As part of 2018's iOS 12 upgrade, Apple underwent some of the operating system native apps. One of the apps for an update was iBooks. Along with a new name, it got a new design and a number of new features.
Let's take a deep dive into the brand new Apple books.
What are Apple Books?
Apple wants the books to app to become a one-stop shop for all your reading needs. It allows you to add your existing books, provides a portal to Apple's ebooks, allowing you to purchase multiple titles, and for the first time enables you to listen to audiobooks.
The app can read EPUB files, PDF files, and Apple's proprietary IBA format (used for books created in Apple's iBooks Author app).
So how can you make the most of the redesigned app?
. Use the navigation menu
Apple Books has a new Navigation Menu that makes it easier than ever to control the reading experience.
To access the menu, touch anywhere on the device screen while reading a book. You will see that five icons appear at the top of the screen.
The left icon – an arrow – will quit the current book and return you to your library page. An icon from this gives you access to the contents of the book, bookmarks and notes. There is also a search function and a bookmark button.
2. Take notes
You can add own notes to books and refer to them later. It is a useful feature for students, and those who work with long documents or complicated texts.
To create a note, tap and hold a word in a book, and then drag the selected area to include more text as needed.
When done, drop your finger and swipe through the list of options. Touch Note and you can add your thoughts under the text you selected. When done, press Done .
You can search your notes by opening the menu Navigation Touch Contents and then select Notes .
Note: Text accompanied by notes is highlighted in yellow in the browser pane.
3. Highlight the text
Apple Books now offers a variety of ways to highlight text in your books. Again, it is useful for people who want to refer to certain parts of their book later.
The process of marking text resembles it to take notes. Touch, hold and drag over the text you want, but select Select from the popup menu instead of Note .
You can now see some options on the screen to customize your highlighted text. You can choose to highlight the text in yellow, green, red, blue and purple. You can also emphasize it. Alternatively, tap the section icon to send the highlighted content to other programs and people. There is also a delete button to remove the highlight.
When you have highlighted some text, a single press of the highlighted part will display the highlighted text menu so you can make changes.  4. Bookmarks
Bookmarks provide a less granular way of referring back to specific pages. On any page of an ebook, you can retrieve Navigation Menu with a single press and select the bookmark icon in the upper right corner to save the page. The icon turns red to indicate success.
You can find your bookmarks the same way you find your notes. Open Menu Navigation Touch Content and then select Bookmarks .
Not to be confused with audiobooks, Apple Books offers text-to-speech capabilities. In theory, it means that you can beat any eBook to an audiobook (even if you have to listen to the monotonous computer-controlled voice).
However, it is a good option to have if you are on a long journey and your eyes need rest or when expression and weight are less important (for example, in academic or legal documents).
To use the Apple Books text-to-speech feature, press and hold the first word, then drag cursor over all the text you want to listen to. When done, select Talk from the popup menu.
6. Customize visuals
Apple knows that people have trouble staring at the displays for long periods of time. Consequently, it has included some options that aim to reduce eyelashesand make it easier to continue editing pages.
Apple Books has six options you can tweak:
- Brightness: Use the slider to set the app's brightness to a comfortable level.
- Font Size: Prefer to fit more on a page or sweep more often?
- Writings: The app contains nine fonts. They are original, Athelas, Charter, Georgia, Iowan, Palatino, San Francisco, Seravek and Times New Roman.
- Background color: A white background puts more strain on your eyes. The app also offers sepia, granite and black.
- Auto-Night Theme: Enable this and your iPhone will automatically soften the screen's blue light and replace it with a warmer yellow light in the evenings.
- Ruler: Instead of sweeping side to side, you can enable this option to enjoy your books in a continuous roll instead. This is more in line with how we read articles on phones.
You can change the options above by opening the Navigation menu and pressing the AA icon.
7. Audiobooks with Siri
Apple Books is tightly integrated with Siri. Thus, you can ask the personal assistant to start playing an audiobook on any of your devices.
She begins to tell it in a few seconds.
8. Sync over devices
You can use the new app to sync your browsing experience across all your Apple devices. iCloud handles this. The synchronized data includes progress through the books you read, your library, plus notes, bookmarks, and highlights.
To enable the cross-device synchronization, go to Settings> [Name]> iCloud Note: If you only want to sync books purchased, click and . Books to On .
from Apple Books Store and not your own EPUBs and PDFs, let iCloud Drive disabled.
9. PDF Manager
Did you know that the new Apple Books app doubles as a PDF reader and leader? You can save PDFs and emails directly in the app. From the Mail app or Safari, just click the Share button swipe right once, and then tap Copy to Books .
You can add handwritten notes to the PDF by selecting the pen icon. You can use the same feature to sign PDF files before returning them.
We have written about managing PDF files on an iPhoneif you want to learn more.
10. More Menu
The newly developed app has four new tabs along the bottom of the screen: Reading Now Library Book Store and Search .
Reading Now and the Book Store deserve the most attention. They are packed with recommendations, curated lists, special offers, best seller lists and several other ways to help you find new content.
To make lists more personal, use both screens to provide feedback about the app's recommendations. But all the cool options are hidden behind More menu.
If you click on the three horizontal points next to a book, you can add it to the "Want to Read" list, add it to a personal collection, rate it and rate it, or share it with friends. Most importantly, touch either Love or Dislikes the button to help you with future suggestions.
Are Apple Books the Spotify of Books?
Apple Books Feels Like It Trying to Replicate Spotify's Excellent Music Detection Tools in the World of Ebooks. It's sleek, beautifully laid out, packed with recommendations, and easy to use.
Of course there is still an app on a phone so it will never suit diehard readers who prefer e-ink tablets. It can also be short for people who have large collections of books in many different ebook formats. Yes, you can convert e-books online or using caliber, but that's a problem.
Nevertheless, it's hard to assert that the new Apple Books app is not the best ereader app on a mobile platform right now. It's definitely better than some of the ereaders on Android. For more on iPhones latest software, check out what's new in iOS 12.
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