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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Jason Snell

Kindle typography: Amazon repents?

Today Amazon released an update for Kindle for iOS that adds a new custom-built font and, more excitingly, support for hyphenation and many other improved layout features.

Old Kindle (left) and new Kindle with Bookerly font and auto hyphenation (right).

As John Brownlee reports for Fast Company:

The new app finally gives the boot to the hideous absolute justification of text that the Kindle’s been rocking since 2007. The new layout engine justifies text more like print typesetting. Even if you max out the font size on the new Kindle app, it will keep the spacing between words even, intelligently hyphenating words and spreading them between lines as need may be.

I have been complaining about Kindle typography for a while, so this is incredibly welcome news, especially since this improved typography is coming to Amazon’s E Ink readers as well. But I have to admit that I groaned when I read Brownlee’s report that E Ink Kindles (as well as the Kindle Android app) won’t get these features until “later this summer.”

(On Twitter, Brownlee told me that the E Ink update “looks great” and “could ship this month.” Fingers crossed!)