Apple closes the book on iBooks Author

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iBooks Author is being put on the shelf
iBooks Author uses a Mac to create ebooks that can be read on an iPad.
Photo: Apple

Apple revealed Wednesday that iBooks Author, macOS software for creating content for the Apple Books service, is being put on the shelf. It’ll be replaced with Apple Pages.

The big advantage is that this free word-processing application is available for not just Mac, but also iPad and even iPhone.

iBook Author debuted way back in 2012. And Apple updated it fairly frequently in the following 8+ years. But that’ll be over very soon — new downloads of the Mac app stop at the end of June.

Apple reassured fans of iBooks Author that they can still use the app if they’ve already downloaded it. But there’ll be no more updates. And this software will apparently only work with macOS Catalina 10.15, not the updated Mac operating system expected this fall.

Transitioning iBooks Author to Apple Pages

Apple created a guide to show users of its Mac-only ebook maker how to move to using Apple Pages instead. “If you have iBooks Author books you’d like to import into Pages, a book import feature is coming to Pages soon,” promises Apple. “It will allow you to open and edit iBooks Author files (.iba) in Pages.”

The word-processing software includes the features needed to be an ebook creator, like a table of contents, facing pages, and images. Authors will be able to take advantage of the recent improvements to Pages, like drop caps. And the software isn’t just about text. Pages can handle video and audio too. And mathematical notations.

Apple Pages is available now on the Mac App Store, as well as the iPhone and iPad App Store.