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Both apps are free and iBooks 2 will offer textbooks for $14.99 or less

Apple announced that it will reinvent the textbook at its education event this morning at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Apple plans to do this through two brand-new apps: iBook Author, which is Mac software that will allow textbook writers and publishers to create textbooks for the iPad, and iBooks 2, which is the sequel to the iBooks app that will provide students with new study options like note-taking.

The new apps were demonstrated by Apple iWork Vice President Roger Rosner and Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller. Traditional textbooks were described as heavy and outdated, and Apple is looking to change that by bringing school books to the digital age.

"There is no reason that kids today should use the same tools they did in 1950," said Schiller. "One thing we hear louder than anything else is student engagement, inspiring kids to want to discover and learn. That's why we get excited to see student reactions to iPads in the classroom."

Apple will partner with textbook publishers like Pearson, McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to fulfill the new textbook category of the iBooks 2 app. Those three publishers combined make up about 90 percent of the textbooks out there, meaning the books available on iBooks 2 will be relevant to student needs.

The textbooks on iBooks 2 will be high school level books, and will be available for $14.99 or less at launch. These prices are expected to increase as the selection expands. The app, however, is free.

IBooks 2 also offers the ability to highlight passages, view videos and images, look up words in the dictionary, create flashcards,  and view 3D models.

As for iBooks Author, which is also a free app available through the iTunes store, authors will have complete freedom to lay out graphics and text for their textbook designs.

"In like five minutes flat, we created an ebook and deployed it to the iPad," said Schiller. "I hope you find that as inspiring and empowering as I do."

Students, authors and publishers aren't the only ones who can benefit from Apple's latest educational offerings. Apple also announced iPhone and iPad apps for iTunes U, which allows instructors to share videos, create syllabi and post notes for their classes.

About 1.5 million iPads are already used in school programs throughout the United States. There are over 20,000 education-related apps for the iPad, which will likely only increase from this point forward.

Sources: The Verge, Apple Insider

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By quiksilvr on 1/19/2012 12:52:03 PM , Rating: 4
RE: Reinvent?
By aliasfox on 1/19/2012 1:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
I hope you realize you can get the Kindle app on iOS as well, right? Not to mention the Kindle market is pretty much the same business model as the iTunes Store...

I also hope you realize that Apple's had the original iBooks app since the iPad came out?

What Apple was showing was the interactive functionality - as far as I know, current ebook standards are very similar in functionality to paper books, and Apple wants to take a stab at changing that.

Not sure if it'll take off, but I'm pretty sure I would've prefered to have $15 textbooks for some of my classes - especially if they're only secondary texts (if you're only referencing it for two classes, do you really need me to pay $80 for it?)

RE: Reinvent?
By quiksilvr on 1/19/2012 1:48:34 PM , Rating: 1
1) My point was that this was nothing new, and iBooks came out after Kindle store.
2) Kindle had an electronic textbook store for months. They even have textbook rental:
3) Apple isn't doing anything different and just offering HIGH SCHOOL textbooks that most schools provide for free anyways.

RE: Reinvent?
By tayb on 1/19/2012 2:26:21 PM , Rating: 3
Did you even read the article or anything about this feature before coming on here to toot the Android horn and bash Apple? I would be willing to bet you read a paragraph, at most, of the article and did ZERO background research before coming to a conclusion.

1. A store that sells books would not be something new. Apple already has a book store and a Kindle app. This application is not just a book store.
2. Both companies have had textbook stores. This is NOT just a textbook store.
3. High school textbooks are not free and they are not routinely available in a digital or interactive format. Do you think publishing companies simply give books away to high schools? No, you pay taxes of some sort and that funds the books.

RE: Reinvent?
By quiksilvr on 1/19/2012 3:21:37 PM , Rating: 1
It's actually more Tiffany bashing. There is no reinvention or anything new to the table being brought here. Highlighting, footnotes, links to videos and images and links to 3D models (holy crap I read it before making a comment! How about that?!) are all things provided by Kindle's eTextbooks. And Kindle provides COLLEGE LEVEL textbooks, and not just high school limitations.

