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Apple adds night reading theme, full screen mode to iBooks with 1.5 update

post #1 of 39
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Apple on Wednesday issued an update to its iBooks iOS app, adding a night-time reading theme, full-screen layout, new fonts and an improved annotation palette.

iBooks 1.5 for iPhone and iPad arrived in the App Store early Wednesday. The free 20.7MB download (iTunes link) requires iOS 4.2 or later.

According to Apple, the update includes stability and performance improvements, as well as the following features:
Nighttime reading theme makes reading books in the dark easier on the eyes.Full-screen layout lets you focus on the words without distraction.iBooks now features an improved selection of fonts, including Athelas, Charter, Iowa, and Seravek.Beautiful new classic covers for public domain books.A redesigned annotation palette makes it easier to choose a color for your highlighted text.


The Cupertino, Calif., company is currently facing a class-action lawsuit over its iBooks pricing model, as well as a European Commission investigation into possible anti-competitive practices. Unlike Amazon, Apple worked with publishers to adopt an agency model for iBooks, allowing book publishers to set their own prices while providing Apple a cut of their sales. The company currently takes 30 percent of revenue from books sold on the iBookstore.
post #2 of 39
This update is making me miss my iPad even more. Still debating getting one now or just holding out for the G3.

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post #3 of 39
This looks like a really nice update! I'll be updating later on tonight for sure.

Additional fonts! Full screen! Night time mode!

I was already happy with reading books on the iPad, as I do read a bit, but this will make it even better!
post #4 of 39
Now work out a deal with libraries, and it can replace the Kindle app for me

I love checking out library books for free from home and reading them on my iPad. Kindle has some arrangement with libraries, and is a good reader appalmost an iBooks clone, but it has some annoying rough edges. Id use iBooks if I could.

(Purchasing ease is not a factor between the two apps, since I dont want to own a lot of books. I read them and move on.)
post #5 of 39
Well, I just updated and I opened a book real quick just to see how things look.

I'm liking all of the additional fonts, there are 7 in total to choose from now. I'm also liking the full page option.

I don't think that night time mode is for me though. It's a matter of preference, and it seems like all it does is swap the text with the background, making them inverse. That option was always in the iPad wasn't it? It's under settings/general/accessibility/white on black. But it's a good option to have directly in iBooks for those people who need it.
post #6 of 39
They FINALLY add night mode. Jeez, Apple can move slow as molasses sometimes.
post #7 of 39
Interesting: the new iBooks update only requires iOS 4.2. I can get it without committing iOS5cide.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Interesting: the new iBooks update only requires iOS 4.2. I can get it without committing iOS5cide.

What's wrong with iOS 5? Why are you still using 4.2?

I've been using 5 since it was available and everything is smooth here, plus I like the extra multitouch gestures. And don't you need 5 for wireless syncing and iCloud? It's a big plus not having to plug in the iPad to a computer anymore.
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Well, I just updated and I opened a book real quick just to see how things look.

I'm liking all of the additional fonts, there are 7 in total to choose from now. I'm also liking the full page option.

I don't think that night time mode is for me though. It's a matter of preference, and it seems like all it does is swap the text with the background, making them inverse. That option was always in the iPad wasn't it? It's under settings/general/accessibility/white on black. But it's a good option to have directly in iBooks for those people who need it.

I just updated on my iPhone and I don't really see a full screen option. I thought it would fill up the entire screen like the kindle app(the only thing that's better on the kindle app compared to ibooks) but it seems to take up the same amount of space as before. Night mode and the new fonts are cool.
post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Interesting: the new iBooks update only requires iOS 4.2. I can get it without committing iOS5cide.

iPhone 4 (not S), original iPad, iOS 5.0.1 - great, no problems (except a single battery drained in a flash episode).

iBooks 1.5 - nice! Like the full-screen mode and am keen to try night mode out. \

Tried sepia for the first time (old feature I know), quite like that too.

My book is still in the store.
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post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by koham View Post

I just updated on my iPhone and I don't really see a full screen option. I don't really see any difference. I thought it would fill up the screen like the kindle app but it seems to take up the same amount of space. Night mode and the new fonts are cool.

