Today, Amazon announced a new navigation experience for Kindle that spans its e-readers, Fire tablets, and mobile apps on Android and iOS: It’s called Page Flip, and it makes it easy to flip through the pages of a Kindle e-book as you would a real, paper-based book.
I know that doesn’t sound too impressive. But don’t confuse this feature with the silly and skeuomorphic “page flip” animation that Apple first inflicted on the world with iBooks. Instead, take a gander at this video to see why, sometimes, emulating real-world interactions in digital experiences makes sense.
“Page Flip makes it easier than ever to refer back to pictures in a political memoir, flip back and forth between a map and your current page in an epic fantasy series, or find passages you’ve highlighted in an investing guide,” Amazong Kindle vice president Chuck Moore explains. “With Page Flip, we’ve taken inspiration from how people read print books and improved upon it.”
According to Amazon, Page Flip is designed for a fairly common reading scenario: You’re reading along but want to quickly reference something somewhere else in the book, and do so without losing your place. In the video above, the kid does something I’ve done hundreds of times myself in the Lord of the Rings titles: Look up a place name in the text on a map in the back of the book.
Page Flip also lets you zoom out from the book, visually, displaying the pages as a grid. This way, you can quickly recognize specific pages, especially those with pictures, charts, or your own highlights, and then jump right to the correct location.
However you use it, Page Flip will save your current location by pinning it to the side of the screen. That way you can easily go back to where you were.
One downside: For Page Flip to work, it has to be enabled on a per-book basis. Amazon says that a “Page Flip: Enabled” notation will appear in the features list for compatible books.
Regardless, what a neat idea. I’m very interested to try it out.