Released on this date four years ago, iBooks Author was Apple’s way to re-invent the textbook. With its built-in interactive widgets, multi-touch experience and ultra portability, the initial interest in iBA was considerable. It go an original boost by having been adopted by many of the major textbook publishers who converted their print version into engaging digital format.
New markets for ibooks
In the mean time, iBA’s reach to other areas of interest expanded, and soon the entertainment business, novelists, think tanks, marketing and sales departments, international development agencies, and a wide variety of other fields, started to produce cutting-edge enhanced ebooks. iBooks Author was now used for a large multitude of purposes and audiences. As this was happening, developers took advantage of the HTML widget feature to create mini apps that can be placed inside an enhanced ebook. These, and other built-in widgets are what makes iBA a very important software for digital publishers.
The software has gained wide acceptance, but it is still somewhat a niche product, which is unfortunate. Its ability to allow authors and developers alike to publish interactive ebooks has created a loyal following. The first iBooks Author conference was held in October 2015, in Nashville, TN, and the organizers have already announced that the Conference will return in October 2016.
Support and updates
Apple has been somewhat inconsistent in its support for the software, and many users and advocates have noticed. However, the biggest hurdle has been the lack of a reader app capable of using .ibooks files outside the Apple community. If a reader would be made available for Android (at least the last flavor) and Windows, the acceptance level would go through the roof. Even though iPads and iPhones represent a large portion of the portable device market, it is still sometimes an uphill battle to develop a product that is not universal.
Nonetheless, iBooks Author has evolved slowly but surely, with updates a couple of times a year on average. If Apple continues to improve on important features, especially producing epub ebooks, then iBooks Author should be around for its teenage years and more.