iBooks is Apple's online bookstore in iTunes. Although it doesn't carry print, it does offer over two million ebooks and audio books.

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The Good

  • Prices are low
  • Large selection of free ebooks
  • Share on social media

It's not often that this is said about an Apple product: the prices are low. That's right - iBooks' prices were at the lower end of the books we compared. In addition, iBooks carried each of the ten New York Times bestselling-books we used in our review process, both in ebook and audio versions.

If your wallet is light, iBooks also offers a large section of free ebooks as well as free samples of many of the books that it sells - you can read before you buy to make sure you'll enjoy your purchase. Also, former bestsellers are priced at $3.99 or less - which is a fantastic deal.

The iBooks app supports book updates, meaning that if a book you've purchased is republished with new or additional content, the app will let you know so you can download the updated version for free. This feature is especially useful for students, as textbooks are often updated every year or within every few years. Another helpful tool for students is iBooks' Study Cards, which help you memorize the material you've highlighted, notes you've made while reading and glossary terms from the book.

iBooks was the only online bookstore we reviewed which enables you to share on social media through its app: you can share quotes or notes about what you're reading on Facebook or Twitter.

The Bad

  • Converting files
  • Cannot read in browser
  • Refunds can be complicated

As with most Apple products, many of the books purchased on iBooks aren't compatible with other ereader devices or apps - they'll work best if you read them on an Apple device. If you want to read a Kindle or NOOK ebook, you can do so on an Apple device - you'll just need to download the corresponding Kindle or NOOK app. You can, however, upload PDF and ePub files to read on iBooks.

Another drawback of iBooks is that you can't shop or read in your browser - you'll need to download the iTunes or iBooks app on whatever device you're using. Other online bookstores with ereader options, such as Scribd, offer the option to read in a browser - this is more convenient, as it allows you to quickly and easily read on any device, especially older computers.

In addition, iBooks doesn't offer an Advanced Search feature. This is crucial given how many similar titles and authors there are, so you could have a hard time locating obscure books or be forced to sift through a lot of search results.

You'll also face a challenge if you'd like to process a refund on iBooks. It states that all sales are final, but sometimes exceptions are made if there was an issue with download speed or the quality of the book. To ask for a refund, you'll need to visit your purchase history, click "Report a Problem" for the item you'd like to receive a refund for and then fill out the necessary information. iBooks will then respond to your request within a few days and let you know if you're eligible to receive a refund.

The Bottom Line

iBooks doesn't play well with non-Apple file formats, but it does offer a thorough selection of ebooks and audio books, as well as low prices. If you're an Apple fan, iBooks won't disappoint you.

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User Reviews

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Lee Desjarlais

May 21st, 2020 Independence, MO

Great choice of novels and generally it's a perfect way for a bookworm as me to find and acquire books.

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Lizzy Puentes

March 8th, 2020 Tallahassee, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Ibooks has such a wide variety of books in many different languages. The minute you purchase a book, it is available right away. You can also download the book to your iCloud so the book can be available without internet access. Some books also come with an audio version so you can hear the book being read by someone else. All books also have a sample version, usually the first few chapters, so you can read the book before deciding to purchase it.

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OwenE.

March 7th, 2020 Norcross, GA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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This is a great way to keep large books on my phone for any occasion. It’s very convenient for school.

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Emily

March 5th, 2020 Tallahassee, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I love the convenience of being able to have all my books across all of my Apple devices. I also think it's cool that some books are offered for free because I have a bad habit of reading books too fast.

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JD Dunklee

February 26th, 2020 Hattiesburg, MS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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iBooks is okay... I use it on a frequent basis because it is the only reliable thing to use on iPhone. The prices are a bit steep however

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Nicholas Genes

February 18th, 2020 Los Angeles, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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iBooks is my favorite platform for reading, however, their selection is limited. I do like how I can save online PDF files to it to read later

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Darbles32

February 2nd, 2020 Managua, MN DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I don’t usually shop on the I book store only because their prices are sometimes higher than other places that I can get the same book

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Sadie Scoville

June 10th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

I love the variety of books that iBooks have. The app is really easy to use too.

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CAROLE SCOVILLE

June 9th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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iBooks works really well with my iPhone – it makes it really easy to download books and read them instantly

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H Moore

June 6th, 2018 Lehi, UT

When I've bought books on iBooks, I'm excited that they are delivered directly to my phone right away. The iTunes website makes it easy to navigate the top selling books as well as finding the books in the genre I like to read in.

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A Craw

June 5th, 2018 Draper, UT

Love the books offered and the reading experience on my iPad.

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Trent

April 30th, 2018 Provo, UT

Great online book store. There are also quite a few free books as well

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Chase H

April 26th, 2018 Provo, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I love iBooks! It is so incredibly simple to use your Apple id to purchase books and read them in seconds. There are many options in the interface that allow you to customize your reading experience. Great option for somebody looking to get a book without taking up space with pages.

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