What would a CartoonSmart book look like?

I dunno. Because neither of us will probably ever see one.  But how about a CartoonSmart iBook??you can read one today!

Well part of one. Last Wednesday (so one week ago) I decided to really explore iBooks Author. It is the most intuitive program I’ve ever used. Like most of Apple’s consumer software, without any help I was able to create and publish within no time. And what I made in an hour was inspiring. Granted all I did at that point was modify one of the templates, but seeing it published to my iPad spurred a ton of ideas. Here’s what’s so cool (and completely different from making Apps)…

  • Without creating any kind of developer profile or signing up for stuff, I was able to publish the book to my iPad. All you do is plug in the device and open iBooks (download the latest version though). As any of my iOS development students know, this is absolutely not the case making an App. One of the toughest things about being a developer is one of the first steps, getting the app on the darn device. Put it this way, iBooks is basically a jail-broken format.
  • If bullet point 1 up there didn’t wow you, well check this out… I can distribute what I created today AND without any official permission or review from Apple. In fact, I’ll give you two chapters of what I put together this week. The only catch, and it isn’t much of one, I can’t sell you something in the iBooks format. To do that, I would need to distribute through Apple. But for right now, I’m just excited I can give this to you for free. Again, that’s completely different than the uphill battle you face distributing an App for free.

So to stress-test iBooks (and stress my ability to convey knowledge via written word) I wrote two chapters of an iOS programming book. Its 140MB, because I’ve included about 30 minutes of videos inside the book. How cool is that?!

Here’s how you can get this work-in-progress:

  1. If you’re on an iPad reading this now you can open the iBooks file directly. Just be sure you have the latest version of iBooks already. Click this link. It will show a blue loading bar in the URL window, then once downloaded it will prompt you to open the book in iBooks.
  2. You can download a zip file with the .ibooks format. Click this link.  The zip will download, open it. A file called cartoonsmart.ibooks will be there. Drop that into iTunes. In your Library, you should see it under Books. Then when you connect your iPad to iTunes, you should see the book in your Books tab ready to sync up.  If you don’t, again, make sure you have the latest version of iBooks.

If you don’t have an iPad, eeeeekk, that stinks. But don’t worry, I won’t be making only iBooks from here on out. This was just something I wanted to test out. We still have plenty of video courses ahead. Check out this format though, and tell me what you think.

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