• iBook Author …Sponsored by Hipsters sitting in Starbucks everywhere

    by  • January 21, 2012 • Journal • 0 Comments

    When the iPad originally came out, one of the main points that was criticised about it was that it is a consumer device. It is great at listening to music, reading books and watching movies and videos. With the iPad 2, Apple tried to alter this by introducing versions of iMovie and Garageband to allow users to start creating their own content. Quite a few others have already thought about where the concepts of books may take us:

    The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

    Finally Apple has had their gaze has fallen over the realm of books and learning

    One of the jokes that is often heard about Mac users is that they sit in Starbucks with their MacBooks out writing their novel; because of course they can’t write anything without anyone looking and a caramel macchiato┬áin hand.

    The concept of why Apple wanted a book creation tool was simple, and the same reason why they realise Garageband and iMovie, they want to make money indirectly. Firstly you need to have a Mac to use the tools, so you lock the user into having to buy the expensive Apple hardware, and then if you become successful and start publishing your content via iTunes you have to pay Apple 30%. Apple has thought of the long term revenue stream and it seems to coming out trumps.

    Writing a book a day keeps the doctor away.

    A few people know and have joked because I once wrote a book, many moons ago over a weekend with a style of prose that I now cringe at; mainly so I can joke and say I am a world renowned author selling 3 copies. I thought, ‘lets see how easy this whole iBooks Author thingy is anyway’ and went to Starbucks and bought myself a coffee and took out my MacBook Air.

    When you load the application you are greeted with a choice of styles for your book, nice for those that are good at writing but useless at design.

    After I picked a Template I dragged my word file into the window and that is where the fun begin. But regrettably not the same fun that Apple showed off where everything worked the first time…

    Firstly the application crashed, so I loaded it up again and tried again, this time I was greeted by a long list of errors that occurred during the import, though none of them were major, mainly around formatting and the original layout. As I scrolled through the end result I noticed quite a few graphical glitches, overlays and the glossary text randomly started appearing on top of the text.

    Finally my masterpiece was complete and I was ready to test, I don’t have an iPad – although that may change when the 3rd iPad version comes out, so I thought I would test it on my iPhone – no big issue I thought because I had updated the version to the newest which also got released. But I set sail for fail! Firstly iBook Author can only preview on an iPad, and if you export the book and try and copy it over to your iPhone, I get a multitude of errors, either a random error or that I need to update my version of iBooks (which I already have done)

    I guess I will have to wait a little longer till I can give up the day job and become an author. I guess Dostoyevsky is safe for the time being.

    I think this may have been one product that was let out a bit too soon, come back Steve all is forgiven.


    Software engineer. Tea drinker


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