May 19, 2010
Amazon has released an upgraded Kindle application for PCs that adds several new features to the free software, including the ability to launch into a full-screen reading mode.
Launched Wednesday, the update was released a day after Amazon announced that a version of the free software would be available soon for mobile phones powered by Google's Android operating system. Amazon appears to be stepping up the pace of Kindle software upgrades, as competition in the electronic-reader market heats up with the release last month of Apple's iPad. The latest version of Kindle for PC enables people to edit notes and marks, change the background color and control the brightness of the screen. In addition, Amazon has included a full-screen reading mode. "We have been working hard to enhance our Kindle application experiences and are thrilled to be adding new features to Kindle for PC," Jay Marine, director of Amazon Kindle, said in a statement. Kindle for PC includes Amazon's Whispersync technology that saves and synchronizes a person's notes, highlights, bookmarks and last page read across any device with the software. Besides on the Kindle and Kindle DX e-readers, the application is available for the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad; and the PC, Mac and BlackBerry. Amazon offers more than 540,000 digital books for the Kindle. Competitors in the growing e-book market include Sony, Barnes & Noble, Borders and Apple, which sells e-books through its iTunes store. In trying to stay ahead of rivals, Amazon earlier this month released a software upgrade for its Kindle device. The new version added the ability for users to share e-book passages with friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter. Before the upgrade, Amazon limited the 3G wireless connection that comes with the Kindle to accessing the online reader's bookstore. However, the social networking features was seen by industry observers as Amazon's attempt to open the Kindle further to the Web, making it more competitive against Web-centered devices like the iPad. The Amazon Kindle last year led the e-reader market.
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