Avid readers on Android have some exciting new toys to look forward to in the latest version of Amazon Kindle. Update 4.8 adds some significant features to an already-packed app, specifically linked to in-book search. "X-Ray" is a proprietary system that downloads a pre-configured, collated file that includes information about the book itself, the characters, the setting, and the context of basically everything. For complex fiction, non-fiction, or textbooks, it's an amazing system previously reserved for the Kindle e-readers and tablets.
What's even more amazing is that it operates offline. Like Kindle's dictionary function, X-Ray is downloaded and stored locally. Unfortunately, it isn't for everything: while X-Ray is available for the massively popular A Dance With Dragons, it isn't available for the independently published A Crooked City (by our own Ryan Whitwam). To activate X-Ray, just tap the center of the reading screen to pull up the menu, then tap the "X" icon in the top menu bar.
Students reading textbooks in the Kindle app can now create flash cards based on the content of those books. Unfortunately these are limited to textbooks, and apparently even those are limited - I couldn't activate the feature on a photography manual I own, for example. Those of you who prefer audiobooks and who have taken advantage of the "add narration" option (which bundles an Audible audiobook with a standard Kindle book purchase) can now play the audiobook starting on your current "paper" book page, switching between the text and audio whenever you like.
Notifications for the Kindle app now include both content downloads and promotional deals from Amazon, both of which can be disabled in the settings menu. The app also has an "improved library search," though exactly what has been improved wasn't elaborated. The usual bug fixes are tacked on to the end of the update.