It's not a reinvention, its a sequel. Reinvention is like a tire wheel that doesn't need air.

RE: Reinvent?
By osalcido on 1/19/2012 5:27:38 PM , Rating: 1
Toot the android horn?? Kindle is.available on android and ios and its own line of kindles ereaders... What on earth are you smoking? You're defending apple as if it were your child bringing home a smiley face on its report card.

RE: Reinvent?
By aliasfox on 1/19/2012 2:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
Kindle had books before Apple had iBooks, no arguments there, but the difference with iBooks 2 is that Apple isn't just trying to give you paper books on a screen. If all you have is (essentially) scanned pages from a book, then you're right - the ebook version offers no benefit over the state-provided free copy.

iBooks 2 is trying to update that paradigm with much more interaction, such as embedded videos and objects that can be manipulated, as well as quizes that can be taken directly within the application.

Note taking functionality is included in the form of taking in-text highlights and putting them in separate notes, as well as creation of flash cards like many people often do in real life.

Keynote presentations (Apple's version of PPT) can be embedded in textbooks, allowing for lazier teachers to have stock presentations ready to share with the class - not that I'm a huge fan of that, a teacher should be able to add context and engage the class, not regurgitate what the student's supposed to read... but I digress.

It's designed more as an end-to-end solution rather than just a 'book replacement' tool. Whether or not it's successful/useful remains to be seen. If this were merely sales of books (which Apple/Amazon/B&N already do), I doubt Apple would've dedicated an entire hour to talking about it.

RE: Reinvent?
By TonyK58 on 1/19/2012 3:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
There's no such thing as a free textbook. Someone is paying for it.

RE: Reinvent?
By xti on 1/19/2012 5:40:13 PM , Rating: 2
offer for free? you must not live in a good neighborhood. Just cuz you dont get an invoice...

RE: Reinvent?
By Tony Swash on 1/19/2012 7:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
Whether Apple has done anything different or new with this initiative will proved very easily and empirically. If this leads to a big rise in the quality and quantity of digital textbooks, if it substantially increases the use if digital textbooks by students, if it changes the way education is delivered, if it changes the textbook industry: then it will be something new.

Anything that improves education is a big plus I think. Let's hope this succeeds in doing that.

RE: Reinvent?
By FaceMaster on 1/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Reinvent?
By retrospooty on 1/19/2012 3:55:24 PM , Rating: 5
"You can't support the opposition both ways. Apple does something first, others copy it, people hate Apple for being protective. Others do something first, Apple copies it, OH MY GOD APPLE IS EVIL! Maybe I'm the only one who can see the injustice here. I must be superior to 99% of the people here on this site. AT LEAST. "

You have it backwards, or at least out of order... FIRST - Apple sues anyone that does anything that remotely looks like something Apple did, but it perfectly fine for Apple to copy others, like they copied the whole smartphone idea from Palm.

After that behavior, people get upset because Apple is so hypocritical.

RE: Reinvent?
By pxavierperez on 1/20/2012 4:02:03 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, are you all idiots? Even Apple is not making claims they reinvented textbook and/or publishing in whole. The only ones making claims here is Tiffany. It's a shameless link bait. Typical of Daily Tech.

Can't wait for the Android idiots throwing another tantrum, crying et al, when Daily Tech, late as usual, plagiarizes another news source then adding a sensational title concerning Apple's iBook Author EULA.


RE: Reinvent?
By TakinYourPoints on 1/22/2012 7:29:34 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, are you all idiots?

Its DT. "All" is a bit unfair, but you can count on quite a few of them.

High School Level Books
By Malhavoc on 1/19/2012 12:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure about the US, but I never paid for a high school textbook in Canada. Sure I had to return them, but unless they have college/university books I couldn't see this catching on like they want.

