Authors, teachers, students – and anyone who reads, for that matter – get ready: iBooks has come to the Mac.
Finally, you’ll be able to read any of Apple’s 1.8 million iBookstore titles right from the comfort of your desktop or laptop computer.
For the last 3 years, the iBooks application was limited to iOS devices, meaning you could only read iBooks on your iPad or iPhone. As of the new OSX Maverick update (due out early this fall), Apple is bringing its reading app to the Mac as well – and it supports all the interactive features of books created with iBooks Author.
Everything users have come to expect from the mobile version of the app is included in the desktop version as well. Highlighting, browsing, pinching, swiping, notes and more are preserved features.
However, there are also a couple other cool features we haven’t seen before such as automatic citations. If you’re a student (or anyone who uses quotes in their work), this handy little feature is about to make your academic paper writing life a breeze. When you quote an excerpt while writing a paper, iBooks will automatically add a citation for you.
Another awesome feature – when you take notes, highlight passages, or add a bookmark on your Mac, iCloud pushes them to all your devices automatically. That way, it doesn’t matter which device you used. iCloud even remembers which page you’re on. So if you start reading on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, you can pick up right where you left off on your Mac.
Amazon has Kindle reading apps for PC and Mac, though you can’t purchase ebooks through the apps. Nook has a Windows 8 app that allows purchasing and reading, but doesn’t have a Mac app.
What does this mean for authors?
Your market just grew – a lot.
Today at the WWDC event, Apple announced that its Mac install base has grown to 72 million machines, a figure that has risen 100% in the last five years.
If you’re planning to sell or are already selling your book in the iBookstore, your market just quadrupled with the release of the new iBooks application for Mac. Now anyone who owns a Mac (not just an iPhone or iPad) can purchase and download your book on their desktop or laptop computer.
Although not explicitly mentioned, it appears as if all new machines will ship with iBooks already installed – making it that much easier for users to start reading on the desktop.