Now’s a Great Time to Check Out Apple iBooks

In mid-September 2018, Apple released its newest gadgets, including the brand new iPhone with a larger screen and lots of high-tech bells and whistles. But for those who are avid e-book readers, the update of Apple’s operating system to ios12 is also big news. The new system, according to Apple, makes apps on devices like iPads and iPhones work faster and more reliably. Those apps include one that lets you shop for and download e-books.

The iBooks App

The iBooks e-reader app, which is an app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, is a free app available in the Apple App store. With it you can buy, download, and enjoy thousands of e-books in all genres and categories readable on Apple devices. If you haven’t yet checked-out iBooks, this is a great time to do so. That’s because it is one of the easiest ways to gain access to e-books and audiobooks for readers of all ages. Plus, the brand new ios12 platform makes the current iBooks app the most developed version ever.

Free Previews

You can browse books, from the oldest classics to the newest and hottest bestsellers, and preview them with free samples as you shop around for titles. Sometimes you’ll even get to read sneak-peek excerpts before they are available anywhere else. The books you can download from Apple include interactive ones, audiobooks, and books that you can listen to in your vehicle with CarPlay technology.

Customize Your Experience

Customize your display with four different page colors and your choice of eight fonts, and use tools to highlight passages, take notes, and bookmark pages. There are built-in search tools, too, that enable you to quickly locate words, phrases, or characters in your book. There is also an automatic night time setting that adjusts the screen view to make reading at night easier on your eyes. If you’re reading in low light on your iPad or iPhone, iBooks for iOS automatically switches to white-on-black text. When you move to a more illuminated reading spot, it switches back. Instead of constantly flipping pages, you can use the Scroll feature, and you can also share quotes from books on Facebook, Twiter, or via email.

Cloud-Based Convenience and Security

Because you can store your purchased iBooks in the cloud, they are securely stored for you. Then you can access them from anywhere in the world, on any compatible Apple device. That means they’re available to you across multiple devices, and all you need is a Wi-Fi connection. You can also use the Family Sharing feature to share whatever iBooks you own with your family members.

Multiple Languages

As for languages, iBooks are available in not just English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. Other iBooks languages include Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

Multi-Touch Books

There are also iBooks available that have additional highly-interactive features called Multi-Touch. Multi‑Touch lets you view images on the page in 3D or animation, too, with just a swipe of your fingers. Or you can turn on audio commentary to sit back and learn more by listening.

Automatic Updates for Textbooks

Another nice feature for students is that your textbooks that are purchased in iBooks format don’t have to go out of date. Whenever one that you bought is republished with new content, you’ll be notified by iBooks. Then you can download the newest version at no extra cost, and the old version will be automatically replaced within your iBooks library.

Group Titles by Series

There’s also a features called Series on iBooks that helps organize your books. If you use a recent version of an iPhone, for instance, you probably know that you’re able to create photo folders in your camera roll, categorized by theme, date, and so forth. The iBook Series works in a similar way, sorting books by author, title, category, or series. This helps you keep your e-library organized. But if you tap on a series in iBooks, it also shows you what books you already, as well as others in the series that you do not yet own. That can simplify shopping when you want to buy the latest title in a series.

Technical Requirements

To use iBooks you’ll need to have iOS 10.0 or later installed on your devices, and you’ll need to have an  iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The iBooks Store is available in many countries, and the titles available may vary by country. You download content using your Apple ID, the way you do if you shop for music on iTunes.

Kindle Features for Students & Textbooks

If you or your child is back in school – or if you just read for the pleasure of lifelong learning – there are some handy features on Kindles that can make you a better student. You can track your readings, view e-book versions of textbooks in formats that appear the same as the print versions, and unleash other handy features that many Kindle owners don’t know about or use.

Print Replica Electronic Textbooks

One of the most annoying experiences for students is when they have an electronic or e-book version of a conventional printed textbook, but the info isn’t in the same place in both books. You want to look up a chart, graphic, or a paragraph on your e-book that maybe your professor mentioned. But the professor is using the print version, and when you go to your e-textbook you cannot find that same information. Or you’re studying with a classmate, and your texts don’t line up, so you waste valuable time just turning pages trying to find what you are looking for in the book.

But in Amazon’s Kindle store there are many textbooks that have a special features called Print Replica. The pages in these textbooks display words and images in the same position as the corresponding print edition, solving that potentially aggravating and time-wasting problem.

Print Replica Plus

Better yet, if you are using an e-book with Print Replica, you can also use all of the additional features that most Kindle e-books offer – features which are impossible in conventional printed books. With a digital textbook, for example, you can take virtual notes, zoom in and out on a page, adjust lighting and font, and bookmark and synch the last page that you read across multiple Kindle reading apps and Fire tablets. If you’re using one device in the classroom and want to pick up your reading where you left off but don’t have that device, it’s not necessarily an obstacle. If you have the Kindle app on another device like your phone, just read that way. The last page read will be synced back and forth.

It’s really easy to find Print Replica textbooks in the Kindle Store, because they are clearly identified with the words “Print Replica” right next to the book’s title. The Print Replica technology is compatible with and supported by Kindle Fire tablets, Kindles for iPad and iPhone, as well as Kindle for Android and for Samsung. You can also use Print Replica for Mac or PC computers.

Kindle X-Ray

Another really fun feature for students reading e-books is Kindle X-Ray. You can browse through titles in the Kindle store, and if the e-book has this feature it will be listed as such on the product details page. You’ll see a notation saying that the e-book is “X-Ray enabled.” Basically X-Ray connects what you are reading to related information archived on Wikipedia and Shelfari. So you get a dynamic reader experience, similar to doing reading online and clicking on links to other web pages with related information.

While you are reading, push the X-Ray button. Then it will show you information regarding characters, geographic locations, background data, bios, and other related ideas and information. X-Ray is supported on all Kindle e-readers that are at least 4th Generation or more recent, as well as all Fire tablet from the 2nd Generation onward. You can also use X-Ray with Kindle for iPad and iPhone.

E-Books with Audio/Video

Research confirms that there are many different ways that people learn and process information. Some are visual learners who benefit from watching videos. Others can learn faster when they can listen to the information in audio format. Most people learn through a combination of different methods. So if you can read plus listen to audio and also watch visual presentations that can enhance your learning experience three ways.

Many Kindle e-books offer that well-rounded experience, because in addition to reading them you may also be able to access the audio-visual content they contain. When you’re looking for these extra features, check the table of contents. If you don’t see audio and video clips listed, also check the index. E-books who offer audio, video, or both will list those features in those places and with icons that are visible on the pages of the book where that content is accessible.

Shop for this kind of book in the Amazon Kindle store by browsing titles that say “Kindle Editions with Audio/Video” on the product detail page. These editions are supported by any Fire tablet that is 2nd Generation or newer, as well as on Kindle for iPad and iPhone. Please note that because these books have these additional features, they can only be downloaded to your e-reader device by using a Wi-Fi connection.