Apple iBooks Author

    Apple’s iWork and iLife suites already enable “the rest of us” to make music, movies, presentations, and more. Today, the company has added the educational textbook world to its sights, introducing an app to make creating books just as simple. With a Keynote-like interface, iBooks Author (Free) is available in the Mac App Store today. Apple hasn’t traditionally given away creative tools like this, so the fact that there’s no cost involved is a welcome break from tradition. It’s made to interact with and complement iBooks 2 for iOS devices, also announced today, and is going to be a big deal for large publishers and individual authors alike.

    Like many of Apple’s apps, the first thing that pops up when iBooks Author is launched is a template chooser similar to Keynote’s. The interface is all WYSIWYG, allowing you to easily add photos, videos, text, interactive objects, audio, and more. You can even drag and drop a Pages or Word document in and iBooks Author will automatically format it for you. For those who are a bit more talented when it comes to coding, the app also supports Javascript and HTML 5, enabling the integration of web page-like elements. When you’re ready to interact with the book on your iPad, you just push the preview button and transfer it right over. It’s yet to be seen if iBooks Author and iBooks 2 are going to usher in the kind of education revolution Steve Jobs was reportedly hoping for, but it certainly looks like a good start.

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