We are done and dusted with Apple’s education-centered event in NYC held several hours ago where they “reinvented textbooks” and the way students go about their studies, releasing three new apps in the process – “iBooks 2” and “iTunes U” for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and “iBooks Author” for the Mac. While there has been much talk about Apple’s endeavors at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum, a fair share of the attention has been garnered by a heartwarming clip Apple played at the event. The video, embedded below for your viewing pleasure, shows how teachers and students are unhappy at the mess that is the United States education system and how Apple solves this problem by introducing iBooks 2 and iTunes U, making studying more easier, accessible and fun. Without a doubt, the video is truly worth the 7 minutes and 22 seconds of your precious time.
As previously speculated, Apple was alleged to have been planning a low-key media event towards the end of this month, featuring no hardware news but instead focusing on its iBooks and other education-related stuff. Today, the Cupertino company has confirmed this by sending out invites to industry bigwigs, asking everyone to “Join us for an education announcement in the Big Apple.” The evetn is scheduled for next Thursday, January 19, and will focus on, apart from iBooks, the regular textbooks students use and probably revolutionize the way everyone studies from now on. After all, that was one of Jobs’ long-hauled wish, right?
As previously speculated, the presser is said to involve Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue.
Several sources have confirmed that Apple is planning a ‘low-key’ event later this month, though the general consensus is that the event wouldn’t accommodate any kind of hardware or news related to any kind of hardware.
According to a source close to TechCrunch, the event, contrary to people’s expectations, will not shed light on Apple’s preparation of the iPad 3 or a redesigned Apple TV, but instead will focus on media and publishing, generally focusing on Apple’s eBook publishing platform, iBooks.
According to the source the event will not involve any hardware and instead will focus on publishing and eBooks (sold through Apple’s iBooks platform) rather than iAds. Attendance [will] also be more publishing industry-oriented than consumer.
The event will unveil improvements to the iBooks platform according to the same source, and is not “major.”
Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs always had a dream (as noted in an interview with biographer Walter Isaacson) of reinventing the textbook. His vision and dreams were made known to the public after his tragic death and it is only fitting that Apple is taking the initiative to achieve what Jobs couldn’t. More fitting is that the event will be handled by Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, whose responsibilities range from the App Store, iTunes Store, iAd, iCloud, and iBooks.
Apple has updated its iBooks application for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch to version 1.5, bringing along a host of changes in the app including a new nighttime reading theme for a better digital reading experience in the dark, a full-screen option to focus on content and remove the tool bar, page numbers, and other distractions, new “beautiful covers” for classic titles, popup footnote support, and an improved annotation system.
Apart from these cool new additions, the update also features some performance and stability enhancements.
iBooks 1.5 adds the following new features as well as some stability and performance improvements:
• Nighttime reading theme makes reading books in the dark easier on the eyes.
• Full-screen layout lets you focus on the words without distraction.
• iBooks now features an improved selection of fonts, including Athelas, Charter, Iowan, and Seravek.
• Beautiful new classic covers for public domain books.
• Support for pop-up footnotes, included in select iBookstore titles.
• A redesigned annotation palette makes it easier to choose a color for your highlighted text.
Apple has released a new TV commercial for iPad 2 titled “Learn” which focuses on Apple’s long-time cause of iPad for education. The new ad is a continuation of Apple’s most recent iPad advertisements which focus on education, and also has the same narrator on board. The ad showcases a user reading in their iBooks app, an astronomy application, a chess application, a language learning application, etc. Video below:
The new iWork Update 4 has added one of the most necessary feature for all book editors i.e ePub Format. This ePub Format is used by Apple iBooks so if you are an author and want to publish your books to the iBooks store you will need to convert it to this format. Earlier people used to spend around $20-$25 to buy a converter. Now you can save that money.
iWork now lets you convert directly to iBook Format.
Also want a full guide for publishing a book to iBooks click here.
Apple has released iBooks 1.1.1 as a Universal Update few hours back with multiple media improvements, like, experiencing books with audio and visual capabilities, viewing photos, advanced word-search, etc. The most notable performance enhancement has been in the PDF reader.