With the forthcoming release of its new operating system for phones and tablets, iOS 12, Apple is signaling a new emphasis on digital book and audiobook sales. The new operating system, set to hit in the fall, will replace Apple's long-serving iBooks app with a new Apple Books app.
The new e-book app will, according to Apple, offer an enhanced reading experience and will make book discovery easier. Editorial, in particularly, will be front and center and more visible in the app.
A new set of tabs at the top of the app will create what the company is touting as a “virtual nightstand,” and highlights the current book you are reading, as well as those books you want to read. The new book store tab will offer a selection of bestsellers and staff picks, as well as books on sale and those offered for free. Apple’s editorial staff will curate collections of titles. Perhaps of more importance, will the introduction of audiobook sales directly in the app;.
“Apple Books will inspire a love of reading—it puts a world of books and audiobooks right at your fingertips, whether you want to dive into your favorite story for a couple of minutes or a few hours,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior v-p of Internet software and services. “This is our biggest books redesign ever, and we hope this beautiful app inspires both customers and authors alike.”
Some distinct features of the new books app include the ability to swipe between titles while browsing in the store, and a timeline that tracks your reading. The latter displays the books you have read, and when you finished them.
The app will be available in 51 countries, with editorial content localized for each. Free titles are offered in 155 countries.