Apple to discontinue iBooks Author and iTunes U

iBooks Author

Apple has moved to discontinue both iBooks Author and iTunes U in the coming months. The functionality of both apps will instead be found in other apps. For example, iBooks Author users must prepare to transition their work to Pages. Apple has released a support document explaining how to create books in Pages.

When it comes to the iBooks Author app, it won't be available to new users starting on July 1, 2020. Anyone who has previously downloaded the app can continue using it on macOS 10.15 and earlier, however the app will never be updated again. Apple is working on a book import feature for Pages, which will automatically import iBooks Author (.iba files) directly for editing.

For its part, iTunes U will be discontinued next year. Content will continue to be available to existing customers of iTunes U through the 2020-21 educational year. Subscriptions to the service shall be permanently discontinued at the end of 2021. Apple has encouraged instructors to download and save any materials that have not already been backed up outside of iTunes U.

Publishers currently using iTunes U to create public content can use Apple Podcasts and Apple Books to disseminate their materials. Private content publishers are recommended to use the Schoolwork app. Apple is adding ClassKit support to iTunes U, which will help instructors transition from iTunes U to Schoolwork more easily. The company will also add an export feature to iTunes U, so that content can be sent to Learning Management Systems or other teaching apps.

It's been three years since iTunes U has received any new features. Instead, Apple has focused its energy on developing Schoolwork, Classroom, and Apple School Manager to facilitate teaching and learning on Apple devices.