iBooks 3 rolls out with iCloud support and vertical scrolling

Want to make the cloud your bookshelf? Apple's iBooks 3.0 update will do that for you.

iBooks 3.0 now lets you scroll vertically.
iBooks 3.0 now lets you scroll vertically. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Users of Apple's iBooks can now turn to some helpful new features.

Available from the App Store, iBooks 3.0 now taps into iCloud. So your bookshelves can display any books stored on Apple's cloud along with books saved locally.

You can now opt to scroll vertically through your books instead of turning each page horizontally. Simply tap on the Fonts icon, click on Themes, and choose the Scroll theme. You can then swipe the screen to move up and down page by page, an option I found quicker and easier than the default horizontal book layout.

You can share text from your favorite book through e-mail and social media. Selecting a chunk of text calls up a menu with choices for copy, define, highlight, note, search, and share. Tapping the share button brings up an iOS 6 window, where you can share your highlighted text via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.

Apple is also promising free updates to books that you buy, including new chapters and corrections. And you can look up definitions for words in German, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese. All together, iBooks supports more than 40 different languages.

The app requires iOS 5 or higher, but some of the new features need iOS 6 to work. iBooks 3.0 is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took time at yesterday's iPad launch event to tout iBooks and its latest numbers .

"iBooks, or course, makes it a pleasure to read on any of your iOS devices," Cook said. "We now have over a million and a half books on the bookstore, and these cover any kind of subject you can think of. Customers have now downloaded 400 million of them since the inception of the store."

 

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