Google has been ridiculed for growing and shutting down diverse programs through the years; however, I might pick that over letting matters die a gradual, agonizing demise about employer software programs. Apple, however, has achieved the latter with two of its K–12 targeted software program packages: iBooks Author and iTunes U. Apple have allowed these apps to suffer from software rot.
About Making The Grade: Every Saturday, Bradley Chambers publishes a new article about Apple in education. He has been managing Apple gadgets in a schooling environment considering that 2009. Though he enjoys deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will spotlight methods wherein Apple’s merchandise work at scale, memories from the trenches of IT control, and approaches Apple should improve its merchandise for students.
iBooks Author changed into launched in 2012 with much fanfare at an education-centered event. I took a study that occasions ultimate 12 months. Version 2.0 got here out six years ago, and a pair of.6.1 is the cutting-edge model. Are multi-touch books nonetheless a method that Apple is centered on? If so, why became it released on the iPad as a subset of features inner of Pages? Perhaps the maximum telling this is that the marketing pics on the iBooks Author website are not even optimized for Retina screens. iBooks Author is truly a demonstration Apple has software rot trouble in K-12.
Another utility/provider that Apple is basically neglecting is iTunes U. If you aren’t acquainted with iTunes U, it’s a software/provider application designed for teachers to facilitate turning in homework, hosting personal discussions, and capabilities an included grade e-book.
Apple pitches it seamlessly to arrange your study room. When you study through the advertising substances for it, it seems like it must be a tremendous resource for instructors and college students alike. The keyword here is should. iTunes U on the iPad is on three.7.1. The closing significant update becomes with three. Five turned into released in March of 2017, and that wasn’t even tons of something. Sadly, iTunes U doesn’t even aid split display screen at the iPad yet. The Apple Pencil guide is bare bones. It could be tough for me to propose iTunes U as a platform for anybody at this factor.
For each iTunes U and iBooks Author, it’s not absolutely clear that all people at Apple are even operating on either platform. Both of them had titanic promise and need to were at the spine of Apple’s K–12 strategy.
While iTunes U has been not noted, Google has been difficult at paintings on Google Classroom. Since its launch, Google Classroom has been continuously updated and enhanced. It works on iOS, macOS, and ChromeOS. iTunes U handiest works on iPad. Ironically, Google is doing a higher helping Apple’s structures with the K–12 software program than Apple. Yes, Google shuts down plenty of offerings, but I’d rather them be shut down than be afflicted by software rot (that’s what Apple is doing).
iTunes U could have been at the center of Apple’s K–12 methods. It could have been wherein the entirety ended up and in which the whole thing commenced. Instead, it’s gone years without significant updates to both the utility side or the server-facet component. While Apple continues to be operating on different study room apps, it’s no longer even near being a 1:1 alternative for iTunes U. Even the Classroom app has long passed over a year without a significant replacement.
Apple pitches the safety for students and teachers, and while I love that component of it, I need to look at that plus persisted improvements. Under Steve Jobs, Apple deployed an immediately accountable individual (DRI) mentality for every undertaking. It’s pretty clear; there’s no DRI for iTunes U and iBooks Author at Apple. If these packages aren’t going to be advanced and more suitable, Apple must announce plans to close them down instead of permitting them to suffer from software program rot.