APP WATCH: Apple launches iBooks 2 and iTunes U

Apple's latest press conference might not have been its most inspiring, but it was fairly interesting and produced two new apps, one of which is available now in the UK. Those apps being iBooks 2 and iTunes U.

iBooks 2 is the headline act, although right now, we're not sure how this will work in the UK market. iBooks has certainly been reworked, creating a new category for textbooks. Not simply flat words either, the book are interactive, with animations, diagrams, photos and videos, as well as allowing for notes and indeed, for testing the reader with flash cards.

That's the good bit. The downside, right now, is likely to be how compatible this is with the UK educational service. In the US, books are around $14.99 (£10), but there are no concrete details about launches outside the US as yet. Wait and see I guess. But it certainly looks like a more 'fun' way of learning.

The other app is available now and best of all, is free to download and use. iTunes U has been upgraded to an iOS app, allowing educational establishments to create and manage courses (lectures, assignments, books etc), which can then be passed around the Apple mobile network. As a rather neat sideline, you get access to loads of free academic content, which is great for the casual observer, especially if you want to dig a little deeper into a subject after watching a TV show or reading a newspaper article.

As we said, perhaps not the most headline-grabbing Apple event, but if your brain needs a stretch (or you are in education right now), the apps are well worth downloading.

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