Apple Working on Redesigned Books App With 'Simpler' Interface and Overhauled Store

After changing the iBooks app to simply be called "Books" in the iOS 11.3 beta that released to developers yesterday, a new report out today by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg states that Apple is preparing to revamp the internals of the iPhone and iPad app as well.

booksiconios113
In an update coming in the next few months -- potentially with the public release of iOS 11.3 in the spring -- Apple will redesign Books with a "simpler" interface aimed at highlighting books you're currently reading in a "Reading Now" section.

On the store side of things, Books will gain a marketplace that looks like the new iOS App Store that debuted in iOS 11, tying more of Apple's apps in together aesthetically. There will also be a dedicated tab for audio books.

According to Gurman, this major update to Books is Apple's move to take on Amazon and the Kindle digital book market again. The Books redesign will come nearly five years after Apple and five publishers were found guilty of conspiring to inflate the prices of e-books to weaken Amazon's dominant position in the market.

Apple is working on a redesigned version of its iBooks e-book reading application for iPhones and iPads and has hired an executive from Amazon to help.

This will be the biggest upgrade to Apple’s e-book service in several years and provides renewed competition in a market that Amazon has dominated.

In its preparation to fight against Amazon in the e-book market, Apple last month hired a senior vice president away from Amazon's Audible business. The VP, Kashif Zafar, had also previously worked at Barnes & Noble on its Nook e-reader. His new title at Apple is "Global Head of iBooks," and he'll help Apple with "general management responsibility" across the company's global digital books unit.

Top Rated Comments

goodcow Avatar
49 months ago
They're gonna make it worse, like each new version of the Podcasts app.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RightMACatU Avatar
49 months ago
Can't help thinking about iTunes and how 'simplifying' things means removing useful features :rolleyes:
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naimfan Avatar
49 months ago
The chances of the redesign "improving" the user experience would appear to be exactly zero.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Princess Cake Avatar
49 months ago
Yipee, more white space. If theres one thing we need. White space = Design, just ask Jony Ive.

"The white space is a representation of the user's soul. It is design at its simplest form. The user will see that white space and say to themselves 'well of course its like that, why would it be any other way?' we as designers spend our lives planning the ins and outs of everyday objects, and to me at least... that means white space."
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H3LL5P4WN Avatar
49 months ago
I guess a return to skeuomorphism is out of the question.

If the app returned to how it looked when it launched, I'd consider moving my library to it from Kobo (which even it is largely flat design now). iBooks' skeuomorphic appearance was one of the main reasons I wanted the OG iPad.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
efp722 Avatar
49 months ago
This is a long shot, but I'd love for someone to revolutionize the ebook game and merge all of your accounts together, just like how Movies Anywhere merged all of my Amazon Video, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, and UltraViolet movies. I have so many books stuck in both iBooks and Kindle and it's a hassle to remember what I have and don't have and then hunting it down. First world problem, i know, but it would be a great change.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
Pixel Stand 23W 668x445

Google Pixel 6 Rumored to Support 23W Wireless Charging, Beating iPhone 12's MagSafe

Wednesday September 1, 2021 1:54 am PDT by
Google is rumored to be working on a new wireless charging stand that could deliver 23W of charging power to its upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones, according to a leaked inventory image published by Android Police. Image via Android Police. If true, that would beat the iPhone 12's maximum 15W wireless charging speed (or 12W on ‌iPhone 12 mini‌) using Apple's MagSafe charger, and...