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Apple updates iBooks & iTunes U with fresh, flatter looks for iOS 7

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
Apple on Thursday issued a major update for its iBooks application, giving it a cleaner and simpler look in line with the company's design for the iOS 7 platform.

iBooks


iBooks version 3.2 for both iPhone and iPad is now available for download from the iOS App Store. The free update ditches the skeuomorphic look of its predecessor in favor of a simplified appearance.

While iBooks previously feature a digital wooden bookshelf that would rotate like a hidden entrance to access the iBookstore, the new application features a greyish-white background where titles are displayed. Accessing the store now simply jumps to a new window where titles can be purchased.

The iBooks icon for iOS has also been updated with an orange gradient background behind a white illustration of an open book.

The same color scheme is also used in the new icon for iTunes U version 1.4, which features a graduate's cap as the centerpiece of its logo. Its new virtual bookshelf is similar in appearance to the redesign of iBooks.

The release notes for both updates state that the applications have been given "an all-new look and feel" bringing them in line with iOS 7.

With Thursday's updates, almost all of Apple's downloadable applications for iOS 7 have been updated with fresh new looks for iOS 7. The most significant remaining outlier is Find My Friends, which continues to feature skeuomorphic stitched leather textures prominently throughout the application.
post #2 of 66
Kinda prefered the skewmorphic designs of old but such is technology - you either adapt & move on or you get left behind.
post #3 of 66
Glad to see the bookshelf skeumorphism go away.

Now if Apple would just allow PDFs to scroll vertically.

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post #4 of 66
Page curls live on! 1biggrin.gif
post #5 of 66
I used to love iBooks. But when you compare the prices of a kindle book vs an iBooks book. It's insane how much cheaper kindle books are! How did apple get successfully sued for price fixing?
post #6 of 66
I like the iBooks update for iOS - definitely cleaner when reading (although I will admit I kinda liked the faux-wood bookshelf look in the "old" version).

Now I'm hoping for an update to the OSX version for better management of ePubs & PDFs in a more similar manner to how we used to do it in iTunes...and even more imporantly (to me) a simpler (i.e. drag-n-drop, not forced sync) means of dropping titles from OSX onto an iDevice...
post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordio View Post

I used to love iBooks. But when you compare the prices of a kindle book vs an iBooks book. It's insane how much cheaper kindle books are! How did apple get successfully sued for price fixing?

 

Maybe its like that since they were declare guilty...

post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordio View Post

I used to love iBooks. But when you compare the prices of a kindle book vs an iBooks book. It's insane how much cheaper kindle books are! How did apple get successfully sued for price fixing?

Simple, Amazon had some people in their pocket. At least, thats the way it seems.. 

post #9 of 66
Great, now iBooks is as hideous as the other stock apps in iOS 7. Small hard to read fonts. At least the iconography of the buttons along the bottom don't look like they were drawn by my 4 year old.

Overall thought it still has the white, anemic, lifeless look, of the other stock apps.

JONY IVE SHOULD BE FIRED!
post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by zBernie View Post

Great, now iBooks is as hideous as the other stock apps in iOS 7. Small hard to read fonts. At least the iconography of the buttons along the bottom don't look like they were drawn by my 4 year old.

Overall thought it still has the white, anemic, lifeless look, of the other stock apps.

JONY IVE SHOULD BE FIRED!
OK I'll bite....what font is hard to read in iBooks? I'm not noticing any small or hard to read fonts. Though I'm viewing the iPad, not iPhone.
post #11 of 66

I have to admit, I miss the bookshelves. It no longer feels like a "place". I like iOS 7, but everything looks so lifeless now. I hope they'll work more on making each app feel like it's own thing, rather than being generic iOS 7.

post #12 of 66
Currently the Kindle app is winning for me. Kindle app allows changing the spacing between lines, this helps legibility.

Both Kindle and iBooks are not using iOS 7 very well at all, though I do prefer the new non-skew look better than the older version.

Why can't I use all the iOS fonts? The selection is too limiting. I'd like to read my books in Optima which is shipped with iOS.

Why doesn't either app use the lovely letterpress text effect introduced in iOS7, is a one line of code change in most cases.

