One of the world’s biggest collections of occult texts is going online, meaning anyone will be able to access and read hundreds of obscure and fascinating books for free. The Dutch Ritman Library is digitalizing its collection of occult texts as part of its Hermetically Open project — an initiative of library director Esther Ritman to make the library’s rare texts more accessible. Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, was a major contributor to the project, donating over $ 300,000 to the Library in 2016 with the express purpose of getting the library’s Hermetic texts online where everyone…
Three hours after the release of the second iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 betas, Apple has deployed the second macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 beta.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News
We’re getting a new version of Google Photos today, and breaking from the recent theme, this one actually has a few changes, though most of them don’t stand out all that much. It’s now easy to search for Motion Photos with a convenient search category. There are new notifications related to Photos Books, plus the settings to turn them off. And if anybody is auto-sharing photos with you, there’s now a shortcut for setting up the same arrangement with them.
Along with the features previewed yesterday as part of its upcoming iOS 11.3 software update, it was discovered that Apple [curiously] dropped ‘i’ from the moniker of its popular ‘iBooks’ digital bookstore — ostensibly making ‘Books’ the new e-books storefront.
The company’s move is reportedly just part of its broader, yet-to-be-announced plans that involve a complete overhauling of iBooks and the iBookstore, rebranding for former as Books and the latter as Apple Books Store.
Expected to be announced in the coming months, the update will also bring a host of new features to Apple’s e-books platform, including a top-to-bottom App Store-inspired UI refresh, an all-new section for audiobooks, new Tabs and more, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
“The new app, due to be released in coming months, will include a simpler interface that better highlights books currently being read and a redesigned digital book store that looks more like the new App Store launched last year,” he said, citing sources familiar with the project’s development.
“The revamped app in testing includes a new section called Reading Now and a dedicated tab for audio books.”
Gurman pointed out that the ‘Apple Books Store’ rebranding appears to be a strategy by which Apple hopes to regain its footing in the the e-books market — a category dominated by e-commerce giant, Amazon — in the wake of its previous fallout with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Back in 2012, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging that the company “orchestrated a scheme” to raise the price of e-books. Ultimately, we reported at the time, Apple was forced to pony-up a whopping $ 450 million fine to settle the claims.
In the wake of the lawsuit, Apple essentially put its iBooks and iBookstore services on the back burner, Gurman notes, while shifting its focus to building out other digital services including Apple Music and its more recent Apple Podcasts platform.
However as recent data shows Amazon nearly monopolizing the U.S. e-books market, Apple appears ready and willing to jump back in and reclaim its former, competitive edge.
“This will be the biggest upgrade to Apple’s e-book service in several years,” Gurman pointed out, noting how, prior to the DOJ lawsuit and subsequent fine, e-books were actually a key part of the company’s services business.
Other developments including its December, 2017 hiring of Kashif Zafar — a former senior vice president of Amazon’s audiobooks business, Audible — lend even further credence to Apple’s bold new e-book ambitions.
Of course, though they both sell e-books, Apple and Amazon’s businesses are built on two fundamentally and economically different models. So realistically speaking, until we learn more more about Books and the Apple Books Store, it remains to be seen how they’ll help the company become a competitive bookseller again.