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Kindle for iOS Updated With New Accessibility Features

kindle-icon1There’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


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Super Alexio May 1, 2013 um 12:27 pm

Glad to hear they are making accessibility improvements, but not very many features on there for me.

I shop on my Kindle DX if I know what I want is in the store, but never in my Google tablet, and never through the Kindle app on my computer.

I don’t rate or review. (I decide I like it before buying, I only do word of mouth recommendations)

I don’t use notes or bookmarks. (I read fiction, primarily, so no need for notes. I don’t bookmark passages to reread, and it already remembers where I’m reading)
I don’t use "customer-favorite features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing on Facebook and Twitter."
I never look up words in the dictionary or Wikipedia while using the Kindle or the Kindle app. (I’ve got a decent vocabulary – I’m over 50, and I’ve been reading for 90% of my life)

So best wishes to those that need the assistance, but the rest of this is just cruft to me…

Jmnlman May 1, 2013 um 10:12 pm

As a visually impaired user delighted about this update. Amazon’s decision to rollover and allow publishers to opt out of the text to speech aspect of the Kindle made it useless. Since major publishers as a matter of course switched it off. But it appears like VoiceOver even works on books where it’s not activated. Wonderful move.

La aplicación de Kindle se actualiza sólo para iOS May 2, 2013 um 7:22 am

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