May 27, 2015 Last Updated 3:17 pm

Amazon updates Fire and iOS reading apps, adds new custom font; Google Play Books closed to new publisher sign-ups

Bookerly font now available to use for most Kindle Editions if read on a Kindle Fire, iPhone or iPad, but owners of other devices will need to wait awhile for an updated reading app

The online retailer and publisher today issued an update for both Kindle Fire and iOS reading devices, adding a new Amazon-exclusive serif font to iOS devices called Bookerly (ain’t that cute).

Amazon-BookerlyThe new font feels clunky to me, but fonts are a personal preference so there is no reason to diss the new font too much, maybe you’ll like it.

There is more to the update, but rather than waste time rewriting the app description, here it is for you to read:

What’s New in Version 4.9
At Amazon, we’ve been hard at work to make reading on Kindle even better and more enjoyable. Several exciting improvements offer faster reading with less eye strain. Available today on hundreds of thousands of books, and coming soon to all Kindle books.

Faster Reading, Less Eye Strain
Hyphenation plus smoother word spacing result in faster reading with less eye strain. Improved character placement increases word recognition speed at any font size.

Beautiful Page Layout
Drop caps, text, and images that automatically adapt to always look great no matter what your screen or font size. Print-like layout dynamically adjusts for any combination of screen size and font setting.

Large Fonts, Without Compromises
Enjoy reading with larger font sizes without compromising your reading experience. Page layout and margins automatically adapt to look great with even the largest font sizes.

Bookerly – The Font for Readers
Bookerly is a new Kindle exclusive font designed for reading on digital screens. Warm and contemporary, Bookerly is inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books but is hand-crafted for optimal readability at any screen size. Bookerly is available on most Kindle books.

Amazon-Bookerly-TDNot all books can use the new font, but one assumes that any Kindle Edition created using Amazon’s own platform will be able to use the font. I recommend, of course, testing the app changes with the Kindle Edition of Talking Digital which Amazon is currently selling for $3.99.

Publishers may also want to know that Google has temporarily closed new applications to partner with Google Play Books. The move comes after a flood of complaints about people using the service to distribute pirated eBooks. (See report from Inks, Bits & Pixels).

The problems at Google Play books is not new, but seems to have gotten worse over the past few months. Now, it appears that adverse publicity has led Google to temporarily shutdown applications for its service, and to begin deleting the books uploaded by pirates.

I admit that Google Play is not one of the digital bookstores I have bothered to enter with any books from TNM Digital Media. Most of what I am interested in publishing starts as an interactive eBook, and only later is converted to a Kindle Edition. But I do have a project or two in the works that might be worth submitting to Google.

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