Apple’s Education-focused event today has been quite interesting. Two developments are on the upfront.
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iBooks has been updated to iBooks 2 with some excellent features that are sure to help students connect better with books. The second one is the iTunes U – which has been made a separate app now. This lets students access about 500,000 lectures on various subjects. While the whole event has been specifically focused on making the iPad, iPhone and other iDevices education-focused and education-friendly, it has also turned out into a very popular event across the sphere.The iBooks 2 update has definitely brought in a lot of surprising features for the popular Apple digital-book reading app. Insofar, iBooks has been predominantly an ebook app and manager that helped people of various kinds manage their reading. However, the update comes as a thorough shift of focus. Here are some of the most popular changes on the iBooks 2 iPad app, which is available for free on the App Store:
The number one update that is actually a wonderful news for students across various institutions is the fact that Apple has joined hands with the likes of McGraw-Hill and Pearson (with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt joining soon). These publishers are the most prominent ones in the US and with Apple joining hands with them, it would mean Apple’s iBooks 2 would let students buy and access almost every book they would ever need for their education.
A high level of interactivity has been added to the iBooks app. Interactive captions, rotatable 3D objects for better understanding, integrated videos and much more features are included. The idea of books as just to be “read” seems to be disappearing on the iBooks 2.
Authors can update their books continuously, and these would be reflected on the students copy of the book also – indefinitely. So it’s almost like buy-once and get-updates-for-life for the moment.
Stuff like Study Cards, Glossary, using swipe for highlighting, and other multi-touch features make studying, reading and marking even more easier. For the first time, iBooks 2 has become something far more student friendly than any other app ever.
Apple’s first focus looks to be on high-school students. Textbooks priced at $14.99 or less are being sold right now. The iBooks 2 app works on iPad and iPhone but works best on the iPad, and incidentally has the maximum number of users who download iBooks 2 for iPad. Apple digital textbooks had competed with the likes of Kindle Fire and continue to do so, but now, the whole equation has changed with Apple focusing on education.