Amazon on Wednesday announced that its Kindle apps for Android and iOS have received improvements with a free software update. The biggest new change that Amazon is touting is the listening experience for audiobooks, which now lets users 'switch instantly' between reading a Kindle book and listening to its companion audiobook from Audible.
Specifically, Whispersync for Voice lets users start reading Kindle books in one location, and continue listening to the corresponding audiobook when on the move. A use case given by Amazon is users reading Kindle books while they are at home, and then switching to listening to the audiobook when on their commute to work.
The online retail giant and publisher adds that professional narration is available for more than 45,000 Kindle books. Users can check if their Kindle books have a companion audiobook using Matchmaker, which scans users' Kindle libraries to find companion Audible versions. Audio upgrades to Kindle books are available for as little as $0.99, says Amazon.
"We're working hard to help customers find more moments each day to enjoy a great book," said Russ Grandinetti, Senior Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "Integrating professional narration into our Kindle apps means you never have to put down a favourite book-start reading at home, get in the car and simply tap a button to continue listening without losing your place."
"We continue to hear from a growing number of Whispersync for Voice converts who tell us the innovation has profoundly changed the way they read-in fact, switching back and forth between reading and listening has become their preferred way of experiencing stories," said Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz. "And the feature has gotten easier and easier to use, as this exciting integration into Kindle apps attests."