How Apple’s Books App Has Changed in iOS 16

I don’t use Books all that much - I’m a Kindle person - but I just tried highlighting with Books on iOS 16 on an epub of a book a friend had published and if I long press, hold, and drag, I can then highlight. It doesn’t even need to be a long hold - long press and start dragging and it turns the text blue and brings up the ability to highlight, etc.

I just verified with a Take Control book I own on my iPad - same thing. Both devices on 16.1.

Yes, I am having trouble with both highlighting, deleting highlights and ‘add note’. I used to be able to add a note via selecting a single word and it would make a note containing only that word. Now it makes a note that includes a whole sentence. Why this irks me specifically (and maybe it’s a bug) is that I am learning two foreign languages and as I read books in those languages, I like to highlight single words I don’t know and add the english translation, so, e.g. I’d get a note like: “Angebot” and I could then write “offer, proposal, supply”. So useful for making up vocab flash cards. But now I have a whole sentence.

I haven’t yet tried exporting notes and highlights, but if I can’t do that, that will really suck. That works so great in Kindle.

Dang it Apple!!!

updated to ios16.1.1 and lo, books is even worse! when i open the app to resume reading, it often isn’t on the page i last read. it also still screws up the font size.

then i made the mistake of switching to scroll mode and the damned thing completely lost the plot. took way too long to find my spot in the book.

unbelievable how badly this app has been broken by whatever improvements the feature creeps were pushing into it.

the overall code quality of ios16 has been the worst update i’ve ever applied to any phone. congratulations, tim cook and team.

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Not lost entirely; you can export individual highlights by swiping to the left and tapping the Share icon. But there’s no way, within iOS 16, to share all highlights at once.

The double tap to add a bookmark is no longer working for me? Anyone else?

Bill, from one Bill to another, It seems that every time there is a iOS ‘upgrade’, the Books app becomes more opaque. It appears that the app programmers are justifying their existence by making change for change-sake. The time spent by users on researching how to use the ‘new’ version of the app is becoming aggravating to the ninth degree. I’d pay for the ability to retro grade to the prior version or even the one before that. I also have in excess of 600 books in my ‘library’ from scores of authors. In each version of BOOKS, library management becomes more difficult. Even finding COLLECTIONS becomes more difficult.

It might be beneficial to have a consumer/reader(s) on call to the app team for insights and testing. I question whether anyone on the app team is an avid reader or has ever used a physical library. Making changes just to be making changes is a frivolous exercise. I spent a long career related to systems analysis, design and modification. I’m a big fan of innovation and enhancement. But I was also driven by the pragmatism of the project and the ability of the user to understand and implement the changes. How about giving the users time enough to finally figure out the newest version before forcing another cycle of modification and research to gain understanding.

Here’s an idea. How about downloading a BOOK “iOSx User’s Manual” as an integral part of any operating system upgrade.

Hoping these comments will reach someone who will ‘get them into the works.’


Very nicely put, Bill~thank you for the response. << I question whether anyone on the app team is an avid reader or has ever used a physical library. Making changes just to be making changes is a frivolous exercise. >> YES!!

Not only is the look, feel and reading of a book more tedious and less enjoyable the Library is even more so. I just don’t get how the organization let this happen. You would have thought one of the execs/leaders would feel the same way.

Anyway your input and call for help is appreciated, Bill.