June 4, 2014 Last Updated 1:44 pm

Apple releases a guide for Swift, its new programming language

But Apple chooses to not its own digital publishing platform to create its eBook

The Monday WWDC keynote address had developers fairly excited: Apple really concentrated on their developer community by not including any minor hardware update announcements, and surprised them with the news that they were introducing a new programming language, Swift.

Swift-iPadFor digital publishers, especially those not actually using Xcode to develop their apps, the WWDC was pretty much a snooze. Yes, there was some pretty interesting and exciting new features added to both the Mac and mobile operating systems, and that is good news for those who have concentrated on launching their digital publications for the iPhone and iPad first. But nothing was mentioned of iBooks Author, and no new digital publishing platform was announced (no doubt a relief for the 100+ platforms currently selling into the publishing industry).

Yesterday, though, Apple released a free eBook for programmers. This got my attention. The new eBook, called The Swift Programming Language, is the 108th eBook to be found inside Apple’s iBook Store.

But what many find interesting is that it is also the 108th eBook that is a plain jane ePub book.

In the past, when Apple wanted to show off the capabilities of its software it often led the way by releasing their own showcase apps. But when it comes to publishing Apple has been sadly missing. Apple doesn’t use iBooks Author.

The reason it may choose to avoid its own software solution may be that until recently iBooks Author could not create an eBook that could be read on a Mac – and even today, iBA can not help you get onto the iPhone. But whose fault is that? Digital publishers have for two years screamed about the lack of iPhone support. And who makes the damn iPhone anyway, isn’t that the same company that once promoted iBA as a great digital publishing tool?

This whole situation could turn around tomorrow, of course, with the release of an updated version of iBA. But for now, Apple has digital publishers scratching their heads and wondering if the company is no longer interested in using interactive digital publishing as one of the ways it sells more iPhones and iPads.

  • Nick Martin 3 years ago

    With the recent neglect of newsstand I would find it very surprising if Apple launched their own publishing platform for magazines. Do you see or know of any rumors that Apple would potentially expand iBA to include magazines with subscriptions in the near future? Would perhaps make an interesting article 🙂