How to ‘auto play’ Bookry widgets in iBooks Author

In the latest release of iBooks Author, widgets can be set to auto-play when the reader visits that page. This means they don’t need to tap on the widget to activate it. To enable this, click on the widget and open the Widget Inspector and select the “Plays automatically” checkbox. This indicates to iBooks that the widget should be loaded as soon as the reader opens this page.

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Due to security reasons, widgets that use autoplay are not allowed access to the internet. Many of our widgets work without internet access. However, if you want to use one that does there is a neat trick to make your widget appear like it loads on page…

“Pseudo” Auto-play widgets with internet

It’s not true autoplay, more of a visual trick to give your readers the impression that widgets are autoplaying – but it provides a great experience. Here’s how, step by step I made one of our Google Map widgets look like it autoplays. You can try this too!

1.) The first step is to create your widget and set it up to run on the page. You’ll need to drag the widget into your book and then preview the book on your iPad.

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2.) Now you need to tap on the widget so that it launches (but don’t change anything in the widget). Once the widget has launched you can take a screenshot of your iPad screen. You do this by pressing the home and power button simultaneously and letting go.

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3.) I can now e-mail myself this image so that I have it on my Mac. Once it’s on my Mac I can open it with preview (or any other image editing program) and select just the area the widget takes up. I can copy this and create a new image with just the initial screen the widget shows.

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4.) This is going to be my new cover image for my widget. I saved mine onto the Desktop so I can grab it quickly in a moment.

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5.) The final step is to replace the cover image of the widget. You can either upload it to your widget on Bookry so that next time you download the widget is all setup. Or you can just drag the new image onto your widget in iBooks Author. There you have it! It looks like your widget is already running. It’s not, but when the reader taps on it they’ll just see a loading message for a short time and then be able to start using the widget directly on the page.

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We’re very excited to see what ingenious things you start creating with on page widgets and autoplay. The updates to widgets and the rest of iBooks Author make it an even more powerful and flexible platform for writing your books. Happy authoring!

How to run Bookry Widgets ‘On the Page’ in iBooks Author

In the latest version of iBooks Author, widgets can now run on the book page itself without needing to open up fullscreen in a new window. The vast majority of Bookry widgets now support using a “freeform” dimension which helps you set them up for running directly on the page. All you need to do is set the size you want the widget to be in the book and when you place it on the page, everything will be sized and set up magically.

Here are some step-by-step instructions on how to get your first on-screen widget up and running:

1.) Before you start customizing the widget you should set up its size to make sure all the hard work of resizing images etc is done for you by Bookry. When you create the widget, select the “Orientation and Size” dropdown in the static settings (top-left)

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2.) Select the freeform option. Here you can enter the width and height that you want the widget to be in iBooks Author. Once you’ve entered these, all the images and backgrounds that you upload to the widget will be sized correctly.

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3.) Now you can customize the widget as you normally would. Once you’ve finished doing this, download it and drag it into your book as usual.

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4.) Click on the widget in iBooks author and open the Widget Inspector. You will need to choose the “Plays on page” option. Your widget is now being told to play in-situ on the page in iBooks.

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5.) Finally we just need to make the widget in iBooks Author the correct size. (Make sure you select the widget for this step and not the gray frame around it!) Once you’ve selected the widget choose the Metrics inspector. Here you can set the width and height of the widget. (In our case it’s 600 by 600).onscreen_5

There you have it. Your first on-page widget.

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Bookry Widgets Support new iBooks Author Features!

Bookry widgets can now run on the page in iBooks AuthorIt’s a real delight to see new features added to iBooks Author, which were publicly announced following Apple’s Special Event last week. Here’s a summary of a few you can start making use of right away:

  • Import from EPUB 2 and 3: add great widgets to your existing EPUB books or use authoring tools on other platforms.
  • Import from Adobe InDesign: you can now import your books from InDesign and then complement them with interactivity for iBooks Author.  Watch our video about this on YouTube.
  • Run widgets on the page: widgets can now run on the book page itself, with no need to open up in a new window full screen.
  • Auto-play widgets: you can now set widgets to run automatically on page turn, doing away with the need to tap. This is perfect for auto-starting keynotes and audio.

Many of these changes open up new potential for iBooks Author users. For example, it’s now much easier to add both read-along and auto-animations to children’s books. Also by placing the widgets on the page itself rather than opening up in a new window, you can make the user experience much more dynamic and smoother.

The great news is all Bookry widgets now support running on page and autoplaying, and we will be publishing some tutorials on this blog in the next day or so showing you how.

