The Real Killer Feature in Apple iBooks Author is Preview

This morning I have been reading lots of articles on the new Apple iBooks 2 app and the iBooks Author software, that enables anyone to easily create interactive eBooks. It seems that a lot of people are excited about the news (including me), but there’s also an unhappy camp of people who are not at all content with Apple’s EULA and walled garden approach that Apple is once again taking on authoring and publishing these interactive textbooks.

If you don’t have a Mac or just want to see how iBooks Author works and what it takes to create interactive eBooks, I posted a hands-on video yesterday HERE.

Having said that, whether you are excited about what Apple announced yesterday, or you are not, there’s one little feature in there that we all should be very excited about as we move closer to developing for ‘mobile first,’ namely the way in which Apple iBooks Author approaches ‘previewing’ what you create on the Mac directly on your iPad.

Most prototypes I have seen thus far are cumbersome and require you to compile an App on your desktop, add it to iTunes and then sync up your iPad in order to see your work. Too much work. In Apple iBooks Author, you simply click the Preview button and voila, your Interactive book is sent to your iPad. Wow.

Here’s what I tweeted about it this morning as it pertains to eLearning development tools, but it really applies to anyone developing mobile content:

Just imagine how cool would it be to be working in Articulate Presenter or Adobe Captivate and with a simple click you could test that interactive widget or a quiz, or the animation you just added to a slide. Right there in real-time? I sure hope these companies are paying attention.

What do you think?




  • mewickham

    The title to this article only appears on screen if I set IE9 to compatibility mode. I wouldn’t have known the title was there at all, if it hadn’t flashed for a moment when the page loaded.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure what you mean. could you please elaborate? Thanks for the comment.

    • Tim

      The first question must be, why are you using IE in the first place?

  • Anonymous

    This feature would have cut my iBook dev time in 1/2 when I created a simple ePub in InDesign…that’ll be my go-to choice the next time I have a simple project.

    • Anonymous

      I hear you, Matt. I think this feature alone with set the tone for mobile publishing from here on out. This is a whole lot better and more accurate than tools like Adobe Device Central.

  • Robert Martens

    It’s not a wall-garden it is a walled garden.  And walled gardens are not bad they are good. The walls are there to stop wind and frost and generally keep animals from trampling the garden.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Robert, I just made the correction on the post, thanks for bringing it up. Glad you too like the ‘Preview’ option in iBooks Author.

  • Robertmartens

    Oh and yes, the preview is GREAT

  • Margot Philips

    Wonderful! When will we get something like it to develop proprietary elearning for the ipad, that doesn’t have to be published through iBooks2?

    • Anonymous

      Hopefully soon although it may not come from Apple. Whether we are fans of Apple or not, they just set the tone for how the next generation of authoring and publishing will look like in the future, like they did with Music and Tablets and other things. Now it’s up to others to follow suit.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes