Episode 24: Enter iBooks Author

Apple announced yesterday a new textbook intitative and textbook creator called iBooks Author that Apple is hoping will bring much richer experiences to digital textbooks.

Having used ebooks for classes in the past, I can tell you that the state of digital textbooks is appalling. Most are simply digital version of print textbooks. No interactivity or multimedia or anything that makes computers so powerful.

We discuss Apple’s education event and give our early thoughts on these new endeavors. We have played around with iBooks textbooks and the new iBooks Author.

A few things we have learned about iBooks textbooks and iBooks Author:

  • iBooks Author only outputs files that can be used in iBooks and you can only sell your iBooks Author books in the iBook store.
  • iBooks Author is free, which might explain Apple’s restrictions, but we haven’t ever heard of applications that restrict would you can with their output.
  • These files cannot be viewed on devices besides the iPad, including Macs.
  • The new iBooks app supports ePub 3, which brings richer graphics, multimedia and programing to ebooks.
  • iBooks Author appears to be the easiest and best digital textbook creation tool available.
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