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Hands on: iBooks Author effortless to use, but iPad-only

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:14 PM

Post your comments for Hands on: iBooks Author effortless to use, but iPad-only here
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#2 User is offline   zekegri 

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  Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:25 PM

You were being awfully kind in the reporting-how about all the missing Flash type interactivity-buttons that can be styled with actions-a timeline with simple actions? Interactivity in layers?
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#3 User is offline   kawika 

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  Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:27 PM

Curious how this might work as a one-off instruction manual creator. I'm looking to convert how-to Word documents into iPad-friendly multimedia manuals for clients on various projects. No need to sell the work in iBooks. Thanks for the quick review and offer to poke around based on questions from the peanut gallery.
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#4 User is offline   jdb8167 

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  Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:28 PM

Does iBooks Author produce standard ePub 3 format? Apple is a member of the IDPF but there is no guarantee that the output of iBooks Author is ePub 3 without extensions. I can't find any definitive information on that yet. I know that the output is not encrypted with DRM though since I can see text in Calibre but the layout is garbled--probably because Calibre doesn't support ePub 3 yet.

Definitive answers from Apple on this would be helpful.
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#5 User is offline   Serenity 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:28 PM

View Postzekegri, on 19 January 2012 - 01:25 PM, said:

You were being awfully kind in the reporting-how about all the missing Flash type interactivity-buttons that can be styled with actions-a timeline with simple actions? Interactivity in layers?


Eh, I think putting in basic support for action buttons etc rather than importing really nice Keynote project transitions seems a little silly. They've covered their bases with Keynote Widget import. Pomp and circumstance is less important to me than the reading experience.

#6 User is offline   Serenity 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:30 PM

View Postkawika, on 19 January 2012 - 01:27 PM, said:

Curious how this might work as a one-off instruction manual creator. I'm looking to convert how-to Word documents into iPad-friendly multimedia manuals for clients on various projects. No need to sell the work in iBooks. Thanks for the quick review and offer to poke around based on questions from the peanut gallery.


If you're creating a PDF (or an iPad-friendly interactive manual), you should be in good hands with this app.

View Postjdb8167, on 19 January 2012 - 01:28 PM, said:

Does iBooks Author produce standard ePub 3 format? Apple is a member of the IDPF but there is no guarantee that the output of iBooks Author is ePub 3 without extensions. I can't find any definitive information on that yet. I know that the output is not encrypted with DRM though since I can see text in Calibre but the layout is garbled--probably because Calibre doesn't support ePub 3 yet.

Definitive answers from Apple on this would be helpful.


.ibooks is not DRM-wrapped, but doesn't appear to be using ePub 3 (at least not yet). There's still an OPF manifest; Rich Siegel over at BBEdit mentioned that it's a zipped ePub of some sort.

#7 User is offline   Ian147 

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  Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:36 PM

Is it harsh to say Apple is banging the education drum but isn't creating a ePub standard (that can be used on non-Apple devices) in order to lock more people into the iOS ecosystem?

I know it is business but Appe slated Flash for a more friendly HTML5 standard but is not playing the ePub standard game. Just seems a little hypocritical.

Also don't see why iBooks Author shouldn't have the ability for simple text only books and iPhone/iPod support.
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#8 User is offline   Photonerd 

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  Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:56 PM

Great article, constructive comments. Everyone needs to do this right NOW IMO

Got to

http://www.apple.com...oks-author.html

And request a rapid update that includes the ability to open EPUB 2 and EPUB 3 files from other applications, maintaining format... and the ability to export any interactive EPUB as straight EPUB 3, and any static text and photos only EPUB as EPUB 2.

Apple absolutely MUST allow some interplay between other applications if they want authors to consider their tools, THE tools to use. Otherwise they're just another partial solution as the author points out.
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#9 User is offline   sensel 

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  Posted 19 January 2012 - 02:13 PM

A lot of independent and salaried designers still work in Snow Leopard so that they can keep using programs and utilities that only function in that version. (Nikon Scan and a few others in my case.) But iBooks, which I had thought Apple (or Adobe) would have put out 6 or more months ago, only works in Lion.
I know, I know, Apple is so forward on things. Deal with it. Well, sure but, Apple: it is the publication designers and design students who are going to be using this. At least make stuff work one OS version back. We could stomach iBooks 1.5 or 2.0 being Lion only.
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#10 User is offline   UU_evangelist 

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  Posted 19 January 2012 - 02:39 PM

I just moved content out of InDesign and pasted it into Pages. It worked pretty well, but even the basic template insists on calling my whole book Chapter 1 in the heading. Also, in horizontal format the copy appears two-up, but is only counted as a two-column single page. Those two pages slide off to the left as one flat sheet ala Kindle instead of rolling over like all other iBooks do.

What am I missing?
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#11 User is offline   UU_evangelist 

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  Posted 19 January 2012 - 02:41 PM

I then imported from Pages into iBooks Author.
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#12 User is offline   henryhbk 

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  Posted 19 January 2012 - 02:50 PM

Any particular reason they can't be read on a Mac? They need to make a reader for these on the mac as well (well iBooks in general for the mac). I understand why they don't want it for the windows world, but a macbook air for an interactive catalog for a company salesman, or in my case medical interactive guide for patients when I am talking with them. Yes I have an iPad, but I also have a 27" iMac in my office, which is silly that I can't use it as well.
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#13 User is offline   jmbailey 

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  Posted 19 January 2012 - 02:55 PM

Can I make photo books for the family, and then send them off to Apple or Blurb or some other publisher to make a paper copy?
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#14 User is offline   wardoggie 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 03:15 PM

View Postsensel, on 19 January 2012 - 02:13 PM, said:

A lot of independent and salaried designers still work in Snow Leopard so that they can keep using programs and utilities that only function in that version. (Nikon Scan and a few others in my case.) But iBooks, which I had thought Apple (or Adobe) would have put out 6 or more months ago, only works in Lion.
I know, I know, Apple is so forward on things. Deal with it. Well, sure but, Apple: it is the publication designers and design students who are going to be using this. At least make stuff work one OS version back. We could stomach iBooks 1.5 or 2.0 being Lion only.

It's not about being forward on things. It's about the old adage, "there's no such thing as a free lunch." Apple makes cool, free stuff to help sell other things. They want people to upgrade to Lion, which is a pretty good deal at $30 (IMO). If you want to run this cool, free software, you need to upgrade.

I haven't upgraded to Lion because I didn't feel there was a need to do so. But iBooks Author is one more thing that makes me want to. When I have enough reasons, I will pull the trigger and upgrade.

I'm guessing that the reason you need to stick with SL is Rosetta. If so, you have a valid reason to stick with SL, but it's not Apple's fault that other software developers choose to stick with old, PPC code.
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