A treat for all bibliophiles out there! Amazon's Kindle app for Android and iOS is out with a brand new look and it's stunning. The new app is inspired by books of course and it also incorporates few important features from the Kindle e-reader.
Sporting a major redesign, the new Kindle app comes with a bunch of new features that enhance reading experience on mobile devices. The user interface (UI) is simple and free of all distractions that lead to seamless reading as it should be with the world's favorite eBook reader.
So without further ado, let’s check out the top new features of the updated Kindle app.
1. Revamped User Interface
First up, Amazon has reworked the old Kindle app icon that featured a kid reading under a tree. The new logo features only the silhouette of the kid while the product title – kindle – and the tree have been removed.
The refreshed Kindle app user interface sports a cleaner and more streamlined look.
The new, user-friendly design makes it easier to navigate through the app. Book covers have been made larger that helps you to browse easily. Another welcome change is the inclusion of Amazon’s custom Bookerly font for book titles.
I also noticed small tweaks here and there such as the ability to display the current time on the page while you're reading. You can even choose left alignment instead of auto in the Displaysetting.
The Kindle app lets you read eBooks and magazines on any device, including iPhone, iPad, Android, and PCs.
2. Light and Dark Themes
The update comes with two new themes - dark and light. As the names suggest, the former changes the app background to black while the latter changes it to white. It must be noted that the theme change only applies to the app and, once you open a book, you will still see a white background to offer you a relaxed reading experience.
I personally prefer the light theme as it's more comforting for the eyes, especially if you're reading for a long time. You can choose between the themes from Settings.
Word of advice: Don't forget to enable the blue-light filter on your device to protect your eyes.
3. New Bottom Navigation Bar
There is a new navigation bar at the bottom of the app comprising a button that allows you to quickly return to your current book. The one-tap access feature automatically shows an icon of the book you're currently reading.
The navigation bar follows you around so you can quickly return to the book you're currently reading from anywhere in the app. I loved this feature as it helped me get back to the book in no time. Buttons for Home, Library, Store, and More are present on the navigation bar.
Android users can continue to buy books directly from the Kindle app on their phone. Unfortunately, iPhone owners still won’t be able to buy Kindle books directly through the app.
Amazon is focusing more on social features of the Kindle app by integrating Goodreads with the new update. The iOS version now gets a new Community tab that allows users to see what their friends or other users they follow are reading. This cool feature also lets you share reviews and post comments on Goodreads.
In case you see books you would like to read, you can add them to your 'Want to Read' list for easy reference.
The feature will let you highlight portions of a book you are reading and directly share it on Goodreads. The app will recommend fellow Goodreads users, who have similar taste and interests, to you so that you can follow them. These suggestions may include authors and popular Goodreads reviewers.
Unfortunately, only iPhone and iPad users can enjoy the Goodreads integration via the Kindle app on iOS. Hopefully, it will soon be expanded to the Android app as well.
I'm really looking forward to checking out the Goodreads integration on Android. Being a Goodreads user, it'll be a nice to see the service within the Kindle app, which will save the hassle of visiting the site separately.
6. Read More with Word Wise
The update is adding a popular Kindle feature, called Word Wise, to the app. It makes it easier for readers to understand challenging books more quickly. The feature shows you short and simple definitions of difficult words and phrases.
A toggle button is available for Word Wise in Settings. You can enable/disable it anytime and also choose if you want fewer or more hints while reading. I believe this feature will be helpful for many users, especially children trying to improve their reading skills.
Note: Word Wise works best with a strong Wi-Fi connection. It failed to work for me on mobile data.
7. Do More with Dictionary
You can look for the meaning of words using the built-in dictionary. In order to get this feature, you will have to download the Dictionary first. After you've installed it, long-press on a word and a box will appear with the meaning of the word. You can click on the dictionary and get the full definition of the word.
It also offers Wikipedia and Translate options and for more information if you just swipe right.
8. Know Your Book
The app adds a new About This Book section that helps you learn more about the book you're currently reading. You'll have to tap the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) in the top-left corner. This will present a menu with several tabs, including About This Book.
This feature offers additional information about the author as well. It also includes popular highlights from fellow Kindle users.
I found this small addition quite useful as you get more information about the author and the book before you actually start reading it.
Put Your Reading Glasses on!
It's time to get comfy and enjoy your favorite book with the newly updated Kindle app. These new features will surely assist you to reach your reading goals. Do you read ebooks on your smartphone or do you prefer a Kindle? Let us know.