Could do better, both Apple and Amazon. Ebooks are very expensive compared to buying the physical book. I expect more.
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I have to admit, I miss the bookshelves. It no longer feels like a "place". I like iOS 7, but everything looks so lifeless now. I hope they'll work more on making each app feel like it's own thing, rather than being generic iOS 7.
My guess is some of this starkness will get walked back in iOS 8. Similar to Aqua way back when, Apple goes too far in a certain direction and then slowly changes it over time.
post #14 of 66

Uh, the button labels at the bottom of the screen which read "Featured", "Top Charts", etc.  On the iPhone 4s, these fonts are ridiculously hard to read, especially for people like me who wear glasses.   I haven't tried the new iBooks yet, but in the core apps such as Music, Phone, etc, they are simply too small, and demonstrate Jony Ive's myopic UI design efforts.  Many aspects of iOS 7 were simply ill-conceived.

post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by zBernie View Post

Great, now iBooks is as hideous as the other stock apps in iOS 7. Small hard to read fonts. At least the iconography of the buttons along the bottom don't look like they were drawn by my 4 year old.

Overall thought it still has the white, anemic, lifeless look, of the other stock apps.

JONY IVE SHOULD BE FIRED!

I'm with you Bernie, but for slightly different reasons.  I can live with ugly and flat.  But the lack of color, poor selection of color, lack of contrast, and leak of emphasis simply makes everything done by Mr. Ive much more difficult to use.

 

I agree entirely.  FIRE MR. IVE.

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post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


OK I'll bite....what font is hard to read in iBooks? I'm not noticing any small or hard to read fonts. Though I'm viewing the iPad, not iPhone.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zBernie View Post

Great, now iBooks is as hideous as the other stock apps in iOS 7. Small hard to read fonts. At least the iconography of the buttons along the bottom don't look like they were drawn by my 4 year old.

Overall thought it still has the white, anemic, lifeless look, of the other stock apps.

JONY IVE SHOULD BE FIRED!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


OK I'll bite....what font is hard to read in iBooks? I'm not noticing any small or hard to read fonts. Though I'm viewing the iPad, not iPhone.

I'll bite too. My guess is zBernie is a little older, and probably uses reading glasses intermittently. I am in the same situation, and my arms are becoming too short. With iOS7, I've noticed that many fonts are smaller, such as those for notifications, password fields, and app titles on home pages. I've improved the situation some with selecting larger dynamic type and bold text, but even most Apple Apps and the iOS itself does not support these options. In iOS6, the larger text option was often way too large. 

 

Sure, most iOS users are young with young eyes, but there are plenty of us who have been using Apple products longer than most of these users have been alive. Font issues aside, I like the new features of iOS7 but I am not a fan of the Windows 8 look.

post #17 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by cm477 View Post



I'll bite too. My guess is zBernie is a little older, and probably uses reading glasses intermittently. I am in the same situation, and my arms are becoming too short. With iOS7, I've noticed that many fonts are smaller, such as those for notifications, password fields, and app titles on home pages. I've improved the situation some with selecting larger dynamic type and bold text, but even most Apple Apps and the iOS itself does not support these options. In iOS6, the larger text option was often way too large. 

Sure, most iOS users are young with young eyes, but there are plenty of us who have been using Apple products longer than most of these users have been alive. Font issues aside, I like the new features of iOS7 but I am not a fan of the Windows 8 look.
I was referring specifically to iBooks. I'm curious to know what text in iBooks is difficult to read.
post #18 of 66

It IS more difficult to use.  Especially for those who don't have 20/20 vision.  It's not just a matter of resistance to change, or one preference over another.  Many aspects of iOS 7 are simply difficult to read.  Not to mention anemic and lifeless looking.

 

I have a LOT of Apple hardware, but after iOS 7, and raising the starting price of the iPad Mini to $400 ,  Apple has pissed me off one to many times.  I now have a Nexus 7 which I love (For 1/2 the price), and I just ordered a Moto-X at the link below, which offers a 4G/unlimited everything plan for only $40 per month!  Android devices play nicely with my iMac and Macbook Pro Retina - Just enable Google  account in system preferences / internet accounts.

 

I was also considering getting my 4 year old an iPad mini to replace his re-purposed iPad 1, but I as I mentioned, Apple pissed me off one too many times.   After Apple raised the starting price to $400, and has still has not included ANY family friendly features or parental controls like the Android tablets have, I got him a Nook HD for $139, and put the money I saved into his college fund.

 

http://republicwireless.com/

post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


My guess is some of this starkness will get walked back in iOS 8. Similar to Aqua way back when, Apple goes too far in a certain direction and then slowly changes it over time.

