Apple is holding one of its traditional show-off-the-new-hardware events next month, which means it’s time for everyone to prognosticate or scrabble whatever leaks they can find. Tech Insider is carrying a report suggesting that the new iPad Mini will be as thin as the iPad Air 2. The Digital Reader linked to an article on Buzzfeed suggesting that new iPhones will have a Force Touch display like the Apple watch and a more efficient CPU and Wii-Fi chip.

All this is great, but it’s hard to prognosticate what effect it will have on e-books. The iPad Mini will be lighter so easier to hold in one’s hands, perhaps? The iPhone will have better battery life so you can read longer? Who can guess?

The great thing about e-books when you get right down to it is that they’re so simple. You can read them on basically any screen. Higher-resolution and high-contrast displays make them look nicer, but Apple already has some of the best displays available. I honestly can’t think of any way Apple making its devices slightly better would change the e-reading experience apart from making that slightly better, too.

Perhaps the more interesting news to come out of the Apple event will have to do with Apple’s digital services to use with its own or other devices. We already know Apple is working on porting its streaming music app to Android, after all. If it’s going to port anything else—such as the iBooks e-book store—this would be the logical place to announce it.

Which isn’t to say that Apple is, or that it will announce such a thing. Part of the magic of Apple events is that you never know what’s going to come out of them, so for a little while anything is possible. So let’s enjoy the possibilities while we can, because we know sooner or later Apple will probably foreclose on a lot of them.


  1. One ebook related item that might help students (and writers doing research, and academicians) is the new split-screen in iOS9. The idea is that the reader could have kindle or ibooks or other ebook software open on half the screen, and a notes app on the other half. Right now this capability only works on the iPad air 2 as I understand it, but presumably the new iPads will also allow it.

    Another possible ebook angle might be having the kindle app open on part of the screen, and audible on the other, so kids learning to read could hear the story read to them whilst seeing the text scroll by on the other half of the screen? (I really don’t know if this would work or not, though.)

  2. Software will probably be what drives the more profound changes in ePublishing in the near future. Apple has been steadily tweaking the iBooks app on OS X and iOS. Apple has also added ePub export to its free iBooks Author app for OS X making it a good choice for authors who want to reach the emerging ePub 3 market but not be confined to Apple hardware.

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