The Switch to Kindle

AUGUST 24, 2016


Last month, I wrote a news article about Amazon’s new Kindle base model. I preordered one, but surprisingly, my wife Anna bought it for me.

It’s my first time to own a Kindle device. Most of the time I read ebooks via Apple’s iBooks app on my iPad and iPhone. I only use Kindle app when the book isn’t available in the iBooks store (one of the limitations of traditional publishing).

After using the device for a week now, I decided to move my entire book library from iBooks to Kindle. Why? It’s about features. Here are the top three:

Word Wise

Word Wise shows you synonyms and definitions which are displayed inline above unfamiliar words while you read. So if you’re reading a challenging book, Word Wise will help you understand it more quickly. So the inconvenience of having always to look things up in the dictionary is over. But of course you can still do that if you need to.

You can check here to see which compatible Kindle devices and Kindle reading apps has this feature.

Vocabulary Builder

This one is a biggy. While Word Wise makes it easier to understand difficult words more quickly, to master them though is another story. Vocabulary Builder is the place where all the words that you looked up in the dictionary are stored. To review and practice them, just tap Options (the three vertical dots) in the upper right portion of the Home menu and select Vocabulary Builder.

You can sort them by Words or by Books. In Words, you’ll see all the words of each book in your library that you looked up in your dictionary. While in Books, you get to choose a specific book in your library and show all your looked up words in it.

You also have the option to review the words through flashcards. Just tap Flashcards at the bottom of the page to bring them up and select See Definition or See usage — whichever option you need. And if you think you’re already confident and can move on with the word, you can mark it as Mastered. Kindle then will transfer the word from your learning pile to the mastered pile.

Currently, this handy feature is exclusive on Paperwhite (2nd generation) and later.

Page Flip Navigation

Amazon did a great job adding this new feature in its latest software update for their entire line of Kindle e-readers and the Kindle app. Amazon made a beautiful video and described this new enhancement as follows:

Save your place

Want to reference a chart or map on another page while you’re reading? Page Flip “pins” your current page to the side of the screen when you swipe away from it to explore other parts of the book. Tap your pinned page to instantly jump back to it.

Get a bird’s eye view of the book

Looking for a picture or a passage you’ve highlighted? Zoom out to get a bird’s eye view of the book and quickly find what you’re looking for.

Go ahead, explore!

At a glance, easily recognize specific pages as you jump around. Pictures, charts, your highlights, and the layout of each page are easy to see with Page Flip’s pixel-accurate thumbnails that automatically adjust as you change your font and margin settings.

With the new Kindle and the three smart features I covered here, reading has never been more convenient.