Category Archives: books

Amazon integrates Audible audiobooks directly into Kindle mobile apps

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Amazon announced today that it’s integrating the Audible audiobook service it purchased back in 2008 directly into the Kindle apps for both iOS and Android. After installing a free update landing today for the apps, users will be able to listen to Audible audio books without ever having to leave the app.

“We continue to hear from a growing number of Whispersync for Voice converts who tell us the innovation has profoundly changed the way they read—in fact, switching back and forth between reading and listening has become their preferred way of experiencing stories,” said Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz. “And the feature has gotten easier and easier to use, as this exciting integration into Kindle apps attests.”

The service is an extension of the Whispersync for Voice feature that Amazon recently launched. That feature allowed users to switch “seamlessly” between reading and listening but required users to have both the Kindle and Audible apps. With the updated Kindle apps, users will be able to get narrations for 45,000 Kindle books and growing as well as purchase Audible upgrades for previously purchased Amazon Kindle books ranging from $1 to $4. The audio and text versions of the book will stay in-sync, pages turn automatically, and narration includes a x2 speed mode and sleep timer option. The best part is that you won’t be pulled out of Kindle and into the Audible app now when switching between text and audio. 

The update includes other new features too, including: improvements to the X-Ray reference tool for textbooks and the ability to download an entire collection with a single tap. A full list of new features is below.

The updated Kindle app for iPhone and iPad is available on the App Store now.

What’s New in Version 4.3

Listen to Audible audiobooks! Customers owning both the Kindle and Audible versions of a title can now listen to the audiobook right in the Kindle app.

Now you can use the Kindle app to switch back and forth between reading a Kindle book comfortably at home and listening to the story while driving to work.

Additional Features Include:
•Access to more than 45,000 Kindle/Audible title pairs, including best sellers
• Find audiobooks compatible with items in your Kindle library – audiobooks are delivered by Audible, an Amazon company
• Whispersync for Voice automatically synchronizes reading progress between the Audible and Kindle versions of a book
• Read and listen to a Kindle book at the same time; pages turn automatically
• Narration speeds up to 2x and a sleep timer
• Download an entire collection – gives customers the ability to download an entire collection with the tap of a button, making it easier for readers to download in bulk and load their favorite books on a new iOS device
• Students can now find terms that are in X-Ray for Textbooks by using search – occurrences in X-Ray are shown right above occurrences in the book
• Finding where an X-Ray term occurs on a textbook page is now easier – tap a page thumbnail in the X-Ray feature and you will see the term highlighted in the page of the book
• Performance and stability improvements


Filed under: Apps Tagged: Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Audible, audio books, books, e-books, Kindle, listening, Reading

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Apple book authors talk about the ‘nonsense’ you can find in their books [Video]

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This nonsense belongs with some of the other books I’ve read about Apple. It fails to capture Apple, Steve, or anyone else in the company.  —  Tim Cook on Yukari Kane’s Haunted Empire

Take it from someone who would know: Apple CEO Tim Cook has declared Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs, a book that seeks to dispel the idea that Apple can maintain its identity after losing its founder, to be “nonsense.” But Cook went beyond even that claim, noting that the term applied to a wide selection of books about the company.

Even so, the authors of three such books of “nonsense” gathered for a Churchill Club panel in which they discussed their views on Apple through the lens of the “nonsense” stories contained in their books, as well as some more recent developments spearheaded by your good friends here at 9to5Mac. The panel consists of Yukari Kane, Cult of Mac‘s Leander Kahney, and WIRED‘s Fred Vogelstein.

The complete video of the event is an hour and a half long and moves from a moderated discussion of Apple’s past, present, and future into an audience-driven Q&A session, which can help provide some new context for the stories found in the books. But hey, if a busy man like Tim Cook can read 700 emails in a day and still find time to read these “nonsense” books, you can probably find time to watch the entire video, which is embedded below:


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: books, nonsense

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Kindle for iOS updated with new flashcard feature, dictionary redesign, more

Starting off the new year with new features and improvements, Amazon updated its Kindle app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch today to version 4.1.

The update brings new features to users like the ability to create flash cards from text books for studying. This feature essentially creates bookmarks outside of the content for reviewing information on specific characters, places, or topics, and uses data from Wikipedia as part of Kindle’s X-Ray feature.

The update also includes a number of requested features and performance enhancements (full change log below).

What’s New in Version 4.1

Kindle for iOS Version 4.1 brings new features to students (flashcards), multiple improvements to the reading experience based on customer feedback, and stability & performance improvements.

NEW to Students

• Flashcards (print replica textbooks only): Students can now convert important terms from the X-Ray for Textbooks feature or their notes and highlights into flashcard sets for studying. Students can keep track of concepts or terms that have been mastered and those that need more practice, allowing them to improve their recall of the subject.

• Improved in-book search: Search in print replica textbooks is now faster and more powerful. Search terms based on the words in the book are suggested to students as they type. Results are almost instantaneous. Students will love the speed and convenience.

NEW to Readers

● Notebook Filters: Readers can now easily filter bookmarks, notes, highlights, and even specific colored highlights, making annotations much easier to find. Customers can also navigate directly to the annotated passages for context.

● Page Footers: Readers can now see page numbers or time left in book on the lower left page footer. Readers can switch between page #, time left in book or a blank footer by simply tapping on the text or empty area. A setting is available to turn off the page footer.

● X-Ray Update: Readers who want to go deeper into the story will appreciate the updated experience. X-Ray characters and terms can now be sorted by relevance, alphabetically, or in order of appearance in the book.

● Dictionary Redesign: The Dictionary Interface has been updated for iOS7 and makes it easier for customers to switch between alternate language and purchased dictionaries.

● Stability and Performance Improvements

NEW to the Library – Collections multi edit capability

● Collections Refinements: From the library view, customers can now see which collections a book already belongs to and can add to or remove from multiple collections using multi edit. Readers will find it easier to manage their collections.

Download the app or grab the update for free on the App Store.


Filed under: Apps Tagged: Amazon, Amazon Kindle, books, ebooks, flashcards, Kindle, Kindle for iOS, Kindle for iPad, Kindle for iPhone, Reading, studying, text books, Wikipedia

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