Amazon acquired the eBook social community website GoodReads back in March for $100 million dollars. The intent behind the purchase was to integrate social reviews and book discovery experience into the Kindle Fire and Paperwhite e-Readers. Today, almost a full month after the new Kindle tablets have been out, Amazon has announced a new firmware update that gives users new GoodReads interface.
The free OTA update will give Kindle Fire HDX users a number of new abilities, such as; Effortlessly capture and share favorite quotes with Goodreads friends from inside the book, See what friends are reading with the Goodreads updates feed and add books to your want-to-read shelf, making choosing a new book easier than ever, Rate and review a book you’ve’ve just finished and immediately share it with Goodreads friends and Import all of the books you’you’ve purchased from Amazon—print and Kindle books—into your Goodreads account.
Goodreads was founded in 2007 and currently has over 16 million members and over 30,000 bookclubs. Users have added 530 million books to their shelves and written more than 23 million reviews. Authors are attracted to the GoodReads ecosystem, mainly because this is where the users are and the entire interface is fairly intuitive. Over 74,000 authors are registered in the system, actively engaging in Q/A and addressing questions from their fan base. James Patterson, Margaret Atwood, John Grisham, Nicolas Sparks, E.L. James, and Neil Gaiman are a few examples of the more active names.
SEATTLE—November 18, 2013—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today announced that Fire OS 3.1, a free software update for the new Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX, is now available. This free, over-the-air update will be delivered automatically in the coming weeks, or you can visit www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates to download and install the update starting today.
“The response to our new family of Kindle Fire tablets has been fantastic, and we’re excited to add new features we think our customers will love,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “This free, over-the-air Fire OS update brings new features like Goodreads integration, Second Screen, Cloud Collections, enterprise support, wireless printing, and more.”
Fire OS 3.1 brings deep integration with Goodreads, the world’s largest community of book lovers, making it even easier to find great books and have engaged discussions about them. For the first time, Goodreads is integrated directly into the reading experience, so there’s no need to leave a book and open a Goodreads app. With Goodreads, you can:
– Effortlessly capture and share favorite quotes with Goodreads friends from inside the book
– See what friends are reading with the Goodreads updates feed and add books to your want-to-read shelf, making choosing a new book easier than ever
– Rate and review a book you’ve just finished and immediately share it with Goodreads friends
– Import all of the books you’ve purchased from Amazon—print and Kindle books—into your Goodreads account
Fling TV shows and movies from your tablet to your big-screen TV. Second Screen turns your TV into the primary screen and frees up your Fire HDX to provide playback controls, a customized display for X-Ray, or simply a place to email, browse the web, and more while you watch a movie. Second Screen is available for PlayStation 3 and Samsung TVs, and will be available starting later this year for PlayStation 4.
Enterprise and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Support
Fire OS 3.1 delivers the ability to connect to secure enterprise Wi-Fi networks and access corporate apps, documents and resources like SharePoint; native VPN client for instant access to corporate networks; and a native SCEP (Simple Certificate Exchange Protocol) client to retrieve digital certificates for secure resources. Fire OS also now supports Kerberos authentication, which enables the ability to browse secure Intranet websites from the Silk browser. The new Kindle Fire tablets also include Kindle-specific device management APIs that integrate with existing mobile device management (MDM) systems to make it easy for IT departments to manage Kindle Fire.
Additional new features of Fire OS 3.1 include:
– Cloud Collections helps you organize your books, newspapers, magazines, and apps in customized collections for easy reference, and Amazon’s Whispersync technology synchronizes the collections across your Kindle devices and reading apps so they’re available on all of your devices.
– Voice dictation converts your speech to text—available in all languages when online; offline support available in US English.
– 1-Tap archive which frees up space on your Kindle Fire by identifying items that have not been recently used and provides a 1-tap option to store them in the Cloud for later retrieval.
– Wireless printing of photos, PDF, e-mails, contacts, calendar and docs.
– New accessibility enhancements that enable blind and visually impaired customers to save a separate accessibility profile for children in Kindle FreeTime, scroll lists automatically when swipe navigating, hear enhanced sound feedback and screen orientation changes announced, and have more control when editing text and navigating web content.
– Dozens more new features, performance and battery life improvements, and bug fixes.
Fire OS 3.1 is available on the new generation of Kindle tablets, including the $139 Kindle Fire HD, the 7” Kindle Fire HDX, and the 8.9” Kindle Fire HDX. Learn more: www.amazon.com/hdx.
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.