Apple's Digital Books tool for iPad transforms written reports with rich photos, illustrat...

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in iPad edited March 29
Along with the introduction of a new iPad, Apple announced that users will no longer need a Mac to create educational materials, and will be able to create books directly on an iPad using Pages and the new Digital Books.




The Digital Books feature will be available in the Pages app and allow users to use the Apple Pencil to add photos, videos, illustrations and annotations directly to books. The feature is being touted specifically as a tool for teachers, as well as students, in keeping with the theme of the educational event. Collaboration is also enabled.

"Teachers love using their Macs to create digital books that bring subjects to life in a way that no paper book can," Apple's Greg Joswiak said at the event. "With interactive features, videos and photos that you can customize, you can make the content relevant to the kids in your class, because students light up when they see their school, or their friends, in a real book."

Pages with the Digital Books feature will launch at a future date, and will come built in on the new iPad, which will sell for $329.




"Book creation is now possible in Pages for iOS and macOS, making it easy for anyone to create fun, interactive digital books, from short stories to travel books. Users can start a book using a variety of templates, and then customize it with drawings using iWork's new drawing tools or with image galleries and videos from their Photos library," Apple said in a press release after the event. "Users can collaborate in real time with their classmates or colleagues to create books together on iPad, iPhone, Mac and iCloud.com. Books can then be shared and will display beautifully in iBooks."

"It's got everything you need to create to make a totally engaging digital book," Joswiak said at the event.

It is one of many features introduced by Apple at its event in Chicago on Tuesday, which was geared towards restoring Apple's previously dominant position in the education market.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,909member
    THIS is a terrific new way to create a book. Should be a boon for all authors.
    Rayz2016tmay
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,220member
    THIS is a terrific new way to create a book. Should be a boon for all authors.
    I was just thinking how great this would be for authors and illustrators collaborating on children's books.

    Then I remembered that Pages can't handle facing pages, so maybe not so much.
    edited March 27
  • Reply 3 of 19
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,336administrator
    Rayz2016 said:
    THIS is a terrific new way to create a book. Should be a boon for all authors.
    I was just thinking how great this would be for authors and illustrators collaborating on children's books.

    Then I remembered that Pages can't handle facing pages, so maybe not so much.
    We'll see what the update brings. IIRC, it used to, back in the day.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 628member
    Rayz2016 said:
    THIS is a terrific new way to create a book. Should be a boon for all authors.
    I was just thinking how great this would be for authors and illustrators collaborating on children's books.

    Then I remembered that Pages can't handle facing pages, so maybe not so much.
    Um, it's called "Digital Books". Why would you need or even want "facing" digital pages?
    tmayfastasleepradarthekatjony0
  • Reply 5 of 19
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,220member
    sacto joe said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    THIS is a terrific new way to create a book. Should be a boon for all authors.
    I was just thinking how great this would be for authors and illustrators collaborating on children's books.

    Then I remembered that Pages can't handle facing pages, so maybe not so much.
    Um, it's called "Digital Books". Why would you need or even want "facing" digital pages?

    Well, as I said; I thought it would be great for collaborating children's authors/illustrators (I know a few), who still need to do printed books.

    Not saying it's wrong. I just thought it could be used for that, then quickly realised it couldn't.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,220member
    Rayz2016 said:
    THIS is a terrific new way to create a book. Should be a boon for all authors.
    I was just thinking how great this would be for authors and illustrators collaborating on children's books.

    Then I remembered that Pages can't handle facing pages, so maybe not so much.
    We'll see what the update brings. IIRC, it used to, back in the day.

    Yes, it did; before it got webified.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,448member
    Has no one at Apple (or in these forums) never tried Google Docs within the last five years? While far from perfect it certain allows documents at the level of Pages with full collaboration and spell check in dozens of languages. Likewise Apple keeps showing books that are basically photo and graphic vomiting on a screen while kids are being asked to write reports in APA and MLA. There is quite a bit of disconnect there.

