New Apple Books App Released with iOS 12 Update

Apple Books iOS12

Today Apple officially released iOS 12, their latest operating system for iDevices, including the iPad Air and newer and the iPhone 5s and up.

Among a number of changes, Apple iBooks is no more. Now Apple’s ebook app is simply called Apple Books. It has a new look and some new features, most of which are designed to sell more books and audiobooks.

To get the update on a compatible device just go to Settings > General > Software Update to start downloading it.

For the most part not much has changed with the Apple Books app. It has a new name and a new look but most of the reading features, fonts, themes, and layout remain exactly the same as before.

Here’s the Apple Books section of the changelog:

Apple Books

  • All-new design that makes discovering and enjoying books and audiobooks easy and fun
  • Reading Now makes it simple to get back to the book you’re currently reading or find great recommendations for what to read next
  • Add books to the new Want to Read collection to keep track of what you’d like to read next
  • The Book Store makes it easy to find your next favorite read with new and popular selections from our Apple Books editors and recommendations chosen just for you
  • The new Audiobooks store helps you find immersive stories and informative nonfiction books narrated by your favorite authors, actors, and celebrities

Here’s the page with the full list of new features available on iOS 12.

Update: Since so many people hate Apple’s new “Books” app, here’s a list of some of the best alternative reading apps for iOS.

72 Responses to “New Apple Books App Released with iOS 12 Update”

  1. Please tell me they’ve added line spacing option and the ability to read publisher font. Any margins adjustments? New fonts? Justification?
    I swear ibooks or Apple Books is so archaic when it comes to customizing options.
    I want to download the update but there are so many bugs in new releases that I’ll wait it out. I’m just curious.

    • Nope. The actual reading aspects remain the same. Basically it just has a new library and store layout designed to sell you more stuff.

      • I think I’ll pass on the update for now… Thanks 🙂

      • Such a shame. Literally tons of room for improvement and yet nothing. Its like hey lets make it easier for customers to buy books but not improve their reading experience. Sounds like a real winner, not.

        • I guess there is one new feature, auto night mode. But my eyes have never been able to read white text on a black background for very long because of a weird afterimage effect.

          • Auto night mode is not new with this version of iOS. It was about the only thing I liked about iBooks but the lack of ability to change margins, justification, line spacing stopped me from buying my books from Apple.

          • That’s not a new feature.

  2. Everyone is saying that the new Apple Books app is “improved” over iBooks, but I’ve just started using it and it is much slower to open and switch between PDFs. With iBooks, switching between PDFs was practically instantaneous, which is why I used it. Now however, Apple Books is so slow that it doesn’t make sense for me to use the app for proofing PDFs anymore.

    This is the only performance problem that I have found in iOS12 so far.

  3. I wish Apple would optimize this app for iPads by adding an adjustable margins feature. I have an iPad mini, and the text lines are still too wide for me. The actual reading experience is overdue for an update.

  4. So the new update is awful. I can’t close a book once it opens. Is there some new trick? I hate this. I have 397 pdf tutorials and if I manage to finally open it, can’t close to look at another. WTH??

  5. I unintentionally updated the former iBooks when I did an iPad system update. What a mistake. Even apart from all of this marketing stuff now jumping out at me in the “My Books” list — which I don’t want — I now can’t distinguish what was a “sample” (usually brought over from BookBub) and what I had already purchased and set aside to read. And — this was REALLY sneaky — samples that I’d brought over from BookBub at, say, $1.99, now are marked at their non-bargain price for purchase, eg, $9.99. Previously, once you’d pulled the sample over from BookBub, that book would continue to be available at that price. This is a really underhanded move. I know that I can’t go back in time and undo this update, but sure would do so if I could. When I have the time, am going to dump this app (and, unfortunately, all of the stored books thereon) and try out other ebook readers.

