Apple launches iBooks 2 and iBooks Author app

New Textbooks section in the iBookstore

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Building on their already huge range of educational apps, podcasts and books Apple has launched what they believe to be the Textbook of the future

Apple today launched iBooks 2 for the iPad and iPad 2 which includes their brand-new Textbooks section of the store, containing a range of interactive educational books.

Featuring huge improvements over the previous generation of books, the new iBooks 2 selection were demonstrated in the form of educational textbooks which can contain movies, galleries of images and even interactive tests at the end of each chapter.

Designed to make learning the most fun it can be the new Textbooks are completely interactive, this includes a glossary that can be accessed by simply tapping a word you don't understand.

There's a smart search bar at the top enabling students to quickly navigate the Textbooks while highlighting has been completely revamped with each piece of highlighted text being collected in a notes section, which can then be turned into study cards.

Of course the real advantage will be their ability to update themselves, with printed textbooks notoriously being out of date by the time they reach the classroom Apple is confident that many will be won over by the fact these can be updated as and when.

Apple iBooks Author

For those who want to extend their creative abilities to beyond just simply writing a book Apple has launched a free app for Mac called iBooks Author which lets you easily create interactive textbooks, documents and books all for iBooks 2.

This includes utilising all the features that are now available within iBooks including Widgets, Movies, Galleries and interactive searching and collating of your work.

Already signed up to the new Textbooks are McGraw Hill, Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and DK Publishing with the textbooks expected to cost around $14.99 in the US.

There's no word as yet on whether any of these features will be heading to the UK, but considering the press release hasn't finished expect an update within the next hour or so.

What do you think, will iBooks 2 be enough to help kids learn by using iPads instead of textbooks? Let us know what you think via the comments box below...