iBooks On The Mac App Store; Is Apple Preparing Something Cool?



The Apple reading application, iBooks, which was released as part of iOS 4 for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch in April 2010, is one of the key apps that Apple has issued on their own mobile devices.  While the iBooks app is certainly up against stiff competition in the form of the Amazon Kindle app, it has managed to gain a good proportion of dedicated users through its ease of use and integration with Safari and Mail.

While Mac users have previously relied upon other third party ebook applications to manage and read their ebook collections, the recent launch of the Mac App Store was expected to bring with it a native ebook reader from Apple, perhaps in the form of an iBooks app for Mac.  But no such app has yet appeared and the recent appearance of the Amazon Kindle app on the Mac App Store has left some users wondering when Apple will be releasing their own ebook reader.

The iBooks app certainly has some advantages over the Kindle app with software updates allowing users to add both ePub and PDF format files to their ebook collections, making the app more useful in terms of viewing file types that are non-proprietary.  However, the appearance of Kindle on Mac has left iBooks at somewhat of a disadvantage.  Combine this with the fact that Google has launched an eBookstore which is compatible both with Apple mobile devices and the Mac via a web-browser javascript reading application.

A conclusion that could be drawn from the apparent apathy on Apple’s part regarding an ebook reader for Mac, would be that Apple is preparing some seriously cool features in order to make the desktop version of iBooks a market share leader for users looking to read books on their Mac. The launch of the Mac App Store seemed to be the perfect opportunity for Apple to showcase their own apps, as they did with Aperture for example, and the lack of a straightforward port of the mobile iBooks app on to the Mac at launch suggests that Apple is working on some extra features for the app,

It may be accurate to assume that they are perhaps making iBooks a Mac application that is entirely independent of iTunes and will allow users to manage their ebook collection for mobile devices through a dedicated application, rather than through iTunes.  Using iTunes for managing ebooks seems like a ridiculous feature that has been tacked on and Apple may be looking to change this.  Additionally, the extra touches that make the Kindle and Google readers competitive against each other as well as the Apple iBookstore, such as the ability to resume reading books at the same place no matter which device you are on, has not yet been implemented in iBooks and may be something that Apple is hoping to incorporate.

Look out for something fairly soon, as the longer Apple leaves it, the more they lose out to Google and Amazon.

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