(Note: to start tinkering with these new features you will need to update your Mac to OSX Yosemite and your iPad to iOS 8– both of which are free!)

Add Bookry Widgets to iTunes U

 

Add Bookry Widgets to iTunes U Today we’re delighted to announce iTunes U support for all your Bookry widgets.

In addition to using your widgets in your Multi-Touch books made with iBooks Author, you can also place them in any course on iTunes U. This is how it works:

  1. Create your widgets on Bookry.com as before, using your computer or iPad.
  2. After creating your widget, tap on the ‘iTunes U and App Link’ tab.
  3. You are then presented with a unique widget code for you to place on iTunes U.

To view the widgets, all your students need to do is download the free Bookry Widgets App to their iPad and enter the widget code – simple! (more…)

Summer iBA Hackathons: Register Now!

We are delighted to be once again supporting two iBA Hackathons taking place in the US over the next few months.

The main purpose of the events is to train educators in designing high-quality, media-rich, interactive iBooks for education. From beginner to published author, the hackathons will take attendees knowledge of iBooks Author and instructional design to the next level. (more…)

Featured Title: England’s 100 Best Views

Review of England's 100 Best Views on iBooksThis month we take a look at a new multi-touch book written by one of Britain’s most prominent journalists and bestselling authors, Simon Jenkins.

The book is a visual treat as it includes page upon page of stunning scenic photographs of the very best English views as chosen by Jenkins himself, who is currently Chairman of the National Trust. The hardback book is impressive, but with such amazing photography the layout was just perfect for digital publishing on the iPad. The title was created using  Apple’s iBooks Author by publishers Profile Books and YUDU. (more…)

Customize the Peep Hole Shape in Reveal

Reveal widget peep hole functionRecently added to the generator of our very popular Reveal widget, is the ability to upload an image to customize the peep hole shape.  The reader then drags this shape around the screen to guess what’s hidden underneath, rather than the default square shape.

When creating your peep hole image all you need to do is make sure that the peep hole in your image is a transparent area. For the best results make the edge of your image the same color as the ‘Mask Color’ in the generator, and make the image size the same as the peep hole size. For example you could show two circles as binoculars, or perhaps a keyhole shape. (more…)

Sounds added to Maze, Match Game, Reveal & Drag & Drop

More sound effects added to Bookry widgetsWe’ve been busy making changes to many of our generators so that you can now add cool sound effects to your widgets that will really bring them to life.  Our recent additions are:

  • Maze: add a sound when a reader collects and item in the maze.  Also add a win sound on completing a maze.
  • Match Game: add sounds for a selected item, when the reader completes a group, for an incorrect match and on game completion.
  • Reveal: add a sound for the scratching or peeping.
  • Drag & Drop: add sounds for picking up an item, dropping an item and adding a new item.

Remember, Bookry support audio files that are m4a format. You can use QuickTime to convert any existing mp3 files into this format by simply opening the file in QuickTime, selecting ‘File’ > ‘Export’ and then ‘Audio Only’. And if you’re looking for some creative commons free sounds, try these websites:

In-Book Photo Widget for iBooks Author is Here!

Bookry In-Book Photo widget for iBooks AuthorLetting readers take their own photo and place it in your book is a great way to encourage interaction and for readers to personalize the content. With our new In-Book Photo widget, readers simply click on the widget icon and then take a photo using their device.  The photo is then placed in the widget.

This great widget can be used for both fun and functional purposes – such as taking a photo of an amazing cake that’s just been decorated or to capture the results of a completed experiment. Whatever you decide to use it for, our In-Book Photo widget will certainly add a new dimension to your book that your readers will enjoy using. (more…)

‘The Slightly Annoying Elephant’ nominated for Booktrust Award

The Slightly Annoying Elephant nominated in the Best Book AwardsWe’re delighted that David Walliams’ The Slightly Annoying Elephant Multi-Touch book, published by Harper Collins Children’s Books, has been shortlisted by the Booktrust Best Book Awards in the ‘Best Tech Stuff’ category.

The eBook, which was developed Bookry, is the only finalist in this category to be created using Apple’s iBooks Author software with HTML5 widgets. The special edition includes great interactive features like read along, auto play animations, tap animations with sounds, learning activities, social sharing, iPad shake and tilt elements, and reader personalisation. You can learn more about these ground-breaking ‘firsts’ for iBooks Author in this special blog.

Highlights of the book also include narration and extra character voices provided by Walliams himself  (tap on the elephants and other animals to hear his hilarious one liners!), plus stunning illustrations by artistic genius Tony Ross, which have been carefully adapted and animated for the iPad. (more…)