I have previously written about my frustration With iBooks Author and iTunes U, and Apple has now announced both of these products are being discontinued. iBooks Author will no longer be updated, and iTunes U is being discontinued at the end of 2021.iBooks Author will continue to work, but you’ll need to make preparations to transition to Pages in the near future. Much of the functionality from iBooks Author has made its way into Pages over the past few update cycles. This announcement shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as we never saw iBooks Author transition into Apple Books Author or include a native iPad app. Apple will be included an import function in a future version of Pages.
iBooks Author will no longer be updated, and it won’t be available to new users as of July 1, 2020. If you’ve previously downloaded the app, you can still access it from your App Store purchase history. You can continue to use iBooks Author on macOS 10.15 and earlier, and books previously published to Apple Books from iBooks Author will remain available.
If you have iBooks Author books you’d like to import into Pages, a book import feature is coming to Pages soon. It will allow you to open and edit iBooks Author files (.iba) in Pages.
Apple has also announced that iTunes U will be discontinued at the end of 2021 (not the 2021 school year). I published a recent article about how the lack of updates from Apple regarding iTunes U has led to Google Classroom growing in popularity during COVID-19.
Apple has been hard at work building the next generation of apps for both teachers and students:
- Classroom turns your iPad into a powerful teaching assistant, helping teachers guide students through a lesson, see their progress, and keep them on track.
- Schoolwork helps teachers save time and maximize each student’s potential by making it easy for teachers to share class materials, get students to a specific activity in an app, collaborate with students, and view student progress.
In addition to Classroom and Schoolwork, Apple also introduced Apple School Manager to enable IT Administrators to easily manage iPads, Macs, Apple TV, Apple IDs, books, and apps, while ensuring data is kept secure and private. Apps such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, GarageBand, iMovie, Clips, and Swift Playgrounds have education-specific features that are used regularly by teachers and students.
With this in mind, Apple will discontinue iTunes U at the end of 2021. iTunes U will continue to be available to all existing customers through the 2020-2021 educational year.
Much of the content in iTunes U can easily be transitioned into platforms like Apple Podcasts and Apple Books. If you are publishing private content in iTunes U, Apple recommends using Schoolwork going forward. iTunes U will continue to be available to all existing users through the 2020-2021 educational year before it is discontinued at the end of 2021, so if you’re school or university had plans to continue to use iTunes U, you have a full academic year to make plans.
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