by John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) – Apple on Thursday announced a new platform for creating and reading digital textbooks.

A free app called iBooks Author lets anyone create an interactive e-book for the iPad.

“In like five minutes flat, we created an e-book and deployed it to the iPad. I hope you find that as inspiring and empowering as I do,” Apple’s Phil Schiller said at a press conference at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, according to live blogs of the event posted online.

Apple also debuted an app called iBooks 2, which features interactive textbooks for students.

In another demo, Apple’s Roger Rosner showed off textbooks for the iPad that allow students to zoom into pictures of cells, dissect digital frogs and make notes and highlights on the e-book pages.