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5 ways Apple could improve iBooks


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5 ways Apple could improve iBooks

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It's no secret that I love traditional paper books and that I think ebooks have a long way to go before they can even begin to compete with physical books. As digital books stand now, they're as much fun to read on the iPad as is watching an IMAX movie projected against a brick wall. That being said, I've come up with a list of five improvements I would like Apple to make to the iBooks app which I believe could make the ebook reading experience more enjoyable. I wrote this list with the iPad in mind, but I'm sure some of these feature improvements would benefit the iPhone version of iBooks.

1. Lifelike paper stock backgrounds. Right now, iBooks lets you read a book's text against a glaring white backdrop or an unnatural sepia backdrop. Neither of these backdrops will you find in a printed book. Since printed books are made of paper, their pages not only have a distinct feel, but they also have subtle visual variations of the paper stock the words are printed on. The visual appeal of the fibers in a paper page became apparent when I imported a book I had scanned into my iBooks library. The book was an old 1920s French cookbook whose binding had broken. A year ago I scanned all sixty pages of it into my computer and saved it as a PDF in fear of the original copy becoming lost or even more damaged. This French cookbook was the first scanned book I had ever read in iBooks and immediately I noticed how much more enjoyable it was because the pages looked real.

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5 ways Apple could improve iBooks originally appeared on TUAW on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.




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I can see this working in favor of the iPad, but hardly worth the effort on the iPod touch/iPhone, mainly due to screen size. However, if a larger screen is coming to those two smaller devices, not to mention even larger resolutions, then maybe

That being said, Apple, I hope you're listening.

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I agree with having a lifelike paper backgrounds. I find myself turning down the brightness on my iPad for reading as much as I can.
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I agree with having a lifelike paper backgrounds. I find myself turning down the brightness on my iPad for reading as much as I can.
I use sepia, and a large font size (Times New Roman or Georgia) just so I can at least get some book-like experience. But definitely turning down the brightness helps, and if Apple does put in a background UI of some type, I would enjoy reading on my iDevices.

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Surly if you want life like paper, you go and by the original printed version and not the electronic one?
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Surly if you want life like paper, you go and by the original printed version and not the electronic one?
True, but why do that when the iDevice owner already has iBooks?

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Then I suppose you accept how it looks just as you would with a printed version. After buying a book you wouldn't then complain that it's been printed on the wrong colour paper would you?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for improving things, but I think iBooks in it's current format is more than acceptable for reading books in an electronic format. I believe that having the control over how life like the 'paper' is, is (dare I say it) petty and unnecessary.
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The bottom line is the iPad is a lovely gadget but not a practical ebook reader. It's too big, too heavy and too power hungry.

I love my iPad but for reading a book my Kindle is King. It weighs nothing, the text is bright and clear with no back light and it's small enough to slide in a back pocket. Best of all I can lay in bed holding it in one hand and turn the pages with a slight palm movement - with no smears on the screen.

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