Now Audio and Text in the iOS Kindle App

Amazon released a big update to the iOS kindle apps (iphone, ipod touch and ipad) yesterday.  This brings it in line with the Kindle Fire apps.

The main new feature is the ability to listen to the audiobook directly in the kindle app.  Previously you could sync your location in the kindle app and the app, but you had to alternate between the two apps.  Now you can do ‘immersion reading’ and listen to the audiobook while seeing the words.

For most people, it is just a good feature to keep your place while alternating, but Amazon markets the feature to help kids learn to read.

I do like the syncing feature (although it requires you own a copy of both the audiobook and the kindle edition).  I briefly tried it out the iOS kindle app last night and this morning and it seems to work well.

Any book that you own both versions (there is often a discount if you purchase the kindle edition first) has a headphone symbol in your library.

If you want to try the feature out without spending much money, there is a list of $0.99 classics, where the kindle edition is free and the audiobook is only $0.99.

Amazon would also be glad to find any book that has an audiobook available through their Matchmaker tool.  Although, if you have a large kindle library it is slow and a pain to use.

When you open the kindle edition, you will see a headphone icon on the bottom left of the book controls and that will bring up the option to download the book.  This is a seperate download if you have already downloaded the book in the App.

And from there you can either use the large controls (as on the right) or the immersion reading controls (as in the image at the top.)

I did not have any difficulty using the app and it seems to have all the features of the regular Audible app (speed controls, timer, bookmarking, volume, etc.)

The only feature that I think is missing is the ability to clear last page read.  If you are re-reading a book, or if someone that is on your account has already read the book, then it is harder to sync between devices.  That is not an issue when using a single device (like the iPhone), but if you read on a Kindle Paperwhite, and the iPhone and listen to the audiobook, you need to clear the last page read (via manage your content interface on a computer) to properly sync.  There should be an option to clear the last page read at the end of every book (where you can give the book a rating or find the next book in a series.)

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