December 15, 2014 Last Updated 4:10 pm

Amazon issues major update to Kindle reading app for iOS

Update adds Book Browser to iPad app, allowing readers to browse a selection of over 700,000 titles available and instantly available with a Kindle Unlimited subscription

The iOS Kindle reading app has been updated by Amazon today. The update, which the company touts as coming just before the holidays, adds a major new feature to the app: Book Browser.

Kindleapp-iPad-KUBook Browser is, in essence, the first time Amazon has been able to display book from right inside the app. One can not buy the books, of course, as Apple would never allow that, but one can get a sample – and if you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can get the book.

Subscription services are the new way to get around the App Store (or iBooks Store or Newsstand). Once one buys a subscription, either right through the app or outside of it, any app then gives you access to the titles contained in the service. So while you can not buy Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys through the Kindle reading app, you can access it if you already are a Kindle Unlimited member.

Amazon’s latest version of the Kindle reading app is version 4.6, and although they didn’t give it a nice round number, signifying a major update, they gave it a nice, big app description:

What’s New in Version 4.6
Just in time for the holidays, Kindle for iOS has something for everyone! Book Browser allows you to explore and read from a selection of over 700,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks available with a Kindle Unlimited membership. Our new welcome experience helps customers get personalized book samples and start reading with Kindle in three easy steps. Audiophiles can start listening to their Audiobooks immediately upon download thanks to progressive playback. On-the-go students can now access eTextbooks on their iPhones. These features and more make Kindle Version 4.6 the perfect reading app to start the New Year.

Version 4.6 Features

KU-BookBrowserWelcome experience for new customers: New customers can get started reading right away! By selecting favorite genres, rating books, and identifying books they would like to read, new customers will get personalized book sample suggestions (powered by the Goodreads recommendation engine) to download and read for free.

• Book Browser (for iPad only): Using the Book Browser, customers can now view and get additional information about books. Tapping on a book cover displays a detail page that provides information about the book, including the book description and customer reviews. Kindle Unlimited members can download and read immediately.

• Goodreads Integration: Goodreads customers can now share book progress, selected quotes and more from Kindle. Once connected, via “Settings/Social Networking,” customers can share book progress using the new [g] button in the reader controls, share quotes by selecting text, or share that they’ve finished a book from the “Before You Go” screen.

• Next In Series Information: Customers finishing a book in a series like A Game of Thrones can learn about the next book, A Clash of Kings, and instantly add it to their wish list from the “Before You Go” screen.

• Book Detail Pages in the Library: By customer request, book details can now be viewed by long pressing a book cover in the library and selecting “Book Details.” Customers can now see a synopsis of the book, Amazon reviews, and more.

• Audible Progressive Play: Start playing audiobooks as they’re downloading (no need to wait for the entire download). Audiobooks can be played once you’ve downloaded past your current reading location.

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