Apple’s education announcement event this morning focused on their efforts to reinvent textbooks on the iPad. As part of the launch of these efforts, today has seen the release of the new iBooks Author, a free Mac app to be used as an authoring / publishing tool for textbooks and books of all types, and of iBooks 2.
iBooks 2 is really the 2.0 version of iBooks – and it already features some of the shiny new textbooks for the iPad, 8 of them right now. These include Algebra 1, Geometry, Environmental Science, Biology, and more. One of the most impressive looking of these is ‘Life on Earth’, a new digital biology textbook for high school students. This one is by E.O. Wilson, a professor emeritus at Harvard, distinguished biologist, and two-time Pulitzer winner. Right now it has a preview of the book and a sample chapter available for free, with future chapters to be released this spring.
One of the best things about this morning’s news on iPad textbooks is the pricing levels. iBooks textbooks will be priced at $14.99 and below – significantly lower than current prices for printed textbooks.
If you already have iBooks installed, there’s an update for it available today, that updates it to the 2.0 version that’s needed to download these new textbooks.