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Kindle for iPad adds children's books, comics, graphic novels

Amazon on Thursday updated its Kindle application for iPad, adding support for children's books, comic books and graphic novels purchased for the Kindle platform.

The new support was also added to Amazon's Kindle Cloud Reader, and Kindle for Android application. The free updated iOS software is now available on the App Store as a 19.9-megabyte download that requires iOS 4.2 or later.

Children's books, comic books and graphics novels on the iPad are presented in full color. Over a thousand children's titles are available, including "Brown Bear" and "Curious George," in addition to popular comics like Superman and Batman from DC.

"Children's books come to life with brilliant images, fixed layouts, and Kindle Text Pop-Up for supported titles to magnify text for easy reading on any size screen," Amazon's description reads. "Comics and graphic novels are presented in Kindle Panel View for supported titles, showcasing the artwork in a panel by panel experience that reads as the author intended."

The iPad application now also has a cleaner reading experience, thanks to smaller margins on the page.

In addition, version 3.1 of Kindle for iOS also adds new features for iPhone and iPod touch users, as well as those on iPad. Users can now quickly search for content by title or author, and an issue that prevented the lookup of words on Google or Wikipedia has been addressed.

Comic books, graphic novels and children's books first debuted on the Kindle platform late last year, with the launch of the Kindle Fire touchscreen tablet and its color display. Thursday's update extends that functionality to the iPad, and expands the availability of Kindle platform content on iOS devices.

Because Amazon doesn't comply with Apple's rules for in-app purchases, in which Apple receives a 30 percent cut of all content sold through iOS applications, the new content cannot be purchased directly through the Kindle application. Users must instead visit the Amazon website to buy the content, and can then download it through their account in the Kindle for iOS app.

Amazon is expected to expand its Kindle Fire lineup with a new 10-inch device this year that will compete more directly with Apple's 9.7-inch iPad.