Apple have announced a new update for their iBooks application. V1.3 for the iPhone and iPod and iPad gets a new read aloud function for specific childrens books and unlike alternative systems, it actually uses a real narrator’s voice rather than a computerised speech enabled method.
By selected ‘enhanced ebooks’ the new functionality will automatically play video and audio content which can be embedded within the book itself.
Version 1.3 of the application also adds some bug fixes which caused some books to display the same page more than once. New code enhancements also speed up the application, especially with longer books which can cause a higher overhead on the hardware.
Apple are keen to target the e-reader market, although until they have an e-ink tablet, they might be fighting a losing battle. Research has proven that the majority of people heavily into book reading do not find LCD technology a viable platform for intensive reading sessions.
Apple rolled out iBooks 1.2 late last year which increased the e-book selection by more than 100 colour e-books, including children’s books, cookbooks, picture books and photo books.