Apple is discontinuing iBooks Author on July 1, suggests writers switch to Pages; iTunes U shutting down in 2021

iBooks Author has been a solid resource for some writers out there, but Apple is ready to sunset the service at the beginning of July.

MacRumors was the first with the report on Wednesday. Apple has sent out an email to users taking advantage of iBooks Author, informing them that the company is discontinuing the service as of July 1, 2020. When it is switched off, iBooks Author will no longer be available in the App Store.

It is not a secret that Pages has become Apple’s primary writer-friendly software, and, as a result, it has been baking in several different tools for book creation in the app. As a result, the company is informing those iBooks Authors that they should switch to Pages:

Thank you for being a member of the iBooks Author community. We have some news to share with you about the future of book creation.

Two years ago we brought book creation into Pages. With key features such as the ability to work on iPad, collaborate with others on a shared book, draw with Apple Pencil, and more, Pages is a great platform for making books.

As we focus our efforts on Pages, ‌iBooks‌ Author will no longer be updated and will soon be removed from the Mac App Store. You can continue to use ‌iBooks‌ Author on macOS 10.15 and earlier, and books previously published to Apple Books will remain available. If you have ‌iBooks‌ Author books you’d like to import into Pages for further editing, we have a book import feature coming to Pages soon.

It’s also worth mentioning that Apple is discontinuing iTunes U, too, but that won’t be until the end of 2021. Here is the important bit about that particular closure:

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.

Apple does note that if a Mac owner is using macOS 10.15 or an earlier version of the desktop operating system, iBooks Author will still be available, as long as the owner has already installed the app. And books published to Apple Books via iBooks Author will still be available.

There is an official support document detailing how iBooks Author users can transition to Pages.

iBooks Author has been around since 2012, but Pages has become the more popular option, and stronger focus for Apple, since. If you’re an author who uses iBooks Author, are you going to make the jump over to Pages, or will you be adopting a different resource for your current and/or next project?