 

That is what I am thinking as well.  I think the undertaking of revamping the entire OS, plus improving the underlying the core (which they did quite a bit of), as well as updating their entire suite of apps all in about a years time, was probably one of the largest software undertakings known.  If you look at the sheer scope of how many things have changed, it is insane.

 

I think with the new structure of development, software is going to be approached similar to their hardware efforts meaning that they will constantly refine the experience.  If you look at what are considered the questionable launches of iMovie, FCP and iWork, I think that Apple is in that sort of frame of mind.  Now with Jony Ive as the head of design, it will be even more so.  Constant refinement.  I also think that the apps, both Apple's and 3rd party developer apps, will start to find their style as more time passes.  I look at apps like Fantastical and Tweetbot and I can see where things can go.  Both of those apps are in the distinct vein of iOS 7 and yet they are much more refined.

post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


OK I'll bite....what font is hard to read in iBooks? I'm not noticing any small or hard to read fonts. Though I'm viewing the iPad, not iPhone.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


I was referring specifically to iBooks. I'm curious to know what text in iBooks is difficult to read.

Sorry, it took a while for the iBooks update to load. In the iBooks store, the book titles and authors' names are definitely smaller. 

post #21 of 66

This is way nicer.

 

Next: add folders!

post #22 of 66
Love the modern bookshelf & smoother transition to store, they still have all the goodness
of the old iBooks for books "%u2764%uFE0F page-curl".
post #23 of 66
zbernie is right, iOS is just too washed out. Unless you like pure minimalism, it is hard to derive any pleasure from the interface at all. Such minimalism works well with their hardware, but the hardware also has a surface texture and feel.

Perhaps they need to back up a little and aim for something like Reminders and Calculator in OSX 10.8.5.
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by zBernie View Post
 

It IS more difficult to use.  Especially for those who don't have 20/20 vision.  It's not just a matter of resistance to change, or one preference over another.  Many aspects of iOS 7 are simply difficult to read.  Not to mention anemic and lifeless looking.

 

I loved the skeumorphic book shelf at least i could differentiate all my PDF documents now they just blend in with the sterile background. I agree with a previous poster this new look is so lifeless and sterile. IMHO the surface of the moon is more interesting..
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post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by zBernie View Post

JONY IVE SHOULD BE FIRED!

Okay, but if Ive gets fired, are you willing to give back your iPhone, iPad, aluminum MacBook Pro and all the other devices where he had a major role in creating? Presuming you had an infant son who farted in the bathtub, did you throw him out too along with the bath water? Just asking.

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post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordio View Post

I used to love iBooks. But when you compare the prices of a kindle book vs an iBooks book. It's insane how much cheaper kindle books are! How did apple get successfully sued for price fixing?

Actually, some times IBooks is cheaper. It depends on what book, sometimes Amazon is cheaper, sometimes iBooks is cheaper. OVERALL though, I'd say that iBooks is usually a tad bit more expensive.

I used to have an app, and use some websites that compare the prices of a particular ebook in all the different bookstores. I forgot the name, but try to search for something like this in he AppStore, its mighty useful!
post #27 of 66
Yikes, it's ugly and bland as hell. Even Kindle looks nicer than this.
(And like always, Apple keeps some of the old elements like the page curls and the shadow. The design of ios7 is really simplistic, boring and confused...)

Like many others in here, I too prefer the old bookshelf. Guess this is one more Apple app I won't bother to update. There's nothing useful new features in it anyways...
post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by foad View Post

That is what I am thinking as well.  I think the undertaking of revamping the entire OS, plus improving the underlying the core (which they did quite a bit of), as well as updating their entire suite of apps all in about a years time, was probably one of the largest software undertakings known.  If you look at the sheer scope of how many things have changed, it is insane.

