June 12, 2015 Last Updated 12:47 pm

Apple’s lastest iOS 8.4 beta confirms speculation concerning audiobooks; Twitter DM changes

Twitter informs developers that it will eliminate the 140 character limit on Direct Messages as service moves more towards becoming a messaging alternative

With the release of iOS 8.4 being held up as work on Apple’s new music service continues, eBook producers continue to wait until to see if it is true that its release will bring support for iBA created eBooks to the iPhone.

beta-iPhone6-380But one other feature changing with iOS 8.4 involves audiobooks, which will no longer be part of the iTunes player.

Developers report that with the latest iOS 8.4 beta, iOS 8.4 build 12H4125a, audiobooks playback has shifted to the iBooks app, something first reported by AppleInsider back in April.

This makes sense for a number of reasons, but the one that probably motivated Apple was that its new Music app was already filled with features and audiobooks would get lost in the new app. No doubt, though, a number of audiobook owners will be confused by the move.

With the latest beta, some tech sites are also mentioning the change with iBooks on the iPhone, but since none of these sites concern themselves with digital publishing, they have merely mentioned that iBooks on the iPhone now supports iBA books without going into much detail as to how well it does this.

Casual developers, and I would list myself in that category, might still be cautious about downloading and installing the latest beta as many features are still missing. It is not yet the Gold Master (the last release to developers before the software is released to the public).

The big news out of Twitter yesterday was that CEO Dick Costolo would be stepping down, apparently tired of the constant questioning by Wall Street of the direction of the company. Who can blame him?

But another bit of news was aimed at those that build Twitter related apps: Twitter will be eliminating the 140 character restriction on Direct Messages.


“One change coming in July that we want to make you aware of now (and first!) is the removal of the 140 character limit in Direct Messages,” the comapny said in its developer forum. “In order to make this change as seamless as possible for you we’ve included some recommendations below to ensure all your applications and services can handle these longer format messages before we flip the switch.”

The value of this, of course, is that Twitter will become another messaging service. It already is for many, but the 140 character restriction was awkward when trying to use it in this manner. A user would have to send multiple messages, or more likely DM someone with the message “I’m sending you an email.”

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