Windows 8 Kindle and Hulu Plus apps updated

While the amount of new Windows 8 apps added to the Windows Store has slowed in the past couple of months, many of the major apps already in the store continue to get upgraded to new versions. This week, two of those apps, Amazon's Kindle eReader and the Hulu Plus video streaming app, were updated with a few new features and improvements.

The Kindle app has now added the ability to read an ebook in two columns on PCs running on Windows RT. The release notes also indicate that Amazon has put in some performance improvements in terms of page turning for ebooks, along with increasing the app's overall book storage. The updated Kindle app has also disabled the feature that would dim the PC's screen while the app is in reading mode, which will make it easier to read books for extended periods.

As far as the Hulu Plus Windows 8 app update, users of the popular streaming movie and TV show app can expect to see the addition of an information screen before you start playing the latest episode of New Girl or whatever might tickle your fancy. The release notes also state that the update has added in something called a "Smooth Streaming library", and while it sounds good, we don't have any idea what that really means. Finally, the Hulu Plus app has some unnamed user interface improvements and bug fixes.

Source: Windows Store | Images via Amazon and Hulu

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10 Comments

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How about they update the Hulu metro app so it can play all the same episodes I can watch on the exact same screen by switching to desktop mode instead of shoveling a bunch of inexplicable restrictions made for smartphones and set-top boxes down our throats?

Joshie said,
How about they update the Hulu metro app so it can play all the same episodes I can watch on the exact same screen by switching to desktop mode instead of shoveling a bunch of inexplicable restrictions made for smartphones and set-top boxes down our throats?

Not the fault of content provider, blame the publishers of the content.

That's not entirely fair to say. Content access is based on form factor, but the restrictions were formulated very poorly around a very lazy set of definitions.

Set-top boxes like Roku can't play all content because the target display is a television. Meanwhile, the Hulu Desktop application can be controlled by a remote control in a HTPC configuration. Same target display, but because it's crossed with a desktop PC, the restrictions aren't in place (you don't even need to be a Plus user to run it).

You'd think the exact same logic should apply for ALL x86 Windows 8 installations in the metro app. While it can be argued (poorly) that Windows RT does not fall into the PC category, there is no sane way to make the same argument for Windows 8 on Intel, regardless of the size/shape of the system.

This isn't about publishers so much as it's about semantics. Hulu needs to more clearly define their form factors around hardware that is anything but new.

Again, you don't need to read it if you don't care. Some of us actually do care, especially when they are for major apps like these ones. Maybe an idea for Neowin is have a separate section for App news so they don't bother people like you.

I agree, to a point. First, on major apps like these, if you have the app you should already be notified that an update is available. Second, there are thousands of "major" apps yet we (thank God) don't see each and every one of these on the front page.

I never stated I didn't care about the article. Just the location of it. Software & Support sounds like the appropriate location, does it not?

Rohdekill said,
Are we to expect front page news for every app that has an update?
Hey, but this way, we can be the first ones to update!