  6. Absolutely hate the new Apple Books, it’s so unusable I have made sure not to update my iPad so I can use iBooks on it. You can no longer view more books by the author at the end of a book or the next one in a series and to try and locate the next ones now it’s so time consuming and frustrating. The library is crap and worse than it was previously. It would have been great to be able to link books into a series that for some reason didn’t get linked in the first place. I wish I had known that the app was being replaced because I wouldn’t have done it.

  7. I hate that they removed the pinch to close books feature in the iPad. I’m guessing it’s because people were accidentally closing the book when they meant to zoom out, but it was such a vital feature for me as I have to switch between books a lot during class. Now I have this annoying two tap method I have to use to get out of the book, then another tap to get into my next book. At least it seems they finally fixed the bug where it would delete books from the iPad if you hadn’t read them in the past 30 minutes. Still not impressed though.

  8. If I had known about the change to iBooks I would never have done the upgrade to 12. Just not useable anymore.

    • Me too. Wish I had not gone to 12. I am visually impaired (but not blind)and use(used) Books to display PDF sheets of info I need to access (notes, bus timetables and other reference material). What is this 2-tap method. I have tried with one to four fingers and all I get is Zoom – Unzoom. I am stuck with this page I am finished with. Apple should let Microsoft design their systems.

  9. After the ios 12 update, I cannot find any of the files I had organized my numerous books into!! There was NO warning that ios 12 would totally change this app..TOTALLY FRUSTRATING that I cannot find my old organized files!!

  10. I HATE the new Apple Books app. I can’t find anything, it’s hard to move things around and the ways I have organized my books in the past have been thrown out. I know change can be good, but this really sucks.

  11. I too hate the new Apple Books app. It is clunky and is designed to show you stuff you don’t own so you can buy it.
    When I download a sample to read to see if I want to buy it I won’t open up when I return from having to do something.
    “Hide” a book does NOT hide the book it hides that you paid for it. It is books final slide into take as much money out of you as ossicle. the iBook was supposed to be your bookshelf and store all in one. Now it is just a store. I regret the day I bought an iPad for reading. Perhaps I should look into a kindle? Or a book?

  12. I hate the new iBooks too. Totally screwed up for how i used it. I had thousands of pdf files and books i regularly reviewed and had organized.

  13. I join the group expressing frustration & sadness with this new version. I am an avid reader. I have used ibooks for years, purchasing 1000+ books. Hundreds of my books are now marked New again, and the filters are garbage – showing books I read months ago as most recent.

    For the store, I also greatly miss being able to see the year a book is written at the ‘top’ view. Having read paperbook versions years ago, I need to know if a book they’re recommending is from 8+ years ago without clicking and scrolling through a summary link. If I want to see recent books from a specific writer, I am out of luck. I can’t imagine this is good for the authors either.
    Such a waste – it’s horrible.
    If anyone recommends a better library/store please advise.

  14. Dreadful dreadful dreadful-I cannot stand it. After years I’m going to have to go to kindle as this is so bad. So bad.

  15. I really dislike the new iOS 12 books app. Don’t like the black background, it’s really difficult to sort thru mr PDFs, and way to many book adds.

  16. I hate the iBooks remodel for so many reasons… books I am reading on iPhone show up as available for purchase on my iPad ( both devices on the cloud), the alphabetical list of my library is ridiculously UNalphabetical, & my former bookshelf of “read”books & “ to be read” books was trashed so I can’t tell what I’ve already read. Why start over & trust Apple not to virtually throw my whole library on the floor again?? I’m going to kindle instead for a stable format. Interesting that there is no way to rate the new iBooks app at the App Store- how can you improve a new product without customer input? I am SO,SO sorry I updated my devices to ios12- would give anything to have the old iBooks back! Why didn’t Apple just start a new book app & let customers transition or not so you wouldn’t lose what you had &liked? And why should your library include books to purchase? A library has books you own already!

  17. I have no idea who are these “everyone” who says the new books app is better. It’s so stupid. Half of the books that own are missing when I search for them specifically. The book series are grouped together, it’s just a hot mess.

