New version of Apple iBooks includes read-aloud feature

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Wednesday, 8 June 2011 13:45pm

The latest version of the Apple iBooks app includes a new read-aloud feature, allowing publishers to include human-voice narration in their books.

The feature, included in select children’s books purchased through the iBookstore, uses a real narrator to read out the book to you. In some books, the words are highlighted as they are read aloud so children can follow along.

You can still chose to have your eBook read out aloud using Apple’s advanced screen reader technology, VoiceOver. The key difference between the read-aloud feature and VoiceOver is that the read-aloud feature must be built into the eBook, whereas VoiceOver can be turned on for any accessible eBook read using iBooks. The latter giving users who are blind and vision impaired more flexibility as they aren’t reliant on the read-aloud feature being included as part of the eBook.

Apple has also made it easier to individuals to purchase eBooks, adding a better-catalogued iBookstore tab to iTunes.

The update to iBooks 1.3 is now available to users.

Read our access review of iBooks.

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