Few tablets come close to the convenience of ebook readers. They’re typically a lot slimmer and lighter than your average iPad, for one, and their monochromatic E Ink screens draw way less power than the high-resolution displays found on tab computers. But what tablets lack in battery life and compactness they make up for in versatility: It’s a lot harder to sift quickly through a digital book on an e-reader than on a tablet. Amazon begs to differ, though. On Tuesday, the retailer began rolling out Page Flip, a “reimagined navigation experience” for its Kindle series of e-readers.
Page Flip operates on a relatively simple level. Enable it, and your Kindle will pin the current page to the left-hand side of the screen in the form of a high-resolution thumbnail. From there, you can thumb forward or backward through any number of pages and chapters, and, when you’re finished, return to the place you left off by clicking the physical button nearest the pinned page.
Amazon’s positioning the feature as great for “reference.” Highlight a passage or phrase for later perusal? Use Page Flip to pause your progress. Mark a few words to mark down later? Turn to each sequentially with Page Flip.
“Page Flip makes it easier than ever to refer back to pictures in a political memoir, flip back and forth between a map and your current page in an epic fantasy series, or find passages you’ve highlighted in an investing guide,” said Kindle Vice President Chuck Moore in a press release. “With Page Flip, we’ve taken inspiration from how people read print books and improved upon it.”
In tow with Page Flip are new zooming features within the Kindle reading interface. Zoom out, and you’ll get a visual overview of pages within “flipping” distance. Once you find the page you want, a simple click or tap will take you to it.
The update follows the release of Amazon’s new entry-level Kindle. It’s lighter and thinner than the older model, sports double the memory, and features Bluetooth connectivity and note-taking functionality. It, in addition to a new Kindle Paperwhite that’s white in color, is available on Amazon for $80.