    The read experience is not better, opening books is slower. Don’t start, I have and iX, it’s new, it’s not slow. Do they want us to change platforms? I can buy everything on Kindle. Bleh! The more you make is hate your app, the less we will want to buy books on your platform, even if you try to shove them in our face.

  18. Adding my name to the group of haters. Still don’t understand how it works. Appalling . What alternative has anyone found?

  19. Blast it. Wish I hadn’t updated. Hate a black background d in iBooks, at least they should have giv3n opti9n for other co,ours, or to go bs k to white. Or am I missing how to?

  20. HATE the new iBooks. It’s almost not even usable. I download samples of book and then never see them again. The configuration is horrible. They need to figure this out. Whoever designed it- is not a reader. That’s clear.

  21. I hate the new Apple Books. My organization is all screwed up. I am missing over 100 books and I can’t tell by looking at it which are my new books or my old books because I didn’t take them down to finished. Is there any way to go back?

  22. I am so over this new update of iBooks to Apple Books. I would say that it is the most unfriendly app I’ve come across. Apple needs to do something about the crap that appears and how to make user friendly. Also I can’t find a way of sorting books into a waiting to read order, of for that matter any order. It is a hateable App.

  23. This Books app is the worst piece of rubbage. It won’t sync recent pdfs or epubs and ridiculous to impossible to navigate. Apple get real and go back to the old ebooks. So much better. what are you people thinking?

  24. I am with so many here. I hate the update! I used iBooks everyday for work, school, and leisure. iBooks actually got me to stop watching TV. However this new update is garbage. I refuse to update my iPad because of it. So disappointed in Apple and this move. I loathe the collections feature.

  25. I agree with the folks that dislike the new iBooks. If I had know what was going to happen I would not have updated. As an avid reader, I have been using this app for years. But, I intensely dislike it and will probably be looking at kindle. Something that actually meets my needs the way I Books did in the past so very disappointed!!!

  26. I hate this update. Books I bought years ago are no longer available to read because they are not being sold online now. This is ridiculous! It took me 30 minutes to figure out why it wouldn’t load the book because the app kept crashing and still no solution to the problem. I find it so very frustrating to have wasted money on books I will have to repurchase to read on a different app. I will never buy another book through this one again.

  27. Glad to read I’m not the only one disliking the new book app. The regular books (not previously sorted in folders) show up in a messed up order. I think books are missing, but I have no idea which ones. I totally dislike the black background. Also the book icons are so large that it’s super hard to browse all the books. I really don’t feel like using this app anymore 😭

  28. I dislike the new Apple Books intensely ,,, and I think they couldn’t care less . Back to my e-reader then because I love reading and this app doesn’t flow its disjointed and frustrating

  29. Bought a new iPad less than a year ago, paid almost 1200.00, what a waste of money. Now with the new Apple Books ruined my reading experience. In the past I have encouraged friends to buy iPads. Sorry for that. I will not be purchasing any other apple products, three was enough. First you made it impossible to update on older iPads my opinion was a money grab and now this. Give you some advice trying to make money fast, will not work in a company as well as customer satisfaction and repeat business, plus word of mouth.

  30. Hate, hate, hate the new iBooks app. Almost impossible tonswith between documents after starting to read something. Regression that is what Apple has done…Slowly but surely I am eying back towards Andoid phones and tablets…Apple sucks big with every new release. Sad.

  31. I hate this new version too – I wish I could go back and get the old version back. It was so much better. I have trouble downloading books – they take absolutely forever, if they appear at all. Opening books is hard – they don’t respond to the touch of the finger. All in all, what a waste. It could have been great, but this is something that was designed by someone who doesn’t read, has no idea how to organise books or knows what readers want/need. What a waste!

  32. Its like thieves walked into my library and threw all my books around and completely messed them up, hate the new version.

  33. Total rubbish, harder to navigate my books, no coming soon, and bugger off with your recommendations
    . Absolutely hate it.
    Make you want to go to a Google or Amazon

  34. Glad to see I am not the only one who finds this new format unusable. I used to prefer it over the Kindle app but not anymore. It’s terrible. The worst overhaul ever. I can’t easily find or organize anything anymore. Apple supposed to be known for being user friendly and this is not in anyway user friendly. Ugh!!! A daily annoyance. I will shop on Amazon now.

