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iBooks 1.3 Released: Adds Read-Aloud Feature, Enhancements

A new update to iBooks for iPhone and iPad has started propagating in iTunes, bringing the app to version 1.3 after the major announcements from yesterday's keynote, which also noted iCloud's capability of pushing book purchases across devices with the new Automatic Downloads feature. iBooks 1.3, available here, adds a read-aloud option with real narrators' voices to read a book to, say, your children, with some books even highlighting words as the narrator speaks. Alongside media improvements to enhanced books, the changelog reports:

  • Help your children learn to read with the new read-aloud feature included in select children's books from the iBookstore.
  • The read-aloud feature uses a real narrator to read the book to you, and in some books, it will even highlight the words as you read along.
  • Enhanced books can now automatically play audio or video included with the book.
  • Makes iBooks more responsive when opening very long books.
  • Addresses an issue where some books may display the same page twice.

We heard last night several reports of iOS 5 beta "corrupting" books and .epub files in iBooks, so it's likely that this update will also bring early iOS 5 compatibility and fix those issues. Get iBooks 1.3 here.

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