Kindle for PC Updated – Adds New Features from Kindle Touch

Kindle for PC Updated - Adds New Features from Kindle Touch Amazon e-Reading Software
click to enlarge

Amazon uploaded a new update for  K4PC (and OSX) in the past few days, and this is definitely one that you want to get.

The app now has support for the same 5 languages as the iPad app and the K4 (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese). And like I've said before, I think this means that Amazon will open local Kindle Stores in the latter 3 markets. (BTW, there is no local Kindle Store in Spain yet. Go look before you say there is.)

Kindle for PC Updated - Adds New Features from Kindle Touch Amazon e-Reading Software
click to enlarge

The language support is interesting, but that's not best part. Back when the new Kindles were unveiled, one of the much hyped features for the Kobo Touch was new support for getting  background info from Shelfari. Depending on the title, you could find anywhere from a couple brief entries on a book to a whole annotated bibliography with a book summary, character bios, plot description, and more.

Given that this is going to be on the new Kindle Touch, I thought everyone would want to try it themselves.  The academic value should be obvious, but I also love the feature because I am in information junky. I like to wander through Wikipedia at random, and simply jump from article to related article.

As you can see from the screen shots, you can find the Shelfari search under the more option (along with Google, Wikipedia, and dictionary). Curiously enough, it does not appear to need an active internet connection. I had heard that Kindle ebooks were supposed to have a new sidecar file with this info; it looks like that was correct.

Speaking of the sidecar files, I can now see a couple new ones: PHL and APNX. I've been told that the APNX is used for the real page numbers, so the PHL likely holds the Shelfari info.

Amazon bought Shelfari in 2008, and I wonder if this is why they did it. The Kindle now offers metadata on ebooks which cannot be found on any other platform and that gives Amazon a subtle but decided advantage over the competition.

Do you recall how Kobo keep adding more social reading features? Well, Amazon add more straight  reading features and I find that so much more appealing. I'm sure lots of other readers will agree.

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Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

7 Comments

  1. anon11 October, 2011

    The .phl file holds information about popular highlights.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder11 October, 2011

      Thanks, Amazon person!

      Reply
  2. Syn11 October, 2011

    Any idea of K3 Keyboard will get the Shellfari feature, or do I have to upgrade to get it? That could be a useful feature. Now if only Amazon would buy Goodreads.com and implement it into the Kindle Fire someway..

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder12 October, 2011

      The K4 doesn’t have this feature, so I’m not sure the K3 will get it.

      Reply
  3. Sweetpea12 October, 2011

    Doesn’t sound like an upgrade I *must* get… I never understood that hype of “social reading” at all. And if I want to go to wikipedia on my PC, I’ll simply open a browser…

    Reply
  4. […] have a “black flash” screen refresh each six pages, instead of every page.  3) As Nate the Great reports, there are also updates for Kindle for Mac and PC . They add Shelfari data to books, as […]

    Reply
  5. […] been just over 3 weeks since the Kindle for PC app was last updated, and today Amazon released a new version of the Kindle for OSX app that adds all the same […]

    Reply

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