It’s Weird Now; Why Is There No iBooks App For Mac?

Apple yesterday released an update to the premier reading app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, bringing iBooks up to version 3.0. The app was originally launched almost three years ago in January 2010 and is now reaching its third iteration with improved iCloud integration, a new scrolling theme, improved social sharing and extended language support. So, it’s been through three versions in almost three years and perhaps the weirdest thing in this time has been the fact that there is no iBooks for Mac.

It’s something I’ve talked about previously and I’m racking my brains as to why Apple has not released an iBooks equivalent for the Mac, instead forcing users to download third party software like Calibre. I thought perhaps that Apple was simply avoiding the issue because there was no easy or straightforward way for them to make an e-reader for the Mac that was ‘Apple’ enough, but Amazon seem to have managed it pretty well with their browser based reader.

Then I thought about rights issues, about whether there are any legal issues surrounding users reading the same book on iOS device or OS X device, but if they can do it with music, then books should be easier, shouldn’t they? Once again, I came back to the same argument…that you can do it with Amazon.

So, I’m stuck. An iBooks equivalent for Mac must have been talked about at length in Apple, but the idea seems to have been discarded, as it surely can’t take this long to come up with one?

It’s a weird Apple thing.


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  • steve_webb

    iBooks is designed for a touchscreen.

    There are enough eBook readers for the Mac already, that Apple does not need to make its own.

  • Jeremy Bee

    I don’t understand this either, but I think Apple is in trouble and doing very strange things in the whole area of electronic book publishing. I am going to be publishing some books next year and have been looking at the options and the iBooks platform has a lot of serious problems. I hate Amazon with a passion and don’t like Kindle readers but I might end up publishing there simply because of all the weird and stupid things Apple is doing in eBooks.

  • Donald Nordeng

    Do you read books on your Mac when you have an iPhone or iPad nearby? I had kindle on my mac for years and never used it. On the iPhone its fantastic. I have my books with me all the time.

  • David Gregory

    iBooks not being on the Mac makes me continue to be a Kindle customer and while we are at it- why is iTunes U not on the Mac platform with an integrated app?

  • PeterBlood

    I know what you mean and yeah there should probably be one just for the heckuvit but I would never read a book on a computer, not when I have an iPad.

  • kingston

    Yes. It really is a shame that Amazon can sell e-books that can be read on just about every device made by Apple but Apple cannot. Amazon’s Kindle Reader application for OS X is actually pretty good. Come on Apple! For decades you have been the company that defies limitations and pushes boundaries. Hardware, software, business operations, retail, content licensing, manufacturing… Apple has continually proven nay-sayers wrong and made “impossible” possible. Making the Apple experience and ecosystem more complete by releasing iBooks for OS X should not even require a second thought for the largest company in the world.

    Having said that, I sure hope iTunes 11 is significantly better. And it’s about time iPhoto got some serious attention too.

  • bregalad

    I can read text on my Mac’s display perfectly because of the distance it sits from my eyes. Smart phones and tablets, on the other hand, need to be held much closer and require me to dig out reading glasses. I don’t like wearing glasses so I do all my reading on the Mac. I won’t speculate why Apple won’t make iBooks for Mac, but obviously my total purchases from them are zero.