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It's becoming increasingly common for richly designed book-like apps to have several kinds of interactivity, including animation, audio and video, and even the use of iPad features like its camera, GPS, and accelerometer. To see some examples, let's take a tour of a very successful book app called The Magic of Reality. The Magic of Reality app is an extension of a book by the same name by noted scientist and author Richard Dawkins. All the text to the print book is in the app and it's enhanced by illustrations, multimedia, animations, and interactivity.
This is a science book aimed at young audience with the goal of introducing readers to the awe-aspiring facts of science. The book is composed of 12 chapters, and each one is devoted to answering a question, like, What are things made of, Why do we have day and night, What is the sun, What's a rainbow, and so on? Now the first thing you notice about the book is that it's set up as a single- orientation landscape. The layout doesn't change when you tilt or turn the iPad, so to navigate through the book, you swipe horizontally left and right. When you first open the app you're presented with an introductory video. Then you can swipe to go to the first page. Then to skip to another chapter or to a specific page, you swipe down with two fingers. This reveals the navigation system.
The top row represents the chapters in the book. The row beneath it revels pages within the currently select chapter. If I tap a chapter, its pages come into view. If I swipe the top row, I can scroll through the chapters. Let's check out Chapter 9, Are We alone? First we'll tap the chapter, and then we'll tap the first page of the chapter. Now that I am in Chapter 9, I'll swipe to move through the pages and as I do, you can see some of the animations which loop, so they play continuously, and they tend to be fairly subtle, to not distract too much from the text.
As I swipe to the next page, an alien comes into view and blinks at me. Notice as I swipe again, he moves in the same direction as the text, but not quite as far as the text, so he stays partly visible while I read these next few paragraphs. Then when I swipe to the next page, more aliens pop up. I'll swipe down with two fingers to reveal the navigation again and tap to jump to another page. This page was designed so the graphic stays in view while I swipe through several paragraphs of text/ And at the end of the section, I come to some interactive content. I can tap to play some audio.
(Male speaker: In our galaxy the great majority or stars where we have looked for planets) (Male speaker: have turned out to possess them. So, assuming our galaxy is typical..) I can tap to pause it, and I can drag the slider at the bottom of the screen to zoom in and out on our sun. I can zoom way out past the edge of the Milky Way and on into the unknown and when I'm done, I can tap the X to close this and then swipe to move to the next page. There are several such interactive demos and games that go along with the content of each chapter.
The Magic of Reality is a really rich book app in terms of interactivity, and some of the specific features are beyond what you can presently do with InDesign; however, at its core, this is a book with a well-designed layout, a navigation system, plus audio and video, animations, and other elements that you control by tapping or swiping, and all those are things that you can build with InDesign.
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