Apple unveiled a new Digital Textbook service today aimed at the educational market called iBooks 2. The company has been closely working in cahoots with Pearson PLC, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which account for over 90% of all textbooks currently sold in the educational market. The entire industry is currently worth over 8 billion dollars and was Steve Jobs pet product before his untimely passing last year.
Starting today the new iBooks 2 app is available in the iTunes market and gives you a ton of flexibility with your textbook experience. Heavily customized for the iPad 2 students have the ability to highlight passages with different color options. There is a ton of different note taking features and the ability to make flash cards.
“Education is deep in Apple’s DNA and iPad may be our most exciting education product yet. With 1.5 million iPads already in use in education institutions, including over 1,000 one-to-one deployments, iPad is rapidly being adopted by schools across the US and around the world,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Now with iBooks 2 for iPad, students have a more dynamic, engaging and truly interactive way to read and learn, using the device they already love.”
Textbooks are not cheap and students spend a ton of money every semester in order to buy them. With Apples new service it seeks to lower the entry level cost due to the digital format, which helps the bottom line.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.