Programmers lamenting Apple's decision not to bring its HyperCard application to Mac OS X should take note. Acrux has released updates to iBuild Lite and iBuild Pro, bringing both applications to version 0.9.3.

iBuild is a multimedia authoring tool for Macs. The company claims it makes: "The creativity of software design accessible to the non-programmer."

The application can be used to create a vast range of "stacks" and applications, including: interactive presentations, photo-albums, movie-albums, slide shows, e-books and stand-alone applications.

Stack to stack iBuild works in a very similar way to Apple's ageing HyperCard, which will not be Carbonized (made ready for Mac OS X) by Apple. Documents you create are called stacks. Stacks can consist of presentations, quizzes, or anything else, depending on the material that you put in them. These stacks contain cards, which themselves contain objects - such as text, graphics or buttons, and the application supports full colour objects - which HyperCard does not.

Objects can be created by selecting an object type and drawing, or you can drag ready-made objects from a Library.

The application now offers an expanded AppleScript dictionary, and AppleScript event handlers. It also has the capacity to send stacks by email, and to run a text search facility in user mode.

From freeware to Pro iBuild Lite is freeware and is available for download. It's not just a player; you can use it to create stacks of up to 25 cards using the Lite design level; no registration code is required to do this.

iBuild Pro is still in development. iBuild Pro is shareware, normal price $49.95. While iBuild is in "preview" status, iBuild Pro can be purchased electronically for just $19.95 - a saving of over 60% on the regular price. Purchasers will automatically receive a new registration code for iBuild Pro when version 1 is released and free updates for one year after that.

The full, non-beta version of iBuild, version 1.0 is expected to ship within a month.