While I suspect most of my regular readers are already aware of this — as I’ve had a lot on my plate recently and have been neglecting them here, I’m afraid — I do want to post a quick note here that Amazon has made the 3.1 “early preview” firmware version for Kindle 3 available for download. Here are the functional highlights:
- Public Notes — This feature lets Kindle users choose to make their book notes and highlights available for others to see. Any Kindle user — including authors, their fans, book reviewers, professors and passionate readers everywhere — can opt-in to share their thoughts on book passages and ideas with friends, family members, colleagues, and the greater Kindle community of people who love to read. This is a new way for readers to share their excitement and knowledge about books and get more from the books they read.
- Real Page Numbers — Our customers have told us they want real page numbers that match the page numbers in print books so they can easily reference and cite passages, and read alongside others in a book club or class. We’ve already added real page numbers to tens of thousands of Kindle books, including the top 100 bestselling books in the Kindle Store that have matching print editions and thousands more of the most popular books. Page numbers will also be available on our free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps in the coming months. If a Kindle book includes page numbers, press the Menu key in an open Kindle book to display page numbers.
- Before You Go … — When you reach the end of the book, you can immediately rate the book, share a message about the book with your social network, get personalized recommendations for what to read next, and see more books by the same author.
- New Newspaper and Magazine Layout — We’re introducing a new and improved layout for newspapers and magazines. This new layout gives you a quick snapshot of the news and helps you decide what you want to read first.
I have not yet tried this (like I said, life has been hectic), but to see what others think, check out the discussion at KindleBoards.com.