Amazon this morning has rolled out an updated version of its Kindle app for iOS users which now offers readers a number of new features, including integration with Amazon acquisition Goodreads, personalized book suggestions, and, for those who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, access to over 700,000 titles in the app, among other additions. The update follows the upgrade of the Kindle software itself in November, which also introduced Goodreads integration and other changes affecting those who own the Amazon Kindle e-reader hardware devices.
One of the more interesting features among today’s updates is the integration with Goodreads, Amazon’s social network for sharing reading progress, highlights, quotes, reviews and ratings, with a network of fellow readers on the service, as well as with friends on larger social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Now readers are able to rate and review books on Goodreads in the app from the “Before You Go” screen at the end of the book, says Amazon.
The other notable item is the addition of the Book Browser for iPad users, which introduces a way for Amazon customers who subscribe to the Kindle Unlimited service to browse titles and then begin reading immediately. That’s kind of a big deal for Kindle users – historically, Amazon has avoided sharing a portion of its revenues with Apple by disallowing any option to buy books in the app. Instead, users have had to shop on Amazon directly, then sync titles to their respective mobile apps after buying a book. But because Kindle Unlimited is an all-you-can-eat subscription service – $9.99/month for its library of 700.000+ and thousands of audiobooks – there’s no need to limit those users from searching for books then instantly begin to read them.
However, Amazon notes that Kindle Unlimited subscribers cannot sign up for the service in the iOS app – they have to visit the website amazon.com/kindleunlimited instead.
Another feature arriving today in the app is a new welcome experience where users can select their favorite genres and rate books they’ve read and want to read in order to receive personalized recommendations of books to try. Powered by Goodreads, these suggestions have proven to be a bit hit-or-miss in the past, but it’s at least a step in the right direction for how this sort of personalized recommendation data can be used. If you find a book you might like by way of this feature, you’re able to download a free sample in the app, too.
Also new: book details can now be viewed by long-pressing on a book cover in the library, which Amazon says was a customer request, audiobooks can play before they finish downloading, and a “Next in Series” feature will let you learn about the next title and add it to your wish list when you finish reading the preceding book in a series.
The updated app is out now on iTunes.