A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden
A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden, Colorado July 23, 2008.REUTERS

Global online retailer Amazon on Sunday released new accessibility features for the Kindle reading app that would help the blind and visually impaired users navigate though their e-books on their tablet PCs with greater ease.

"We're excited to introduce these new features to our Kindle for iOS app, making it easier than ever for our blind and visually impaired customers to access the vast selection of over 1.8 million books in the Kindle Store on their iPhone or iPad," said Dorothy Nicholls, Amazon Kindle, Vice-President, during the launch.

"With this update, we're also making customer-favorite features-such as X-Ray, End Actions, sharing, highlighting and bookmarking-more accessible. We look forward to continuing to develop and extend our accessibility features on Kindle Fire and our other Kindle apps."

Key enhancements of the new accessibility features include:

  • Easier navigation within the library, or within the e-book, with the inclusion of title, menu and button names. Blind readers will be able to easily sort e-books in the library by author or title and can directly jump to a specific page within the book as well.
  • Read character-by-character, word-by-word, line-by-line as well as move back and forth between texts.
  • Add and delete notes, bookmarks, and highlights.
  • Users can look up words in the dictionary and Wikipedia.
  • Readers can customise text font size, margin, and brightness.

Amazon stated that the new accessibility features will be initially available for iOS devices. The company is preparing to launch the features to Kindle apps running on Android and other platforms in the coming days.