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Kindle for Android Update Adds KF8 Support – Comics, Improved Formatting, & More

Amazon just gave us a very nice present today.

They rolled out another update today for the Kindle Android app, and it’s a good one. The official announcement mentions that you can now email docs your Kindle and have them archived in the Kindle Cloud, just like you can do with the iPad app or the Kindles. The update even enables the app to back up your notes to the Kindle Cloud.

You can even read the new Kindle Fire only digital comics on the Android, but that’s not all this update adds. It also has at least partial support for KF8.

Okay, the new comics support should have told you that, but I took some time to test the new app. I can confirm that it has support for at least some of the rest of KF8.

I tested a couple of the demo files I uploaded back in December. I can see evidence of complex formatting like that found in 3 Men in  Boat. The text wraps around the images and the drop caps work. But I’m also not sure quite how complete the KF8 support is. One of the demo files I uploaded has an embedded font and that doesn’t seem to be working completely.

Still, this is very good news.

On a related note, now might be a good time to introduce you to someone.  I know an author who has been teaching himself about KF8 since it launched, including stuff about KF8 fixed layout and some of the subtle tricks built into the format. Recently he has started posting demo files on his blog. His name is R. Scot Johns, and you can find his blog here.

I’ve known about him for a couple weeks know, but between one conference and another I hadn’t had a chance to mention him. I’m glad I waited.

Google Play

Amazon Appstore

P.S. Here’s the email that Amazon has bee sending out to the press, in case you’re interested:

Amazon just updated Kindle for Android. The update brings access to illustrated children’s books, comic books, and graphic novels with full color and beautiful illustrations. You can access over 1000 children’s titles such as Brown Bear and Curious George along with popular comics including Batman, Superman and many more.

You can also now email personal documents to your “Send-to-Kindle” email address and the documents will be delivered to Kindle for Android and automatically archived in the Amazon Cloud where they will be available for re-download. Just like Kindle books, Whispersync automatically syncs your notes, highlights and last page read for personal documents. Kindle for Android is available for free from the Amazon Appstore for Android and Google Play.

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fjtorres March 22, 2012 um 7:38 pm

Any word on the size of the Apk?
Might it fit on the T1?

Nate Hoffelder March 22, 2012 um 7:59 pm

Amazon says the file is 13.5MB in size, so probably not.

fjtorres March 22, 2012 um 8:46 pm

Yeow! Definitely not.

Mike Cane March 23, 2012 um 6:46 am

What about the rooted Nook Touch?

Mike Cane March 23, 2012 um 6:49 am

Does the Android app now have parity with the iOS app?

I’m beginning to wonder now if Bezos is planning for a post-eInk reader landscape. Why else give third party hardware the capabilities of his hardware? Can the eInk readers do anything the apps can’t now? What about Xray? Maybe people aren’t using Xray that much with eInk (it’s not available for the $79 Basic anyway, and the 3KB never had it)? I wonder if we’ll see all the Kindle models collapse to just one next year.

Nate Hoffelder March 23, 2012 um 9:08 am

X-ray and language support are about the only features I can think of that the apps don’t have.

fjtorres March 23, 2012 um 12:32 pm

Not likely.
Sales would have to drop too much for them to go to one model.

As for post-eink, let’s not forget the apps have been out almost as long as the gadgets and they have generally stayed in reasonably close sync feature-wise.
As we all know, Kindle is a bookselling platform first and foremost and it serves no purpose for Amazon to sell KF8 books that aren’t readable on *all* their apps.

Luis Z March 23, 2012 um 11:14 am

No luck in our front. I heard Amazon upped the version requirements to Android OS 2.2+. Nook has version 2.1.

Mike Cane March 23, 2012 um 7:33 pm

Ouch. That’s right. I remember reading that recently but forgot in the early morning.

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