10 November 2016
Zoom Zoom Kindle Fixed Layout!

2016 saw the rise of Kindle Textbook format, which finally resolves the lack of "pinch and zoom" with Kindle fixed layout ebooks. Except it doesn't work on all devices.

Amazon Kindle have stated to us that the Kindle Textbook format is for textbooks and other educational material for Fire tablets, iPad, Android tablets and phones, Mac, and PC. Kindle Textbook books let students use Kindle reading features like highlighting, notebook, flash cards, dictionary look-up and more.

So we use this format for some of our non-text book ebooks as well, such as my children's book Myra and the Magic Motorcycle (enhanced with audio sound effects and narration).



The enhancements we can now include in Kindle fixed layout ebooks done in the Kindle Textbook software include audio, video, hyperlinks, and image pop-ups. We can include inline audio files and invisibly overlaid audio play buttons, just like what we've been able to do in Apple iBooks (enhanced epub) and iBooks Author for years. Enhanced epub still has the advantage of including media overlay (text gets highlighted whilte audio narration plays).

There are still limits on the support of certain features of the Kindle Textbook format to date. Interactive features such as audio, video, hyperlinks, and image pop-ups are only available when the books are read on Fire tablets from the third generation onwards, or in the Kindle for Android reading app on Android phones and tablets. In our experience not all Android phones and tablets either. Hyperlinks on Kindle Textbook Creator are not supported on iOS devices.

Amazon has stated to us that it is presently (Nov 2016) still working to make these features available to readers on free Kindle reading apps for iPads, iPhone, and Android tablets, as well as on PC and Mac computers.

So while it may be a step in the right direction for fixed layout ebooks on Kindle, the other vendors are still ahead by far.

What if my ebook is in an older fixed layout Kindle format?
Amazon is contacting the publishers of fixed layout Kindle ebooks that are no longer up-to-date. So in some cases your fixed layout Kindle ebook will need to be recreated in the new software, or current versions of it, to comply with their quality procedures. If Australian eBook Publisher have distributed your Kindle fixed layout ebook and there's a problem with it flagged by Amazon we will contact you to offer a solution.

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