iBooks Moves to the iPhone, Gains New Features

At WWDC today, Steve Jobs (s aapl) actually mentioned iBooks, the iPad native e-reader, twice: once before and once after announcing iPhone 4. The first time was to say that later this month, the iBooks app will be receiving an update. In this update, a few new features are to be included, the major one being support for PDF documents. Once synced to the iPad, users will be able to read PDFs in the same way as books. In true Apple style, this has been added in an elegant way; a new toggle switches between the books’ and the PDFs’ bookshelves. Also included was the ability to open PDF documents from attachments in Mail and read them in iBooks.

Also announced were bookmarks and notes. The former lets you mark a place in a book to save for later, and lets you resume from where you left off if you close the app. The latter is made up of yellow sticky notes which let you type a note a stick it into your book. You can also see a table of contents of all the bookmarks you have created in a book.

During the second mentioning of iBooks, after the iPhone 4 reveal, Steve told us about how iBooks will be available soon for the iPhone (and iPod touch) as well as the iPad. This is good news for anyone who doesn’t have an iPad. Similar to how the App Store works, if you purchase a book from the iBookstore, you can download it again for free on any other device you have. Also available, similar to the Kindle, is automatic syncing of where you got to in a book so you can resume straight away, even on another device.

The update for iBooks should be released around the same time as iOS 4 and the iPhone 4, so keep an eye out for it.