Apple iBooks review: More features mean easier reading

6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
  •  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars Outstanding
  • Overall: 8.8
  • Installation and Setup: 10.0
  • Features and Support: 8.0
  • Interface: 8.0
  • Performance: 10.0

Average User Rating

1 stars 2 user reviews
Reviewed:
Updated:

The Good iBooks is an elegant app for downloading and reading books and textbooks on your iOS devices. New continuous scrolling features and iCloud support make it even better.

The Bad The app is not as responsive on earlier devices, and some users are complaining of crashes.

The Bottom Line iBooks is the go-to reading app to download on iOS devices, and Apple has done a good job making the interface intuitive and continually adding useful features.

Don't Miss

iBooks is an e-book reader and storefront that lets you purchase or download free books and textbooks you can read on your iOS devices. The latest version of the software adds an unlimited scrolling feature, new iCloud support for syncing up your libraries, free automatic updates for your books, and more.

Like other e-book readers, iBooks responds to the device's accelerometer and switches between landscape and portrait modes. Its controls disappear when unused, and a swipe (or tap on the left or right side of the screen) will cause the pages to turn. iBooks' page-turning has a smooth animation showing page corners digitally curling toward you as you advance. You also have the option to switch from book theme (with page-turning animations) to full-screen or scroll themes. The scroll theme is new in iBooks 3, letting you swipe up or down for a continuous reading experience. You can choose from six fonts to give your books a different feel and three page colors to suit your reading style. iBooks also includes a progress bar to show how far along you are in a book, and you're able to change the font size to make reading easier.

Apple iBooks obviously isn't the first app for reading and has mostly the same features you'll find in other e-readers. You can add bookmarks, define individual words, do quick Web lookups, and add notes. You also can underline words, sentences, and paragraphs for later viewing. Search features let you find words, phrases, and even specific characters. Most of the major book publishers stock iBooks' digital shelves (Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, MacMillan, and Hachette), which makes the content stack up against competing apps and electronic bookstores. (Disclosure: Simon & Schuster is owned by CNET's parent company, CBS.)

New iCloud support in iBooks 3 lets you set up collections you can sync with all your devices so you can pick up where you left off. All your bookmarks, notes, and the latest page you read are all available when you move to a different device. You can also view all your purchases from any device right on your bookshelf. These are features many people have been waiting for now that a lot of users have both iPhones and iPads, so I'm happy to see them added.

Don't Miss

  • HP Stream 11.6

    Starting at: £229.00
    3.5 stars

    If you keep expectations in check, this bargain-basement Windows 8 laptop has good battery...

  • Tesco Hudl 2

    4 stars

    The Tesco Hudl 2 has the performance to keep all members of your family happy and doesn't...

  • Apple iPhone 6

    Starting at: £539.00
    4.5 stars

    It's got a bigger screen and works with Apple Pay. It lacks a battery boost, but it's...

  • Bose QuietComfort 25

    Starting at: £209.68
    4 stars

    The creator of the first industry-standard noise-canceling headphones returns with an...

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

iBooks (iOS)

Part Number: id364709193
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Regional specs shown for US. UK specs are unavailable.

  • Category Education
    News readers and aggregators
  • Compatibility iOS