iBooks Store

A Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition with bonus interactive content hits iBooks

The first book in George R. R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” fantasy series was published twenty years ago today. Celebrating the anniversary, publisher HarperCollins and Apple released interactive “Game of Thrones” digital books on the iBooks Store today.

Representing “an amazing next step in the world of books,” The Guardian reports that the enhanced electronic books bring “a world of additional content” such as sigils, family trees and glossaries.

iBooks Store and iTunes Movies shut down in China by state agency

Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies have been shut down in China by a state agency, reports The New York Times. The outlet says the Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television was behind last week’s mysterious outage.

The shutdown occurred just six months after the two services were made available in the country. An Apple spokesperson said in a statement that the company “hopes to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible.”

iTunes Movies and iBooks Store go offline in China without explanation

As of this morning, customers in China are unable to access Apple’s content stores for digital movies and books, the iTunes Store for Movies and the iBooks Store, as both services went offline last evening without explanation. These stores are now inaccessible in China on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, as well as on computers with iTunes.

No reason was give for the downtime and Apple had not commented on the move at post time, but AppleInsider has learned that it has something to do with the government’s pending investigation into Apple’s business practices.

Apple enables redownloads of audiobooks, iOS 9.3 to add audiobooks to Automatic Downloads

Thanks to the iTunes in the Cloud feature, Apple customers have long been able to re-download apps, movies, TV shows, music, music videos, books, ring tones and tones purchased on the iTunes Store, but not audiobooks. As per Apple’s newly updated support document, customers in 22 countries total can now re-download any audiobook.

This feature is available in iBooks on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 8.4 or later, or in iTunes on a Mac or Windows PC. In addition, previously downloaded audiobooks, free or paid, are now listed in your Purchased history in iBooks and iTunes.

Multiple iCloud services experiencing downtime, App Store/iTunes purchases affected

Apple on Thursday morning reported a number of issues with various iCloud services. According to the iCloud Status webpage, these problems are preventing many users around the world from making purchases in Apple’s app and content stores.

In addition, “new and recently changed content may not have updated across devices for iCloud Drive, Backup, iCloud Notes, iWork for iCloud and Photos,” reads a notice on the webpage.

UPDATE: As of 9:10am PT, all of the affected iCloud services had been restored.

Apple releases Best of 2015 charts on iTunes

Apple on Wednesday posted its annual Best of 2015 charts on iTunes. “We debated. We argued. Everyone had favorites, but to make this list of 2015’s finest, there could be no doubts,” wrote the company. “What you see here made the cut—they’re the most visionary, inventive and irresistible apps and games of the year.”

Apple named Twitter-owned Periscope the App of the Year and Square Enix’s excellent Lara Croft GO its Game of the Year.

Workflow, the popular iOS automation app, is listed as the Most Innovative App of 2015 and Dark Echo the Most Innovative Game of 2015. Facebook-owned Instagram is the Best App on iPhone 6s while Pixel Toys’ Warhammer: 40,000 Freeblade took home the Best Game on iPhone 6s award, thanks to immersive 3D Touch controls.

Here’s the full list of titles the topped Apple’s charts in 2015.