New Amazon Kindles to come loaded with new software
6th Sep 2012 | 21:31
Kindle Fire HDs and Kindle Paperwhite will introduce a host of new features
In case you somehow missed the news, Amazon announced a handful of new Kindle devices Thursday.
Additionally, Amazon introduced a brand-new ereader, the Kindle Paperwhite.
As impressive as all of these new and revamped devices are, Amazon has gone above and beyond when it comes to the new features and software included with their amped up Kindle line-up.
Big upgrades coming to X-Ray
When the revamped Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD arrive, they'll be stocked with a bunch of Kindle-exclusive features.
Chief among the upgrades all Fire devices will get is a massive upgrade to the X-Ray software.
Previously introduced on the Kindle Touch, X-Ray will now be incorporated for movies, books, and textbooks.
With a simple tap, users can find out about any actor in a given scene with help from IMDb, or search a glossary of a text without ever leaving the page they're on.
Whispersync for audiobooks and games
Not to be outdone, Whispersync fans will also find the reach of that feature boosted quite a bit.
While you could already use Whispersync to keep your place in a book across multiple Kindle devices in the past, Amazon expanded the virtual bookmark to work with audiobooks and games as well.
When reading, Whispersync for Voice allows you to leave off wherever you want, and pick up from the same point in the narrated version, or even read along with the audiobook.
The gaming version of Whispersync works in a similar manner, allowing you to resume play from any device thanks to cloud saving.
The Kindle Fire devices will see the benefits of all the Whispersync improvements, while the Kindle Paperwhite will utilize Whispersync for Voice.
Add with that "Immersion Reading," a partnership between Amazon and Audible to sync sight and sound while perusing narratives, and you have an all encompassing reading experience. The feature highlights text as its "professionally read aloud.
Monitor your child's tablet time with Kindle FreeTime
Parents can now screen content for their children, as well as setting time limits on how long they'll be able to access the Kindle Fire tablets.
Each and every feature on the Kindle Fire can be limited separately, which allows you to put a stop to endless hours of gaming, but also lets you set the reading abilities to unlimited.
Multiple profiles can be set up for households with more than one child, and FreeTime won't allow kids to expand beyond the limitations you've set without a password.
Never lose touch with custom Skype
Skype has teamed up with Amazon to create a customized version of their app for the Kindle Fire HD.
With its front-facing camera, the Kindle Fire HD is ideal for on-the-go video messaging right out of the box.
The service will of course remain free, which should come as no surprise to frequent Skype users, but as an added benefit for new users.
Check speed with Time to Read
Coming to the Kindle Paperwhite is a new built-in feature called Time to Read.
Time to Read will let you know how long it will take you to finish a chapter or a book based on its measurements of your previous reading habits.
The feature constantly updates alongside you, and will allow you to better estimate whether or not you have time to finish a chapter, or pick it back up later.
New hand-tuned fonts enhance Paperwhite typography
The Kindle Paperwhite's new display will not only be readable in all light, but it will also have hand-tuned fonts for even better reading.
Amazon has worked on the fonts the device will use down to the pixel level, which should give readers an unprecedented amount of clarity no matter where or what they're reading.
All the hard work on fine-tuning fonts has also allowed Amazon to include fancier fonts such as Baskerville and Palatino, which were so fine and thin, they were previously often hard to read legibly on an ereader.
The new HD family comes fully loaded with an upgraded email system, Microsoft Exchange. Amazon's touting the fact the email service will sync newer emails before older ones, allowing for quicker access time.
Email support is available for Gmail, Exchange, Hotmail and, Amazon says, more.
There's also an enhanced calendar app.