    Apple just feels like they don't have much of a clue here and they throw a little half effort at it and just hope their ecosystem and name will carry the day. It didn't with iBooks or iBooks Author nor will it here either.
  • Reply 8 of 19
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,287member
    Pages lost a few features with the 5.0 upgrade, but slowing gaining them back. Facing pages may be one feature returning.

    I found it difficult to be excited by this event and its announcements. Great software, but an unimpressive hardware advance.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,220member

    I found it difficult to be excited by this event and its announcements. Great software, but an unimpressive hardware advance.
    Oh same here. But I'm not a teacher or student, so it wasn't aimed at me. If I were a teacher then I'd be a lot more interested in what it would actually do for me and my students, rather than whether or not Apple had advanced the specs.
    edited March 27
  • Reply 10 of 19
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,220member
    trumptman said:
    Has no one at Apple (or in these forums) never tried Google Docs within the last five years? While far from perfect it certain allows documents at the level of Pages with full collaboration and spell check in dozens of languages. Likewise Apple keeps showing books that are basically photo and graphic vomiting on a screen while kids are being asked to write reports in APA and MLA. There is quite a bit of disconnect there.


    And what age group did you think this little shindig was aimed towards?

    I think that's where you'll find your 'disconnect'.

  • Reply 11 of 19
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,293member
    Rayz2016 said:
    trumptman said:
    Has no one at Apple (or in these forums) never tried Google Docs within the last five years? While far from perfect it certain allows documents at the level of Pages with full collaboration and spell check in dozens of languages. Likewise Apple keeps showing books that are basically photo and graphic vomiting on a screen while kids are being asked to write reports in APA and MLA. There is quite a bit of disconnect there.


    And what age group did you think this little shindig was aimed towards?

    I think that's where you'll find your 'disconnect'.

    What age group do you see this new education effort targeted to?
  • Reply 12 of 19
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,167member
    Rayz2016 said:
    THIS is a terrific new way to create a book. Should be a boon for all authors.
    I was just thinking how great this would be for authors and illustrators collaborating on children's books.

    Then I remembered that Pages can't handle facing pages, so maybe not so much.
    I just started the download. The notes show that facing pages is a new feature.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 13 of 19
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,167member

    gatorguy said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    trumptman said:
    Has no one at Apple (or in these forums) never tried Google Docs within the last five years? While far from perfect it certain allows documents at the level of Pages with full collaboration and spell check in dozens of languages. Likewise Apple keeps showing books that are basically photo and graphic vomiting on a screen while kids are being asked to write reports in APA and MLA. There is quite a bit of disconnect there.


    And what age group did you think this little shindig was aimed towards?

    I think that's where you'll find your 'disconnect'.

    What age group do you see this new education effort targeted to?
    iPads, and tablets in general, would be, in my opinion, favored for elementary grade students, while a mix of tablets and laptops/Chromebooks/Surfaces for middle and High School.

    Young students aren't going to be typing long documents, so the touch and stylus support of tablets is a better fit.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,293member
    tmay said:

    gatorguy said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    trumptman said:
    Has no one at Apple (or in these forums) never tried Google Docs within the last five years? While far from perfect it certain allows documents at the level of Pages with full collaboration and spell check in dozens of languages. Likewise Apple keeps showing books that are basically photo and graphic vomiting on a screen while kids are being asked to write reports in APA and MLA. There is quite a bit of disconnect there.


    And what age group did you think this little shindig was aimed towards?

    I think that's where you'll find your 'disconnect'.

    What age group do you see this new education effort targeted to?
    iPads, and tablets in general, would be, in my opinion, favored for elementary grade students, while a mix of tablets and laptops/Chromebooks/Surfaces for middle and High School.

    Young students aren't going to be typing long documents, so the touch and stylus support of tablets is a better fit.
    I'd tend to agree with you. This seems more appropo for early grade school perhaps, tho maybe not the Digital Books feature? Dunno, maybe that too, at least for the instructor if not the students.
    edited March 27
  • Reply 15 of 19
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,167member
    gatorguy said:
    tmay said:

    gatorguy said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    trumptman said:
    Has no one at Apple (or in these forums) never tried Google Docs within the last five years? While far from perfect it certain allows documents at the level of Pages with full collaboration and spell check in dozens of languages. Likewise Apple keeps showing books that are basically photo and graphic vomiting on a screen while kids are being asked to write reports in APA and MLA. There is quite a bit of disconnect there.


