Apple has recently announced the free release of iBooks 2, an e-book application designated for iPod, iPhone and iPod touch with iOS 4 or later, which can easily be switched between portrait mode and landscape modes for interactive reading. In addition, the iPhone Maker has also unveiled “iBooks Author”, an application that will allow anyone to create interactive textbooks for reading in iBooks. Besides the digital textbook, the company has also decided to expand iBookStore with a textbook category added in it.

According to the company, users will be able to swipe across the display to open textbook pages and view movies within each chapter. The operating system’s recognizable pinch and tapping features are also available, providing users more interaction with titles. Furthermore, the company says that kids will be able to see 3D images and rotate them to get a better feel for what, for example a DNA structure looks like.

iBooks 2 app can be downloaded for free from the App Store on iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch with iOS.

iBooks 2 Features

It is the interactivity that Apple was focused on. “We want to reinvent the textbook,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

Following are the new features of iBooks 2 that Apple highlighted during its unveiling at an education focused event in New York City:

  • iBooks Author: The recently launched iBooks Author, the free Mac OS X application, allows authors to create textbooks and other books with simple drag-and-drop mechanisms. The application gives basic customizable templates to quickly create books, with functions to easily drag and drop images and video into the title. In addition, creators can also drag and drop a Word file from Finder into a chapter. Authors can also submit their self created e-books to Apple’s iBook store.
  • Mark Titles or Highlight Text: Now students can easily highlight text or mark up titles from their iPad. Apple explained how kids can underline text and add a note to a page. All those notes can then be united to make study cards. Those cards, which are basically virtual 3-by-5-inch cards, let students put a topic on one side and the definition on the other, similar to flash cards.
  • Dictionary: Roger Rosner, an Apple vice president, said that the improved digital textbook will have the ability to tap on words for their definitions during the interactive reading. He further explains that the application also provides the facility of searching for keywords throughout a text, review questions with immediate feedback, etc.
  • More Interactive: iBooks 2 offers many improved functions that will make reading or writing books more interactive such as text with embedded movies, rich & engaging layouts, adjustable font and text size, variety of fonts available, customizable screen brightness and multitasking bar within the application, etc.