iBook Author – Has Apple reinvented the textbook?

Apple has released a new developer platform enabling users to create multimedia eBooks for iPads. The application can also export the eBooks in PDF format, viewable in any devices.

With this release, Apple has suggested that physical textbook are of not ideal as a learning tool. Using a free app, iBook, user can use and purchase text books costing a maximum of $14.99, from iBookstore.

The app feature a number of multi-touch gestures to interact with the contents in a book. The books can also be enhanced with multimedia tools like audio, video and animations  The app simplifies note taking, highlighting, and dictionary.

It looks promising and exciting but, time will surely tell if Apple has reinvented the textbook or not. Currently offered electronic textbooks include "Biology" and "Environmental Science" from Pearson and "Algebra 1" and "Chemistry" from McGraw-Hill. These books have videos and other interactive elements attached in them to make the subject interesting and interactive.

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