Support for Interactive E-Books Made with iBooks Author May Be Coming Soon to iPhone [Updated]

ibooks-author-iconSupport for interactive e-books created with Apple's iBooks Author software may be coming soon to the iPhone, based on recent changes to iTunes Store wording noticed by Macworld's Serenity Caldwell. While iBooks Author e-books have been limited to the iPad since the software's January 2012 launch, Mac support will be coming as part of Apple's launch of the full iBooks experience in OS X Mavericks, and iPhone support may also be in the works.

In the past, viewing an iBooks Author-created ebook online or via iTunes displayed the following message under the heading of ‘requirements’: “This book can only be viewed using iBooks 3.0 or later on an iPad. iOS 5.1 or later is required.”

While this message still shows up on the Web, visit an iBooks Author book in the iTunes Store and you’ll see the following: “To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 3.0 or later and iOS 5.1 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.” A request for comment from Apple regarding the wording change went unanswered on Wednesday, and as of this writing, the iPhone still can’t download iBooks Author ebooks despite the text’s claims to the contrary.

ibooks_author_book_ios_device
Caldwell notes that while the new description certainly is not proof that iBooks Author support is coming to the iPhone, the change to a generic "iOS device" description is intriguing given that it is an inaccurate description under current iBooks compatibility.

As for how iBooks Author books would appear on the iPhone, Caldwell argues that the existing reflowable portrait mode for iPad offers a good basis for adaptation to the iPhone's screen, with resizable text wrapping alongside floating interactive elements that are key features of the iBooks Author format.

A redesigned iBooks app for iOS could be introduced alongside the final unveiling of iOS 7 at next Tuesday's media event, with the updated app presumably becoming available on the same day iOS 7 is released to the public.

Update: Apple has updated the wording on iBooks Author books to once again specify compatibility with just the iPad.

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Top Rated Comments

chirpie Avatar
141 months ago
I always thought with a little tweaking these ebooks are just as worthwhile as half the apps in the store. The downside is, none of my clients want their stuff in the books store, they want it in the app store, so I never get to explore this side of the Apple ecosystem...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pezj Avatar
141 months ago
I just ate a Clif bar and it was delicious.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
141 months ago
No serious academic work will be done in a format that doesn't allow easy footnotes or endnotes, which are bread and butter for university level texts. I know there are workarounds but they are desperately bad - it should be drag and drop from Pages or Word. I couldn't write an e-book for undergraduates on this programme unless it's sorted.

Why would you want footnotes in an eBook?

"Footnote" means there is some text that you don't want in the middle of the main text, but somewhere nearby. In a printed page, "nearby" is at the bottom of the page, or at the end of a chapter. But in an eBook, "nearby" can be a view that pops up when you click on it.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
141 months ago
iBooks is a great idea and has the potential to kill FLASH for ever, but it needs broader accessibly and a wider platform base. :(

Agreed. I just completed publication of a book, and I wanted it to be also distributed in ePub format. What a freaking nightmare! Every distributor has their own ePub implementation. It's similar to the early days of the Web, when every browser had its own implementation of HTML. I could easily export an ePub version of the book on my Mac, and it looked great on my iPhone and iPad -- but that ePub version wasn't accepted by any other distributor. The version that was accepted screwed up all my formatting. What a mess.

iBooks Author has the potential (through its simple HTML5 engine) to level the play field. But I expect that other digital publishers would have to be dragged kicking and screaming into cooperating with Apple.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
141 months ago
This would have to be done really well, due to the lack of screen real-estate. Personally, I find iBooks Author books a little confusing to operate on the iPad as it is sometimes.

Hopefully this is thought through and integrated well.
Could work when the iPod is attached to a TV. iPhone connected to TV screen has plenty of screen space.


I wonder if authors will be able to restrict their books to iPads and computers. I have a couple books in the bookstore that would be unreadable on a phone sized screen.
You can connect an iPhone to a non-phone sized screen. And if there is some information in your book that I need right now, and all I have is my iPhone, why would you want to prevent me from going to the page and zooming in to make it readable?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MattJessop Avatar
141 months ago
I don't know if it says something about how little I've used such content that I didn't even know you couldn't view them on the iphone, haha...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)