Kindle update brings iOS 8 Today widget, translation cards, copy & paste and more

Kindle 4.5 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

Thursday morning, the online retail giant Amazon has released the new Kindle 4.5 for the iPhone and iPad in the App Store, bringing out a Today widget and compatibility fixes for Apple’s latest iOS 8 software update, in addition to the ability to copy passages of text from e-books, look up translations and more.

The 40.4-megabyte download is universal so any iPhone, iPod touch or iPad is supported natively as long as it’s compatible with iOS 7.0 or later.

The handy Kindle Today Widget must be enabled manually by tapping the Edit button down in the Today view of the Notification Center. Once added to your Today view, the widget “makes reading multiple books easier”.

I love the ability to copy passages from e-books and paste them into text messages, emails, blog posts (used when quoting someone) and more, though publishers can still disable this feature should they choose so.

And when you encounter foreign terms, just select a word or phrase to bring up a nicely done translation card.

And this is what Kindle’s Today widget looks like.

Kindle 4.5 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)

Kindle 4.5 changelog:

  • Kindle Today Widget (iOS 8 only) – Multi-book readers can now surf between books from anywhere on the device by pulling down the ‘Today’ view and tapping on one of the three titles in the Kindle Widget. They can choose from their most recently opened library titles, like the ‘jump’ function on a TV remote.
  • Copy & Paste – Customers asked and we listened. Version 4.5 includes the ability to copy passages from your books and add them to the iOS clipboard for pasting into a text message, e-mail, social media, or other iOS applications outside of Kindle.
  • Smart Lookup Translation Card – Authors often include phrases in other languages to add depth or meaning to a story. Readers can now get a full understanding by selecting the word or phrase and viewing the translation card.
  • iOS 8 support, bug fixes, and stability improvements.

It’s worth reminding that Amazon wouldn’t budge to let Apple dictate its prices so you’ll need to buy e-books in a browser (they’ll automatically appear in your library across all Kindle devices/apps) as Amazon has decided against in-app purchasing.

Amazon yesterday introduced two new Kindle devices, the seventh-generation Kindle named Kindle Voyage and the new $79 Kindle with a 20 percent faster processor, twice the storage and now with a touch interface.

But that’s not all, the firm has also announced a Fire OS 4 update dubbed “Sangria”, the Kids Edition of the Fire HD tablet, the all-new Fire HD (Amazon’s most powerful tablet under $100) and the Fire HDX with three times faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi, the latest-generation quad-core 2.5GHz processor and a 70 percent faster graphics engine.

[App Store]