Apple to discontinue iBooks Author in July, plans the same for iTunes U in 2021

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple is discontinuing its iBooks Author platform in July and plans to do the same for iTunes U in 2021, the company said Wednesday.




In an email to publishers seen by AppleInsider, Apple said that it will no longer update the iBooks Author platform. As part of its switch to publishing with Pages, Apple also said that it will pull the app from the Mac App Store on July 1.

Apple notes that users with the iBooks Author app will be able to use it on macOS 10.15 and earlier, suggesting it may not be available in a future macOS version. Books previously published using the iBooks Author app will remain available.

A separate support document published today notes that a book import feature that will allow authors to port their projects from iBooks Author to Pages is on the horizon.

The iBooks Author platform, which allowed Mac users to create books for various e-reading applications, was first introduced in 2012.

Apple also said that it would discontinue iTunes U, its aging education-aimed ecosystem, toward the end of 2021.

The iTunes U platform will be available for the 2020 to 2021 school year, but will stop being supported in 2021.

In a support document also published Wednesday, the company touted new apps like Classroom, Schoolwork and the Apple School Manager tool as apt alternatives for teachers and students.

iTunes U was first introduced in 2007 as a way for educators to provide university materials through the broader iTunes platform. That included audio, media and class handouts. Apple began phasing out iTunes U in 2017 and transitioned the feature to the Podcasts app.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    ralphieralphie Posts: 90member
    Ah yes, another failed Apple service.  Apple cannot do services.  I don't know why they just can't accept that fact.  Apple TV+ shuttered in 3.. 2..1.
    SpamSandwichanantksundaramtoysandme
  • Reply 2 of 28
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,783member
    I played with it a few times and somehow never kept going. I always fell back to Pages or something like that. 
    ralphie said:
    Ah yes, another failed Apple service.  Apple cannot do services.  I don't know why they just can't accept that fact.  Apple TV+ shuttered in 3.. 2..1.
    Would not surprise me. The proof will be how many people renew once the free year is up. I know we won’t be. 
  • Reply 3 of 28
    XedXed Posts: 2,223member
    ralphie said:
    Ah yes, another failed Apple service.  Apple cannot do services.  I don't know why they just can't accept that fact.  Apple TV+ shuttered in 3.. 2..1.
    iCloud is huge array of successful services. iTunes Store and App Store are huge successes. Apple Music is absolutely a success iMessage is an amazing chat service. News is incredible useful and used by everyone I know with iPhones or iPads. Then you have FaceTime, Find My, Apple Cash, Photos, Maps, etc, which are all excellent.

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    Tell me again how Apple cannot do services and how every single of those services should be shuttered because a couple weren't useful to you? Why is Apple held to some impossible standard where even one less than stellar release means the whole category needs to be shuttered?
    Oferjdb8167lolliverDogpersonroundaboutnowurahararandominternetpersonMacPromacxpressjony0
  • Reply 4 of 28
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    ralphie said:
    Ah yes, another failed Apple service.  Apple cannot do services.  I don't know why they just can't accept that fact.  Apple TV+ shuttered in 3.. 2..1.
    Let me change that slightly:  “Apple cannot do niche services.”

    They’ve had a long history of abandoning things which don’t interest them (aka “generate revenue”). In fact, why should they? They’re not a charity.
    MacProjony0
  • Reply 5 of 28
    FatmanFatman Posts: 513member
    The article title should more accurately say Apple is transitioning these products to Pages and Apple Classrooms, respectively. So it’s not a fail - but a change.
    JWSCcornchiprob53lolliverDogpersonomasouroundaboutnowRayz2016uraharaMacPro
  • Reply 6 of 28
    jkmutahjkmutah Posts: 10member
    ralphie said:
    Ah yes, another failed Apple service.  Apple cannot do services.  I don't know why they just can't accept that fact.  Apple TV+ shuttered in 3.. 2..1.
    You're so right!  Apple Music and iTunes have been such major FAILURES!  <insert sarcasm here>
    lolliverDogpersonomasouroundaboutnowuraharaMacProjony0
  • Reply 7 of 28
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    There are better apps for that.

