Apple iBooks 2 hands-on and demonstration

Apple iBooks 2 hands-on and demonstration
At one point or another, we’ve all had the experience of trying to stay awake in a classroom – reading long passages of text while trying to fend off sleepiness. Of course, we all know too well how difficult it can be to meticulously keep focus on something that seems to be laborious, and even worse, outright boring to the bones! In an age where whole books can be stored digitally on a flash drive or computer, it makes you wonder why there hasn’t been much of a revolution in the way we learn. However, as we know now, Apple intends on reinventing the textbook, in their own way not surprisingly.

Welcome to the new textbook feature found with iBooks 2, which is now available for download in the App Store. As it currently stands, there are very few titles available for download, but as Apple stated earlier today, it’ll consist of a plethora of textbooks for each subject and grade level – all of which will be priced at $14.99 or less. However, it’s worth noting that the free textbook that we downloaded, E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth, sized up at a staggering 1GB file size. So yeah, you’ll want to make sure you have a solid connection before proceeding to purchasing a textbook – albeit, we find some of the others to easily tally in at over 2GB in size.

So what’s so special about Apple’s handling of the whole textbook scene? Simply, they’ve developed something that quite engaging – and most importantly, something that’s going to keep your interest. Rather than having a static approach, there are so many interactive elements incorporated into iBooks 2. Right off the bat, the first thing we’re treated to opening E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth is a short introductory video, which then gets us into the main menu. Initially, the whole interface seems very similar to any book sold in the iTunes Store, but after browsing through some of the pages, our interest is piqued thanks to the various embedded multimedia content.

From photos, videos, to 3D images that can be manipulated with multi-touch gestures, we’re impressed to see how much interaction is available with the textbook – it basically goes above and beyond what you normally experience with any paper textbook. To better help you remember certain things, there are bolded words that provide additional content pertinent to it; such as definitions and glossary locations. And on top of that, you can always highlight certain passages for study or remember later on, plus, you can jot down notes at any time. When you’re all done with that, you can get access to the Study Cards feature to help you view important things you’ve highlighted, all your jotted notes, and even view glossary terms.

Overall, this is just the beginning and we can expect to see more thought out content in the future as developers master its intricacies. And when you factor in that Apple managed to reel in big publishers like Pearson and McGraw Hill, there’s no arguing that we’ll be seeing a ton of textbooks available for the iPad. So check out the video below to see what it’s all about!

Related phones

iPad 2
  • Display 9.7" 1024 x 768 pixels
  • Camera 0.7 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A5, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 6944 mAh



1. aztaxia12295

Posts: 272; Member since: Nov 22, 2009

the 1-3 gigs per textbook is a deal breaker for me hands down. I'm lucky enough to get an iPad from school (when i get it hopefully next year junior year) so ill do all the crap i want with that. but really, 1-3 gigs?

6. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

You have to keep in mind, the old standards no longer apply. I image the book will be on the cloud and you can read a section or a chapter of the book at a time. Also 3GB sounds right given the animations, embedded videos, etc.

2. rex0422

Posts: 30; Member since: Aug 12, 2011

Okay, this a decent piece of thing, but really 1-2 gigs!? There should be other ways to decrease the file size, but this is a really nice try at e-Textbooks.

3. android1234

Posts: 203; Member since: Feb 09, 2010

They should up the storage on the iPad 3. Get rid of the 16gb, start with 32 then 64 and 128.

4. Sam224

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 19, 2012

Getting A+ for my upcoming test for sure.

5. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

This is a great idea for studying using ebooks but it won't work pretty well with me. I'm easily distracted and will probably end up browsing the internet and watch YouTube videos.

11. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009


7. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Any info on text to speech?

8. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Use of the Apple ecosystem for my education ? Absolutely NO !! Close OS and functionality doesn't match with IT @ universities. Then a too hight price for the iPad as ebook when the kindle fire can do the same function at half the price

9. nb2six

Posts: 298; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

This could be a new standard for learning. I'm usually not one to congratulate Apple on something, but this really could make for a great learning tool for all ages. Can you do similar things with other tablets? Yes, but with the iPad being so simplistic, you could even manufacture learning specific ones that would have various tools interlaced into them to keep students on task. Plus at $15-16 a book is a amazing savings vs $200-350 per paper textbook. The initial cost of the ipad plus the cost of the ebooks would make sense at being around $600-700 total. Then you only have the cost of books for the next semester which could result in being almost under $100. I like this concept very much.

10. ghost__uwi

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

wow that is impressive. I downloaded the app but did not know apple added so much functionality to it.

12. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

My son gets into highschool next year he'll be provided with an ipad and this will be great cant wait to see how an ipad3 will help them learn with this software

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