  35. I’ll be going to kindle app.

  36. Oh so regret update. Hidden app update. HATE HATE HATE display of titles, why not a choice of icon or no icon. I just want a list of names, just like I had before and easy one click name edit. I used iBooks for file storage, put everything in it. Web pages, documents from emails, downloads. The best feature of iPhone for me. Now stuffed. Bin it.

  37. The new format is extremely difficult to use; anyone know how to search for an author in the book store.

  38. I am a huge reader, that will now be going over to Kindle App,
    Why you had to change something so simple into one Big Nightmare I do not know or understand!,

  39. Why change something that worked as well as iBooks used to. ….very disappointed in new format. …am using kindle now much more user friendly …bad move Apple

  40. Hate new iBooks format ….perfect as it was. . Kindle much better to use now Bad move Apple

  41. Typical CrApple approach. It’s not broke? Damn, let’s employ some thrid rate college student to write a new version and break it. Way to go.

  42. Absolutely agree with comments complaining about Books! Loved iBooks, found it easy to use – hence used it lots! Now I am struggling to find saved PDFs, can’t (yet) find out how to label and then read titles for easy searching. Why change something that wasn’t broken? I am considering other options now. Thanks Apple- not!

  43. I have an older iPad that can’t update to iOS 12 so I am lucky to still have my library intact. However, I just discovered that now when I go to purchase new books it says the books need IOS 12 to read them! I wonder how many books I’ve bought that I won’t be able to read because I didn’t see this before. Thanks Apple. Also, I’ve noticed that many authors no longer offer their books on iBooks. What can you do to fix this? Please listen to your customers and revamp your iBooks with input from us. You won’t lose customers if you give us something we want!

  44. Does anyone know how I can get back to the old iBooks. If I can’t, I am seriously considering dumping this iPhone from an arrogant company and getting an Android phone.
    Maybe Apple might actually listen and come up with an update that fixes Books. It’s called a bug fix. Why no Move action, why would anyone want to ADD to a collection and leave on the Library shelf.

  45. I’ve stopped using Apple Books except when forced to. It is laborious to use

  46. I too, HATE the new Apple Books. I used to be able to find things in my. Library, now I get a bunch of suggestions shoved at me for books to buy, etc., some of which I have already bought. The books are in no logical order and many of the books I purchased are nowhere to be found.

    Instead of showing many of the books in my Library at once, the new App only shows maybe 6 books at a time.

    I will probably be going back to regular books as they are almost the same cost as an Apple Book and I will at least know which books I have already read. My other option will be to just buy a Kindle as the Apple Books on my new IPad is practically useless.

  47. I hate the white on black, it makes my head hurt and the fact that I cannot change it is insane!
    All my folders lost, all the work, time and effort I spent sorting my books all destroyed.
    No functionality to sort books, when you scroll through your books you lose the ability to go into the folders and have to scroll all the way back up again which for someone with 100’s of books is insane!
    Am now actively searching for an alternative app.
    Apple you have destroyed the app I used the most, I know I have books missing, but with the destruction of all cataloging how do you work out which title from an author is no longer there!
    Please post if you have found an app that you can move to.

  48. Apple, everyone dreads your updates, you keep rearranging stuff, we get used to something, we like it, then you rearrange it. It’s annoying

  49. Apple your changes to the book reading/buying app are unusable. I have purchased hundreds of books from you. The changes are so sophomoric as to have been made by a rookie.
    Like so many others who have written above you have lost me as a customer.

