On June 22, two days in advance of the iPhone 4 launch, Apple released an updated version of its iBooks e-reading application. The upgrade allows iBooks to read PDF files and makes the application available for iPhone and iPod Touch in addition to iPad.
iBooks initially launched with the iPad in April and has been one of the leading international e-reading applications for the tablet computer, alongside Amazon's Kindle application. The Apple app has so far not been available for smartphone users, however, and has not supported in-app viewing of PDF files, two features that many e-reading applications already offered. With the addition of those features, plus automatic synchronization across devices, some analysts expected the updates to place iBooks firmly in the lead among e-reading apps.
Among the first to review the new universal app is social media blog Mashable, which writes, "Like its big brother on the iPad, iBooks is an elegant, easy-to-use e-reading solution," and says its aesthetic value sets it above the Kindle app.
In addition to PDF support, the updated iBooks app allows users to bookmark multiple pages, highlight selected passages, and take notes. Readers can buy a book once and download to multiple devices, and the app will automatically synchronize across those devices, meaning that page number and notes are preserved.
The Kindle app also offers download and synchronization across mutiple devices; in addition to the iPad, iPhone, and iPad Touch, it can be used on Kindle e-readers, BlackBerry, PCs and Macs, and, coming this summer, Android phones.
Download the free iBooks application via: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibooks/id364709193