Apple’s updated version of iBooks offers new features

Dec 21, 2010
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Apple has released an update to its much-used e-reading app, iBooks. Many users have complained of crashes, bugs and general instability with the new features, some even called the new update “unusable.” My experience with the update was pleasant, and resulted in no bugs or crashes, so this is truly a case-by-case issue. If you […]

Apple has released an update to its much-used e-reading app, iBooks. Many users have complained of crashes, bugs and general instability with the new features, some even called the new update “unusable.” My experience with the update was pleasant, and resulted in no bugs or crashes, so this is truly a case-by-case issue. If you don’t want to take the chance on iBooks, version 1.2 working properly on your iDevice, I would suggest waiting for the next update — with so many negative user experiences, there is a slim chance an update is far away. Users willing to take the gamble on the new update should be relatively pleased with the new functionality.

Version 1.2 offers a new collections feature, which lets users divide their iBooks content into custom folders. I immediately created a folder for books I’ve already read, but haven’t wanted to delete. To create a collection, tap the top center button, and then tap new to create your folder. Head back to your bookcase, and hit edit, then select all the books you want to move, tap the move button, and select the folder of choice. Folders for PDFs and books are set up by default, and you can access each bookshelf through the center top button or by swiping across the screen (my preference).

The new iBooks also offers support for fully illustrated publications, such as children’s picture books, photo books and cookbooks. I wonder how this will affect books that are available as separate apps, but I do like the ability to keep all of my reading material in one place. Support for AirPrint has also been integrated, which allows users to wirelessly print PDFs and notes made in app, ideal for book clubbers who don’t want to constantly reference their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Those with iOS 4.2 will also see changes in text display — specifically auto-hyphenation of words at line breaks, which will pack in more text per page.

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iBooks currently only supports ePub and PDF formats.

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