Amazon has updates its Kindle app for Windows RT/8. The update includes a redesigned home screen, in-book navigation, notes and bookmarks. There are new options to search inside a book and sample recommended books.
The View options menu and library and search views have also been updated and the live tile now displays the book that is currently being read. Using a Windows RT tablet or Windows 8 device? Download the Kindle app from the Windows Store here.
Amazon has announced a new free tool called Amazon Storyteller that allows writers to quickly turn their scripts into storyboards without needing any artistic skill. The tool first scans the script and then identifies scenes, locations and characters and casts them from a library of thousands of characters, props and backgrounds.
Writers can then customise the storyboard to change backgrounds, recast characters and change their facial expressions. They can also upload their own images if needed. When finished, they can submitted their storyboard to Amazon Studios and share it with others to solicit feedback.
Interested in learning more? See the Amazon Storyboard website here.
Amazon has launched Indie Games Store, which is designed to increase the discoverability of Mac, PC and browser games created by independent developers. The store has an Indie Spotlight section that will feature a bio and Q&A of a different indie developer each week starting with Gaijin Games.
To promote the store, Amazon is offering special Indie Bundles until 23 July. Each bundle comes with 5, 6, or 10 games and will cost $9.99, which is a discount of up to 90% off if purchased separately. All the profits from the sales will go directly to the developers.
Learn more on the Amazon blog here and browse the Indie Games Store here.
Amazon has updated its Kindle app for iOS. The update adds line spacing options so readers can fit more or fewer lines of text on each page without adjusting the font. There is also a new extra-large font for readers who find it hard to read small text.
The update also makes it possible for highlights to span multiple pages and Print Replica Textbooks now has filters for bookmarks, highlights and notes. Using an iOS device? Download the update from the iTunes store here.
Amazon has announced its “Login with Amazon” service that allows users to log in to apps, games and websites using their Amazon credentials to share parts of their profile. The login service is free for users and developers.
Read the announcement here and learn how to add a “Login with Amazon” button using the documentation on the Amazon Developer Center here.
Amazon has updated its Kindle app on iOS to add accessibility features for the blind and visually impaired. Enable VoiceOver in device settings to read aloud books character-by-character, word-by-word, line-by-line or continuously.
The font size, colour, background colour, margin and brightness can also be adjusted and many features such as navigation, notes, bookmarks and highlights have been improved to be more accessible. The app also supports other iOS accessibility features including zoom, assistive touch and peripheral braille displays.
Using an iOS device? Download the updated Kindle app on the iTunes store here.
Microsoft has released a version of its Xbox SmartGlass app for the Kindle Fire HD. It is based on the version already available for Android, but it is optimised for the Kindle Fire HD.
Xbox SmartGlass allows a tablet to be use as a remote control and second screen for an Xbox. It can be used to learn more about the actors in a TV show or movie. It can also be used to find music and add it to the current playlist.
Got a Kindle Fire HD? Download the Xbox SmartGlass app from the Amazon Kindle store here.
Amazon has added file syncing to their Cloud Drive app, so users can store and access files in the Amazon Cloud from a folder on their computers. The app works on both PC and Mac, but it requires Java to be installed.
Amazon Cloud Drive offers 5GB of storage for free and has the option to buy more storage from 20 GB for $10 a year to 1000 GB for $500 a year, which works out as $1 per year for every 2 GB.
Amazon has announced its plans to acquire Goodreads, the social reading website. Goodreads will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary like the Amazon-owned IMDb.
Amazon will likely add book previews to Goodreads using its Kindle Cloud Reader and bring Goodreads to its Kindle tablets. Amazon may also supplement Goodreads reviews with ones from its own website.
Amazon announced it is expanding the X-ray feature on its Kindle Fire to TV shows. Currently, the X-ray feature uses data from Amazon’s IMDb to display information about a book or movie, its characters and actors.
X-ray only works with videos purchased or rented from Amazon Instant Video or videos from the Amazon Prime Collection. The X-ray feature will also be coming to Amazon’s Wii U app and may eventually come to iOS and Android devices.
Interested in buying a Kindle Fire? Buy it on Amazon here.