If you're a regular Amazon customer, then you probably already know about its enormous library of ebooks, or "Kindle books," as the company like to call them. Amazon built its business partly on book sales, and it's now the market leader for both the paper and digital varieties. However, it still has some big-name rivals like Apple, who's just dropped a cool freebie on us for the holidays.
Six freebies, in fact. And these books aren't the text-based kind, either. Instead, Apple is giving away six audiobooks narrated by some high-profile Hollywood actors.
The full list: Pride and Prejudice with Kate Beckinsale, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with Tituss Burgess from the popular Netflix show The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, H.G. Wells' Time Machine with sitcom legend Kelsey Grammer, The Secret Garden with Doctor Who and Marvel movie alum Karen Gillan, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with popular podcaster Aaron Mahnke.
There's also Winnie the Pooh narrated by the "Disney Book Group." Individual contributors to that audiobook were not named, but Disney is well-known for getting high-quality voice actors, whether or not they're household names.
As you might expect, these audiobooks are exclusive to the Apple Books store, whose app comes pre-installed on iPhones and iPads. If you don't use the app habitually, you can just ask Siri to find it on your iOS device for you, then tap on the Audiobooks tab at the bottom, then tap the promotion titled "Great first listens: Get amazing audiobooks for free."
The iTunes Store desktop apps for Windows and Macs will also play this media, and the mobile app is also available in your car via Apple CarPlay. And if you have some audiobooks from Amazon, its Audible mobile app (download for iOS and Android) will work with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
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This will take you to a page listing all six audiobooks; tapping one will give you more information such as the length of the audiobook recording, download size, other books by the same author and customer ratings. These individual product pages also let you preview the recording, add the book to your wishlist, and share links.
Note that these downloads are over 150MB in size, so your iPhone or iPad may ask you to confirm the file transfer if you are not on Wi-Fi.
- Apple is offering six free audiobooks for its Apple Books app on iOS, and several of them are narrated by big-name actors such as Kate Beckinsale and Kelsey Grammer.
- The downloads are relatively large compared to the text versions, so you may need to be on Wi-Fi if you have a data cap set by your wireless provider.
- Pandora pushes podcasts to its Android and iOS apps
- Pocket Casts podcast app gets revamped with lots of great new features
- Waze's built-in audio player can now stream music, audiobooks, and more
- The Fantastic Beasts 2 audiobook reveals new details about Harry Potter movies (CNET)
- Amazon's all-new, waterproof Kindle Paperwhite (ZDNet)
- Top 5 ways to get podcasts on the go (TechRepublic)