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

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    Kinda prefered the skewmorphic designs of old but such is technology - you either adapt & move on or you get left behind.
  • Reply 2 of 65
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,714member
    Glad to see the bookshelf skeumorphism go away.

    Now if Apple would just allow PDFs to scroll vertically.
  • Reply 3 of 65
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Page curls live on! :D
  • Reply 4 of 65
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 65
    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...
  • Reply 6 of 65
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,199member
    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...

  • Reply 6 of 65
    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.. 

  • Reply 8 of 65
    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!
  • Reply 9 of 65
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    zbernie wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 65
    pokepoke Posts: 506member

    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.

  • Reply 11 of 65
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 65
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    poke wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 65

    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.

  • Reply 14 of 65
    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.

  • Reply 15 of 65
    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.

  • Reply 16 of 65
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    cm477 wrote: »


    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. <span style="line-height:1.4em;">Font issues aside, I like the new features of iOS7 but I am not a fan of the Windows 8 look.</span>
    I was referring specifically to iBooks. I'm curious to know what text in iBooks is difficult to read.
  • Reply 17 of 65

    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/

  • Reply 18 of 65
    foadfoad Posts: 697member
    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.

  • Reply 19 of 65
    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. 

  • Reply 20 of 65

    This is way nicer.

     

    Next: add folders!

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