February 10, 2015 Last Updated 4:24 pm

Amazon updates iOS Kindle app, adds eTextbooks for the iPhone

PressReader, formerly NewspaperDirect, also updates its iOS app, adding Wi-Fi zones called PressReader HotSpots for instant access to the service’s newspapers and magazines

The Kindle app for iOS was updated today, adding in a few new functions for the iPhone, including Book Browser and eTextbooks.

Kindle-iPhone5-W-lgThe Book Browser feature had previously been added to the iPad version of the app, but the inclusion of eTextbooks is most interesting, and may actually get Apple’s attention.

Ever since its launch in 2012, eBook creators have begging Apple to add some sort of iPhone support to iBooks Author. The software solution was touted as being specifically for textbooks, and many fine, interactive textbooks have, in fact, been created using the platform. But iBooks Author’s best eBooks have often come from other areas, such The World Atlas of Wine or The Mozart Project.

Now iBooks Author, and Amazon’s own publishing solutions are, in my opinion, worlds apart. Amazon’s Kindle Textbook Creator, for instance, is PDF based, lacking most of the features a designer would want. But the ability to get interactive eBooks onto the iPhone remains a high priority for many publishers (just as getting their iBooks onto the Kindle is also a high priority).

Anything that might put the spur to Apple’s iBA would be appreciated – we’ll see if this gets their attention.

PressReader> also updated its iOS app, bringing the app up to version 4.4.

PressReader-iPhoneThe update looks to a major one for the company formerly knows as NewspaperDirect:

What’s New in Version 4.4
PressReader partners worldwide are now sponsoring access to our entire library of more than 3,500 full-content publications from 100+ countries in 60+ languages in their places of business. Just open up your tablet or smartphone in one of their designated Wi-Fi zones called PressReader HotSpots for instant access to any newspaper or magazine. To find one near you, just open up the PressReader HotSpot Map from the app navigation menu.

The HotSpot map shows networks where premium PressReader access is sponsored by a network owner. If location services aren’t provided to the app, your location will be estimated by IP address. The search function displays HotSpots by name. If there are more HotSpots in the visible map area than can be shown without overlapping, one of the most popular HotSpots will be shown, and the full list will be shown on the right.

Better storage management:
– File cache is more compact and search index is reduced on issue deletion.
– File size is now displayed for issues in list mode while they are being downloaded.
– The auto-removal option was changed from number of days to number of issues.

The translation option will now be available if you have disabled SmartFlow in Settings.

A few publications had printing problems on iOS8 which has been resolved by printing as bitmap files.

The landscape order screen will display the calendar folded (as is already the case in portrait view,) in order to give more space to the covers of previous issues.

Long-tap menu and comment bubbles are now supported in page view mode on the iPhone.

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