Apple iBooks e-reader: First Look

We only got a glimpse of Apple's new iBooks app when CEO Steve Jobs demoed it at the launch event in San Francisco. What we saw was a stylish, crisp-looking, colourful ebook reader and storefront that will run on Apple's forthcoming iPad. Since the iPad will share the content (and layout) of the App Store, iBooks should presumably be available for the iPhone and iPod Touch as well.

While we're looking forward to some hands-on time with the iBook app, here's what we think so far.

As with other ebook readers, iBooks will respond to the device's accelerometer and switch between landscape and portrait modes. Its controls will disappear when unused, and a swipe (or tap on the left or right side of the screen) will cause the pages to turn. iBooks' page turning looks smooth, with page corners digitally curling toward you as you advance, but this is hardly different behaviour than what you'd find in other digital readers. iBooks will also include a progress bar to show how far you are along in a book and you'll be able to change the reader's font size.

Stylistically, we already prefer iBooks to the bland Kindle app for iPhone, which shoots you to a web page on Safari to browse for books.

We're unsure yet about other specific features, such as bookmarking and annotating and perhaps web look-ups for further context (but we're speculating or just plain hoping here). However, we do know that iBooks will use the ePub standard. With books and textbooks from all five major book publishers slated to stock iBooks' digital shelves (Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, MacMillan and Hachette), it looks like the content should stack up against competing apps and electronic bookstores.

Via CNET News.com



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yr posted a comment   

So if i had an ipad and i live in Australia does that mean i can just download the ibooks now ?

 

gb posted a comment   

I Imagine even if ibooks is not available in Oz initially that you should still be able to run something like Stanza possibly with Calibre on your home PC to organise your library....

 

Shane posted a comment   

For Australians, its important that you know that the iBooks store won't be available here.




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