Caution: iOS11 / iBooks 4.13 breaks internet content

Update Nov 3, 2017:

Problem solved!

Apple has fixed both issues in:

  • iOS 11.1 / iBooks 4.14 (3826)
  • OSX 10.13.1 / iBooks 1.12 (1453)

Big thanks to the Apple team for the quick solution!

Update Oct 10, 2017:

The problems mentioned in this post also occur in iBooks in the OSX High Sierra (10.13.0) release.

Original problem description

For a lot of people iOS upgrades, bringing new features and productivity upgrades, are something to look forward to. Unfortunately there is also a downside, Apple developers are only human, and they write bugs like the rest of us.

This post is about an iBooks bug which was introduced with the iOS11 upgrade. If you’re not using (or publishing for) iBooks you can stop reading now, but if you are, please read on. Your books could have become annoying to use or completely unusable…

Using internet content in iBooks

Prior to iOS 11, YouTube, Vimeo or internet webpages could be embedded in your books using widgets, e.g because you don’t own the rights or the videos are too big.

Using BookWidgets, this content could be integrated on it’s own, using our WebEmbed, YouTube and Vimeo widgets.

It could also be integrated as part of a widget, e.g. an online simulator embedded at the start of a Quiz, a hotspot popping up, a YouTube video, etc.

What changed in iOS11 / iBooks 4.13

The new iBooks version brings 2 problems.

The minor problem is a usability problem: whenever content is loaded from the internet, authorisation is requested. I’m not sure what drove the decision to add this, but the reader gets presented with an URL which means little to him and he has no opinion about.

Starting a YouTube video

There used to be a time when Apple made fun of Windows for this type of behaviour, seems we’ve come a long way…

Brings us to the major problem: after you authorise the access, your widget is gone. The video replaces the widget. So, if you added a video as part of a quiz, you will no longer be able to access the quiz.

What to do about it?

Apple has fixed these issues, so all you need to do is upgrade!

Xavier Van Elsacker

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