I finally got a chance to download and play around with Apple’s new software for writing textbooks and similar works – iBooks Author. So far, I’m impressed with the ease of use. Instead of wasting hours trying to figure the thing out (yes, that means you, Adobe), you can get to work literally within minutes – Apple traits I’m always happy to see, irritating little i in front of everything, aside.
What is most interesting about the new software though, is how it mimics functionality from Adobe Captivate (software for designing e-learning packages), Flash, and Acrobat. The Apple software is still quite new and rudimentary, it hardly replaces any of Adobe’s big ticket items, but it is a very strong start and, at free, certainly priced right. It’s got review quizzes and interactivity like Captivate and Flash, it can save and distribute PDFs, like Acrobat, and it does everything far easier and for hundreds of dollars less than Adobe.
Does this mean I’m ready to dump Captivate and the rest of the Adobe core? Certainly not. But, as an author of textbooks, books, and e-learning modules, I am adding iBooks Author to the mix, especially for publishing on iTunes. Apple’s latest isn’t a threat to Adobe (or Lectora), yet, and it may fade to the back burner as Apple focuses on other projects, but if Apple keeps plugging away and releasing the software for free, Adobe is finally going to be in a fight with someone it can’t buy off or bury. Maybe then, consumers and authors will finally catch a break.
For related reviews, please see First Three Weeks with iBooks Author and Kindle vs. Nook vs. iBook – My Experience with Ebook Publishing.