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Update to iBooks bring a iOS 7 Redesign

The redesign of iOS to the current iOS 7 flat design has been controversial in some quarters. There are many who loved the skeuomorphic of iOSs past and others who argued passionately that apple should be left behind with current design trends and that these hints of past designs were really not needed anymore.

In many ways iBooks made the most sense to stick to its skeuomorphic design, many people still feel nostalgic for paper books and although there are benefits of ebooks (instant delivery, rich embedded media, lower prices…etc), having a familiar environment with odes to paper books (a book shelf, an animation of a page turning) were key factors to aid people in making the transition across to iBooks.

Perhaps this is one of the key reasons this design has taken so long. Maybe Apple wanted to let its users adjust to iOS 7 aesthetics and insure they got the design right before changing what may well be the key skeuomorphic design app, iBooks.

Whatever your opinion iBooks has changed and it won’t be coming back. So what has actually changed in iBooks iOS 7.

classic ibooks

The bookshelf

The wooden shelves have been replaced by gradient shelves that hold flat covers. It’s clear where one shelf starts and ends but lacks the nostalgia of looking at your own bookshelf.

The wooden shelves have been replaced by gradient shelves that hold flat covers. It’s clear where one shelf starts and ends but lacks the nostalgia of looking at your own bookshelf.

ibooks new

Page Turning And Page Design

The page turn is still present as are the core highlighting and note features still remain, perhaps this is more important element of skeuomorphic design than things such as whether your book library looks like a book shelf with wooden textures. The actually experience when using the books still mimics paper books.

ibooks new page

Only A Face Lift?

No features have been added or removed from iBooks other than the cosmetic changes. Though this isn’t a terrible thing, the app has been stable for a while and adding more features would just risk upsetting users further.

Initial reviews aren’t great, although there are some strongly positive reviews, around two thirds are 1 star reviews with very few 5 or 4 stars. As i stated at the start it’s not surprising as books makes the most sense to hold skeuomorphic design. However, whatever people’s preferences for the new flat design or classic design, the march of iOS 7 design aesthetics is moving on and it’s very unlikely that iBooks iOS 7 design will ever revert back.

About Chris Wilson

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