Unless of course there is someway for school systems to mass buy and distribute keys. Suppose though if there is a will, there is a way.

RE: High School Level Books
By tdktank59 on 1/19/2012 12:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
Typically you had to buy the books or rent them. The school want money for everything and its a huge amount. I can go to amazon typically and get the same book (still brand new) for 1/2 the price if not less.

RE: High School Level Books
By acer905 on 1/19/2012 12:57:54 PM , Rating: 4
Not sure where you're from but in Michigan books were only paid for by the students if there was "excessive" damage at the end of the year. Keep the book in good shape and it just gets sent to the next kid in line

RE: High School Level Books
By tastyratz on 1/19/2012 2:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
I think people are confusing direct with indirect costs. You might DIRECTLY pay for a book if you specifically damage it, but you INDIRECTLY purchased said book with your tax dollars beforehand anyways.
Any program to digitize and minimize book costs I find in favor of. Whether or not high schoolers can be trusted with ipads enough to offer a true ROI, or if ipad repairs/replacements/upgrades end up costing more than books I do not know.

Now if only these books were made available to the kindle etc. it might be a little more in public interest.

RE: High School Level Books
By V-Money on 1/19/2012 2:20:01 PM , Rating: 3
I agree, except for the issue that you are still paying for the physical textbooks indirectly and now you can pay even more money directly for these digital copies. I was excited until I read that it was only for high school books (I know it will eventually be for college level, but for a much higher cost, and kindle is heading that direction anyways).

I could see the promise behind this, I would definitely have no issue paying to get out of carrying all those heavy books, but I do have an issue with paying the huge amount of money on a Apple device I'd rather not have since I already have a kindle and a tablet with kindle on it.

RE: High School Level Books
By tayb on 1/19/2012 2:21:45 PM , Rating: 2
Oh you pay for them just not directly. Local property taxes fund the schools which funds the books.

RE: High School Level Books
By Malhavoc on 1/19/2012 6:35:51 PM , Rating: 3
Of course I know HS textbooks are paid through taxes. Thing to note that in HS most generally do not pay them.

Either way, it is paying for something you wouldn't normally pay for or paying twice.

The College Textbook Companies Will Oppose This
By Arsynic on 1/19/2012 1:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
Textbooks for $15??? Hell no, these guys want to keep charging $200 for a book that's only good for a semester before version 2 comes out. This kills the resale value of version 1 and lets them keep charging $200 for their glossy picture books.

By dajeepster on 1/19/2012 1:45:04 PM , Rating: 3
exactly... and now you won't be able to sell the books back.. fvckers.... -_-

By Denigrate on 1/19/2012 1:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
The universities must all get a kick back as the current set up for college text books is a total abuse of students. Many have a hard time affording them, hence all the college graduates in deep trouble with student loans.

By kattanna on 1/20/2012 10:18:55 AM , Rating: 2
yep. some books i can understand wanting the latest editions like for the sciences, but math? that really annoyed me having to buy a brand new book for algebra or geometry because like the intermediate algebra teacher who actually gave us old used text books said.. this math hasnt changed since before you were born.

By Flunk on 1/20/2012 10:47:55 AM , Rating: 2
They will not be able to resist the power.. of the dark side.

I'm serious, there are lots of profits in digital distribution because of lack of upfront costs so if the big publishers don't jump on board they risk missing out entirely to new startups. Plus it kills the resale market, which they hate.

Old fashioned?
By chris2618 on 1/19/2012 12:35:03 PM , Rating: 4
My main problem with using a computer to read a textbook is you can't hold multiply pages with each hand to flick to pages you need to reference for the one you are reading.

RE: Old fashioned?
By Skywalker123 on 1/21/2012 2:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever thought about opening multiple windows? Another suggestion is to buy a monitor bigger than 17 inches.

