Amazon pumps out Kindle Android app update

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Amazon has rolled out the latest version of its Kindle software for Android phones, as the continuously changing platform gets more fragmented across different devices.

The most noteworthy update is that, like its iPhone counterpart, the Android version of Amazon's Kindle software now offers voice-controlled search. On Android, it should be an even better experience because of Google's powerful voice recognition engine.

Another new feature is the ability to add digital notes. While reading, users can highlight a section of text and add an in-line note, useful for textbooks or stories assigned for schoolwork.

Users can also now tap on a word and look up its definition on Dictionary.com, or find out more details about its usage and origins on Wikipedia, all from within the Kindle app itself.

But wait, there's more. When browsing through books, users can now see book summaries and discussion  about it from other users. This content is pulled from Shelfari, a social networking book discussion start-up that Amazon acquired two years ago.

Finally, the last minor update is that users can freeze a screen in landscape or portrait mode to prevent the accelerometer from kicking in inadvertently.

Clearly Amazon is very dedicated to its Kindle presence on devices other than the actual Kindle. It has consistently updated the apps on iPhone, Android, PC, and Blackberry. But the updates aren't always coming simultaneously so the experience continues to differs more and more among platforms.

Nevertheless, it's a very big update to Kindle for Android. Existing app users will automatically receive the new version.