Reading on the couch and then suddenly you feel like a walk? Don’t worry, Amazon has you covered as it has cleverly brought together reading and listening in the new update to the Kindle app. With a tap you can now seamlessly go from reading to listening without losing your place in the book. The Audible audiobook service has been integrated in the Kindle apps for iOS and Android by piggybacking on the Whispersync for Voice feature.
Audible has a large collection of 45,000 books – all professionally narrated. The Whispersync feature allowed you to switch between reading and listening, but you needed to have both the Kindle reading app and the Audible app installed. The new single-app solution helps avoids the tiny interruptions as you hop from one app to the next. The reading progress stays synchronized. One can say that the latest update could lead to a more immersive reading experience.
Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz says,
We continue to hear from a growing number of Whispersync for Voice converts who tell us the innovation has profoundly changed the way they read—in fact, switching back and forth between reading and listening has become their preferred way of experiencing stories.
The Android and iOS apps can be downloaded from the respective stores. Some other improvements are noteworthy – you can download entire collections with a tap, the X-Ray tool has been improved, narration speeds go up to 2x, and there’s a sleep timer. Amazon isn’t the only one making improvements to its ebooks apps. The overhaul of Apple Books makes for a much better reading experience.
Amazon also makes it easier to find the companion audio version to the Kindle book with its Matchmaker tool. With the audio titles available for as less as $0.99 in many cases, there’s no reason not to try out both the modes. If this gets a thumbs-up, it should give Audible a fillip, give Amazon some more drops of in its profit bucket, and get readers back into fitting more books around their busy schedules.