New update for the free Kindle for Android app - v220.127.116.11
The Amazon Kindle for Android updates:
· New design and user interface: Apparently many customers have told Amazon that they really like the User Interface (UI) of the Kindle Fire, as find it easy to access and navigate the content on the tablet.
Amazon has extended that design to Kindle for Android by
1. optimizing the Kindle Store for tablets
2. improving the library interface
3. redesigning the home screen, which includes the Carousel option for recent items), and
4. simplifying navigation through the app.
· Easy access to samples: To help customers new to Kindle or Kindle apps get started, Amazon is making samples of many of the best sellers very easy to find; the samples will be on the home screen of their Kindle app.
More info is at the Kindle for Android details page.
From Google Play store's What's New page
What's in this version:
• Redesigned library experience.
• Carousel displays recent items on the Kindle app home screen.
• Navigation panel organizes content for quick access to your Books, Documents, and Newsstand periodicals.
• Browse all your items in the Cloud or just the content downloaded on your Android device.
• Explore and download popular samples in the Kindle Store.
• Fixed a crash some customers reported.
Contributor Tom Semple weighed in early
This guy is the Kindle world's intrepid explorer and is everywhere.
Tom has given permission to quote what he's found so far (I'm just late getting to it, and I saw reports that some are finding that the Table of Contents can be balky under the new update and that customer service has said they are aware of that and are working on it).
Here's Tom: (Bracketed entries are mine.)
' Kindle for Android finally has a version of the 'Cloud/Device' pattern found on Kindles and Kindle apps, with Recent added to Sort options. Very welcome. [Yay!]
As usual, there's also an experiment: an item called 'Popular Samples' brings up a list of 25 samples that we are to believe are popular (and hopefully not some manipulation on the part of Amazon to direct us to certain books).
[They say they're from the already "best sellers.]
The Kindle Store experience has been greatly improved as well. There's also a Carousel view, which thankfully one does not need to use. [ ] Now, if only they'd add TTS [Text-to-Speech], I would use the app a little more (which I try to do anyway on the assumption that Amazon updates the apps that are used the most).
By my count there are at least 3 features unique to Kindle for Android:
- Voice search
- Send To Kindle (shows up as a Sharing option with a number of other Android apps)
- Popular Samples'
Thanks, Tom. I use Google Voice search a lot on my Samsung S2 phone and on my 10" Galaxy tablet which I hardly use anymore since I am spoiled by the HD display of the KFires.
Although we're talking about Kindle for Android and NOT Kindle Fire apps, I just tested my Google Voice app on my Kindle Fire anyway (I downloaded the app from 1mobile.com long ago) and it works really well. This is just my usual, confusing side note.
I use Dolphin browser (for its Flash support) on the KFire and when I brought up google search, I touched the side "||" mark to get the Menu on the side and tapped the Star to get Favorites while still using Dolphin browser Then I tapped 'Voice' and once I did that, the mic icon showed and asked me to say what I wanted and I said, "a kindle world" and it gave me a short list of what I might have said to the mic. I tapped the correct item and then Dolphin browser took over, and the Google links to the blog showed up. Can we say 'insular' ? But Google Voice is so smooth -- both on pure Android devices (the topic of this blog article) and even on the Kindle Fire.
BACK to the topic of Kindle for Android devices
The user reviews for the Kindle for Android app at Google play store are an interesting read. Excerpts from the first few on the top (the most recent):
. Wow, great app to read book - Also, the dictionary is very good as some people mentioned. Great work, Amazon!That was just the first three showing right now, and you have to click on 'more' to read the rest.
. BETTER NOW...The app's interface is much cleaner and modern now.[He mentions it has List View and that you don't have to use the Carousel. You can just open the slider on the left, tap books and at the top right, toggle list view or grid view.]. Best of the DRM readers [Loves the new Recent reads and the Carousel, as well as "the whole new layout. Good job!"]
The 2nd page notes some things people want it to do (like TTS].
Also, it's evident that the phone users are less ecstatic about how the layout fits on the smaller screens -- some of it is optimized for tablets. Table of Contents links are too close to the edge on some devices, so you might turn back a page instead of going to the chapter selected. Amazon is working on fixes for any glitches with the table of contents.
Things to watch for:
Reading progress was reset in a few cases.
Some don't realize the Carousel is an option and that you can choose between List and Grid views.
A mix of really happy and really unhappy reactions :-) depending on the devices.
AND, at the Amazon app store, here are the reviews sorted by most recent date so that you can see what people are finding - positive and negative - about the update.
5-star ratings are most evident, but with a few who experienced problems. You should view these to see what experiences are for the pure-Android device(s) you own. Again, customer support says they ARE working on an update for the glitches that occur in the Table of Contents for some.
Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
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