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Linked by Jason Snell

Gurman: Apple plans iBooks update

Mark Gurman at Bloomberg suggested back in January that an iBooks update is in the works:

Apple is working on a redesigned version of its iBooks e-book reading application for iPhones and iPads and has hired an executive from Amazon to help.

The new app, due to be released in coming months, will include a simpler interface that better highlights books currently being read and a redesigned digital book store that looks more like the new App Store launched last year, according to people familiar with its development. The revamped app in testing includes a new section called Reading Now and a dedicated tab for audio books, the people said.

I don’t even know what to say to this. The big new features are highlighting the books you’re reading, integration of audiobooks, and applying the App Store redesign to the iBookstore? That’s doing the bare minimum to improve your product after letting it sit fallow for years.

Perhaps Kashif Zafar, the former Audible and Nook executive referenced above, is just blowing the dust off of iBooks and getting it respectable before truly moving it forward. That’s good, because iBooks is awfully dusty.

I’ll be in Chicago on Tuesday. Let’s see what happens.