How to fine-tune the skip and replay intervals for audiobooks in Books

If you consider yourself a fan of the spoken word and bank on Apple’s own Books service to listen to your favorite books, you might have been frustrated by some of the app’s design choices before. Especially when it comes to manipulating the play time of your audiobook on the fly, be it on your Lock screen, in Control Center or on Apple Watch, the experience can be inconsistent and altogether suboptimal at times.

What all those interfaces have in common however is a nimble skip forward and skip back button, both of which are pegged at a pretty arbitrary plus and minus 15 seconds per touch.

This brief tutorial is going to remind you of a trick to customise those buttons and better fit them to your skipping habits by shortening or prolonging the time jumps. After all, what’s the use of 15 second skip intervals in the middle of a J. R. R. Tolkien marathon?

To give you a before and after visual, here is what the stock Books settings normally translate to when you start an audiobook and pull up the Control Center: at your disposal you will find your audiobook cover, a timeline for scrubbing, a play/pause button in the middle and the skip or replay buttons right and left of the centre.

audibooks ibooks control center

How to customize the skip and replay intervals for audiobooks

To adjust the two 15 second buttons, which by the way can be tweaked entirely independently of one another, simply emulate the few clicks outlined below.

1) Open Settings on your iPhone.

2) Scroll down to and select Books.

3) Below the Audiobooks heading tap Skip Forward and Skip Back separately.

4) Choose a timeframe between 10 seconds and 60 seconds for either option.

Settings, Books Skip Forward and Back

And you are done with it! Before you ask, this little adjustment does (regrettably) not affect your skip interval settings for the Podcast app. Leastwise your Lock screen, Control Center and the Books app itself are now updated to your liking.

audiobooks control center

Notice that if you own an Apple Watch, the updated settings will be implemented equally.

audiobooks ibooks watch
And that makes it a wrap. It goes without saying this is not a big deal by any standard but a rather small refinement. Even so, your skip and replay buttons have just become a little smarter, something keen audiobook listeners might genuinely appreciate.