    There’s no reason for Apple to spend resources in niche (especially free) products.
  • Reply 8 of 28
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,072member
    ralphie said:
    Ah yes, another failed Apple service.  Apple cannot do services.  I don't know why they just can't accept that fact.  Apple TV+ shuttered in 3.. 2..1.
    Let me change that slightly:  “Apple cannot do niche services.”

    They’ve had a long history of abandoning things which don’t interest them (aka “generate revenue”). In fact, why should they? They’re not a charity.
    If it didn’t interest them why invest in and launch it in the first place? 
    I think it is more Apple has a long history of releasing potentially cool stuff to massive fanfare, then doesn’t give it any more love after launch date. Instead of building on the foundation to iteratively improve it, the product stagnates until eventually it is put down.

    Google is similar when you think about it, the main difference is Apple doesn’t tell you about it until launch. It’s like a bunch of Cali dope heads in love with their new toy then get suddenly distracted by the new shiny.  At least I hope it is and not some stupid internal factional war by the executives.

    edit: also Pages. Another product subject to stagnation. Who on earth uses Pages for publishing? 

    Edit2: while I am having a rant, Books is probably next.  Thing is iBooks Author could have been the best way to publish books on the internet, and ensured Books was a popular way to read on your device. But they tried to be tricky and it has failed.  Just try transferring an ePub onto your iPhone from your Mac via finder ( it should be as easy as putting an MP3 on your phone). Can’t do it. You have to email it to yourself and then open it in Books. I think it is becuase Apple would prefer the only way to get a book is from its bookstore, just like iTunes Music and Siri makes your personal music collection (library) a second class citizen.
    all Apple has managed to do, despite its major slice of the portable device market, is enshrine kindle as the default book reading app people publish to.
    edited June 2020 cornchipiqatedoelijahgurahara
  • Reply 9 of 28
    XedXed Posts: 2,223member
    entropys said:
    ralphie said:
    Ah yes, another failed Apple service.  Apple cannot do services.  I don't know why they just can't accept that fact.  Apple TV+ shuttered in 3.. 2..1.
    Let me change that slightly:  “Apple cannot do niche services.”

    They’ve had a long history of abandoning things which don’t interest them (aka “generate revenue”). In fact, why should they? They’re not a charity.
    If it didn’t interest them why invest in and launch it in the first place? 
    I think it is more Apple has a long history of releasing potentially cool stuff to massive fanfare, then doesn’t give it any more love after launch date. Instead of building on the foundation to iteratively improve it, the product stagnates until eventually it is put down.

    Google is similar when you think about it, the main difference is Apple doesn’t tell you about it until launch. It’s like a bunch of Cali dope heads in love with their new toy then get suddenly distracted by the new shiny.  At least I hope it is and not some stupid internal factional war by the executives.

    edit: also Pages. Another product subject to stagnation. Who on earth uses Pages for publishing? 
    Don't interest them anymore. Think of the iPod. That was a major cash cow for Apple, but they abandoned it when something better came along and when models stopped selling. The only one they have now is the iPod Touch because the R&D is probably near zero and I wouldn't be surprised if that was killed any day from sales being too low.
    lolliverurahara
  • Reply 10 of 28
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,136member
    I've really enjoyed iTunes U. However, most of the material that I followed on a regular basis has transitioned to Podcasts as stated in the article. The fact that iTunes U was available on some devices but not on others was probably a sign that its future was tenuous.

    I have to throw the BS flag on claims that Apple doesn't know how to do services. Each of these "failures" had potential and the kernel of a great idea. In these cases, as in most entrepreneurial ventures,  these venture never jumped the gap from early adoption with a high level of enthusiasm within a small group to growth and widespread adoption with mass appeal.  Failure coupled with learning is how organizations learn. The iPad would never have been possible without the lessons learned from the Newton. 
    cornchiplolliverurahara
  • Reply 11 of 28
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,072member
    The iPod was replaced because something better came along.  iBooks Author died because it has stagnated, and in its worst crime as a publishing app, the cool stuff did not work across platforms.
    It’s a product that could have been the best, but never got to spread its wings.
    cornchipJWSCtoysandmeuraharajony0
  • Reply 12 of 28
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 626member
    entropys said:
    ralphie said:
    Ah yes, another failed Apple service.  Apple cannot do services.  I don't know why they just can't accept that fact.  Apple TV+ shuttered in 3.. 2..1.
    Let me change that slightly:  “Apple cannot do niche services.”

