Notable Updates and New Apps: iBooks Gets Nighttime Reading Theme, Flipboard Comes to the iPhone, Evernote Releases Two Apps
Apple has updated its iBooks app, adding several new features including a nighttime reading theme and full-screen mode on the iPad. The update to the free app hit the App Store this morning, bringing it to version 1.5.
The full list of what’s new is as follows:
- 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, Iowan, 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 full-screen mode removes the elements that imitate a paper book, including the virtual page edges and book cover. This mode is available on the iPad only. On both the iPad and iPhone, iBooks now features a night theme that turns the background black and the text white to make for easier reading in dark environments. This is a feature I’ve been waiting for – Amazon’s Kindle app has had it for ages.
Evernote, the California-based company that provides services and tools to save and archive notes, has released two new iPhone apps today. Evernote Hello and Evernote Food are intended to help users remember people and memorable meals, respectively. Both apps are free and require iOS 5.
Evernote Hello is a tool to help you remember new people you meet. In its description, Evernote prompts you to open the app and hand your iPhone to the person you just met so they can enter their name and snap a self-portrait. Its use is highlighted in this promotional video:
Since I barely let even family or friends touch my iPhone, I won’t be using Hello as Evernote intends, but it can clearly be useful for those who meet a lot of new people and aren’t so protective of their mobile devices (or you can just enter information yourself, of course). Once the details for a new contact have been entered, an export function lets you save it to your iPhone’s Contacts list.
Evernote Food lets you take pictures of memorable meals, as well as capturing their locations, ingredients, and more. You can also share these meals directly in the app via Twitter, Facebook or email.
Both Hello and Food integrate with Evernote’s service that lets you save, organize, and archive notes and just about any other bit of information you want to hold on to. You’ll need an Evernote account to use these apps and the service, which is free for a basic account.
Popular social magazine app Flipboard is now available for the iPhone. The app, which debuted last year exclusively for the iPad, is now universal in version 1.7 to bring the unique digital magazine browsing experience to the iPhone. Unlike the iPad version where you flick from left to right to navigate, you flick upward from the bottom of the iPhone’s screen to flip between pages, a gesture that feels more natural on the device’s smaller screen.
A new feature available only on the iPhone for the moment is Cover Stories, which offers a smaller selection of the stories and photos available in your stream for quick browsing. Cover Stories can be customized so you see pieces from your favorite sources only to make it easier to catch up on the topics that interest you most in quick hits throughout the day.
According to my Twitter stream, it appears that Flipboard is having a little trouble keeping up with the increased traffic following the release of version 1.7, so keep in mind your browsing experience today may not optimal.