Apple is making a return to a market it has long ignored: e-books. After making a splash early on with iBooks, Apple has largely ignored the service leaving the app in a decrepit state for the past few years. That is changing according to Bloomberg, who reports Apple is bringing it back with a new name, new look, and new features.
The upgraded app for iPhone and iPad will get a redesign more in line with the newer stock Apple apps with the bold heading and streamlined interface. One of the big focuses of the update will be to put the spotlight on books that are being read with a new section called Reading Now. There will also be a dedicated tab for audiobooks, something Apple has not put a big focus into.
Apple is also continuing with the rebranding of its services. With the first beta of iOS 11.3, the iBooks app was renamed to just Books. It’s a similar move implemented with the renaming of iTunes and iTunes Podcasts to Apple Music and Apple Podcasts, slowly eschewing the “i” branding.
Relaunching iBooks will again put Apple against Amazon, which thoroughly dominates the e-book market. As of February 2017, Amazon held 83.3-percent of the e-book market share. Apple only took up 9-percent, just slightly better than Barnes & Noble.
This will also be Apple’s first major e-books move since being slapped with a $450 million fine by the Department of Justice in connection to a scheme with publishers for inflating the price e-books.
The updated iBooks app is expected to be released in the coming months.