Amazon adds visual accessibility features to Kindle reading app for iOS

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Amazon has updated their Kindle reading app for iOS to include new accessibility features for people that are blind or visually impaired. A new read-aloud feature that uses Apple’s VoiceOver technology enables visually disabled customers to more easily read and interact with books as well as navigate their Kindle library, Amazon said in a press release.

Inside the Kindle library, customers can now use VoiceOver to help sort their collection by title or author, search within a book or skip to a specific page in a book. What’s more, visually impaired users can use the new feature to help share things on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, highlight items, add bookmarks and activate X-Ray – a feature that helps people learn more about characters, places or phrases with the help of Wikipedia and Shelfari.com.

To enable VoiceOver, simply navigate to the Accessibility menu under Settings on your iOS device and tap to enable the function.

The new feature works with more than 1.8 million titles in the Kindle Store and also integrates other iOS accessibility features like peripheral Braille displays and zoom. Dorothy Nicholls, vice president of Amazon Kindle, said they were excited to introduce the new features in the iOS app.

Kevin Daniel, senior director of strategic recruiting for the nonprofit Lighthouse for the Blind, said the functionalities were to his liking and above initial expectations. Due to continued vision loss and vision changes, he hadn’t read very much at all. Now, he said he has read more in the past few weeks than he has in the last five years.

The updated app is available for download now via the App Store and will soon find its way to other platforms as well, we’re told.

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