    And what age group did you think this little shindig was aimed towards?

    I think that's where you'll find your 'disconnect'.

    What age group do you see this new education effort targeted to?
    iPads, and tablets in general, would be, in my opinion, favored for elementary grade students, while a mix of tablets and laptops/Chromebooks/Surfaces for middle and High School.

    Young students aren't going to be typing long documents, so the touch and stylus support of tablets is a better fit.
    I'd tend to agree with you. This seems more appropo for early grade school perhaps, tho maybe not the Digital Books feature? Dunno, maybe that too, at least for the instructor if not the students.
    If you watch the video of the kids doing a group report on gravity, fifth and sixth graders I'd guess, I'm not seeing the lack of a keyboard as an impediment. If anything, this points out the contrasts between the Chromebook and iPad, portability and media creation. Google's Asus tablet would seem to counter the iPad's advantages.

    Still, Apple's lack of a "low cost" notebook is likely giving Chromebooks an open field.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    Rayz2016 said:
    sacto joe said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    THIS is a terrific new way to create a book. Should be a boon for all authors.
    I was just thinking how great this would be for authors and illustrators collaborating on children's books.

    Then I remembered that Pages can't handle facing pages, so maybe not so much.
    Um, it's called "Digital Books". Why would you need or even want "facing" digital pages?

    Well, as I said; I thought it would be great for collaborating children's authors/illustrators (I know a few), who still need to do printed books.

    Not saying it's wrong. I just thought it could be used for that, then quickly realised it couldn't.
    Seems the updated Pages 7.0 on macOS supports facing pages:
    ”•Turn on facing pages to format your document as two-page spreads”
    edited March 27
  • Reply 17 of 19
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,588moderator
    trumptman said:
    Has no one at Apple (or in these forums) never tried Google Docs within the last five years? While far from perfect it certain allows documents at the level of Pages with full collaboration and spell check in dozens of languages. Likewise Apple keeps showing books that are basically photo and graphic vomiting on a screen while kids are being asked to write reports in APA and MLA. There is quite a bit of disconnect there.

    Apple just feels like they don't have much of a clue here and they throw a little half effort at it and just hope their ecosystem and name will carry the day. It didn't with iBooks or iBooks Author nor will it here either.
    Or maybe educators assign according to the tools available to kids, and these things change slowly.  So Apple, and perhaps also Google Docs, are providing the tools necessary to allow students to be more creative and expressive, so perhaps educators can feel more confident assigning more collaborative, expressive and media-rich tasks.  Something has to come first.  
  • Reply 18 of 19
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,909member
    Incidentally, authors wishing to sell or give away for free their ebooks through iTunes can go to the following address: 

    www.apple.com/itunes/working-itunes/sell-content/books/

    Imagine writing your own book on your iPad and selling it through iTunes. Fantastic!
  • Reply 19 of 19
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,220member
    a martin said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    sacto joe said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    THIS is a terrific new way to create a book. Should be a boon for all authors.
    I was just thinking how great this would be for authors and illustrators collaborating on children's books.

    Then I remembered that Pages can't handle facing pages, so maybe not so much.
    Um, it's called "Digital Books". Why would you need or even want "facing" digital pages?

    Well, as I said; I thought it would be great for collaborating children's authors/illustrators (I know a few), who still need to do printed books.

    Not saying it's wrong. I just thought it could be used for that, then quickly realised it couldn't.
    Seems the updated Pages 7.0 on macOS supports facing pages:
    ”•Turn on facing pages to format your document as two-page spreads”
    Yup. It just downloaded on my iPad. Tried opening a book, and there it was. 

    STAND BACK, PEOPLE!
    HAPPY DANCE!


    edited March 28
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