January 30, 2012
iBooks 2 supports a whole new level of Multi-Touch interactivity, and textbook authors and publishers are already taking advantage of it to display more engaging and informative books. Once you've upgraded iBooks, get E.O. Wilson's Life on Earth (free) in the iBookstore, and explore the examples of interactivity within it. The Introduction to Ecology chapter in particular makes use of several different techniques now possible--single images become galleries you can swipe through for a more complete illustration of the point; data maps become movies that show how the data changes over time, some under fingertip control; tappable images are linked to regions on a map; and the creators are just getting started.
Free samples are available for the other textbooks already in the iBookstore Textbooks category, and also for a set of four books from DK Publishing which are not categorized as textbooks, but which also take advantage of the new possibilities. If you're also interested in creating Multi-Touch books yourself, explore the free iBooks Author app for the Mac, available in the Mac App Store. (If you don't have iBooks on your iPad, download it from the App Store. If you already do, use the Update button to upgrade to iBooks 2. You must have iTunes version 10.5.3 or later on your computer to sync actions you take there with your iPad.)