Apple has released a fresh update to their iBooks eReader app that brings a number of new and interesting features to the application. One of the new features includes the ability for users to wirelessly print PDFs and other documents from the iBooks app using the AirPrint functionality on iOS 4.2. The new update also supports fully illustrated books that could introduce readers to a number of chilren picture books as well as art books.
Besides these, the new iBooks version introduces users to ‘Collections‘ – a folder management option for users to better organize their ebook collections. You may remember our article from late last month where we had given you a glimpse of this new feature. Users may move any Book to a designated Collection by tapping Edit followed by a tap on the Book to specify the Collection. The new iBooks app will also have a dedicated Collections tab on the top of the page to easily navigate through the various folders.
The new version of the iBooks app is now available for download on the App Store. You can download it by clicking here.
It is not just the apps on the iPhone homescreen that can now be organized with folders. According to a rumor, Apple could be offering similar folders to the iBooks app that will let users organize the books in their virtual library better. Called Collections, the new feature will let users to collate books and PDF documents into separate groups for easier management.
To organize books into collections, users will have to tap on ‘Edit‘ icon. Now, tapping on any book icon will bring a checkmark that can be used to move the document to any specific Collection. There is also going to be a Collection tab on the top of the iBooks app from where the user can view all the Collections which may then be edited or deleted. The section will also let users create new Collections.
No word yet on when these features will be rolled out.
If you have been using the iBooks app on your iPhone or iPad, you will have realized that the application offers a great interface with intuitive controls to read digital books on the go. Now, since many of us might also need to read PDF documents over iBooks, the iBooks app also provides a ‘Quick Look‘ functionality to open and read PDF documents from the iBooks interface.
However, it is also possible to set iBooks as your default app to open PDF documents with. To enable this, launch your iBooks app and if you have PDF documents already saved, you will see the Books/PDF tabs available on top of the application. Here, tap and hold the PDF button. A message will pop-up asking you to take a ‘Quick Look‘ or ‘Open in iBooks‘. Tap the second option. Moving forward, all your PDF documents will open on iBooks.
iPad owners who try to sync their existing collection of ePUB books to their iBooks application may sometimes notice that the thumbnail for these ebooks do not show the cover art on the iBooks shelves. The issue here lies with the improper recognition of the ebooks metadata. Follow these steps below to set up thumb nail cover art for your ebooks
Step 1 : Search the internet for the cover art for the book. In most cases, you may download the same from websites such as Amazon. Save this image on your computer hard drive. If you already have one, skip to the next step
Step 2 : Launch iTunes and navigate to the ebook in question
Step 3 : Right click over the ebook and select “get info”
Step 4 : A window will pop up. Click on the “Artwork” tab
Step 5 : Click on the “Add” Button and select the image from your computer hard drive
Step 6 : Plug your iPad to your computer and sync the ebooks
Step 7 : This should be it. However, if you still do not see the appropriate cover arts, simply open the books from your iBooks application and close them
There has been a lot of speculation over the pricing of ebooks on Apple’s iBookstore. This comes especially after the standoff between Amazon and Macmillan; one of the publishers signed up for the Apple iPad.
However, according to a new report on the New York Times, the price of ebooks might not actually be as high as anticipated. The article claims inside sources as revealing that Apple intends to offer “discounts” on best-sellers bringing the price of these publications to as less as $9.99. In other words, the marked price of $12.99 – $14.99 on ebooks could just be the upper ceiling.
This is not all. The report also claims that other publications not on the bestseller list could also see drop in prices if their respective hardcover versions are priced below the typical $26.
Apple executives have refused to comment on the issue. However, this appears to be a master strategy that will appease both the customers and the publishers alike. We will update you on the prices when they are revealed.
[via NY Times]
According to sources reported by the LA Times, the ebooks sold on iPad may come protected with FairPlay DRM which means the ebooks would be readable only on Apple approved hardware. Also, such a clause would give Apple unrestricted powers in deciding which of the competitors’ books make it to the iBooks store.
It is not clear if all ebooks on the iBooks store would be protected by this DRM since publishers like O’Reilly have been vocal against the use of DRM for their ebooks. However, considering the iPad can open up a lot of opportunity for smaller publishers, it is likely that a lot of publishers would still grudgingly cave in.
What are your thoughts on this?
[via LA Times]