Apple released iBooks 2, a free app to support digital textbooks that could display interactive diagrams, audio and video. At a news conference at the Guggenheim Museum in New York the company demonstrated a biology textbook featuring 3-D models, searchable text, photo galleries and flash cards for studying. Apple said high school textbooks from its initial publishing partners, including Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, would cost $15 or less.
"Apple also announced a free tool called iBooks Author, a piece of Macintosh software that allows people to make these interactive textbooks. The tool includes templates designed by Apple, which publishers and authors can customize to suit their content. It requires no programming knowledge and will be available Thursday.
"The company also unveiled the iTunes U app for the iPad, which allows teachers to build an interactive syllabus for their coursework. Students can load the syllabus in iTunes U and, for example, tap to open an electronic textbook and go directly to the assigned chapter. Teachers can use iTunes U to create full online courses with podcasts, video, documents and books" (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/apple-unveils-tools-for-digital-textbooks/?nl=technology&emc=cta4, accessed 01-19-2012).