Apple Releases iTunes 10.3: Auto Downloads, Books, Previous Purchases

Apple released iTunes 10.3 late on Monday, bringing several features introduced during Steve Jobs’s World Wide Developer Conference keynote earlier on Monday to Mac (and eventually Windows) users. New features include automatic downloads that push newly purchased iTunes music, iBooks, or apps to your Mac and iOS devices (where appropriate), the ability to (re)download previous iTunes purchases (music, apps, and iBooks), and the ability to (finally) shop for iBooks books through iTunes on your Mac.

iBooks Advertised on iTunes

iTunes landing page now advertises books
(Click the image for a full sized version)

Apple’s patch notes:

  • Automatic Downloads. Purchase music from any device or computer and automatically download a copy to your Mac and iOS devices.
  • Download Previous Purchases. Download your past music purchases again at no additional cost. Your purchases are available in the iTunes Store on your Mac or in the iTunes app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer on the iTunes Store.
  • iTunes 10.3 also adds Books to the iTunes Store, where you can discover and buy your favorite books on your computer and automatically download them to iBooks on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  • This version also allows you to use Automatic Downloads with apps and books or download previously purchased apps and books from your computer or iOS device.

New Purchased link in iTunes Navigation

The new “Purchased” link in iTunes 10.3 allows you to manage all your purchases and download anything needed

The screenshot below is of the new Purchased feature. In this case, we’ve highlighted Books and chose the tab to view books “Not In My Library.” In this case, there was one book that had been purchased on an iPad that had not yet been synced to the user’s Mac-based iTunes library. Clicking the cloud icon would allow the book to be brought into iTunes.

Purchased feature in iTunes 10.3

Purchased management in iTunes 10.3

We should also note that there still is no way to actually view iBooks on a Mac or PC. Apple’s terms of service for iTunes were changed to stipulate that though users can sync their books to their iTunes library, they can only be viewed on an iOS device.

The update is a 74MB download for Mac OS X 10.5 or later through Apple’s website. It is not showing up in Software Update as of this writing.

Apple is also showing the 64-bit Windows version of iTunes 10.3 as being available at the Support Downloads site, but clicking through to that link takes you to version 10.2.2 for Windows.