What’s new in iOS 8 iBooks

  • Sumo


Apple’s iOS 8 operating system was released a few weeks ago, and with it comes improvements to iBooks. Here’s a quick rundown of some enhancements to keep in mind with the new app.

iBooks Now Installed by Default

Prior to iOS 8, iBooks had to be downloaded from the App Store. Now the app comes installed by default (and cannot be removed). While this doesn’t affect eproducers much, it does make a better business case for supporting iBooks. With the app pre-installed, it’s possible more iOS 8 users will have iBooks become their go-to book reading app. Only time will tell.

Store, Front and Center

In yet another push to make iBooks the default bookstore for iOS users, iBooks has moved the store from a text only button that was honestly pretty hidden in iOS7 to a full persistant bottom bar with special categories and sections.

Titles now Grouped by Series

Books that are a part of a series are now grouped in the main bookshelf. Clicking on it reveals each title you own, and titles available for purchase. Probably a nice addition for readers really into their series.


Auto Night Mode


iBooks now offers readers the option of “Auto-Night Theme.” This seems to work based on the time on your device (I initially assumed it used your light meter—but that doesn’t seem to be the case.) You’re making sure your books still looks good in Night Mode, right?

Updates and Additions to HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript

Along with Safari and all WebKit views, iOS 8 includes a number of new features and fixes for web views (the underlying rendering of iBooks EPUB files). For example, I know the vh unit post I wrote a few weeks back now works even when you change orientation (a longstanding problem in iOS). Other additions to web views are here.


10 Responses to “What’s new in iOS 8 iBooks”

  1. This is good news, but the ebook market is well-established and habits die hard. Many people are more familiar with the iOS Kindle app than iBooks and that means they buy from Amazon.

    Apple needs to invest money to shifting them over. In the long run, that’d be money that makes even more money. One option would be to offer iBookstore coupons with the sale of Apple hardware. Another would be to include it with a iOS upgrade.

    They also need to tweak their retailing. It’s great that InDesign, with Apple’s help, lets me easily produce reflowable (iPhone) and fixed-format (iPad) versions of my books. But customers should be able to buy both as the same purchase. They shouldn’t have to buy one copy for their iPhone and another (that looks better) for their iPad. That’s especially true if Apple wants to be a major presence in the textbook market. Fixed-format is great for textbooks, since they will look exactly like the print version.

    And at the point, Apple has an added incentive to turn attention to the iBookstore. With many publishers, authors and readers ticked off at Amazon’s bullying, now is the time to offer them a good alternative.

    Heck, if Apple asked, I suspect they could find some big name authors eager to endorse buying their books from the iBookstore.

    –Michael W. Perry, author of My Nights with Leukemia: Caring for Children with Cancer

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