Amazon has just released a new version of their seminal Kindle e-Reading app for the iPad and iPhone. The company has made a big step towards better typography with the advent of Bookerly, the first typeface designed for the Kindle for scratch. Additionally, it looks like Amazon is trying to solve the Kindle’s typesetting problems with an all-new layout engine that introduces better text justification, kerning, drop caps, image positioning, and more.
Bookerly is going to be replacing Caecilia as the new default font for the Kindle Fire line of tablets and their fleet of apps. Bookerly is a serif style of font that has been custom-made by Amazon to be as readable across as many different types of screens as possible. Like Google’s Literata, Bookerly is meant to address many of the aesthetic issues surrounding e-book fonts.
Does Bookerly make a big difference while reading an e-book? According to Amazon’s internal tests, that means it’s about 2% easier on the eye. That may seem like a small improvement, but spread that 2% across millions of Kindle users and billions of pages of e-reading, and it all starts to add up.
I think the one exciting thing that users will notice right away with the new Kindle App for iOS is the new layout engine. It justifies text more like print typesetting. Even if you max out the font size on the new Kindle app, it will keep the spacing between words even, intelligently hyphenating words and spreading them between lines as need may be. This will obviously appeal to people who frequently adjust the sizes of the fonts or have vision disorders and want to read more effectively.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.