5 essential companion apps for summer reading

Summer reading apps iOS

Ah, the summertime. It means something different to nearly everyone, but book fans tend to refer to it as the absolute best time to sit outside, enjoy a drink and finally get caught up on your reading.

If you’re like many modern summer reading fans, then there is a good chance that your iOS device is a constant companion. Phones and tablets have surpassed the traditional physical book as the go-to source for reading material and, in general, offer a variety of conveniences and features designed to enhance your reading experience.

Enhanced editions of Harry Potter now available on Apple's iBooks Store

Harry Potter iBooks

Apple woke up early this morning to announce that all seven books in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series are now exclusively available on the iBooks Store. This is the first time that the Harry Potter novels are available in digital format outside the Pottermore Shop.

All seven books are available in "enhanced editions," which promise to deliver a new immersive experience to Potter fans. Each book features the full original text, exclusive custom covers, interactive animations, artwork, annotations written by Rowling herself and more.

Apple iBooks Can Now Be Sent as Gifts

Need some last-minute shopping ideas this holiday season? Apple's got your back. iBooks can now be used to send digital books as gifts, in the same way music and apps can be gifted. Once received, the books can be read with the iBooks app on an iOS device or OS X Mavericks.

send ibook gift

The new gifting functionality comes just in time for the holidays. To send a book using an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, open the iBooks app and find the title you wish to send as a gift. Tap the share button in the upper right corner, then tap Gift from the pop-up menu options. Fill out the recipient's information, select a delivery date, and tap Next to continue.

Department of Justice to Sue Apple Over Fixed eBook Prices

UPDATE: The U.S. has officially filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple as well as publishers Hachette SA, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster. - via Bloomberg

UPDATE 2: The Department of Justice has released a PDF of their complaint. It's a really interesting read!

The Department of Justice plans to launch an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five major publishers for alleged price-fixing. In March the The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Justice Department warned Apple and the publishers that it planned to sue them for raising the price of electronic books. The Justice Department believes that Apple violated federal antitrust laws by jointly raising the prices with the five publishers.

Apple iPad iBooks

"The Justice Department is investigating alleged price-fixing by Apple and five major publishers: CBS Corp’s Simon & Schuster Inc, HarperCollins Publishers Inc, Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, Pearson and Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH. A lawsuit against Apple, one of the parties not in negotiations with the Justice Department for a potential settlement, could come as early as Wednesday but no final decision has been made, the people said."

Combine iPhone Newsstand and iBooks with Booksstand

iPhone users seem to fall into two camps, those who use Newsstand and others who can't stand it and want to delete or hide the Newsstand icon in a folder. The jailbreak tweak known as Booksstand may help those in the first group, however iPhone owners with no use for Newsstand won't be converted.

Booksstand iPhone tweak jailbreak

What Booksstand does is consolidate your iBooks and Newsstand content into one place, putting shortcuts to your iBooks content in the Newsstand. When you select a book from the Newsstand, this triggers iBooks to open and the content to be displayed.


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