I think with the new structure of development, software is going to be approached similar to their hardware efforts meaning that they will constantly refine the experience.  If you look at what are considered the questionable launches of iMovie, FCP and iWork, I think that Apple is in that sort of frame of mind.  Now with Jony Ive as the head of design, it will be even more so.  Constant refinement.  I also think that the apps, both Apple's and 3rd party developer apps, will start to find their style as more time passes.  I look at apps like Fantastical and Tweetbot and I can see where things can go.  Both of those apps are in the distinct vein of iOS 7 and yet they are much more refined.
This is what's frustrating to me with all the iOS 7 hyperbole. Both Jony Ive and Craig Federighi have said this is just the beginning, they're just getting started. iOS 7 is version 1.0 that one can assume will get better over time, especially as they take into account user feedback. I'll be very surprised if iOS 8 doesn't have some visual changes, like less white.
post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

Okay, but if Ive gets fired, are you willing to give back your iPhone, iPad, aluminum MacBook Pro and all the other devices where he had a major role in creating? Presuming you had an infant son who farted in the bathtub, did you throw him out too along with the bath water? Just asking.

That's ridiculous... Just because Ive is awful at designing software and a klutz at user interfaces, doesn't mean he's not a good hardware designer.
I like his HW designs, and certainly out of all of the designers and design-aware users that were horrified at the look of iOS 7, nobody would argue otherwise...
post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordio View Post

I used to love iBooks. But when you compare the prices of a kindle book vs an iBooks book. It's insane how much cheaper kindle books are! How did apple get successfully sued for price fixing?

Apple doesn't want to lose money on books. Amazon doesn't care.

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post #31 of 66
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Originally Posted by KennMSr View Post

I loved the skeumorphic book shelf at least i could differentiate all my PDF documents now they just blend in with the sterile background. I agree with a previous poster this new look is so lifeless and sterile. IMHO the surface of the moon is more interesting..

Agree. One hundred percent.

Guess, I'll just won't bother to update the app. Out of all of hour iPhones and iPads at home, we made the mistake of upgrading one of them to iOS 7. Thank god the iBooks app doesn't get updated automatically, so there's still a few places on it, that you can use without being blinded by all the sterile white that is Jonny Ive's latest craze.

When I get the 5S and iPad Air next month, hopefully the iBooks app might be an older version that hasn't been updated yet. And there'll probably be a jailbreak some time soon, so I can either downgrade to iOS 6, or at least use a less garish theme and look...
post #32 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by v900 View Post


That's ridiculous... Just because Ive is awful at designing software and a klutz at user interfaces, doesn't mean he's not a good hardware designer.
I like his HW designs, and certainly out of all of the designers and design-aware users that were horrified at the look of iOS 7, nobody would argue otherwise...

 

My counter would be that this is just the beginning.  Not all hardware decisions by Jobs and Ives were good, but the constant attention to detail and the desire for perfection was always there.  I'm not going to argue that iOS 7 is perfect or that it doesn't need work, but I think to flat out call Ive awful or a klutz isn't providing enough credit to the amount of software development Apple has done in the last 12 months.  The core underlying frameworks are there and now since pretty much all their apps have been updated, they will start refining.

post #33 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple on Thursday issued a major update for its iBooks application,
A major update?
Really?...
post #34 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

especially as they take into account user feedback. /quote]
Lol
post #35 of 66

I have a section in my notes titled "Stupid S**t That Apple Does".   Apple, makes some great products (I love OS X), but they do some really stupid things as well.  Here's the latest -- In Messages 8.0 in Mavericks, the ONLY notification option is to play a sound!  Formerly you could have the icon in the dock bounce, or display a dialog box, or run a script, etc..  So, my wife came home from work one day and asked "Did you get my text message?"  I said no, I did not.  I looked and to my dismay saw a little red "2" on the Messages icon, indicating that I missed two text messages.  I must have stepped away when the 1 second notification sound played. 

 

So now you have to actively look for missed messages, or you might miss them.  Give me a friggin option!  I don't want to miss important text messages on my Mac!  Let me display a dialo, that does not close until I close it, or something!

 

Okay, speaking of notifications, here is one that has been nagging me since I bought my iPhone 4s about two years ago:

 

THERE'S STILL NO MISSED PHONE CALL OR VOICE MAIL ALERTS!!!!!!!!!!

 

Apple in their infinite stupidity, deems this feature unnecessary.   And you can't get an app for that, because Apple does not allow access to the phone internals.

