redletterdave writes: "At the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Apple announced on Thursday it would update its iBooks platform to include textbook capabilities and also added a new platform called iBooks Author, which lets anyone easily create and publish their own e-books. Apple's senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller introduced iBooks 2, which has a new textbook experience for the iPad. The books itself display large and beautiful images, but searching content is made significantly easier: all users need to do is tap on a word and they are taken straight appropriate glossary or index section in the back of the book. Navigating pages and searching is also easy and fluid, and at the end of each chapter is a full review with questions and pictures. If you want the answers to the questions, all you need to do is tap the answer to get instant feedback. Need to take notes? iBooks 2 lets anyone highlight any text on the page using just your finger. In a move that saves hours for students, iBooks 2 also immediately and automatically takes your highlighted notes and turns them into flash cards for later studying. Apple also launched the iBooks Author app, which lets anyone easily create any kind of textbook and publish it to the iBookstore, and the new iTunes U platform, which helps teachers and students communicate better, and even send each other materials and notes created with iBooks Author. All of the apps are free, and available for any and all students, from K-12 to major universities."