For the first time in years, Apple is focusing back on iBooks in another attempt to challenge Amazon’s dominant ebook market.
While the iBooks app has been apart of Apple services for sometime, it has largely been an afterthought for the tech giant. Though the service is available for iPhone, iPads, and Macs, the app has a clunky interface, poor navigation, and does not see the type of use that other Apple apps do. As a result, it needs to be streamlined and will go through a proper redesign, Engadget reports.
The new version of the app — which has been renamed to just “Books” — was released in the developer version of iOS 11.3 and is set for wide release in the coming months. Apple reports that it will have a simpler interface that better highlights books that are currently being read. The app will also come with a completely redesigned digital bookstore that will look similar to the new App Store launched last year, and it will have a brand new audio book section called Reading Now, Bloomberg reports.
Books is the biggest upgrade to Apple’s ebook service in years. They hope the coming changes will help them strike a blow against Amazon, who has dominated the ebook market for quite some time. Though Apple did challenge Amazon in 2012, the U.S Department of Justice ruled they were conspiring to raise ebook prices and sued them for $450 million. After that point they shifted their attention to other products.
Going up against Amazon is not going to be an easy task — especially considering that the company once had ebooks as a key part of its service — but Apple did hire Kashif Zafar, an SVP of Audible, in December. They hope that move, along with the redesigned app, will put them back into digital books.