iBooks might not be Apple’s crown jewel, but every so often it does get new features.
There are a number of new features, but the most important is a new reading mode. At long last the iBooks app has the one feature that some cannot do without: night reading. As you can see from the screen shot at right, iBooks is displaying text in a reverse mode – white text on black screen. A number of readers like this mode because it’s easier on their eyes when reading in dim light. Personally, I prefer to turn down the back light and save energy, too.
The new update also adds 4 new fonts, but aside from the occasional typeface geek I do not know that anyone will appreciate them.
Word is also spreading on twitter (and in the comments here) that the update also offers the option of removing formatting like the faux page divide and other spurious details introduced by iBooks. That’s great; books should be displayed the way the designer intended. Apple should never have added formatting.
According to some reports, the iBookstore is the 3rd largest store in the US market, with around 10% market share. It’s only available on the iPad, iPhone, and the iPod Touch. Thanks to Apple, it is also the only reading app on that platform with an eBookstore included. That restriction is probably why iBooks has such a large market share even though it is limited to a single platform.