On the iPad, full screen replaces the book look with the full page. Just grabs a little screen space back. A nice, subtle feature.
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post #12 of 39
Sounds like a great update. iBooks is one of my favorite app on iPad. Use it every day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Now work out a deal with libraries, and it can replace the Kindle app for me

I love checking out library books for free from home and reading them on my iPad. Kindle has some arrangement with libraries, and is a good reader appalmost an iBooks clone, but it has some annoying rough edges. Id use iBooks if I could.

(Purchasing ease is not a factor between the two apps, since I dont want to own a lot of books. I read them and move on.)

You know that iOS has Overdrive app long before Kindle, right?
post #13 of 39
iBooks is probably the app I spend the most time in, it's good to see it getting some love. But it has some more fundamental problems that I wish they would address, such as you quit the app, and reenter it, and it is not on exactly the same page (maybe one forward or one back). This only happens when the app has been purged since you last used it. You can tell because the empty bookshelf flashes for a bit when it reloads from scratch vs coming out of hibernation.

And also, one time you are reading a book, text flows on to the verso page (say), and the next time the very same text is on a recto page, with the same device orientation and font size. There seems to be no fixed pages, it just flows the text like a web browser, which is fine, but why does it flow differently from session to session, if it hasn't been edited? I think they need to review their layout engine and see if there might be some failure to fully reset state, or something like that.
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

What's wrong with iOS 5? Why are you still using 4.2?

I've been using 5 since it was available and everything is smooth here, plus I like the extra multitouch gestures. And don't you need 5 for wireless syncing and iCloud? It's a big plus not having to plug in the iPad to a computer anymore.

I highly value the long battery life iOS4 provides.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

iPhone 4 (not S), original iPad, iOS 5.0.1 - great, no problems (except a single battery drained in a flash episode).

iBooks 1.5 - nice! Like the full-screen mode and am keen to try night mode out. \

Tried sepia for the first time (old feature I know), quite like that too.

My book is still in the store.

Thanks for the feedback. I might get the nerve to pull the trigger on Battery Life Roulette!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Thanks for the feedback. I might get the nerve to pull the trigger on Battery Life Roulette!

Great! I think that I have a handle on the battery drain incident, which seems to have involved the application task drawer. \

All the best.
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post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I highly value the long battery life iOS4 provides.

I guess you're talking about an iPhone. I just assumed that people were talking about iPads in this thread, but I suppose that some people use iBooks on their iPhone also.
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacVicta View Post

They FINALLY add night mode. Jeez, Apple can move slow as molasses sometimes.

Agreed, Stanza had this for years. I find normal mode very difficult to use while reading in darker environments.
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Agreed, Stanza had this for years. I find normal mode very difficult to use while reading in darker environments.

I pointed this out earlier, but there's always been an option in the general preferences to make the screen inverse.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I guess you're talking about an iPhone. I just assumed that people were talking about iPads in this thread, but I suppose that some people use iBooks on their iPhone also.

FWIW, I do.

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post #21 of 39
@ Apple ][ I had never noticed your signature's issue : you do realize that both chimps and Neanderthal have/had amazing intellectual capacities, building tools to make tools, having elaborate politics... and you can't sandwich something BETWEEN them, they're not on the same branch of the great-ape tree. I proudly stand on a third branch, by the way, what about you?

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post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

@ Apple ][ I had never noticed your signature's issue : you do realize that both chimps and Neanderthal have/had amazing intellectual capacities, building tools to make tools, having elaborate politics... and you can't sandwich something BETWEEN them, they're not on the same branch of the great-ape tree. I proudly stand on a third branch, by the way, what about you?

I actually agree with you. I never had a sig before a couple of days ago when I decided to quickly come up with one. I did some quick research right now and you're correct.

http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/genetics

I also feel that the sig doesn't put Fandroids in as bad a light as I feel they deserve to be put in, so I will modify the sig later on, and I will come up with something that is both scientifically accurate and also quite demeaning to Fandroids everywhere. That is my simple goal.

