Apple iBooks revamp could include 'Today' tab to enhance discovery

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 22
Apple is reportedly recruiting an editorial team for its upcoming iBooks reboot, possibly with the idea of creating an App Store-style "Today" tab.




Evidence for this can be seen in a spate of related LinkedIn job listings, Macotakara said on Thursday. If it follows in the path of the App Store, an iBooks "Today" tab would feature things like author interviews and spotlights on individual books and themes.

In January, AppleInsider and Bloomberg were separately able to confirm plans to launch a new iBooks app, possibly just called "Books." It could have a "Reading Now" section, as well as a dedicated audiobooks tab.

Some earlier iOS 11.3 betas renamed iBooks to "Books," but that was reverted in the fourth beta.

iBooks has lagged well behind Amazon's Kindle sales, in January charting at about 9 percent of the e-book market versus Amazon's 83.3. The latter company has a few advantages, among them a headstart in the industry and a platform-agnostic approach. Whereas Kindle titles can be read on any device with the Kindle app, as well as Amazon's own tablets and e-readers, iBooks content can only ever be read on Apple devices -- meaning people lose access to their libraries if they switch platforms.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 118unconfirmed, member
    Why would people switch right hauuhahuauhahu!!!
  • Reply 2 of 20
    CaptainKidneyCaptainKidney Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I love reading iBooks over Kindle, but the store is weak and hard to shop. In addition, whole sections (looking you COMPUTERS AND INTERNET) seem like they are completely ignored. Seems like a terribly missed opportunity.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    I Switched to Kindle long ago. Contents in iBook store is so limited. Even the app itself is not reliable. I kept loosing PDF files everytime I sync. 
    edited March 22
  • Reply 4 of 20
    I have hundreds of ebooks (purchased) at Amazon.  I also have Kindle Unlimited.

    The best Apple could hope for is to tempt me away from Kindle Unlimited with a better subscription.  Basically, Apple would need to offer more for less, and that’s not Apple's business model.

    Even if I switched to “Apple Unlimited” I’d continue to purchase all books (outside of Unlimited) though Amazon.

    Apple’s “walled garden” iOS only approach really hurts them with books, music, and movies.  Until that changes, Apple will remain inferior to Amazon in those areas.

    I love the “walled garden” approach for Apps (for security) but it doesn’t work anywhere else.  The sooner Apple goes Unlimited elsewhere the better off they’ll be.
  • Reply 5 of 20
    doggonedoggone Posts: 161member
    iBooks is better in appearance over Kindle and it has an advantage that you can buy books directly in the app.  With Kindle you have to buy via the browser or kindle store.

    iBooks has 3 main problems.  First, it is very hard to find books from favorite authors.  Part of discovery is learning about what other books are available especially if they are in a series.  Greater sales would be realized if it were easier to find related novels.  

    Second, books are generally more expensive on iBooks and Amazon have a subscription service as well.  Whilst I will buy from iBooks first, some books / authors are on available on Kindle and not iBooks.  Is this lack of effort on Apple's part or some exclusivity deal?  I get that for new books but not for ones that have been out for years.

    The other pet peeve is that books I have bought several years ago have been forgotten in the iBooks app.  Apple support said that the author may have dropped off from iBooks and then came back.  The lack of order history and the fact that I have sometimes re-bought a novel is very annoying.  Support suggests to download the books on my Mac but it is not clear where they are stored or whether older titles I bought have been recovered.  I often re-read favorite books and losing them is very frustrating.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    thttht Posts: 2,801member
    The latter company has a few advantages, among them a headstart in the industry and a platform-agnostic approach. 

    Amazon also had a friendly court system when it got the USA DOJ to successfully sue Apple and publishers. With Apple losing the case and its iBooks business being court monitored for two or three years, they essentially stopped working on iBooks imo. Looks like they are making another push with it now that the court monitor is gone and trying to offer more digital content and services to its customers.
    tallest skiljony0
  • Reply 7 of 20
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,184member
    iBooks Author REALLY needs an update. Especially if Apple is serious about heading off Chrome’s takeover of the education market. iWeb, too, for that matter. 
    tallest skil
  • Reply 8 of 20
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 370member
    As Tht noted DOJ demanded that Amazon have a monopoly in the sale of books - full stop.  

