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screen480x480Amazon’s Kindle app for the iPhone and iPad received an update today that added some cool new features for its users.

In particular, students who have textbooks from the Kindle Store that replace physical copies will be able to create flashcards from parts of their book. It’s a feature I would have killed for as a student: while there are plenty of flashcard apps out there, they require switching between one app and another. Bringing the whole mess under one umbrella would make it easier to study.

The iPad is particularly popular with educators these days, and while Amazon is working on ramping up its own efforts to turn the Kindle Fire into a comparable tool for educators, this update is a way for the company to meet teachers where they are right now, and ensure that schools are already using the company’s ecosystem even while they’re using Apple’s hardware. That way, when the Kindle Fire is ready for prime time as an education device, educators are already prepared for working with Amazon’s platform.

In addition, Amazon has re-vamped its dictionary support, so it’s now easier for users to refer to dictionaries that they’ve purchased, as well as those from other languages. Users of the company’s X-Ray feature will find that it’s possible to sort characters and terms alphabetically, chronologically and by relevance.

The Kindle app is available for free from the App Store.

Here are the full patch notes from Amazon:

Kindle for iOS Version 4.1 brings new features to students (flashcards), multiple improvements to the reading experience based on customer feedback, and stability & performance improvements.

NEW to Students

• Flashcards (print replica textbooks only): Students can now convert important terms from the X-Ray for Textbooks feature or their notes and highlights into flashcard sets for studying. Students can keep track of concepts or terms that have been mastered and those that need more practice, allowing them to improve their recall of the subject.

• Improved in-book search: Search in print replica textbooks is now faster and more powerful. Search terms based on the words in the book are suggested to students as they type. Results are almost instantaneous. Students will love the speed and convenience.

NEW to Readers

● Notebook Filters: Readers can now easily filter bookmarks, notes, highlights, and even specific colored highlights, making annotations much easier to find. Customers can also navigate directly to the annotated passages for context.

● Page Footers: Readers can now see page numbers or time left in book on the lower left page footer. Readers can switch between page #, time left in book or a blank footer by simply tapping on the text or empty area. A setting is available to turn off the page footer.

● X-Ray Update: Readers who want to go deeper into the story will appreciate the updated experience. X-Ray characters and terms can now be sorted by relevance, alphabetically, or in order of appearance in the book.

● Dictionary Redesign: The Dictionary Interface has been updated for iOS7 and makes it easier for customers to switch between alternate language and purchased dictionaries.

● Stability and Performance Improvements

NEW to the Library – Collections multi edit capability

● Collections Refinements: From the library view, customers can now see which collections a book already belongs to and can add to or remove from multiple collections using multi edit. Readers will find it easier to manage their collections.

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