iBooks for Kids: Conception

I have been using the iPad to read on more and more lately. Maybe it was because of my new found love of the Kindle app, or maybe it was because I just wanted a chance to experiment with UIPageViewController…I’m not sure, but I decided to build my 3 year old his very own app.

He loves anything that makes loud sounds, flashes on and off and generally annoys the hell out of most normal people. In-particular he likes these infuriating books that have a single plastic button and play the same jingle over and over again. They are infuriating, in-part because of the sound, but primarily because the button is a single moulded enclosure such that when the battery dies you have to buy an entire new book!

So, after going through three copies of “row row row your boat”, and not wanting to add, yet again, to the growing pile of cardboard and plastic, I decided to turn all of his books (he has pretty much the whole series) into a single app.

Some scanning, a bit of coding and a few hours later I had an app that let you push the button and turn the pages, all courtesy of UIPageViewController and AVAudioPlayer. And best of all, when the battery runs out you can plug it into the mains and recharge it!

But that was just the start…

It struck me that maybe my approach had been wrong. After all, Apple had recently released the iBooks 2.0 platform with iBooks Author. It was designed specifically for rich media books. So maybe that was a better option? Maybe I could have got it all done with even less effort and produced something with even better results.

I looked into it. I became confused.

I’m going to follow this up with a post very shortly about what I found out and what it lead to. But right now, I need to go and draw a tree, and a spider, and a bird…and about half a dozen other things. I’ll tell you why shortly.