Is iBooks Coming to Apple TV?

If you have iOS 4.3.3 or higher, have every downloaded a book from Apple’s iBookstore, and own more than one mobile device, you will probably have seen a popup message that lets you know you have downloaded a book from another device and you can automatically download it to the other one by turning on Automatic Downloads. Apple Insider recently discovered that iOS 6 causes that message to appear on the Apple TV, too.

According to Apple Insider, when someone downloaded an e-book from the iBookstore through an account that was also tied to the same Apple TV account, a notification appeared. The notice told the user that Apple TV attempted to automatically download the book’s content, but it could not be accessed because the device did not have the necessary software installed.

Currently, iOS users can turn on Automatic Downloads to have music, movies, apps and books sent to all devices through iTunes in the Cloud. Apple TV is currently capable of automatic downloads of movies and television shows, but apps and books are not part of the service.

This mysterious error message could mean a number of things. It is possible that Apple plans to roll out iBooks on Apple TV for education purposes. It was recently revealed that the iPad is the most popular computer in the K-12 market. Teachers could use text books on a big screen as an additional learning tool in the classroom. It sure would look better than those old projector screens.

It could also mean that Apple is planning on adding App Store access to Apple TV with the iOS 6 update that is rumored to be released on Sept. 12. If that is true, Apple TV owners will be able to download apps directly to their television set. This is unlikely since Apple has been pushing AirPlay for the iPad and iPhone. The brand new Mac operating system, Mountain Lion, also includes mirroring capabilities, so there isn’t much reason to offer an App Store on Apple TV.

Another possibility is that the error message was just a glitch. Apple’s iOS 6 is still in beta and things tend to go wrong in beta testing.

We will probably find out whether this was a mistake or not on Sept. 12. Apple’s product announcement event will take place at 10 a.m. PDT and PadGadget will be on-hand to tell you all about the new releases.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik