Apple Announces iTunes U, Free E-Book Creator App, iBooks 2 For The iPad

Breaking news from your editors at Fast Company, with updates all day.

College Goes Digital With iTunes U App. What would happen if someone smooshed together an iPad and your college binder? The result would look a lot like Apple’s new iTunes U app, it seems. The new app lets you browse through courses at partner universities, tap to enroll, browse course material, take notes, view the syllabus, and a lot more. Six U.S. universities have had early access to the app to upload courses and material, and several more partners will be joining as well. —NS


Updated 11:06 a.m. EST

Apple’s E-Textbooks. Apple’s got itself a host of new publishing partners for educational books. Those on board include: textbook kings Pearson, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Dorling Kindersley (yes–that means dinosaur pictures on the iPad!) More to come. —NS

Updated 10:50 a.m. EST

Apple Launches Free E-Book Creator App. Apple’s iBook Author let will anyone with a Mac (and the will) to create their own ebook or e-textbook in what seems like a WYSIWYG, fuss-free way. The app accepts drag-and-drop gestures for documents and widgets. Code-savvy book authors can create their own custom widgets using Javascript and HTML. The app publishes straight to the Apple app store. —NS

Updated 10:37 a.m. EST

Apple Announces iBooks 2. Apple’s first announcement for this morning is a series of interactive e-textbooks that allow mutli-touch gestures to navigate through text, 3-D images, and videos. Apple’s Roger Rosner demoed the ebooks, and also showed off chapter exercises (that come with immediate feedback for wrong answers), highlighting features and (joy!) e-note-taking. iBooks 2 is free to download on the iPad as an app. iBooks 2 is the first of two big announcements Apple’s planning at their education event in New York this morning. —NS


–Updated 10:21 a.m. EST

Sony Ericsson Posts Last Quarter Loss. Sony Ericsson’s performance this last quarter underscrores why the company’s parents have decided to go their separate ways. (Sony is buying out Ericsson’s stake in the company for a little over 1 billion euros.) For the quarter ending in December, the company reported 207 million euros lost, on revenue worth 1.29 billion euros. —NS

–Updated 9:50 a.m. EST

Apple Event Today. Apple is holding an event in New York today, and we’re waiting for announcements that could have a big impact on education and digital publishing. Stay tuned for updates. —NS


Kodak Files For Bankruptcy. Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 early today. This comes at the tail end of a rough patch for company, which has seen plummeting sales of its iconic wet chemistry films with the expansion of digital photography. Citigroup has given the company $950 million in financing to tide it through the bankruptcy filings. —NS

Facebook’s Activity Apps Go Live. Facebook and scads of publishing and entertainment companies let loose the promised activity buttons, first announced at f8, at an event thrown by the social network yesterday. The rollout includes 60 new apps including ticketing services, recipe apps, travel apps, and more. —NS

Senators Show Anti-SOPA Support. After yesterday’s web protests against SOPA and PIPA that left many writhing and Wikipedia-less, several senators have come forward to announce their opposition to the bills. At last count, Ars Technica reports, PIPA has found 18 new opposers. —NS


Lovefilm Links Up With LG. Lovefilm seems to be signing on a new partner every time we look around. LG is its latest squeeze–owner Amazon has signed a deal with the TV manufacturer to have its smart sets stream films and shows from Lovefilm’s quickly expanding digital library. —NS

–Updated 6:00 a.m. EST

[Image: Flickr user carianoff]

Yesterday’s Fast Feed: Zuckerberg Blogs About SOPA, Web Protests Of SOPA And PIPA Begin, White House And Codecademy Announce Code Summer+, and more!