But thanks for pointing that out.
post #23 of 39
The "book look" (as opposed to the full screen layout) is one of my favorite things about iBooks when compared to apps like Kindle, Nook, etc. I think Apple really nailed the look and feel of a real book (to the extent a virtual book can), and so there's no way I'm turning off that feature. But I like the night reading mode.
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

On the iPad, full screen replaces the book look with the full page. Just grabs a little screen space back. A nice, subtle feature.

On a 54-page mini- e-book, the full-screen mode cut out four pages without the type looking any more crowded on the screen. Nice little improvement.

Other possible improvements:

1. I would be curious to hear what it would sound like for Siri to read a book to me, which could be great for listening in the car and then switching back to reading at home. The publishers may not allow it since they would want to protect their higher-margin audio books.

2. Picture books need on-screen notes -- mostly for making notes on e-book cookbooks.

3. An option to lock the app to portrait view without locking the device to portrait view.

iBooks is very close to be a max-featured app; much more feature creep would just junk it up. The only time I use the kindle app is when a book is significantly cheaper on kindle or not available for iBooks, which is a much more pleasant reading experience than the kindle app on both iPhone and iPad -- but particularly on iPhone where kindle's right-justified text is hard to read on the smaller screen.
post #25 of 39
These are all great features!
I'm glad they are focusing on the quick ability to adjust the brightness...however I wish they would work on a way to quickly adjust the brightness from any app and in any screen. I am constantly having to go back and adjust the brightness all the time at night or on a long plane flight. The Auto brightness feature just doesn't cut it! In fact, I'm not even sure if it changes the brightness in Auto mode. I'm talking about both my iPhone and iPad. And actually, no my phone, it seems to dim the screen when it's really sunny and brighten it when it's dark...
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Apple

[;2002714'
I also feel that the sig doesn't put Fandroids in as bad a light as I feel they deserve to be put in,


How about "Fandroids kill babies"?
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porchland View Post

1. I would be curious to hear what it would sound like for Siri to read a book to me, which could be great for listening in the car and then switching back to reading at home. The publishers may not allow it since they would want to protect their higher-margin audio books.


Buying products and devices that incorporate DRM is just plain Evil.


post #28 of 39
What I'm dying to see is another option for tapping on the left margin besides paging back or paging forward. I want to turn the *#@ thing off! It's infuriating to have to be so sensitive on how I hold my iPad to read. I'm perfectly content to flick left and right to change pages. As it is, I look down sometimes and I've accidentally flicked back 20 pages because I was holding it 1/8" off the side of the iPad.
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by walueg View Post

What I'm dying to see is another option for tapping on the left margin besides paging back or paging forward. I want to turn the *#@ thing off! It's infuriating to have to be so sensitive on how I hold my iPad to read. I'm perfectly content to flick left and right to change pages. As it is, I look down sometimes and I've accidentally flicked back 20 pages because I was holding it 1/8" off the side of the iPad.

...and just think of all the negative comments made about how WIDE the bezel is when the iPad first came out. I have that same issue.
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I guess you're talking about an iPhone. I just assumed that people were talking about iPads in this thread, but I suppose that some people use iBooks on their iPhone also.

All I know is that iOS upgrades are a one-way street. If version 5.0.1 drains the battery faster than 4 did, and it's something drastic like -10% every hour while asleep, then I would be very concerned. A little drain is expected because of iCloud, maybe some other features, but it should not turn my iPhone 4 into a Galaxy Trashcan or HTC Battery Gulper 4G. The iPhone 4 was a huge improvement in battery life over my old 3GS, and I don't want to go back to the 3GS days of a full charge not making it through the day, and having to plug it in everywhere I went. Recharging just once per day is the usability sweet spot for me. If that means giving up having iCloud for a while, that's fine. MobileMe will continue to sync up my contacts and calendar and bookmarks for the time being. I just want to hear both Apple and users say "this iOS update really fixes the battery issues for everyone" before upgrading.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kermit262 View Post

The "book look" (as opposed to the full screen layout) is one of my favorite things about iBooks when compared to apps like Kindle, Nook, etc. I think Apple really nailed the look and feel of a real book (to the extent a virtual book can), and so there's no way I'm turning off that feature. But I like the night reading mode.

