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Kindle Gets More Family Friendly, Boasts 'Word Wise' Feature

14 November 2014, 5:02 pm EST By Quinten Plummer Tech Times
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Amazon gives Kindle readers several family-focused features as it prepares to launch the Kindle Voyage. With the updates rolling out on the current version of the Paperwhite, consumers may have less incentive to pick up the $200 Voyage in December.  ( Image courtesy of Amazon )

Amazon's latest update for its family of e-readers bundles together a host of new features, nestling tools and perks for young readers among enhancements that makes the whole e-Ink experience even more pleasant.

Peter Larsen, Amazon's vice president of devices, says his company can't wait to get feedback from customers about the latest software update.

Word Wise is one of the weightiest features packaged in the latest update. It makes use of Kindle's dictionary to save a step when someone stumbles onto an unrecognized word.

"Word Wise makes it easier for kids learning to read and readers learning English to understand more challenging books more quickly, with short and simple definitions that automatically appear above difficult words," says Larsen.

If Kindle interjects definitions too frequently or infrequently, users can fine-tune the frequency of explications using Word Wise's slider. To view a definition of a word used in a different content, users need only tap on the Word Wise card.

Another feature with youth in mind is FreeTime Unlimited, which provides readers with a wealth of curated chapter books for a monthly subscription fee of $2.99.

The latest update also allows for family sharing. Kindle users can loan out book to a family members.

Navigation gets a little easier with the latest update, as the package enhances search and builds on the X-Ray for Books feature. The X-Ray feature has received a timeline and the search engine has been tuned so that a single query now scans the libraries, Goodreads and the Kindle Store.

Rounding out the updates, Amazon has woven Goodreads even deeper into Kindle. The enhanced integration streamlines the sharing of reading progress, ratings, reviews and shelf-stocking.

The update will be available over-the-air to current versions of the Paperwhite, the $79 Kindle and the incoming Kindle Voyage. Those individuals not wishing to wait for the latest update to arrive over the air may download it here.

The latest update for Amazon's e-reader comes roughly a month before the e-commerce company prepares to officially launch its most powerful and ambitious e-Ink device to date: the $199 Kindle Voyage.

The 6-inch Kindle Voyage boasts a pixel density of 300 ppi and haptic sensors on the side to interpret page turns, but its price tag may be unattractive to those with a perfectly good Paperwhite. The Voyage will be available on Dec. 13. 

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