Apple recently launched iBooks 2, an innovative app that allows textbook manufacturers to create interactive displays for iPad readers. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for heavy textbooks, iBooks 2 grants students the opportunity to learn virtually anywhere with weightless alternatives that cost $14.99 or less. With such versatile, crisp features, iBooks 2 makes clunky $100 textbooks seem like a thing of the past.
Navigating through chapters is quick and easy with options such as point-and-click definitions, zooming and the ability to turn pages with the swipe of a finger. Studying can become simpler and more enjoyable. As the application itself is free, users need only purchase the books themselves.
“I have to take a lot of science classes and with the ability to zoom in on telescopic slides, watch videos and use the 3-D models, I think this program would definitely make studying better,” kinesiology sophomore Ryan Byron Fields said. “I also wouldn’t fall asleep reading my textbook anymore.”
According to Apple, users will be able to rotate 3-D images for a better grasp of what they are studying. Books can also be displayed in either portrait or landscape views, which make texts and images easier to interact with.
“Education is deep in our DNA and it has been from the very beginning,” Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Philip Schiller said in an interview with The New York Times. “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.”
This application allows students to study for classes with effortless navigation, searching and highlighting capabilities. They also have the ability to use study cards and lesson reviews.
Along with iBooks 2, Apple has launched an electronic bookstore where users can download textbooks, iBooks Author (a book-creation and publishing program) and iTunes U, an application instructors can utilize to design digital curricula.
In order for iBooks 2 to work, schools must pay for rights to iPad textbooks every year instead of paying a one-time fee that can last as many as six years. The publishing world also must adjust as Apple takes a 30 percent commission on sales. Though iBooks 2 is a relatively new application with several hurdles to overcome when competing with Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, Apple promises positive results.
“If I had an iPad, I would use this application,” pre-nursing sophomore Devon Vanderwiele said when asked if she would download iBooks 2. “I think it’s brilliant. I think the idea that I could have all my textbooks on one device is great and it would cut the cost of having to buy all my textbooks. It just seems a lot more convenient.”