If you love reading but find it impractical to carry a selection of books around with you, then Apple’s iBooks app for the iPhone could be just the thing for you. This easy-to-use app offers a unique reading experience and is free to download; although once you’ve selected a book you will need to pay for it, unless of course it is one of the free ones. The “Store” button at the top of your iBooks app flips around to allow you to browse through a large selection of books. Once you have selected a book, you can download it and it will appear on your iBooks bookshelf for you to click on and read at any time. You will then be able to swipe smoothly through the pages with your finger – just like flicking through the pages of a real book!
This ingenious iPhone app also allows you to search for a particular book by entering the title into the search engine, as well as enabling you to search for a book by category and author. You aren’t just restricted to storing books on your iBooks bookshelf, either, as you can also store a selection of PDF files for your convenience. You can change the text size, font and brightness on the app too, which will help to make the whole experience easier on your eyes.
When you are enjoying a good book, there is no need to worry about losing your place when you have to stop reading. You can easily bookmark pages by clicking the bookmark symbol at the top of the page when you’ve finished reading. A red marker will then be displayed, and this will automatically open up the book at the correct page when you resume reading. If you want to know the meaning of a word or phrase while reading, you can tap and hold on the desired area and it will allow you to search the built-in dictionary, Google and Wikipedia. You can also cut, copy or highlight areas of text and add notes to the highlighted areas.
When browsing through books in an ordinary bookstore, you are obviously able to read a bit of each book before deciding which one to buy. The iBooks app has even thought of this and will allow you to download free samples of books – usually up to around 500 words. You can also read reviews and even find out which books are featured on the New York Times best-seller lists.
This wonderful app doesn’t just allow you to download text; it also offers a wide range of full-page illustrated children’s books, art books and cookbooks. Some of the children’s picture books even have a read-aloud function that features a real narrator. This feature is aimed at young children with the purpose of teaching them how to read. Some of the books also highlight the text as it is being read.
The iBooks app is easier to use than the Amazon Kindle and the Kindle app for the iPhone. It is a very slick invention by Apple and will probably be updated again with some even better features when the iPhone 5 launches in September. This app is certainly worth downloading and will hopefully provide you with a whole new reading experience!