RE: Old fashioned?
By chris2618 on 1/21/2012 3:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
So you agree that is useless idea then considering most laptops and tablet have less than 17 inch screens and in addition due to the lack of proper multitasking on tablets.

With the multiple windows thing even with bigger monitors you can only have two if that beside each other at the same size as it would be in a book. You can have other open which you can refer too but really is that an improvement on the centuries old codex

By Kefner on 1/19/2012 2:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
Is Apple original enough to come up with real names for their products, instead of just putting an "i" in front of everything! Putting an "i" in front of names was cool and fresh at one time, about 15 years ago!!!

RE: Name
By aliasfox on 1/19/2012 2:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair, Apple first used 'iBook' way back in 1999 (nearly 15 years ago) when they introduced the original iBook - you remember it right? The orange/blue and white monstrosity that looked like a toilet seat? Its redeeming features were (industry first) wifi in a consumer laptop and IIRC 6-hour battery life.

Though it's a cop out to use the name for something different 11 years later on an epub product.

By kleinma on 1/19/2012 2:38:48 PM , Rating: 2
So this is a proprietary format that will only work on iDevices? There will be 0 choice and students/schools will be forced into iPads to make use of this platform?

Isn't this a monopoly in the making?

RE: so...
By TonyK58 on 1/19/2012 3:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
You can export your newly written book to PDF format, too.

Welcome to walled education!
By ack on 1/19/2012 3:24:37 PM , Rating: 3
Exclusivity and sinking open standards (epub) are the price of freedom (or lack thereof).

The big picture
By lawrance on 1/20/2012 9:01:12 AM , Rating: 3
Here in Indiana, out son attends one of the top public school districts in the state. We have $130 book RENTAL fee every year and he's only in grade school. This is to pay for the new books the school has to buy every year because the idiot publishers keep updating them every season with minor changes.

Back when I was in school (in Michigan) we never had a fee unless we lost or damaged a book. The books were 5-10 years old and believe it or not - were still relevant as math and english rules didn't change from year to year. History remained steady too.

Obviously, computer books and many others do need to be updated yearly, but I think these publishers are ripping off the schools/taxpayers by updating EVERY book EVERY year nowadays. And I guarantee you that those books cost more than $15 each.

The new iBooks format sounds promising and like a good idea. - Even if competing companies with different standards be it Kindle or whomever... It's a good idea no matter who brings it to the table and dominates the market. Fewer outdated print books means a lot less paper and ink will be wasted throughout the years. And if the interactive portion helps students learn easier, then it's a win/win for everyone. People are using this article once again to bash Apple and overlooking the big picture here which includes better educating our children while reducing the environmental impact. ANY company who can do that deserves to make a few bucks for their contributions.

About time
By thuff on 1/19/2012 12:25:59 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I had this option a few years ago just to remove the price gouging my school's book store regularly got away with!

Paying for Textbooks?
By TheRealArdrid on 1/19/2012 1:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
Are kids really required to pay for textbooks in high school? I know it's been 11 years since I graduated, but I can't believe things have changed that drastically. We never had to pay for textbooks. The only books I've ever purchased were textbooks for undergrad

Ill thought plans
By frobizzle on 1/20/2012 9:14:29 AM , Rating: 2
With governments slashing education budgets to the bone, who exactly is supposed to cough up the hundreds of dollars for each of these iPads?

You can't make it mandatory for the students' family when in many cases, they barely have enough money to put food on the table.

By omgwtf8888 on 1/24/2012 2:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
Right now my kids require 2 25lb backpacks each because they can't lug all of their books for the 2 day cycles. If all of that can be condensed to a single tablet device GREAT! If the schools can contract for mass purchases this may even save the taxpayers some money and put a tablet in each kids hands. We really need to get the technology advanced in this country and we need to stop fighting over format. This is a very important issue in the future of educating our children. With every child tablet equipped they could have online tutoring available anywhere any time. The possibilities are endless!

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