Yesterday, Wolfram Alpha announced the price drop of its iPhone app and the return of its mobile site. Today, after Apple itself broke a press embargo that was originally set for Saturday, Wolfram Alpha is also announcing the launch of its iPad app, as well as the launch of its new Wolfram Alpha for e-books program. The fact that Wolfram Alpha would launch an iPad app – which will retail in a bundle with the iPhone app for $1.99 – doesn’t really come as a shock. The e-book program, however, comes as a bit of a surprise, but makes perfect sense in light of Wolfram’s new push towards making Wolfram Alpha ubiquitous.

Wolfram Alpha for E-Books

The first application to make use of Wolfram Alpha for e-books is the visually stunning iPad version of Theodore Gray‘s best-selling The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe. The e-book application integrates Wolfram’s computational knowledge engine closely into the e-book experience. It’s easy to imagine calculus, engineering or geography textbooks that will also make use of Wolfram Alpha’s vast data repository and its ability to manipulate this data. For now, the company is remaining relatively quiet about the exact details of the program, however. The full launch is scheduled to happen later in Q2 2010.

As Wolfram Alpha’s managing director Barak Berkowitz noted yesterday, the team’s “number-one priority as of today is to get Wolfram|Alpha in the hands of everyone.” This new e-books program is clearly another move in this direction.

Wolfram Alpha iPad App

Wolfram Alpha’s newly affordable iPad app will make good use of the extra screen estate on the device. It will use a two-pane view, which looks like it will become a standard interface for many iPad apps. A sidebar on the right will feature your search history, examples and favorites, while the left side will display your results. We will take a closer look at the app once we can test it ourselves.

frederic lardinois