Apple announces iBooks 3.0 and iPad Mini

iBooks 3.0

Rumours had already been spreading about the iBooks 3.0 after a developer accidentally added “requires iBooks 3.0″ or later. Having been busy writing new iBooks with iBooks Author all week for the new term, I was curious what this iBooks 3.0 would contain. Hoping for new awesome features that I could add to my books.

Unfortunately I was quite disappointed with today’s iBooks 3.0 announcement.

At today’s Apple Event, within 15 minutes of the presentation, Tim Cook showcased the new iBooks 3.0. The new features seem to be continuous scrolling and sharing quotes via mail, Twitter or Facebook. Anticlimax.

While sharing to social media can be fun, I don’t see a way of structurally implementing this into the classroom.
As my students are writing all of their exercises in their iBook, I want to see a way of exporting those notes to some sort of note-taking app. Be that Pages, Evernote or Notability. The notes that all of the students make in their iBooks are saved to beautifully in the study cards section. It would be so nice if we could actually do something with those, other than emailing them to the teacher.

After all of the Mac and iMac talk, Tim Cook briefly mentioned a new iBooks Author update which now comes with multi-touch widgets. I guess I’ll have to try those out first before I pass my judgment on that.

Next came the iPad Mini

Apparently it is not just a shrunken down version of the iPad, though other than the ability to be to easily hold it in one hand. It has got the same pixel dimension as the big iPad which I guess is great for developers and publishers as they do not have to create new apps especially for the iPad Mini.

“If you love using facebook on the iPad, you’ll love it on the Mini. If you love usingĀ apps like Paper you’ll love it on the iPad Mini. If you love racing games, you’ll live it on the Mini”

Phillip Schiller

So iPad or iPad Mini, I guess it all comes down to your own preference and style.

As for the price of $329, this could be interesting for our school. At the Berlage Lyceum we offer parents the possibility to buy the iPad from the school or buy it in the store on their own. Either way the parents pay for the device. The parents of our newest students made a choice to do this when they sent their kids to our school. The parent’s of our older students didn’t, therefore it was optional for them. Naturally not all parents can afford or wanted to spend that much money on a device that has little proven succes results so far. This left us with the undesirable situation of having classes where the majority of the students had an iPad and a few students didn’t. For this group of parents the iPad Mini, though I would have liked to have seen it cheaper, it might be a little more affordable. Parents are free to chose other tablets but, as the iPad-Coordinator at our school, I’d rather have students bring in an iPad Mini than an Android Tablet as it solves many compatability problems.

How do you think the iPad Mini will affect the iPad implementation at your school?

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