Apple iBooks and iBooks Author let you create books for iPad
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Apple has now entered the market of electronic textbooks with the iBook 2. iBooks 2, a free application for reading interactive full screen digital textbooks is unveiled this Thursday in New York by Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. These textbooks will also be able to make liberal use of videos and animations.
Along with it they have also announced iBook Author, a free software application for Macintosh computers with custom templates for creating and publishing digital textbooks.
They have also broadened their iTunes U program beyond audio and video lectures by adding an application for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that allows professors to create fully online courses, with assignments, books, quizzes and syllabi. Previously available only in the higher education market, Apple now is also letting the K-12 schools to participate for the first time.
Apple also believes that the students will like it and get engaged as it will be able to provide some animated models and 3D structures. They will be able to tap a word for a glossary definition and can even drag their fingers highlight passages.
E-books represent less than 10% of the textbook market for the K-12 market according to Simba information, a market research firm. Apple is stepping up its effort in a complex and competitive industry for pitching their digital platforms for buying and reading e-books and even utilizing learning supplements such as videos, quiz, and some social networking tools.
Although Apple is targeting the textbooks for any age or grade level but initially they are planning to put more emphasis on high school textbooks. The Books will be priced at $14.99 or less. Early publishing partners include Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; they control about 90 percent of the market, with some titles available immediately.
Pearson CIO and Director of Digital Strategy Genevieve Shore says, these books describe are not really books, they also have 50 hours of video in it, so that’s a completely new set of interesting material that the student has never had before.
Apple collects a customary 30 percent on the sale of the books, however the courses are free. According to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, this is not a business profit center for the company, as what they are doing is mostly free.