Well, there you have it. As more than a few pundits had predicted in the days leading up to the event, Apple has just officially pulled back the curtains on an updated version of its iBooks iOS app.
The update may not pack the same sort of sweeping changes that characterized the last big version of iBooks , but there are quite a few notable tweaks for the e-bibliophiles among you to dive into. First up is a new continuous scrolling mode that allows readers to experience books without having to struggle with the terrors of pagination (I kid, but some people are vehemently against it). As Apple CEO Tim Cook puts it, all it takes a single “flick” to pore over that gripping new novel you just downloaded
Perhaps taking a page out of the Kindle’s playbook, iBooks users can now also share favorite snippets and passages to their respective Twitter and Facebook accounts. Finally, iBooks now sports better support for more far-flung languages like Japanese and Korean (just to name a few), including the ability to render text vertically. With those new additions in tow, iBooks now supports over 40 languages. Of course, this particular announcement may also act as a harbinger of things to come later on in the presentation — a revamped reading experience is just the sort of thing one would expect when Apple is gearing up to unveil a smaller version of its venerable iPad shortly.
The new version of iBooks is available today, and as always it won’t cost you a penny to download. That said, there’s little question that Apple is getting their money’s worth here — according to CEO Cook, there are over 1.5 million books available in the iBooks store, and over 400 million of those iBooks have been downloaded since the service’s launch.