Yesterday, Amazon upgraded its newer generation of Kindle tablets with the release of an updated version of its mobile operating system, Fire OS, and today the company is extending similar updates to its Kindle Paperwhite devices. Amazon announced this morning that the new software update for Paperwhite tablets will introduce deeper Goodreads integration and support for Kindle FreeTime, among other things. The FreeTime parental control software, instead of focused on locking down a tablet’s apps and games, will now help parents set reading goals for kids and track their progress.
Amazon has been steadily working to build the social community for readers, Goodreads, more deeply into its Kindle devices in recent months. As with yesterday’s release of Fire OS 3.1, Paperwhite devices will now also allow for things like sharing your favorite passages and quotes from a Kindle book to Goodreads, without having to launch a browser, for example. Goodreads users can also see what books are popular, trending among friends, and can rate or review books upon completion.
For parents who bought school-aged children a Paperwhite to encourage a focus on reading, the introduction of Kindle FreeTime will be an added plus, as it lets them now set daily reading goals for kids, pick out books for kids, and keep track of the child’s progress. Kids can also earn achievement badges for reading milestones – like 1,000 pages read, for example – which is something parents could choose to award for more directly, in whatever system they use in their own household – like additional allowance, extra screen time, or contributions toward a larger gift, perhaps.
Also new with this release are Cloud Collections, which again, like the Kindle Fire OS update, include the ability for users to organize their books, magazines and newspapers in groups that sync between devices over Amazon’s Whispersync technology.
The updated software is being rolled out now via an over-the-air software update over the next few weeks, or Kindle owners can download it for themselves here.