iBooks 2 Launches As An Update to Current Application

Among other things introduced at Apple’s media event today, Apple announced an update for their existing application capable of turning your iPad to an e-book. Dubbed iBooks 2, the update to the successful application pulls through with Apple’s textbook focus.

The update offers a new interactive textbook interface to give incentive to students who regularly use their textbooks and want to slim down in the area of their backpacks. Even though most textbooks are available online if a school provides usernames and passwords to according textbooks, this new feature adds yet more functionality to iOS…for US users and iPad owners only, though.

Apple has paired up with the largest US textbook publishers to offer you the content. Publishers include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, and Pearson, all accounting for 90% of textbooks sales in the United States. The last two have already rolled out a select few of their numerous amount of textbooks, with more soon to be available.

The new update is available for free for new and existing customers, and textbooks seem to mostly be priced around the $14.99 mark. From the official App Store description:

• Experience gorgeous Multi-Touch textbooks designed for iPad
• iBooks textbooks are filled with interactive features, diagrams, photos, and videos
• Tap to dive into images with interactive captions, rotate 3D objects, swipe through image galleries, watch videos in full screen, and more
• Use a finger as a highlighter when swiping over text in a textbook
• Take advantage of Study Cards to help you memorize important highlights, notes, and glossary terms
• Tap glossary terms to see definitions of key topics and concepts without leaving the page

The iBookstore offers textbooks on Algebra, Biology, Chemistry, Geometry, and Physics from McGraw-Hill and Pearson.

These textbooks are currently available to customers in the United States. Textbooks from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are coming soon.”

With this new front for Apple, their iBooks application will most likely be a hit among college, high school and middle school students alike, even though high school textbooks seem to be the major focus. Just like the Newsstand application made available with iOS 5, this new feature will indefinitely bring in more profit for both Apple and the three aforementioned publishing companies. We’ll just have to see when statistics come in.

Pick up iBooks for your iPad (or for your iPhone/iPod Touch without the interactive textbook functionality) -