iBooks update allows distraction-free reading

Early this morning, Apple updated its iBooks app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad to version 1.5. Straight from the source, here is what the update includes:

• Nighttime reading theme makes reading books in the dark easier on the eyes.
• Full-screen layout lets you focus on the words without distraction.
• iBooks now features an improved selection of fonts, including Athelas, Charter, Iowan, and Seravek.
• Beautiful new classic covers for public domain books.
• A redesigned annotation palette makes it easier to choose a color for your highlighted text.

The big changes, as I see it, are the nighttime reading and full-screen reading. They’ll impact the average user the most. The less chrome we have to see, the better the reading experience will be. When I’m reading, I really want to be absorbed into the experience. When I’m dealing with buttons and UI elements, I’m taken out of my world. This, along with the eye-strain reducing nighttime mode, will make iBooks more appealing as a eBook environment — completely separately from the content store.

Not to give the other features short shrift, I think they are pretty snazzy too. The fact that they’re adding more font selection, better book covers for public domain works, and streamlining user customization shows an attention to detail that Apple is famous for. The Kindle devices and apps are good, but Amazon just doesn’t give it the polish that Apple gives iBooks. This update showcases the drive for excellence that is in Apple’s DNA. I like it.

We’re curious if you’re using iBooks to read your eBooks. If so, tell us why iBooks is your eReader of choice by posting on our Facebook wall. I’ll bet a lot of you dig on the iBooks experience for the same reason that I do: the wonderful polish that you only get from Apple-designed software.

Grant is a writer from Delaware. In his spare time, Grant maintains a personal blog, hosts The Weekly Roar, hosts Quadcast, and writes for video games.