|Electronic reading devices that you can take anywhere and read your favorite books||Mobile, desktop and web apps for reading, managing and converting electronic books||Online sites and communities where you can find and share books of publish your own|
Amazon has released a new firmware update for any Kindle made in the past five years. In-book search now includes results from your notes and highlights and a clock now appears at the top of the screen when you are reading a book. You can disable it in the settings menu. Update 5.9.4 should be pushed out to all Kindles within the next few days and it will will automatically install it when the device is in sleep mode. You will likely notice a reboot next time you use it, along with a notification window that advises you of the new changes.
Scribd has reintroduced an unlimited audiobook and ebook subscription system. It allows people to read as many ebooks, magazine, newspapers, sheet music and audiobooks every month they remain a subscriber. Casual readers who make read a few books a month from major publishers will find the Scribd service compelling. Power readers on the other hand will find themselves throttled, and I don’t mean physically strangled. After a person has read an arbitrary number of titles they will no longer have access to the entire Scribd catalog and instead will only be able to read from a limited list. But the exact number of books someone has to read before their catalog becomes limited is unknown. Amazon Kindle Unlimited is the primary competition of Scribd, but it is only available in select countries and does not carry many titles from major publishers.
AlfaNetSoft has released the new version of its software that allows to manage Kindle books and collections - Kindlian 4. It provides the new way to manage Kindle library. The new idea is that you manage the library only on PC, while use Kindle only for reading. So it basically works like iTunes for your e-reader. When you first connect Kindle to Kindlian it backups all your books to computer. You can easily create collections and add books to them with drag-n-drop interface. Collections are not synced from Kindle because, according to the developers, Amazon doesn't let third-party software access the collections file. But you can arrange and rearrange collections in seconds thanks to various options for viewing, sorting and searching books. Besides, new Kindlian contains built-in reader (for previewing non-DRM books on PC) and converter (for converting non-Kindle books to MOBI format). Having your full library on computer, you can delete most books and collections from Kindle and leave there just a couple of books that you reading now.
Google Play store now features audiobooks. The new audiobooks feature is launching in 45 countries and nine languages. Like on similar platforms, you can hear a preview of the audiobook on the Play Store and audiobooks are automatically part of your family library, so you can easily share your audiobook copy of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” with everybody in your household. One nifty feature here is the integration with the Google Assistant on your phone and on Google Home. Using this integration, you can simply ask the assistant to read you your book and it’ll do that. You can also ask some basic questions about the book (“Who is the author?”). Google’s pricing looks to be competitive with similar offerings from Amazon.
The entry level 8th generation Kindle and first generation Amazon Kindle Oasis both received firmware updates that allow users to purchase and listen to Audible audiobooks with bluetooth headphones. There is a new feature when are you browsing the Kindle bookstore to switch over to Audible and there is a series of images hyping up the new bookstore. If you are an Audible subscriber, any audiobook that you used your monthly credits on are automatically synced into your Kindle’s library. The built in audiobook player is robust. You can skip forward or ahead fifteen seconds or change the pitch level. While listening to an audiobook, the Oasis displays how much time is left in a chapter and has software driven volume button. There is a bluetooth notification on the bottom of the screen that tells you what device you have paired the Oasis with, or instructs you how to connect a pair of headphones or a wireless speaker.
Kindle Create is a new free conversion tool that aimed to be “push of a button” easy when it comes to generating a polished, formatted ebook. It works much in the same way that Microsoft Word does, offering authors a comfortable, familiar system for adding touches like formatting themes and tables of contents. Now, Kindle Create is out of beta and available to all authors. The design lets you work straight from your Word doc and preview the finished product without having to go through the conversion process. Rather than a process or dashboard for your publishing needs, this software works on your desktop and lets you manipulate your file as much as you need to before the upload process. Once you take the finished document to the KDP dashboard, you’ll still have the ability to convert it to a MOBI file. Even better, Kindle Create lets you format a “print replica” ebook for a professional look and feel.
Barnes and Noble has just released their first new e-reader in two years and it is called the Nook Glowlight 3. This device has a number of innovative features such as the page turn buttons that can skip ahead a chapter with a double tap or rapidly turn the pages of an e-book by holding it down. It also the first Nook to incorporate a comfortlight system that mutes the white screen and turns it orange. Nook Glowlight 3 is running Google Android, similar to all of their other e-readers. It has a very advanced front-lit display system. One of the best elements on the new Nook are the physical buttons. There are two page turn buttons on both the left and right hand side. The main Nook Reading app is well designed and page turn speed is super quick and Copy/Paste text into the note app is innovative.
Audible Romance is a new unlimited subscription program that gives users access to thousands of audiobook titles. Listeners will be able to instantly see a romance title’s level of steaminess. It gives listeners access to 41 micro-categories and 131 story and character tropes that will allow listeners to explore deep into the catalog in fun ways and discover the romance titles that most appeal to their interests. Each micro-category will have its own browse page, and listeners can enjoy audio samples from each title included before diving into the full story. Audible Romance costs $6.95 per month as an add-on to an Audible membership. The price is $14.95 per month as a standalone service.
Amazon released a new version of Kindle for iOS and Android, featuring a redesign, much deeper Goodreads integration and persistent search. Goodreads, the social reading network Amazon snapped up back in 2013, has been offered up in bits and pieces through the Kindle mobile app, but here it’s essentially given its own separate tab, bringing most of the Goodreads standalone app’s features to the interface. That means getting friends’ updates, adding people, rating books and the like. The UI also gets an overhaul. Things have lightened up quite a bit, with a new, white background that features a darkening gradient as it pushes out toward the edge of the page, to mimic the oxidation effect that old books undergo.
Instaread, the iOS app that lets busy people get key insights from the most sought-after nonfiction books in 15 minutes and $7.99 per month, now allows to purchase the full length audiobook titles within the app. This is a huge competitive advantage over Audible, which doesn’t sell content directly in on their iPhone or iPad app.