Amazon today is rolling out a free software update to the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, adding Goodreads and FreeTime integration. The update will appear over the next few weeks for Paperwhite owners. Both integrations are designed to maximize reading time and minimize switching from one device to another while reading.
The Goodreads integration will let Paperwhite users share favorite passages to their friends on the Goodreads social networking platform without having to leave the page they're currently reading. You can also rate a book the moment you're done reading it, without having to switch devices. Much of the rest of the Goodreads platform is also accessible through the device, such as reviews, discussions, and book discovery.
The FreeTime integration extends the parental-control reading app from the Kindle Fire tablet to the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader for the first time. Released last year, FreeTime lets parents select books for their children to read, set reading goals for them, and use incentives (such as badges) to encourage reading. The app syncs across Kindle devices.
Goodreads launched in 2007 and currently has 20 million users; it was acquired by Amazon early this year. FreeTime has been around since late last year. The Paperwhite, also released last year, is backlit for nighttime reading and is one of the latest members of Amazon's book-reading ecosystem.