Apple Reinvents Textbooks With iBooks Author
Apple announced its entry into the digital textbook industry earlier today at an event at the Guggenheim Museum.
The tech company has made deals with major education publishers including Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to distribute their textbooks using iBooks 2, an app that supports interactive displays on the Apple iPad.
Also announced was a free tool for other writers and publishers, called iBooks Author. This software, earlier dubbed as a 'GarageBand for books' seems to combine some of the functionaity of existing tools, like Keynote and iWork, to act as a layout tool for books. Currently these tools are only available for the iPad.
This is a natural convergence of Apple's interest in the education market and its innovation in the space. Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs indicated that the Apple CEO had been considering reinventing the textbook industry, suggesting that this move is merely the first step of an ongoing process.
In a review of the event, CNET's David Carnoy outlines six issues that Apple will need to address in the coming months as it develops the new platform.
A full video of the Guggenheim event has been posted on Apple's website.
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