Oprah Winfrey resurrects her Book Club... for iOS

Oprah Winfrey and Tim Cook
Image Credit: Apple

Oprah Winfrey is apparently coming to iOS, with a new book club format exclusively for Apple devices.

Winfrey was a surprise guest at the end of Apple's launch event on March 25, closing an eclectic list of announcements covering everything from a video game subscription service (Apple Arcade) to the formal unveiling of the Apple TV+ streaming platform.

Speaking to the crowd, Winfrey stressed the importance of 'listening' to one another, and praised Apple's global device network for its ability to connect users to each other – but followed up with a teasing reference of 'Oprah's Book Club', the regular literary segment on the Oprah Winfrey Show that ceased back in 2011.

She said that "nothing is more gratifying than a brilliant book", and announced the incoming "club" forth "one billion plus strong" network of iOS users – referring to the 1.3 billion active Apple devices in use across the world.

Winfrey gave few details – no launch date, pricing, and whether it will be integrated in some way with Apple Books – but it's likely to be some form of app with video or podcast content between Oprah Winfrey and various guests, as they discuss novels and non-fiction books, shortly before Winfrey propels them to global bestseller lists.

The 'i' is for informed discussion

Oprah's appearance came at the end of a jam-packed launch event for a number of new and updated Apple services, including an expanded Apple News+ platform with a host of digital magazines, and the formal unveiling of the Apple TV+ streaming service.

Aside from the difficulty of keeping track of so many near-identically named platforms, Apple is moving a clear attempt to engage with a wider cultural conversation, as a content creator as well as a company that connects users to that content. 

Oprah's cache as a talk show host and celebrity will certainly be a big draw for people engaging with Apple's iOS ecosystem – even if we don't know exactly what form it will take.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.