Apple rolls out iBooks 2 for the iPad

Apple debuted the second iteration of its iBooks platform for the iPad at an event today in New York City.

The latest version of the app includes support for iBooks textbooks, which Apple VP Phillip Schiller described as an “entirely new” kind of textbook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive.

Indeed, iBooks textbooks are rendered in fullscreen, with interactive animations, diagrams, photos, videos and advanced navigation options.

Unsurprisingly, publishers like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill and Pearson have already jumped aboard the iBooks bandwagon, and will be offering educational titles in the iBookstore at an average price point of $15. 

“Education is deep in Apple’s DNA and iPad may be our most exciting education product yet. With 1.5 million iPads already in use in education institutions, including over 1,000 one-to-one deployments, iPad is rapidly being adopted by schools across the US and around the world,” said Schiller. 

“Now with iBooks 2 for iPad, students have a more dynamic, engaging and truly interactive way to read and learn, using the device they already love.”

As expected, the platform also includes an intuitive author feature that allows anyone with a Mac to create iBooks textbooks and publish them in Apple’s iBookstore. 

Text and images can be easily added by simply dragging and dropping, while with Multi-Touch widgets helps authors to quickly add interactive photo galleries, movies, keynote presentations and 3D objects.

The new iBooks 2 app is available today as a free download from the App Store.