    They’ve had a long history of abandoning things which don’t interest them (aka “generate revenue”). In fact, why should they? They’re not a charity.
    Edit2: while I am having a rant, Books is probably next.  Thing is iBooks Author could have been the best way to publish books on the internet, and ensured Books was a popular way to read on your device. But they tried to be tricky and it has failed.  Just try transferring an ePub onto your iPhone from your Mac via finder ( it should be as easy as putting an MP3 on your phone). Can’t do it. You have to email it to yourself and then open it in Books. I think it is becuase Apple would prefer the only way to get a book is from its bookstore, just like iTunes Music and Siri makes your personal music collection (library) a second class citizen.
    all Apple has managed to do, despite its major slice of the portable device market, is enshrine kindle as the default book reading app people publish to.
    Drag an ePub to your Mac version of Books. It syncs, now it is on your iPhone. Pretty easy. You can also download an ePub with Safari and open it in Books. Again, very easy. Not sure what problem you are having.
    fastasleeplolliverroundaboutnowuraharajony0
  • Reply 13 of 28
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,377member
    entropys said:

    edit: also Pages. Another product subject to stagnation. Who on earth uses Pages for publishing? 
    Currently editing/designing an ebook in Pages for a client right now. So, me, apparently?

    Edit2: while I am having a rant, Books is probably next.  Thing is iBooks Author could have been the best way to publish books on the internet, and ensured Books was a popular way to read on your device. But they tried to be tricky and it has failed.  Just try transferring an ePub onto your iPhone from your Mac via finder ( it should be as easy as putting an MP3 on your phone). Can’t do it. You have to email it to yourself and then open it in Books. I think it is becuase Apple would prefer the only way to get a book is from its bookstore, just like iTunes Music and Siri makes your personal music collection (library) a second class citizen.
    all Apple has managed to do, despite its major slice of the portable device market, is enshrine kindle as the default book reading app people publish to.

    What the hell? You just drag and drop ePubs or PDFs onto the Books app and they sync with your iCloud Library across all devices, assuming you have iCloud Library turned on for Books, otherwise you use the settings in iTunes or Finder if in Catalina to sync your books with devices manually. Could not be any easier.

    I have no problem adding my own music to my iCloud Music Library either, so not sure what your problem is there either.
    cornchiplolliverroundaboutnowuraharajony0
  • Reply 14 of 28
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,072member
    jdb8167 said:
    entropys said:
    ralphie said:
    Ah yes, another failed Apple service.  Apple cannot do services.  I don't know why they just can't accept that fact.  Apple TV+ shuttered in 3.. 2..1.
    Let me change that slightly:  “Apple cannot do niche services.”

    They’ve had a long history of abandoning things which don’t interest them (aka “generate revenue”). In fact, why should they? They’re not a charity.
    Edit2: while I am having a rant, Books is probably next.  Thing is iBooks Author could have been the best way to publish books on the internet, and ensured Books was a popular way to read on your device. But they tried to be tricky and it has failed.  Just try transferring an ePub onto your iPhone from your Mac via finder ( it should be as easy as putting an MP3 on your phone). Can’t do it. You have to email it to yourself and then open it in Books. I think it is becuase Apple would prefer the only way to get a book is from its bookstore, just like iTunes Music and Siri makes your personal music collection (library) a second class citizen.
    all Apple has managed to do, despite its major slice of the portable device market, is enshrine kindle as the default book reading app people publish to.
    Drag an ePub to your Mac version of Books. It syncs, now it is on your iPhone. Pretty easy. You can also download an ePub with Safari and open it in Books. Again, very easy. Not sure what problem you are having.
    It won’t do that for me. It will for books purchase from the bookstore, but not non drm ePub. If it works for you it might be something to do with the profile that work has put on my iPhone and not apple’s fault (works with the kindle app though). If so I take a fair bit of my rant back.
  • Reply 15 of 28
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 1,203member
    Fatman said:
    The article title should more accurately say Apple is transitioning these products to Pages and Apple Classrooms, respectively. So it’s not a fail - but a change.
    Very much agree.  IMO, this is incompetent messaging on Apple’s part.  That AppleInsider chose to convey the changes as a discontinuance as opposed to a migration of capabilities (I’m not blaming AI for this) says it all.  It’s a negative storyline that doesn’t have to be.

