Amazon has announced an update to its popular Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. New features include a higher contrast display, a better built-in light, a faster processor, improved touch technology, and a few software enhancements.
Highlight of the new software features is integration with Goodreads, a book lovers' community that Amazon acquired earlier this year. This new feature will allow Kindle owners to see what their friends are reading, share highlights, and rate the books they read with other Goodreads users, all from their Kindle.
Amazon is also introducing a new child-friendly mode called FreeTime, that uses built-in parental controls to give parents a way to encourage kids to spend more time reading. It lets parents hand-select books for the kids to read, and hand out achievement badges when they hit reading milestones. A progress report keeps parents updated on total time spent reading, number of words looked up, badges earned and books finished.
New Smart Lookup integrates a full dictionary definition with other reference information about a word, character, topic or book via X-Ray and Wikipedia.
Amazon is also introducing MatchBook, a service that will let customers purchase Kindle editions of print books purchased from Amazon - past, present and future - for $2.99 or less.
The new Kindle Paperwhite (Wi-Fi only) is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.com for $119 and begins shipping September 30.
The new top-of-the-line Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G is not up for pre-orders yet but customers can sign up to be notified when Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G is available for pre-order at www.amazon.com. Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G is priced at $189 is expected to ship November 5.
Earlier this year, Amazon had introduced the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader in India for Rs. 10,999. There's no word on the India price or availability of the next-generation Kindle Paperwhite.