Editors' Note: The Download Now link directs you to the Apple iTunes Store, where you can continue the download process. You must have an active iTunes account to download the application. This download may not be available in some countries.
iBooks is a stylish, crisp-looking, colorful e-book reader and storefront that runs on Apple's iOS devices. The latest version of the software includes support for textbooks, a new addition to the iBookstore for students.
As with other e-book readers, iBooks responds to the device's accelerometer and switches between landscape and portrait modes. Its controls disappear when unused, and a swipe (or tap on the left or right side of the screen) will cause the pages to turn. iBooks' page-turning is smooth and engaging, with page corners digitally curling toward you as you advance, but this behavior is only a minor cosmetic difference between what you'll find in other digital readers. iBooks also includes a progress bar to show how far you are along in a book, and you're able to change the reader's font size.
Also like other e-readers, you can add bookmarks, define individual words, do quick Web lookups, and add notes. You also can underline words, sentences, and paragraphs for later viewing. All five major book publishers stock iBooks' digital shelves (Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon and Schuster, MacMillan, and Hachette), which makes the content stack up against competing apps and electronic bookstores.
iBooks 2 added support for textbooks and gave students the ability to purchase and download course textbooks that are supported. Newer features launched alongside the new iPad give users the ability to highlight text in a number of colors with the swipe of a finger. The interactive media and features for textbooks will definitely be useful to students. It's hard to say how many schools will adopt all iPad textbooks because of price limitations, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out as we get closer to the new school year.
Designed exclusively for iPad, iBooks is an way to download and read books. iBooks includes the iBookstore, where you can download the latest best-selling books or your favorite classics at any time. Browse your library on a bookshelf, tap a book to open it, flip through pages with a swipe or a tap, and bookmark your favorite passages.
Features: Enjoy a complimentary copy of the beautifully illustrated classic, Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne; Download many of your favorite books from the included iBookstore; Read a free sample of any book on the iBookstore before making it part of your collection; Reorder your books on your bookshelf or browse them in a list sorted by title, author, or category; Easily adjust your screen brightness to find the perfect lighting for any environment; Change the font size and pick from five included type faces to make your books more comfortable to read; Find a word, character, or phrase anywhere in your book with the built-in search feature; Quickly find a specific page using the page navigator at the bottom of every page; Highlight your favorite passages with the built-in bookmarking feature; Add books in the industry-standard ePub electronic book format to iTunes and sync them to iPad; iBooks supports amazing accessibility features in iPad, such as speaking the words on a given page.
Requirements: You must own an iPad to use iBooks; The iBookstore is only available to customers in the United States; An iTunes Store account is required to download from the iBookstore; iBooks only supports books published in the ePub electronic book format; To add ePub documents from outside the iBookstore to iBooks, they must be DRM-free and synced to iPad using iTunes 9.1 or later.