Apple Unveils iBooks 2 with Interactive Textbook Support [Updated]

Apple introduced iBooks 2 for the iPad on Thursday during a special education-related media event in New York City. The new version of iBooks adds support for interactive textbooks — a feature plans to exploit as part of its initiative to change how students learn.

iBooks 2 offers thumbnail views for textbook content, the ability to zoom in on high resolution images, intro movies, 3D model viewing, support for swiping to highlight text in textbooks, and support for viewing glossary terms without leaving the current page.

The app is required for Apple’s new textbooks created with iBooks Author, and to download textbooks from the iBookstore.

iBooks 2 is free and is available at Apple’s iTunes-based App Store. Textbooks available through the iBookstore are priced at US$14.99 or less.

[Updated with additional iBooks 2 details.]