Apple to Merge Audiobooks Into iBooks With Next iOS Update

16106336467_625eaac379_oApple has been selling audiobooks for far longer than they've sold ebooks, but in all that time the two book formats have been divided between iBooks and iTunes. But with the next iOS update, that could change.

Apple Insider reports that with the iOS 8.4 beta release, readers will find audiobooks accessible from inside the iBooks app.

Within the iBooks app itself on an iPhone or iPad, audiobooks occupy their own unique collection, accessible from the pull-down menu at the top of the screen. Notably listeners can open a selectable tracklist for each book, and fast-forward or fast-rewind through a title by tapping and dragging the cover art.

I don't have the update and can't confirm the news, but I did note that the current dropdown menu lets you chose between books and PDFs. I could see where Apple might add audiobooks as an option:

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To be clear, all we know at this time is that you will be able to listen to audiobooks from inside iBooks; we don't know whether the audiobook section of iTunes will also be shifted over to the iBooks app.

That would not be a bad idea, I think. Right now I can buy audiobooks (and play them) through the Music button on my iPad. That path doesn't make any more sense than buying the audiobooks through the iBooks app, so it would be a good idea to reorganize and shift the content from one app to the other.

In related news, the iOS8.4 update will also give CarPlay users a new Audiobooks app. According to AI, It's going to have the iBooks icon.

iOS8.4 is in beta, and it isn't expected before Apple's WWDC event in June.

image  by ActuaLitté

About Nate Hoffelder (11579 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on Apple to Merge Audiobooks Into iBooks With Next iOS Update

  1. Alas, this simply moves some of the clutter of iTunes elsewhere. Now iTunes will be less messy at the expense of iBooks, which will inherit that mixed media conundrum and become less appealing. Apple keeps forgetting that it needs something iBooks is not, a handy, universal Preview-like app for epub. Buying, library-managing, and reading ebooks is already clumsy enough. Adding audiobooks will only add to the confusion.

    Separate apps for each media would make the most sense, with one central, clearing house app for doing the purchasing, downloading, and synching and speciality apps for consuming each media. But it’s perhaps too late for Apple to take that path.

    It probably doesn’t matter. A lot of users have adopted third-party apps for podcasts and audiobooks, finding the ones that suits them best.

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