Apple’s Books app didn’t get much air time when iPadOS 16 was announced, but that doesn’t mean nothing has changed. Several aspects have been given a refresh, while a much-loved aspect of the Books design is gone forever…
The reading view now offers plenty of customization options, including a dedicated screen for setting things up just as you like them.
Tap the menu button in the bottom right of the display and choose Themes & Settings. From left to right, you can change the text size, turn on infinite scrolling, and change your light/dark mode settings. If you’re not familiar with infinite scrolling, it removes page numbers and treats the entire book as one long block of text, like a very long web page.
Below that, you can choose from six themes that change the fonts and colors. To customize things beyond these presets, tap the Options button and you’ll be able to make even more changes. You can hand-pick a font, make the text bold, and even play with the spacing and layout under the Accessibility section to fine-tune things further. This is a great way to improve legibility if the defaults aren’t ideal for you.
No more page turns
Apple took a bold move away from “skeuomorphic” design way back in iOS 7, changing instead to a mostly flat user interface – but a few aspects of faux-realism remained. One such feature was the tactile page transitions in the Books app, animating the paper as you satisfyingly swipe between pages.
Apple has quietly removed this function in iPadOS 16, meaning page transitions now slide in with little fanfare. It’s a subtle change, sure, but symbolic of the final nail in the coffin for an old style of digital design.
There’s now a mini-player for audiobooks, allowing you to keep listening as you navigate the app. The audiobook player, on the whole, has been redesigned too, most notably with the addition of a purchase option when playing previews.