Most classrooms that use Book Creator for iPad will be used to sending books to each other using AirDrop – it’s quick and easy. However, unfortunately Apple introduced a bug when they released iOS 11.2 which means all ePub files default to opening in the iBooks app.
Anyone using iOS up to 11.1 will still see the screen below, which gives various options for opening an ePub file sent to you with AirDrop.
If you’ve already updated to iOS 11.2, now you won’t get that option and the book will automatically open in Apple’s iBooks app. To be clear – this doesn’t just affect Book Creator, it would affect users who want to transfer books to Apple’s own iTunes U app too.
If you try and transfer a book using the new Files app, it will also open in iBooks, rather than giving you an option of where to open it.
Likewsise, you cannot use Apple Classroom to transfer books either – they too will default to opening in iBooks.
Do Apple know about this bug?
Yes. We informed our contacts at Apple before Christmas, and they were quick to fix the bug. We’ve beta-tested the fix and AirDrop is working as it should again. However, we don’t know when this update will reach users through iOS. The current iOS update is 11.2.2 – and the bug fix was not included in that update.
Although we wouldn’t normally advise this, if the AirDrop feature is really important to you, consider holding off from updating iOS until the bug fix is released.
Is there a workaround?
There is. You’ll need to use a cloud app to transfer the book as an ePub file. Do this by exporting the book as an ePub file to Google Drive (you could Dropbox or another app too).
Make sure you have the Google Drive app installed. Tap the export icon beneath your book on the My Books screen, and choose ‘Copy to Drive‘.
Once it’s saved in Drive, you could share the link with the person you want to receive the book (maybe send it via email, or iMessage). They will then open the link, and choose ‘Copy to Book Creator’. In a classroom environment, it would work a lot more easily if the teacher set up a shared folder that everyone had access to. That way, you can use the Import Book feature built into Book Creator.
Tap the + button beneath your book. Choose Import Book and then tap iCloud Drive (really, this should say Files, but we haven’t updated it yet).
You’ll then get the screen below. If you’re not seeing Google Drive (or Dropbox, or whatever app you’re using), you’ll need to first go into the Files app on your iPad and toggle it on under ‘Locations’.
Find the book you want to import, tap on it and it will open in Book Creator.
We appreciate this workaround is more cumbersome than simply AirDropping the book. Hopefully it will only be a temporary workaround and the fix to AirDrop will come out soon – we’ll let you know as soon as it does!
That said, let’s look on the positive side – it is a great idea to build exporting to a cloud app into your classroom workflow – it’s invaluable for backing up the books, meaning you’ll have access to your books even if the app gets accidentally deleted.
EDIT: Another option, as I have just seen on Twitter, would be to simply email the book instead (for those students that have access to email).
What we ended up doing was sending the book via email (each class has one email account address) and then from the email, you can click on the file and open in Book Creator. #WorkAround
— davecaleb (@davecaleb) January 10, 2018
Dan Kemp is Tools for School’s Marketing & Community Manager. He spends his time spreading the word about Book Creator and supporting people who use it.