Apple’s iOS 8.4 beta 1 adds new audiobook chapter scrubbing and skipping to iOS while also moving audiobooks themselves from the Music app to the iBooks app.
Apple released the first beta build of iOS 8.4 to developers yesterday, bringing with it a newly redesigned Music app as well as a host of under-the-hood additions and fixes. One change that went under the radar initially is also one that will prove very popular to a particular subset of users. Anyone who listens to audiobooks, your time has come.
In its current beta form, iOS 8.4 has moved all audiobook listening away from the Music app and into the iBooks app, where it arguably makes more sense. Previously, audiobooks were treated like any other audio file and were played via the Music app alongside albums and the like. The addition of audiobook functionality to iBooks means that users can now keep all of their digital books in one place, no matter the medium.
The change in audiobook handling was first noticed by a MacRumors forum-goer and is still in its infancy. One example of functionality that isn’t quite ready yet is a new feature that allows users to skip to whichever chapter they like. Previously unavailable as of iOS 7, the option istelf is most welcome, though in its current state chapters do not appear to have their proper titles and instead are simply listed as tracks with corresponding track numbers. Hopefully that will change before the final release of iOS 8.4.
Alongside the new chapter funcionality, Apple has added new fast forward and rewind features that allow users to scrub through books by dragging and holding a book’s cover art to the left or right in order to go forwards or backwards within the current chapter.