At a launch event in New York’s awesome Guggenheim Museum, Apple has lifted the lid on the successor to iBooks – the appropriately titled iBooks 2.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, was keen to emphasise the educational value of iBooks 2. It certainly wasn’t like this in my day. God, I’m old.
Much has been made of the educational benefits of the iPad. There are already over 20,000 education and learning apps available from the App Store, and – in all seriousness – iBooks 2 sounds pretty freakin’ impressive.
"We love books. They'll always be with us,” mused Phil. “But fast forward more than a few hundred years, and it's not hard to see that the textbook is not always the ideal learning tool.
"I am extremely proud to tell you about the new iBooks 2. Kids are really going to love to learn with iBooks."
Essentially, Apple will offer e-textbooks with illustrations, animations, quizzes, study cards and interactive content. Definitions won't simply include text; they’ll have photos and even videos. Take that, Kindle.
iBooks 2 is available now, for free from the App Store. Of course, you’ll have to fork out for content, and iOS 4.2 is a minimum requirement. The iPad seems to be the focus, but iBooks 2 is also compatible with your iPhone and iPod touch.