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Kindle for iPad, iPhone Updated

kindle itunes logoAmazon rolled out a minor update today for the Kindle app for iOS, adding a couple minor tweaks which readers will appreciate.

Neither of the improvements today are a major change, and they won’t be available for all ebooks, but it will still be nice to have them.

Update the app and you’ll find that the TOC for some ebooks has been moved into the left menu panel (from wherever it was inside the ebook), and that the X-Ray feature has been integrated into the search function.

The TOC tweak is going to make it easier to navigate; the Kindle iOS app lacks a back button so simply looking at the TOC before meant I lost my place in the ebook. And thanks to the changes to the X-Ray feature, it’s now as accessible as looking up a term in the dictionary, Wikipedia, or Google. This will be nice should I ever pick up the next volume of Game of Thrones series (not likely).

You can find the app in iTunes.

Update: I’m wrong in saying that the app lacks a back button; there is a button but apparently I can’t get it to work reliably.

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Mary April 23, 2014 um 10:55 am

The Kindle iOS app has always had a back button. If you have gone away from where you want to be, tap the middle of the screen. Down to the left of the progress bar is an arrow. Tap that and you will be taken back to where you were. This is how I have always gotten back to the table of contents, especially in cook books in the iPad.

Nate Hoffelder April 23, 2014 um 11:07 am

Well this is odd: It’s not working for me.

Thanks for the correction, though.

Sturmund Drang April 23, 2014 um 10:13 pm

And the old man whines again.

Am I the only person on the planet who doesn’t understand why I should want an app that MUST be reinstalled periodically so that I can enjoy the products I’ve already bought? Where’s the justification in that? Why does everyone put up with it? Really? I’m supposed to pay for books, close enough to what paper would have cost me, so that I can only read them for a year and then have to upgrade my app, and agree to whatever terms are unilaterally thrust at me just so I can keep reading them? Why? For what purpose? Can you show me ANY other product or service sold like this? I must be off my meds.

Tom Semple April 24, 2014 um 1:37 am

The TOC (or NCX) navigator has been long in coming.

Note this is a feature that has been in virtually every ePub reading app for years, and is different than the hyperlinked TOC that one has had to rely on previously. It is still a little deficient because it should have some indication of your current reading position in the navigation list, if only to use bold or a different color to represent the 'current' chapter, just as maps posted at a particular location will have a 'you are here' pointer. Somehow this obvious (and common in other reading systems) refinement escaped the designers of this feature (similarly for the Android app which recently got NCX navigator).

But it is still welcome.

The 'back' button is there, and it works. It’s a tiny circle with '<' inside. But it won't do anything unless you have 'jumped' somewhere during the current reading session (by hyperlink, TOC, note/bookmark etc.). They really should grey it out if there's no such 'history'. On a Kindle it does a little more, and will return you to contexts that preceded the reading session.

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