Apple adds night reading theme, full screen mode to iBooks

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Apple on Wednesday issued an update to its iBooks iOS app, adding a night-time reading theme, full-screen layout, new fonts and an improved annotation palette.

iBooks 1.5 for iPhone and iPad arrived in the App Store early Wednesday. The free 20.7MB download (iTunes link) requires iOS 4.2 or later.

According to Apple, the update includes stability and performance improvements, as well as the following features:

  • Nighttime reading theme makes reading books in the dark easier on the eyes.
  • Full-screen layout lets you focus on the words without distraction.
  • iBooks now features an improved selection of fonts, including Athelas, Charter, Iowa, and Seravek.
  • Beautiful new classic covers for public domain books.
  • A redesigned annotation palette makes it easier to choose a color for your highlighted text.

The Cupertino, Calif., company is currently facing a class-action lawsuit over its iBooks pricing model, as well as a European Commission investigation into possible anti-competitive practices. Unlike Amazon, Apple worked with publishers to adopt an agency model for iBooks, allowing book publishers to set their own prices while providing Apple a cut of their sales. The company currently takes 30 percent of revenue from books sold on the iBookstore.