Amazon has released an update to Kindle for Android that introduces features tailored to the larger form factor of tablets.
New features of Kindle for Android include:
- Improved newspaper and magazine layout including full color images
- Ability to pause and resume download at any time
- Ability to lock the tablet orientation so that you don't swap from portrait to landscape unintentionally
- Enhanced word look-up capability (for Android-based phones and tablets) with built-in dictionary with over 250,000 entries and definitions.
- Integrated shopping experience giving you quick access to Amazon site for its features such as personalized recommendations and customer reviews.
The other feature that is common to all Kindle apps is Whispersync - giving you synchronized access to Kindle books you already have on other devices so that you never need lose the place you've got to in a book and can read them on your Kindle, your smartphone, your tablet and your PC.
Although the press release refers to the Motorola Xoom and Honeycomb the update only requires Android 2.1
On downloading this version from the Android Market, I-Programmer's Lucy Black said:
I'm glad I took the time (around 5 minutes) to locate, download and install this to my Android 2.1 tablet. In many ways it's a better reading experience than on my original (2009) Kindle. Just seeing the book covers in color is good and I would now be tempted to purchase a magazine.
However, it won't be replacing my Kindle - which wins on two counts - it's long battery life (at least a week) and its screen which makes it possible to read outdoors even in bright sunshine.
There have been complaints about the lack of apps targeting Android tablets, which have seemed a bit unjustified given that the promised avalanche of new hardware is yet to materialize. Let's hope this one is just the first of many to kindle our enthusiasm and encourage developers to target this platform.
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