  50. I hate the new format how am I supposed to remember what the book is about, where is the synopsis, before you could click on the book and it would describe it. How do you get it to want to read next that’s the only spot that will tell you what’s it about. I only buy from BookBub & have over 400 unread books. I will be buying a Kindle

    • Michael sullivan Reply June 1, 2019 at 10:25 am

      I also hate new books — no way to manage and sort my large non-apple library — and a pain to add new books also. After a lot of looking around, I decided to try MapleRead as an alternative — oh, but I used to love the old iBooks. New Books is just a store for apple to make extra unneeded money at the expense of old customers

  51. I also hate the new format. I am still trying to work out how to use it. I used to enjoy browsing the book store, now i don’t bother, as each time I tap on a book the screen blacks out. It is also very slow. Have been warning other people not to down load this app. Wish someone had warned me about it. If this change has been all about making more money i think they have made a big mistake. I hate using it, and therefore don’t purchase anymore books.

  52. I completely agree, what a disaster. I hate it: black background, completely impossible to use the store, no longer m’y choices, what are all these lists that have nothing to do with what I want to read! Hate it. Absolutely hate it.

  53. APPLE! The ios 12 is a mess! I cannot find any ‘Sample’ after I download it, all my catigorized lists are gone, I cannot tell what I have read and what you are trying to sell me, U am unable to find authors in the Book Store, and on and on!! I am ditching this and relying on my KINDLE from now on. I have bought thousands of books from you and now you do this. Thanks alot. I am now a FORMER CUSTOMER!!

  54. One reason why you don’t let the work experience kid do anything important. I assume this is what happened with this update to make it so useless. Very very annoyed that all the cataloging and organising wiped with an update and you can shove your suggested selling where the sun don’t shine !

  55. I also don’t like the new format. I have more than one iPad and just upgraded one of them, fortunately. My biggest complaint is about the bookstore, which I don’t think I have seen mentioned here. The problem I see is that the bookstore under iOS 12 seems to be much smaller basically. Books that I bought from favorite authors, and others I was planning to purchase, are missing and no matter how much I search they don’t come up. They are still easy to find in iOS 11, which is pretty weird. I can buy them in iOS 11 but not in iOS 12. Thanks. For one author who has over 50 titles in iOS 11 you can find less than 20 in iOS 12. That is definitely lame and I hope it gets addressed. Until then I am sticking with iOS 11 for my other A-ple devices.

  56. I don’t want to pick a catagory.
    I don’t want a friggin audio book.
    I don’t want to struggle to find my book in English.
    What a mess. The main reason for my iPad.
    I want to search for what I want.
    I now have been getting books from Amazon.
    Please fix this.

  57. My iPad is older but still working great, but unable to upgrade to iOS 12. I can also no longer find my library of books I purchased the old way from Book Bub. It used to open when I purchased or got another book, but now that I’ve closed it, I can’t get it back. If there is not a way to get it open, I have wasted all that money purchasing books I haven’t read yet and putting money on my account for future purchases. Does anyone know how to open your apple library without upgrading to iOS 12? I’m probably done with Apple books!

    • Actually, I found how to open my library from the old version apple books. Still done with Apple books.

  58. I hate the new update I pad books you geniuses at Apple even read books?all the marketing shit that now keeps appearing as I try to delve through my books.and the black book shelf?can,t sort my books,hard to find my samples ,where are my latest books .all crap.iI hate your up loads.they rarely make sense ,just helps you market your unwanted do not care about your customers.I just want to read my fucking books from my book about letting us delete unwanted books?you give us very few options .in new update a whole pile of books missing.shame on you Apple crap.

  59. I hate the new Apple book library! All the files I have previously organized were now in a mess. Totally frustrated. I wish there is an option to revert back to the original version.

  60. I am in agreement with the majority of people – I hate the new ibooks setup. I know longer know what I’ve read, where anything is stored. It sucks!

  61. Just got ios13 for iPad and they(Apple) have destroyed my library. Can’t open a book without having 20 books I have already read shoved down my throat. If I want a new book I will look for it myself. I don’t need Apple trying to influence my reading. AND the layout is rubbish. I knew where everything was before.
    Note to APPLE : I have read every book Michael Connolly has written and every time I go to a Connelly novel in my library ( 3 I think) I get all 30 plus novels on my screen. Rubbish.