Apple revamps design of iBooks and iTunes U for iOS 7 on iPad & iPhone

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Following redesigns of many of its other applications, Apple has completely redesigned its iBooks application for iOS 7. The new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch app follows the design aesthetic of the bundled Newsstand application, and also includes a completely redesigned iBookstore. The free update is available via the App Store now. For fans of the page curl effect in iBooks, you will be happy to know that it has not been removed.

Apple has also completely redesigned its iTunes U application, an app for downloading and managing education content. Both apps include redesigned icons:

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Apple makes iOS 7 user guides available on the iBookstore

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Ahead of iOS 7’s release later today, Apple has published iOS 7 user guides on the iBookstore. At the moment, guides are only available for the iPad and iPod touch but a book targeted at the iPhone will likely follow. As is to be expected, both books are offered as a free download.

In essence, they are ebook versions of Apple’s downloadable PDF manuals, featuring setup, troubleshooting and other instructions for the device and the OS. Apple has offered user guides on the iBookstore ever since its inception in 2010, starting with the original iPad.

Apple and Amazon notify customers of $69M State settlement with publishers, how to get credit

Earlier this week, Amazon began letting customers know if they were eligible for a share of the $69 million state attorney settlements with Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon and Schuster. Today, Apple started notifying iBooks customers, who bought an iBook from April 1, 2010 to May 21, 2012, of the same payout.

The payout will be dispersed as Kindle/iBooks credit or customers can call a number to request a check for delivery in February.

Notably, if you purchased the Steve Jobs eBook bio from Simon and Schuster on iBooks or Amazon, you should receive this notice.

To be clear, this is separate from the Federal price-fixing case surrounding Apple and some publishers. Barnes and Noble and other eBook distributors are likely doing the same thing. The Amazon version is below:

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Walmart offers $100 iTunes/App Store downloadable gift card for $80

From 9to5Toys.com:

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For a limited time, Walmart.com is offering a $100 downloadable Apple iTunes/App Store gift card for just $80. These popular gift cards can be used on iBooks, iTunes Movies, Videos, music, Mac and iOS Apps.  We’ve heard these do work internationally if paid for with a US source and used in the US iTunes/App Stores.

You are basically getting 20% off every Apple media purchase you make.  Also makes a great gift…we imagine.

Update:

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Cue on agency model: ‘I don’t think you understand. We can’t treat newspapers or magazines any differently than we treat FarmVille.”

By now you probably know that the U.S. Department of Justice launched an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and two publishers this month following an investigation into Apple’s eBook pricing agency model. Three publishers, including Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, decided to reach a settlement with the Department of Justice to return to Amazon’s set-your-own price wholesale model. Meanwhile, Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin will take the fight to court.

Interestingly, a report from The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by the HarperCollins’ parent company News Corp, suggested Apple was only ever trying to continue its App Store business model. The Wall Street Journal’s L. Gordon Crovitz described visiting Senior Apple Executive Eddy Cue to discuss changing Apple’s policies for publications. He quoted Cue as comparing book pricing to apps and not wanting to treat publications differently than app developers:
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Apple finally comments on DOJ antitrust charges: ‘We’re breaking monopolies not starting them’

Apple finally commented late this evening on the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust suit against the company. What did Apple think up with those extra 48 hours? Peter Kafka got the scoop from Apple’s Tom Neumayr:

The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore.

The civil antitrust suit alleged that Apple’s move to let publishers set their own prices—and it is a requirement that publishers do not sell their digital books for cheaper elsewhere—forced consumers to pay millions more for books than they should have.

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