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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!