    I use both Amazon (and the free books that their PRIME account provides), but I prefer Apple's interface and experience.   I especially prefer Apple for Audiobooks as it works so well with CarPlay.  

    Agree with others that Apple will not achieve the growth/volume it needs to "compete" (in quotes because DOJ essentially decided that Amazon can be the monopoly in this space) unless it opens up the store to other platforms.  

    Apple also needs to update/promote its platform to allow self-pulbicatoin on iBooks.  Apple developed state of the art tools for this long ago but they haven't been updated nor promoted.   This follows many examples of Apple leading the way (video production (Apple should have developed their tool set into YouTube (missed opportunity), podcasting (which Apple developed and still leads, and which is now growing), publication (this includes iBooks, Audiobooks, and news feeds)) but failing to capitalize on their innovations.  

    Apple does a great job of creating the tool sets (in the hopes that creatives will capitalize on those to turn them into platforms).   Sometimes Apple would be better off if they also championed those toolsets more.
    jony0
  • Reply 9 of 20
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,126administrator
    If you can't find your comment, please review the commenting guidelines.

    Specifically, the "profanity-laced tirade" part.
    eightzero
  • Reply 10 of 20
    doggone said:
    iBooks is better in appearance over Kindle and it has an advantage that you can buy books directly in the app.  With Kindle you have to buy via the browser or kindle store.
    When Kindle app first came out, you can buy books directly from within the app until Apple killed it and prohibit the app from doing so since then. 
  • Reply 11 of 20
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,049member
    doggone said:
    iBooks is better in appearance over Kindle and it has an advantage that you can buy books directly in the app.  With Kindle you have to buy via the browser or kindle store.
    When Kindle app first came out, you can buy books directly from within the app until Apple killed it and prohibit the app from doing so since then. 
    Apple didn't kill it. You are wrong. Apple required Amazon to pay the 30% fee on purchases like it does for any in-app purchase. Amazon refused, and changed their app.
    ravnorodom
  • Reply 12 of 20
    smiffy31smiffy31 Posts: 167member
    doggone said:
    iBooks is better in appearance over Kindle and it has an advantage that you can buy books directly in the app.  With Kindle you have to buy via the browser or kindle store.
    When Kindle app first came out, you can buy books directly from within the app until Apple killed it and prohibit the app from doing so since then. 
    They don't prohibit it, Amazon prohibited it themselves to not pay a service charge. (The service charge is probably to help cover the fact that Amazon can sell books cheaper than others can buy them)
    edited March 22 ravnorodom
  • Reply 13 of 20
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,356member
    It’s high time for Apple, and others, to grow up. And yes, they should have ignored the court ruling on iBooks, because if THAT’S supposed to be the reason they’ve done NOTHING with the platform for YEARS, then it’s completely inexcusable.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    doggonedoggone Posts: 161member
    smiffy31 said:
    doggone said:
    iBooks is better in appearance over Kindle and it has an advantage that you can buy books directly in the app.  With Kindle you have to buy via the browser or kindle store.
    When Kindle app first came out, you can buy books directly from within the app until Apple killed it and prohibit the app from doing so since then. 
    They don't prohibit it, Amazon prohibited it themselves to not pay a service charge. (The service charge is probably to help cover the fact that Amazon can sell books cheaper than others can buy them)
    Forgot about that.  
    The thing with Amazon is that they are not driven by margins but by bringing in revenue.  So Kindle doesn't have to make profit they just need to bring in cash and dominate the market.
    I think when Apple lost the books case they basically stopped a lot of effort around this service.  No hope of making money out of it and it does not help them sell iDevices to any large degree.  Great that the apps will allow you to read books but not a deal breaker.
  • Reply 15 of 20

    Is there any way to avoid going through iTunes to get books into iBooks?  I have thousands of books from several different sources in a Calibre server, and it's a royal pain to have to fire up iTunes and sync just to get a few new books.  This is the same reason I don't use Kindle very often; sending my Kindle account an email with the book attached is just plain moronic.

