Tag Archives: eBooks

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.
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Apple Unveils New iBooks 3.0

Apple has today announced the latest version of iBooks, bringing brand new features such as continuous scrolling for reading. The new version also contains new reading options and much tighter integration with iCloud. iBooks 3.0 also contains greater language support bringing over 40 languages to the software. You can also do a lot more sharing over Facebook and Twitter.
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iPad Mini Event Will Have Big iBooks Component

The Apple media event to launch the iPad mini will apparently have a large component dedicated to iBooks on the device, according to the new report from TheNextWeb. The event, which is likely set to take place on October 23rd, will be targeting iBooks as perhaps one of the biggest reasons for launching an iPad mini, with Apple looking to get people on board with the iPad mini as a reading device.

While the event itself will be launching the iPad mini, and extolling the new hardware of the device, iBooks will likely be used as the killer software to demonstrate how comfortable the device is for reading. The report also suggests that Apple may even use the even to launch a brand new version of the iBooks app, bringing it up to version 3.0, perhaps using some iCloud functionality for expanded syncing between devices.
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Apple Releases Update For iBooks 2

Apple has today released an update for iBooks 2 on iOS devices to resolve issues that some users were having with opening the new media rich textbooks format recently released by the company. The update brings the iBooks software version up to 2.0.1 and will hopefully include some stability and bug fixes for their flagship eBook software.

Personally, since the iBooks 2 update, I’ve had sporadic problems with launching the iBooks app, with load times in excess of 10 seconds on an iPad 2 with less than 100 ePub books in the application. It’s too early to tell if Apple has resolved this issue in the latest update, but so far, with around ten or so quit and re-launches, the issue hasn’t appeared again.
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‘Inside Apple’ Book Now Available

The hotly anticipated ‘Inside Apple’ book by Adam Lashinsky has now been made available on the iBookstore as well as other major retailers such as Amazon. The book, priced at $12.99 on the iBookstore (£10.99 in the UK) offers a look inside one of the most secretive companies in the world, going into detail on how Apple innovates products and develops leadership.

If you wish to purchase the physical paper edition of the book instead of the iPad edition (gasp!), then you can always pick it up from Amazon too.
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EPub On Mac; A Weird Issue For Apple?

Having spent a bit of time being irked by the fact that Apple hasn’t included native support for opening EPub files on the Mac, I was happy to see the launch of the app iBooks Author on the Mac App Store yesterday. The fact that you could create and export EPub files in Pages only to be unable to open them back up again in Pages seemed to be a weird omission so iBooks Author was a happy new piece of software. The fact that I had to rely on third party software like Calibre…well, as you can tell, I was very happy to see iBooks Author.

So imagine that feeling evaporating when I fired up iBooks Author and found that I wasn’t able to open an EPub file on it. So it seems that, once again, you can create those EPub files but aren’t able to open them on your Mac without software like (in which it is rather difficult to see the correct formatting).  Weird, no?
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Notes From The Apple Education Event In New York City

Apple has held its media event in New York City today and has announced a new initiative focused upon textbooks in education.

The company today introduced iBooks 2, a sequel to iBooks which will provide a new rich, interactive experience for students using textbooks on the iPad. The new app allows for enhanced interactive features, glossary, definitions and in-app notetaking.  The navigation and search capabilities are also improved and enhanced support for interactive animations and diagrams has been included.  The new app has been made available today on the iOS App Store.
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Tying iWork ’12 To The iBookstore And EPUB

According to a new report which has come from GoodEReader.com (via 9to5Mac), Apple is apparently preparing to launch a new E-publishing Program in late January, tied in with the reported Apple media event. The program would be designed to get budding unsigned authors to use the new self-publishing platform to get their content on the iBookstore. If this takes off, then it is essentially an resource with which Amazon or Barnes and Noble could find it difficult to compete.

Certainly, one of the ways that Apple could help to drive this digital self-publishing platform is through tight integration of iWork software and the iBookstore. Late last year, Apple placed an advertisement on their Corporate Jobs website looking for a software engineer who would be specifically focused upon import/export layers for the next generation of iWork software, likely now to be iWork ’12. This individual could be well placed to design and implement new features that would facilitate the rapid and easy publication of material directly from iWork, which can already export in EPUB format although, weirdly, does not open EPUB files.
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Book Some Time For Apple Media Event In January

Apple will reportedly be holding a media event in New York City in late January, according to Kara Swisher of AllThingsD. The event, as yet officially unannounced by Apple, will apparently be focused upon eBooks and media publishers (via TechCrunch). The event will also reportedly involve the Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Services and Software, Eddy Cue, who has responsibility for the iBookstore as well as the App Store and the iTunes Store.

It’s unclear at this stage what the event will actually be about but there are a few reasons why Apple could be holding this type of event. The first could potentially be the launch of a new pricing model for the iBookstore, beneficial for Apple, publishers and the consumer. A subscription based rental system (like Netflix for ebooks) may not be such a bad idea, after all, your local library has been doing it for a long time. Given that Apple streams TV, Movies and Music for a charge, why not books?
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Apple Updates iBooks App With Cool New Features

Apple has released an update for their ebook application on the iPad and iPhone, bringing with it some awesome new features to make the reading experience on the iPad better than before. The new version, 1.5, has gone live with a new night time reading mode that inverts the page colors so that you are reading white text on a black background. Try it yourself in the dark and you’ll find it’s a lot easier on the eyes than reading black text against a bright white screen.

In addition to the new night-time mode, the update brings with it new fonts with which to read your books as well as new covers for public domain books (mine changed from yellow to blue). You can also change the colors for highlighting text. The update also adds support for pop-up footnotes so that publishers can make their books a little more dynamic, engaging and perhaps even irritating?
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