Not to be outdone by yesterday’s software update for the Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon(s amzn) on Tuesday announced an available upgrade for the Kindle Paperwhite on Tuesday. The free software enhancements include new Goodreads integration and goal-oriented features to nudge kids to read more. Amazon says the software update will arrive wirelessly to Kindle Paperwhite devices in the coming weeks or can be manaually installed with the file on its support site.
Paperwhite’s Goodreads integration is basically the same functionality found in Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet line. Readers can share passages directly from a book with their Goodreads friends, see what titles their friends are reading and provide a Goodreads rating after finishing a book. And all prior Amazon book purchases, either print or digital, can now be imported to a Goodreads account.
Amazon, which purchased Goodreads earlier this year has been trying to mature the social reading service while also balancing intrusion on the reading experience with value. My colleague Laura Hazard Owen noted this challenge of trying to appease everyone back in September:
But the vast majority of users on Goodreads are likely people who don’t have time to leave many reviews or get involved in discussions. They may spend a few minutes on the site a week, and they’re not tracking the site’s new policies closely (if they’re even aware of them in the first place). And while Goodreads will try to appease both sides, it is likely betting that its real growth will come from the users who spend a few minutes a week on the site and are primarily just looking for something to read.
One area that Amazon is adding value for sure is the new Kindle FreeTime feature found in this latest software update. Parents can encourage their children to read more by setting daily and long-term reading goals on the Kindle Paperwhite. Progress reports are available for parents and kids get satisfaction by earning achievement awards based on goal and reading progress.