As Apple Insider first spotted, the first beta of iOS 11.3 includes a subtle change. iBooks is now referred to as Books. To Mark Gurman, this new development could be a sign that there will be bigger changes to Apple’s ebook reading app. The Apple iBooks store won’t be left out too.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a new design for the iBooks app on the iPhone and iPad. It will feature a simpler interface with a new section called ‘Reading Now’. With this, there will be no need of having to scroll through your library to find the book you are currently reading, as this section will highlight your current book and possibly open to the last page you stopped reading.
Audiobooks could also get a dedicated tab. And this is probably the biggest and most telling change. Apple has been selling audiobooks in the iTunes Store for years. But it doesn’t really make sense that you have to open the Music app to listen to audiobooks.
That is why Apple could move audiobooks to the iBooks Store. Talking about the store, Bloomberg also says that Apple is working on a redesign to make it look like the new App Store design.
In the new iBooks store, books could be the app name on your home screen. But maybe Apple is going to call it Apple Books so that it follows the same naming convention as Apple Music and Apple TV.
Well, while Bloomberg thinks this is all about getting back into battle with Amazon regarding ebooks, Apple may have a simpler reasoning on the matter.
First, iBooks needs a redesign. Second, Apple is slowly unbundling iTunes so that iTunes can fade into the abyss. So the company could be removing audiobooks from the iTunes Store. Third, it sounds like a good opportunity to rename the service to Apple Books.
Either way, kudos to Apple for their new design of the Apple iBooks store.