    The iBooks Author narrative could have been, “We are moving full authoring and publishing capability to Pages.  Authors will now have all the capabilities of Pages and book authoring in one convenient and familiar tool.”  The change could have been portrayed in a positive manner.  But no. 🤦‍♂️ 
    lolliverDogpersonroundaboutnowFatmanuraharajony0
  • Reply 16 of 28
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,197member
    Apple has tried many services and I feel the number one reason they have had problems gaining traction is because other companies are afraid Apple will take over so they refuse to work with them. Apple TV+ is barely working because the companies with rights to TV shows and movies know they’d lose control if Apple was in charge. Look at all the streaming services yet Apple is barely allowed to participate. Other streaming services allow the media companies to control everything causing prices to go up. 
  • Reply 17 of 28
    As a long-time professional user of iBooks Author – my small publishing house has several titles created in iBooks Author in the Apple Books store – the heading should read: Apple abandons another professional software program after years of disinterest.

    To suggest Pages is a viable replacement for iBooks Author is equivalent to saying that Apple Photos was a viable replacement for Aperture. Yes for casual users but a nonsense for a professional user.

    This day was inevitable, as numerous feature request were ignored, and the software is largely as it was when launched in 2011.

    What Apple can’t do is professional software outside audio and video. The potential for iBooks Author and, in turn, for the iPad as an industry-leading multi-media book reader is exciting. But, Apple just doesn’t seem to have a clue how to provide the tools to make that happen.

    The only hope is that the very smart, user focused, people at Serif may incorporate the key iBooks Author tools into Affinity Publisher. At least they care about their professional users, and have the wits to develop great software with a tiny fraction of the resources available to Apple.


    firelockDAalseth
  • Reply 18 of 28
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,070member
    What killed iBooks Author was actually pretty straightforward: it was aimed at teachers who wanted to create their own textbooks (originally), but beyond that you explicitly couldn't use it to produce a book sellable on Kindle. The "fix" for this might arrive in Pages, but I suspect Vellum will continue to be the self-pub-authors-who-want-to-get-paid's platform of choice.

    Teachers would love to write their own textbooks, but that idea never caught fire because of the incredible level of bureaucracy schools have.

    As for iTunes U, I took a couple of courses from it and appreciated it as a lifelong learner, but for reasons I don't know about it failed to catch on (insert snarky comment about how many people have become fact/learning-resistant these days ... here!). Classroom will probably be a better place for iTunes U, but public access to it was nice to have even if only occasionally used. I hope Podcasts and other online learning outlets like YouTube will continue to be great resources for people who still want to learn stuff they weren't taught in schools.

    As for the moron who suggested "Apple can't do services" -- it's only the single most-profitable source of income for the company, and second only to the iPhone in terms of overall revenue. People who can't see past the end of their own nose are the worst.
    edited June 2020 JWSCMacProjony0
  • Reply 19 of 28
    omasouomasou Posts: 507member
    ralphie said:
    Ah yes, another failed Apple service.  Apple cannot do services.  I don't know why they just can't accept that fact.  Apple TV+ shuttered in 3.. 2..1.
    Did you even bother to read the article? They are transition the content creation to other apps.

    You'd think by now people wouldn't bother spewing Apple FUD but good to see you still think we're back in 1984 crying how Apple is failing while in the real world where we live Apple just broke 1.5T market capitalization!
    edited June 2020 MacPro
  • Reply 20 of 28
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,892member
    I was a big fan of iWeb. Made building modest websites fun and easy. Push a button and Apple hosted. As a teacher this made the online portion of my teaching super easy. Then they abandoned it. Published my first book last year using iBooks Author. Bingo, thanks for playing. At he very least they could have spun these off as they did other products. One of the biggest selling points of Apple over others has always been that its fun and easy to do stuff that’s complicated outside the walled garden. Wish they’d not leave that behind. 
    firelockcornchip
Sign In or Register to comment.