 

So yes, iOS 7 is just the culmination of a lot of stupid s**t that Apple has done over the years, and Jony Ive needs to be fired.

post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by v900 View Post

That's ridiculous... Just because Ive is awful at designing software and a klutz at user interfaces, doesn't mean he's not a good hardware designer.
I like his HW designs, and certainly out of all of the designers and design-aware users that were horrified at the look of iOS 7, nobody would argue otherwise...
So he only gets one shot at this user interface gig? It's impossible for him learn anything as he's been working more closely with software engineers? And he should be relegated only hardware design for the rest of his career? I remember the Mac OS Aqua interface and a lot of people hated that too. Does that mean Steve Jobs and his software engineers were awful software designers?

iOS 7 is by no means perfect but it's not awful and unusable either. If it was that bad it wouldn't be running on over 75% of iOS devices and Apple wouldn't be selling boat loads of 5S's and iPads. Also, the new iPads wouldn't have gotten rave reviews. The Verge gave the Air and mini 9.3/10, the highest rated tablet they've used. Cnet gave it 4.5 stars and an editors choice rating. That doesn't happen if the software is as awful as some people claim.
post #37 of 66

What exactly what wrong with the bookshelf? Why the need to strip absolutely every single app of its personality and context, making everything look like a lifeless, limp fish? The bookshelf was gorgeous. At the end of the day, you're still flipping the pages, so the skeumorphic aspect is still there. Why rip out every texture, and every color, out of every app and make everything white/light grey? I guess I was naively hoping that they wouldnt take the ugly stick to iBooks, or at least have a bit more of a subtle refresh that maintains the bookshelf feel, which I think most people love and can relate to. Did the wood shelf really "get in the way"? No, if anything, it enhanced the covers, gave them weight, and made them stand out. I often forget what app I'm using now as there's absolutely nothing distinguishing them from each other. Why not, at least for this app, give users the option of different looks/textures for the bookshelf? Whats the harm in that? The app redesign is depressing, and just a bit less joyful. 

post #38 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
 

What exactly what wrong with the bookshelf? Why the need to strip absolutely every single app of its personality and context, making everything look like a lifeless, limp fish? The bookshelf was gorgeous. At the end of the day, you're still flipping the pages, so the skeumorphic aspect is still there. Why rip out every texture, and every color, out of every app and make everything white/light grey? I guess I was naively hoping that they wouldnt take the ugly stick to iBooks, or at least have a bit more of a subtle refresh that maintains the bookshelf feel, which I think most people love and can relate to. Did the wood shelf really "get in the way"? No, if anything, it enhanced the covers, gave them weight, and made them stand out. I often forget what app I'm using now as there's absolutely nothing distinguishing them from each other. Why not, at least for this app, give users the option of different looks/textures for the bookshelf? Whats the harm in that? The app redesign is depressing, and just a bit less joyful. 

Exactly.

 

The iBooks app used to make a lovely example of why the iPad was such a pleasure to have and use. I don't think we'll be seeing too many more ads using it as a showpiece.

post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by zBernie View Post
 

I have a section in my notes titled "Stupid S**t That Apple Does".   Apple, makes some great products (I love OS X), but they do some really stupid things as well.  Here's the latest -- In Messages 8.0 in Mavericks, the ONLY notification option is to play a sound!  Formerly you could have the icon in the dock bounce, or display a dialog box, or run a script, etc..  So, my wife came home from work one day and asked "Did you get my text message?"  I said no, I did not.  I looked and to my dismay saw a little red "2" on the Messages icon, indicating that I missed two text messages.  I must have stepped away when the 1 second notification sound played. 

 

So now you have to actively look for missed messages, or you might miss them.  Give me a friggin option!  I don't want to miss important text messages on my Mac!  Let me display a dialo, that does not close until I close it, or something!

 

Okay, speaking of notifications, here is one that has been nagging me since I bought my iPhone 4s about two years ago:

 

THERE'S STILL NO MISSED PHONE CALL OR VOICE MAIL ALERTS!!!!!!!!!!

 

Apple in their infinite stupidity, deems this feature unnecessary.   And you can't get an app for that, because Apple does not allow access to the phone internals.

 

So yes, iOS 7 is just the culmination of a lot of stupid s**t that Apple has done over the years, and Jony Ive needs to be fired.

 

Messages in Mavericks has a variety of options for notifications, including badging the icon, notification banners that automatically get dismissed while you actively use the computer but don't if you have been away, as well as alert banners that won't get dismissed until an action has been taken.  I suggest you look at the Notifications panel in System Preferences.

 

On iOS I get missed called notifications and voicemail alerts all the time.  Check Notifications in the Settings app.  Other than that, I'm not sure what you're talking about.  Please clarify.

post #40 of 66
It's a little plainer looking, but it is much faster. Faster is good.

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