Latest Apple iOS Update Adds Extra Device Support For iBooks

m2bespokeixxus120515With the latest beta version of Apple’s iOS 8.4 being made available earlier this week, reports are surfacing that the new software update could mean big news for education and authors.

One of the most significant additions is the news that the new OS will merge audiobooks into the iBooks app. As many publishers will know, these have been taking off over the last few years. According to Good E-Reader, just 3,073 audiobook titles were produced in 2007. Compare this to 2014 and the number of audiobook editions has rocketed to 35,000.

At the same time, Apple has redesigned the Music application and in doing so, support for audiobooks has now been moved to iBooks – with a separate category with which to identify them and with more user-friendly options to listen and share these books. Website 9to5Mac claim that audiobooks now also display in their own application on the iOS CarPlay interface.

The second major change, as reported by The Digital Reader, is that iPhone owners will now be able to access and read e-books that have been created with iBooks Author.

iBooks author was launched in 2012 as part of Apple’s Education, which gives schools and teachers the ability to create dynamic, digital textbooks with interactive content that includes audio and video.

Previously, iBooks Author and all the associated content could only be accessed with an iPad or by using a Mac. With iOS 8.4, the textbooks will be able to run as intended on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, too.

For schools with a BYOD policy, this could play an important role in increasing the distribution and use of digital textbooks. That said, a lack of support for older devices does still limit things to those with the financial ability to buy the latest tech. Still, the increased visibility and usability of audiobooks should cheer up some publishers – what are your thoughts?

Date Published : 15th of May 2015

Steve Odart

Published by : Steve Odart

About the Author : Steve Odart is the founder of Ixxus, with 28 years experience in the publishing industry. He started life at the London College of Printing, following his grandfather into the printing industry. He spent many years working with Quark through its launch of Quark XPress, and the Quark Publishing System, before setting up a publishing division within one of the UK’s largest Sun Microsystems Resellers. He then joined Oracle, as EMEA Business Development Director – Publishing and Media, prior to founding Ixxus in 2004. Steve has an extensive knowledge of publishing past, present and future, and has worked with the majority of the largest global publishers in his career to date.