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Apple launches new iBooks with auto scrolling, social sharing, new languages

Apple on Tuesday unveiled a new version of iBooks that adds new features such as sharing of content through social networks, a new scrolling theme, and new language support.

The new iBooks 3.0 is now available on the App Store as a free download for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Along with support for 40 new languages, the update comes with a new scrolling feature that transforms content into an unpaginated format which can be scrolled through with a "flick."

Unlike the previous version, iBooks version 3.0 allows users to view past purchases directly from the bookshelf, much like the corresponding function found in iTunes. Users can download previous purchases without having to go into the iBookstore portal.

For students, the new iBooks offers persistently updated content, meaning textbooks and any other books that are updated can be downloaded for free.

Also new is the the ability to share quotes and notes via Twitter or Facebook. Snippets can also be sent through iMessage or email.

Apple noted during its special event on Tuesday that it now has over 1.5 million books in the iBookstore, and that customers have downloaded 400 million iBooks since its opening.