eliminate the need to print, ship and store physical books to match anticipated demand.
Publishers can tailor books to smaller audiences - multiple language versions, local boards, etc. - all on an electronic copy with no need to do special print runs.
Apple and publishers get a wealth of demographic information that advertisers would kill for - want free text books? Get ads. While that is not necessarily a path I favor; would I take ads in exchange for getting my graduate textbooks free? In a heartbeat. My undergrad texts were paid for by my scholarship; free is a very enticing model for college students. Advertisers could tailor ads to very specific demographic groups - something that could be very valuable and offset the costs of an iPad and books.

iU is a game changer as well; not because it is a new idea but because of the potential Apple has to reach a vast audience beyond those currently using things traditional CMS and eBlackboards.

Me? I'm working on my first book.
 
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ablashek

macrumors member
Apr 30, 2005
71
0
Paraguay
This is awesome! But it still doesn't change the price of high school text books. The books are bought by the students. So if the school plans on paying for them, it will have to buy a new set of books every semester for $14.99 per student. Typically high schools use books for 3 to 5 years and they cost about $100, but they can pass them from student to student. With this price point, the cost of the books for the schools will be $14.99 * 5 years * 1 to 2 semesters per student (depending on whether it is a 2 or 1 semester course). So really, it will cost schools $75 to $150 per 5 years, which is about what they pay now for a single text book.
Yes but your forget, the students get to keep their textbooks (not give it back), new kids get brand new books (not a book full of highlighted material, and doodles on the sides), plus the content is more interactive.

So if the cost is the same for schools, they can give their students more for the same price. Plus I think Apple must be setting up some volumen purchasing scheme, where Schools can get a decent discount for buying say 50+ books.
 

Sakic10

macrumors member
Mar 25, 2011
74
0
Calgary, Alberta
get ready to pay $80-$100 for any book that is really needed

mine are all $130-$150 and the ebooks cost $80-$100

not sure why this will change that
 

Didjt

macrumors member
Nov 10, 2010
32
0
South Coast UK
All very well, but the Life on Earth 'book' freezes and blocks access to other ibooks.
Had to download iBooks three times this afternoon!
 

jameskatt

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2008
88
5
Textbooks are not overpriced

I hope this leads to a change in the ridiculously overpriced textbook market.
Textbooks are not overpriced.

Have you actually tried to write a textbook?
Do you know how much work it takes to write a textbook?
Do you know how much of your own money it takes to write a textbook?

Answer: a lot.

A single author usually has to work nearly 24 hours a day for 5 years to write a single textbook on a single topic of a subject.

Since the total sales of a textbook are usually less than 1500 copies, it is a huge investment to write a textbook.
 

CapnJackGig

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2011
572
0
Now with textbooks....and still with an awful selection of mainstream books. No thanks, Apple. I'll stick with Kindle for books.
 

tasset

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2007
568
190
get ready to pay $80-$100 for any book that is really needed

mine are all $130-$150 and the ebooks cost $80-$100

not sure why this will change that
Sure, but what if you and a few friends (if you're in high school/college) or parents of smaller children and decide to pool funds into a shared iTunes account? Then the books are dramatically less expensive are they not? ;)
 

akm3

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2007
2,252
279
Is anyone else reading "and students get to keep their copy indefinitely" as "no more reselling used textbooks". In a High School setting where you give the textbooks back sure, in college you spend a ton and then get half or so back at the end of the semester.

I assume the new model for college you spend somewhere between 'higher than the resale value' and full price, and then can't recoup any costs. I have a hard time believing this will lead to savings for students.
 

OldAppleUser

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2012
5
0
Requires Lion- UGH!

Why is Apple pushing users on Lion so hard? The OS stinks and this new tool requires Lion. Why does Apple want everyone on Lion so badly? This is too bad.