Announced today at New York's Guggenheim Museum, iBooks 2. According to the article seen here from CNET, this will give a "new textbook experience". Some of the interactive features included:
"text with embedded movies..."rich, engaging"
layouts...portrait/landscape mode switches for more or fewer
graphics....the ability to tap on words for definitions...searching for
keywords throughout a text...review questions with immediate
feedback...highlighting with your finger...pop-up spaces for note
taking...instant study cards.
Major publishers already have books available, however not for Canadian books yet. But if you want to try one out now, you can download "Life On Earth" for free (for a limited time)
Not to worry though, you can create your own with iBooks Author. This is a free App that lets you create your own eTextbooks from Word files, images, video and widgets. Note, however, this is a Mac only APP and you need to be running OS X 10.7 or higher to use it. But if you are adventurous, you can hack your Mac and trick it into thinking its running Lion. See the steps here. I tried it and it does work but it wasn't as easy as it indicated. Try it at your own risk.
And if that wasn't enough for you, there has also been a lot of talk on the state of the rights you give up to your created iBooks to Apple. Basically, if you want to charge any money for them, then Apple gets a 30% cut. By far the funniest response to this came from Microsoft’s lead of Corporate Communications Frank X. Shaw via Twitter as mentioned here. My favourite comment: "If you write a novel in Word, we promise not to take a 30% cut"