Published: Fri, January 26, 2018
Sci-tech | By Javier West

Apple's iBooks to become "Books" in forthcoming reading app redesign

Apple's iBooks to become

Earlier today, a report by Bloomberg mentioned that Apple is working on big changes for the Books app (previously called iBooks) and the Apple Books Store. They say that this new Books app will feature a "simpler interface", and boasts a digital store that looks similar to the recently revamped iOS App Store. The new iBooks app reportedly also has a Reading Now tab, presumably to give the user quick access to the titles at the top of their reading list, and a dedicated audiobook section. The company is looking to take on Amazon again after its last attempt resulted in a $450 million fine for price fixing.

A redesigned reading app could better let Apple compete with Amazon and its Kindle app, which dominates the digital book realm. That follows other Apple services, like iTunes and iTunes Podcasts, that changed into apps like Apple Music and Apple Podcasts. Zafar's LinkedIn profile states he is now the "Global Head of iBooks at Apple", with "general management responsibility for Apple's global digital books business unit". This part of the company's business, which among others includes iBooks, the App Store and iCloud, rose 34 percent in the fourth quarter.

After the legal blow, Apple's digital-services work focused more on Apple Music, App Store sales, and movie rentals. So the pressure is on to pursue all available opportunities, including e-books and audio books.

Apple's electronic book efforts are being led by Kashif Zafar, who started working for the company as its global head of iBooks in December.

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment. Before that, Zafar was a content vice president at Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader division, according to his LinkedIn profile. Apple sells e-books to make its high-priced devices more attractive, making money on the sale of the hardware.

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