Apple Working on Books App Revamp Including Redesigned iBooks Store

iBooks on Instagram

Apple will be revamping the iBooks for iOS devices and has hired an Amazon executive to help achieve this goal. The new app from the Cupertino company is due to be released in the coming months. It will feature a simpler interface which highlights the books you are currently reading. 

The revamp will also see the iBooks store getting a revamp with a design similar to the brand new App Store that Apple first debuted with iOS 11. The redesigned app will come with a section called Reading Now to make it easier to find the books you are currently reading and a dedicated tab for audio books.

Apple renamed its “iBooks” app to “Books” in the first beta of iOS 11.3 released yesterday giving users the first hint of an impending revamp of the app. It is unclear if Apple will be releasing the revamped app as a part of iOS 11.3 or as a part of iOS 12 later this year. Apple has given almost all of its major system apps and services a revamp in iOS 11, with only the iBooks app being left out. Now, the company seems to be paying attention to the app and the iBooks store which last saw a major update from the company a few years ago.

The new app, due to be released in coming months, will include a simpler interface that better highlights books currently being read and a redesigned digital book store that looks more like the new App Store launched last year, according to people familiar with its development. The revamped app in testing includes a new section called Reading Now and a dedicated tab for audio books, the people said.

At one point, Apple’s iBooks store competed with Amazon’s digital bookstore. However, after the company was sued by the Department of Justice and publishers in 2012 for allegedly coming up with a scheme to raise prices of e-books, it ended up giving up on its bookstore. Apple was also handed a $450 million for this case in 2016. Due to this, Amazon now dominates the U.S. ebook market with a market share of 83 percent in early 2017.

Our Take

Apple has been increasingly focusing on its services to further drive its growth and revenues. With Apple Music, App Store, and other key services from the company already getting a revamp to spur their growth, it was only a matter of time before Apple decided to revamp the iBooks app and associated store to attract more readers.

[Via Bloomberg]