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Kindle iOS app gets a slew of new features for the blind and visually impaired

Kindle iOS app gets a slew of new features for the blind and visually impaired
Brian Heater
Brian Heater|May 1, 2013 11:17 AM

The latest upgrade to the iPhone and iPad version of Amazon's Kindle reading app brings a bunch of new features aimed at blind and visually impaired users. At the top of the list is the ability to read aloud 1.8 million Kindle Store titles, with help from Apple's VoiceOver technology. The update also brings better library and book navigation and search, as well as features like notes, highlights, bookmarks, font size, background color and brightness. Standard Kindle features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing via Facebook and Twitter are also made more accessible through the update. Amazon's promised a similar update for non-iOS versions of the app at some point in the future -- in the meantime, a full list of new features can be found in a press release after the break.

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Amazon Bringing New Accessibility Features to Free Kindle Reading Apps

Amazon today announced new accessibility features for the Kindle reading app, making it easier than ever for blind and visually impaired customers to navigate their Kindle libraries, read and interact with their books, and more. These new features are available starting today on Kindle for iOS, and accessibility enhancements will be available on additional platforms in the future.

"We're excited to introduce these new features to our Kindle for iOS app, making it easier than ever for our blind and visually impaired customers to access the vast selection of over 1.8 million books in the Kindle Store on their iPhone or iPad," said Dorothy Nicholls, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "With this update, we're also making customer-favorite features-such as X-Ray, End Actions, sharing, highlighting and bookmarking-more accessible. We look forward to continuing to develop and extend our accessibility features on Kindle Fire and our other Kindle apps."

New accessibility features of the Kindle app enable blind and visually impaired customers to:

- Read aloud over 1.8 million titles available in the Kindle Store using Apple's VoiceOver technology. Over 300,000 of these books are exclusive to the Kindle Store. Over 900,000 books are less than $4.99; over 1.5 million are less than $9.99.

- Seamlessly navigate within their library or within a book, with consistent title, menu and button names; navigate to a specific page within a book and sort books in the library by author or title.

- Read character-by-character, word-by-word, line-by-line, or continuously, as well as move forward or backward in the text.

- Search for a book within their library or search within their book and navigate to specific text.

- Add and delete notes, bookmarks, and highlights.

- Use customer-favorite features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

- Look up words in the dictionary and Wikipedia.

- Customize the reading experience including changing the font, text size, background color, margin, and brightness.

- Use iOS accessibility features like Zoom, Assistive Touch, and Stereo to Mono, as well as peripheral braille displays.

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Kindle iOS app gets a slew of new features for the blind and visually impaired