There's a new update out today for the Kindle app for iPhone and iPad, and it's going to make the app much more accessible to the visually impaired.
The app has been redesigned so it works better with the VoiceOver feature included in iOS. According to the press release this is going to make it "easier than ever for blind and visually impaired customers to navigate their Kindle libraries, read and interact with their books, and more".
While VoiceOver is built into iOS and can work with most apps, the only apps that work with it by design are the ones that Apple releases. Other app developers sometimes have to design their apps so the app interfaces better with VoiceOver. Based on the list of new features I would bet that Amazon has spent quite a bit of time on this:
- Seamlessly navigate within their library or within a book, with consistent title, menu and button names; navigate to a specific page within a book and sort books in the library by author or title.
- Read character-by-character, word-by-word, line-by-line, or continuously, as well as move forward or backward in the text.
- Search for a book within their library or search within their book and navigate to specific text.
- Add and delete notes, bookmarks, and highlights.
- Use customer-favorite features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing on Facebook and Twitter.
- Look up words in the dictionary and Wikipedia.
- Customize the reading experience including changing the font, text size, background color, margin, and brightness.
- Use iOS accessibility features like Zoom, Assistive Touch, and Stereo to Mono, as well as peripheral braille displays.
But that's not all that the new features included in the update. Readers will also find new options for suggested activities in the ‘Before you go...’ menu. This menu will now be available as an option under the Goto menu, and readers can use it to rate the ebook they're reading, download samples of related ebooks, and send themselves email reminders about recommended books.
This update also includes a new font for Japanese text.
- Accessibility features make it easier for blind and visually impaired customers to navigate their Kindle libraries, read & interact with books, and more. Enable VoiceOver in your device settings to begin.
- Easily rate and review books by accessing ‘Before you go...’ directly from The ‘Go to’ menu
- Enhancements to ‘Before you go…’ including the ability to download a free sample and email yourself a reminder about recommended books.
- Additional Font Selection for Japan - Hiragino Mincho ProN (Serif)
Bug Fixes/Stability improvements