Apple’s e-reader software for iOS devices has been updated with a great new feature that some of us might have missed.

Adam Engst at TidBITS has pointed out the fix, however: iBooks can now import .ePub files from the device itself.

This means that if you have an .ePub file in an email, in your Dropbox or on iDisk, iBooks can now be used to open the file. Before, users had to sync these files via iTunes.

If iOS ever gains Finder-like support, these sorts of things would be much simpler, but as it stands today, applications have to broadcast what types of files they can open to other apps. Clearly, iBooks gained this ability, but many users wish for a more powerful solution.

iBooks was last updated in February, but this feature was not listed as an update:

  • Includes a number of important stability and performance improvements.
  • Experience fully illustrated books, from children’s picture books to beautifully designed art books, available for download in the iBookstore.
  • Organize your books and PDFs into personal Collections. Swipe left or right to jump between Collections.
  • Print PDF documents and notes you’ve written in iBooks using AirPrint.
  • iBooks now fits more words per page by automatically hyphenating text, available only on iOS 4.2 or later.