Apple to unveil e-book creation tools?

Tech titan expected to unveil tool for creating interactive e-books and expand its platform for distributing them, sources tell Ars Technica.

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Whatever Apple announces later this week, it is expected to open a new chapter for tech in the education community.

Though the company is being typically tight-lipped over what it plans to announce, observers expect Apple to unveil a new technology that optimizes textbooks for iPads and allows user interaction with the content. Apple has been working with publisher McGraw-Hill on its announcement since June, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Meanwhile, sources tell Ars Technica that Apple will unveil new tools to help create interactive e-books and will expand its current platform to distribute them. The project was also reportedly expected to be unveiled last October with the iPhone 4S but was likely postponed owing to Steve Jobs' death.

In Jobs' biography, Walter Isaacson wrote that the company's late co-founder had "set his sights on textbooks," since he believed the $8-billion-a-year business was "ripe for destruction." Jobs was reportedly personally involved in the project for several years, perhaps more than Walter Isaacson's biography on the late Apple co-founder let on.

Apple sent out invites to media outlets last week, asking them to "join us for an education announcement in the Big Apple." Apple did not disclose what it will discuss at the event, which will be held Thursday at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.