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Apple is working on a major revamp of its iBooks reading app on iOS devices, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
The iBooks app was renamed to just Books in iOS 11.3, which was recently released to developers, but the real changes are coming in the following months, according to the report.
These will include a simpler interface, a look that resembles the App Store, a dedicated tab for audio books and a new section called “Reading Now”.
The update should revive Apple’s digital books business and re-establish the company as an Amazon competitor. It’s also very welcome, as the iBooks app hasn’t had a significant update in years. In contrast, Amazon launched a thoroughly updated Kindle mobile app in Oct. 2017.
Apple’s ebooks business suffered a setback in 2016, when the company was ordered by the Supreme Court to pay $400 million to consumers and another $50 million in legal fees for conspiring with publishers to raise e-book prices.
Another sign that Apple is looking to breathe new life into its ebooks business was the December hiring of Kashif Zafar, the former senior VP of Amazon’s audio book unit Audible. Zafar’s LinkedIn profile states he is currently the “Global Head of iBooks at Apple,” with “general management responsibility for Apple’s global digital books business unit.”