I would like the book look a lot more if it showed you were in the book by proportionally altering the thickness of the edges, and if it were a bit more subtle and photo-realistic. Always having it look like you are in the middle of the book offers the reader no pertinent information and the slightly heavy-handed cartoonish look detracts from it's appeal for me.
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post #32 of 39
And still no iBook Store in New Zealand.

Kindle's reader sucks compared to iBooks but I can't get books any other way... legally.
post #33 of 39
Ibooks is probably my most used app too.

There is something I would like to see added, that I miss from my old windows XP pdf reader.
The ability to put the pages into a slow autoscroll.

I'll find a scrolling speed that is comfortable, sit back with arms folded (or behind head) and read.

It occurred to me that if the scrolling speed could be calculated against the length of the book, it should be able to tell you exactly how long it will take you to read it (or each chapter).

Do any ebook readers offer that currently ?
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post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by amoradala View Post

It occurred to me that if the scrolling speed could be calculated against the length of the book, it should be able to tell you exactly how long it will take you to read it (or each chapter).?

I'm sorry, I take issue with my computer thinking it can tell me how fast I read, thank you very much.
post #35 of 39


1. I would be curious to hear what it would sound like for Siri to read a book to me, which could be great for listening in the car and then switching back to reading at home.

You can actually do this already... kinda... I'm on an iPhone 4, so I don't even have Siri yet but here is how I have done it.

Go into Settings> General> Accessability> Speak Selection> On.

Then back in iBooks select a few paragraphs and you are presented with a "Speak" option, the book is then read aloud to you.

Interestingly, I tried this last week when I first turned accessability on, and it never gave me the speak option, but with the new iBooks update you can now do it. Maybe they are testing the waters for a future Siri update.

Only downside is that it'll only read what is selected, and the maximum you can select is one page at a time. So not as easy as just Siri reading the whole book to you, but certainly a step in the right direction.
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post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by darrynlowe View Post

And still no iBook Store in New Zealand.

Kindle's reader sucks compared to iBooks but I can't get books any other way... legally.

That's no good - it will be a licensing issue. Anyone know for sure?
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post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by amoradala View Post

Ibooks is probably my most used app too.

There is something I would like to see added, that I miss from my old windows XP pdf reader.
The ability to put the pages into a slow autoscroll.

I'll find a scrolling speed that is comfortable, sit back with arms folded (or behind head) and read.

It occurred to me that if the scrolling speed could be calculated against the length of the book, it should be able to tell you exactly how long it will take you to read it (or each chapter).

Do any ebook readers offer that currently ?

Nice! (Visions of Commander Data scrolling pages lol.)
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post #38 of 39
wake me when I can ditch the idiotic "page flipping" metaphor and scroll text. Double bonus if I can set the text to auto-scroll with a quick way to adjust the scrolling speed.
post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

If version 5.0.1 drains the battery faster than 4 did

I'm getting better battery life than iOS4. The faster performance of it probably let's the CPU sleep more often and more quickly.

Quote:
and it's something drastic like -10% every hour while asleep

Why wouldn't you have your phone charging while you sleep?!?

Quote:
it should not turn my iPhone 4 into a Galaxy Trashcan or HTC Battery Gulper 4G. The iPhone 4 was a huge improvement in battery life over my old 3GS, and I don't want to go back to the 3GS days of a full charge not making it through the day

Welp, hasn't happened for me on my work provided 3GS, iPhone 4, or three day old iPhone 4S. You might be reading more into problems that certain phones are having. It's far from widespread.

Quote:
I just want to hear both Apple and users say "this iOS update really fixes the battery issues for everyone" before upgrading.

Meh - even if I were experiencing battery issues, I'd rather have iOS5 and the new Mophie JuicePack Air than live without the improvements of iOS5 - chief of them being wifi sync. Which happens automatically every night when I plug my phone in for the night
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