As AppleInsider first spotted, the first beta of iOS 11.3 includes a subtle change. iBooks is now called Books. And Mark Gurman thinks it could be a sign that there will be bigger changes with Apple’s ebook reading app.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a new design for the iBooks app on the iPhone and iPad. It will feature a simpler interface with a new section called ‘Reading Now’. Instead of having to scroll through your library to find the book you’re currently reading, this section will highlight your current book.
Audio books could also get a dedicated tab. And this is probably the biggest and most telling change. Apple has been selling audio books in the iTunes Store for years. But it doesn’t really make sense that you have to open the Music app to listen to audio books.
That’s why Apple could move audio books to the iBooks Store. Talking about the store, Bloomberg also says that Apple is working on a redesign to make it look like the new App Store design.
Books could be the app name on your home screen. But maybe Apple is going to call it Apple Books so that it follows the same naming convention as Apple Music and Apple TV.
Bloomberg thinks this is all about getting back into a fight with Amazon regarding ebooks. But I think Apple’s reasoning is much simpler here.
First, iBooks needs a redesign. Second, Apple is slowly unbundling iTunes so that iTunes can fade into the abyss. So the company could be removing audio books from the iTunes Store. Third, it sounds like a good opportunity to rename the service to Apple Books.