With the forthcoming release of its new operating system for phones and tablets, iOS 12, Apple is signaling a new emphasis on digital book and audiobook sales. iOS 12 is set to hit the US in the Autumn with the new Book Store available in 51 countries, and free books available in 155 countries. This will replace Apple’s old iBooks app with a new Apple Books app.
According to Apple the new e-book app will offer an enhanced reading experience and will make book discovery easier.
A new set of tabs at the top of the app will create what the company is touting as a “virtual nightstand,” and highlights the current book you are reading, as well as those books you want to read. The Books app will have the following tabs:
- Reading Now displays all of the books you are currently reading or listening to. A new “Want to Read” section allows you to keep a wishlist of books you are interested in. “Complete the Series” or “You Might Like” present books based on those you have recently finished.
- Library displays your full collection of books with large cover art, including the books downloaded to your device. There is also a “Finished” timeline of books you have read in the past with the dates you finished them.
- Book Store allows you to browse all titles available on Apple Books, with categories such as Top Charts, Staff Picks, Editorial Collections, and Special Offers & Free. You will receive personalized recommendations based on your purchases in “For You.”
- Audiobooks allows you to browse all audiobook titles available on Apple Books.
“Apple Books will inspire a love of reading—it puts a world of books and audiobooks right at your fingertips, whether you want to dive into your favorite story for a couple of minutes or a few hours,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior Vice President of Internet software and services. “This is our biggest books redesign ever, and we hope this beautiful app inspires both customers and authors alike.”
Some distinct features of the new books app include the ability to swipe between titles while browsing in the store, and a timeline that tracks your reading. The latter displays the books you have read, and when you finished them.
We shall wait to see how Samsung and Android respond.