Now if iBooks actually had more of the books I liked to read

201012161116.jpg by kevindooley

iBooks 1.2 Ups the Ebook Ante
[Via TidBITS]

Just in time for the holidays and an anticipated flood of ebook gift purchases, Apple has released version 1.2 of its free iBooks app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. This latest version includes features that improve both the presentation of books and the user’s ability to manage book collections and notes.

Layout Enhancements — Those of us who like to read books in iBooks’ landscape/two-up page format, and who also like to bump up the font size for ease of reading, will be happy with the new auto-hyphenation feature, which reduces the number of ugly gaps in lines that have only a few lengthy words. Like full justification, auto-hyphenation can be toggled with a preference in the Settings app. However, if you haven’t updated your iOS device to iOS 4.2 you won’t get the benefit of this feature, which requires the new version of iOS.

In the list of “What’s New in Version 1.2” on the iBooks page in the App Store, Apple also claims that you can “[e]xperience fully illustrated books, from children’s picture books to beautifully designed art books, available for download in the iBookstore.” I’m not quite sure what this means, since even the very first ebook presented to users in iBooks 1.0, A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, featured full-color illustrations. However, two screenshots on the App Store page show book pages with text appearing superimposed on an illustrated page background; the illustrations in Milne’s book, by contrast, are presented separate from the text, which appears above and below them. Doubtless we’ll hear more about this feature in the days ahead as Apple’s marketing machine ramps up for the conclusion of the holiday gift-giving season.

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Lots of nice enhancements to the presentation of books. Unfortunately it still seems a little sparse for my kind of book. But then, it took iTunes a little while to get a lot of music I like.