Apple will redesign iBooks for the first time in years

Apple will redesign iBooks for the first time in years

The company is working on a redesigned version of its iBooks app - potentially called just Books - that's supposed to be simpler to use and feature an updated digital bookstore, according to Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources.

Apple's services business has been a bright spot for the company for the past few years-services like the App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud have been money makers. The revamped app in testing includes a new section called Reading Now and a dedicated tab for audio books, the people said.

That's the extent of what's known so far, but we also know that Apple has hired a former executive from Amazon, Kashif Zafar, possibly in an effort to help guide this relaunch of sorts.

By now, Amazon's stranglehold on the ebooks market is fairly obvious. Selling e-books used to be a key part of Apple's services business but after the company and several publishers were sued by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012 for allegedly developing a scheme to raise the price of e-books, Apple got hit with a fine and retreated. Notably, Apple tweaked the name of its iBooks app to "Books" in the first beta of iOS 11.3, providing a hint that the new app is on the way. But Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has pledged that services will generate about $50 billion in annual revenue by 2021, up from $30 billion previous year. An Apple spokesman declined to comment. Before that, Zafar worked for 5 years for Barnes & Noble's Nook e-book unit.

This will be the biggest change to the Books store since its introduction, with a new design similar to the new App Store introduced with iOS 11 and new features such as the Reading Now tab.

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