    Allow iBooks to hook up to an OPDS server, and I'll switch away from Marvin in a heartbeat.

  • Reply 16 of 20
    FolioFolio Posts: 339member
    Like EMoeller quote above, but for some reason SW preventing me from quote it or even liking it. Let's see if this will post.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    FolioFolio Posts: 339member
    I'm a book nut. But I've just dipped a toe into Apple books, and save or compile annual reports, articles, etc to iBooks. As a heavy annotator, I'm looking for improvements and reliability before I commit more with Apple here. Amazon is scary. Not only for reasons mentioned above, with books and Kindle, but also bought out Audible and AbeBooks. But one company having that much power over intellectual culture is kinda scary for long term perspective. (Granted Audible long sought a Bezos buyout.) With Airpods and Homepod, Apple now has even greater reason to push audible books. Much of great classics are in public domain, so all Apple needs to do is hire great readers/actors--and not necessarily big names-- to give them life. Could be done for relative pittance. Apple reaps exclusive benefit for ages. Yes, Audible already has done many, but the reader's voice or verve not always good on those. Good to have alternatives. Suddenly a Middlemarch or Anna Karenina does not seem imposing, but a smooth experience switching from Airpod, to HomePod to CarPlay. And Apple ecosystem gets that much more delightful.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    thttht Posts: 2,801member

    Is there any way to avoid going through iTunes to get books into iBooks?  I have thousands of books from several different sources in a Calibre server, and it's a royal pain to have to fire up iTunes and sync just to get a few new books.  This is the same reason I don't use Kindle very often; sending my Kindle account an email with the book attached is just plain moronic.

    Allow iBooks to hook up to an OPDS server, and I'll switch away from Marvin in a heartbeat.

    If you have iCloud Library, you can put it there (basically directory you choose to be there), and you can access it through the Files.app, by opening said file or files (I think) in the iBooks.app. 

    iBooks.app is not designed for 1000s of files, so, I’m not sure that is the greatest thing to do. Not much can be in a convenient way. You’ll have to make sure everything is named correctly. Not sure if there is metadata associated with your books and whether iBooks would actually use it. 
  • Reply 19 of 20
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,356member
    beowulfschmidt said:
    Is there any way to avoid going through iTunes to get books into iBooks?
    I just e-mail my PDFs and ePubs to myself. Fuck OS X’s iBooks. Apple will have to totally reconstruct their back end in the filesystem for me to ever use it again.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    tht said:
    If you have iCloud Library, you can put it there (basically directory you choose to be there), and you can access it through the Files.app, by opening said file or files (I think) in the iBooks.app. 

    iBooks.app is not designed for 1000s of files, so, I’m not sure that is the greatest thing to do. Not much can be in a convenient way. You’ll have to make sure everything is named correctly. Not sure if there is metadata associated with your books and whether iBooks would actually use it. 

    I don't use iCloud at all.  Or DropBox, or Google Drive, or any other "cloud" based file solution.  Plus, I'm a Windows guy. 

    I don't need thousands of files, just the ability to browse my server and select books.

    beowulfschmidt said:
    Is there any way to avoid going through iTunes to get books into iBooks?
    I just e-mail my PDFs and ePubs to myself. Fuck OS X’s iBooks. Apple will have to totally reconstruct their back end in the filesystem for me to ever use it again.

    Yep, I've done that as well.  But having to email stuff to myself for iBooks is as stupid as having to email stuff to my Kindle account for the Kindle app, and for the same reasons.  Talk about a waste of bandwidth and time.

    I've also used Safari on my phone to browse to the Calibre server's web page and select books by using the "Open in iBooks" method.  That's fine for one or two books, but if I want to get an entire series, it's a bloody pain.

    Screw Amazon and their murder of Stanza.

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