Amazon overhauls its Kindle app with new features and a fresh design

Amazon’a Kindle app has been relaunched with new features and a streamlined design that’s easier on the eyes.

The free app lets you read ebooks on pretty much any device, whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, or PC.

When you open the latest version, you’ll soon notice larger book covers than before, as well as a new light background theme to accompany the existing dark one. New fonts also give you more options when you go to read your book.

A feature that bookworms are bound to welcome is the “one-tap access” navigation bar that automatically shows a small icon of the book you’re currently reading, no matter where you are in the app. This allows you to quickly return to the book — and the page you’re on — at any moment when the app’s open.

“The bottom bar also provides quick access to Kindle’s most popular features allowing you to switch between the pages of your book, your library, your personal bookstore, and more,” Amazon said.

Helpfully, the search bar now appears in the display the whole time, allowing you to quickly track down a book in your personal library or in the ebook store if you’re looking for a new title.

The iOS version of the Kindle app is now offering more social elements (coming to the Android version “in a future release”)  by incorporating the vibrant Goodreads community so book fans can interact with fellow readers to share reviews and opinions, and find out about recommended reads. Amazon acquired Goodreads in 2013, and the site now has 65 million members globally.

You can access the Goodreads community via a new Community tab, and if interactions lead to an interesting new book then you can add it to your Want To Read list for quick reference later on.

The app will also use your reading tastes to suggest people to follow, which could be popular Goodreads reviewers who like similar kinds of books, and the authors who write them. You, too, can add your own reviews to books you’ve read, and also post notes for your friends to see and comment on.

“We’ve built the new Kindle app from the ground up for book lovers, giving readers easy access to everything they might want to do with their books, all in one place,” said Kindle vice president Chuck Moore. “It’s now easier than ever to turn your phone or tablet into a book and immerse yourself in an author’s world at any time.”

Amazon launched its refreshed Kindle app in the same week that it’s celebrating 10 years of its ebook reader with discount offers on some of its current lineup.

But if you don’t have an ebook reader and don’t really fancy the idea of carrying around yet another gadget, Amazon’s Kindle app has you covered.