iOS 4 Update Messing up the iBooks App

The iOS 4 update was released just yesterday and iOS users all over the world downloaded it and are going all gaga over the multitasking capabilities it carries. However, the update has also caused some undesirable changes to data relating to many apps, data which is supposed to be stored on the iPhone storage permanently.


Thomas Baekdal at Baekdal made a post talking about the loss of all books on his iPhone as a result of the update. This happened to the iBook app in particular. Baekdal saw some anomalies with the app starting with it being empty in place of a test book present in the earlier cases. Next, when he tried to get those books back with a download, all the options he got led him to a “buy” option.

Baekdal made a further experiment and tried to sync on his iPad which worked perfectly. The problem seems to be with his iPhone only, even particularly with the iBook app.

That has led him to conclude that this is a problem with the iBook app and it is advised that you switch your reading habits to something more reliable and specialized, something like the Amazon Kindle.

Did any of you have any problems after updating to the iOS 4? I would be glad to hear from you.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.

  • Delprofundo

    Well I lost most if my data. The update process took about 30 attempts and iTunes deleted my backups. It’s a fresh install but it still has the odd bit of useless data here and there like a few pages in safari from before install. Can’t populate any of my old apps except one which is just a web page for accessing my home router.

    I’ve also noticed the iBook app is poorly written. Their nav controller stack and toolbar implementation is backwards (the first thing you learn when building apps).

    All in all this has completely changed my opinion of apple, they have joined Microsoft in shipping hugely buggy solutions and testing on their client base. As a Mac dev I’m heartbroken and building up some ubuntu machines right now.

    • Colm

      Hi i have had the same problem and when i go to download the books again it tells me i have already downloaded them. I also syc with the pc and they are on the pc but not the iphone. Pretty poor.

  • josh

    I have updated my iPhone 3G to iOS 4 just a couple of days ago. I used Stanza as the eBook app and was eager to see how the new iBooks app would perform. Even though I have 3 files (one of them being the default according to my iTunes on the iPhone, the bookshelf in the iBooks app is empty. Switching to list view still reveals no files.

  • Jenn

    I had the same problem. The update wiped all my ebooks in the Stanza app. I also no longer have the ebook files on my computer so they're gone forever for the most part. I wish I never even bothered doing the update. Also had to re-setup my mail and a lot of little settings are back to factory as well.