On Wednesday, Amazon introduced Amazon Rapids, a new app to encourage kids to read using stories stylized as chats between characters. The app is readily available on Android and iOS for $2.99 a month.
The announcement by the e-commerce giant is the latest in a series of ventures to cover a broader scope of services beyond online retail.
Most recently, Amazon has been pushing forward its AI assistant Alexa on everything from its Fire TV devices to vehicles in partnership with automakers.
Amazon Rapids offers an ever-expanding selection of stories for young readers, and it includes reading assistance features to help guide them along the way. The company offers a two-week free trial period for parents who wish to test the new app with their kids.
Amazon Rapids is a fun new way for children to read
The new app by Amazon is a short stories hub for children and young readers who want to try a different take on reading.
The company knows what a hassle it can be to get children engaged in reading books, so all Amazon Rapids stories come in the style of instant messaging conversations.
Amazon Rapids offers hundreds of stories, and it will support the continuous expansion of its library month by month. All stories, of course, have an interactive, illustrated interface to capture the magic of reading stories as a kid.
“A child’s early reading experiences should be fun, enjoyable, and approachable – something they want to relive again and again. Reading should make them laugh, captivate them, and provoke their imagination,” reads Amazon’s website.
Amazon Rapids helps improve kids’ reading skills
Amazon Rapids features two learning tools for users: ‘Read Me’ mode and a built-in glossary. The two functions integrate seamlessly with the story the user is reading, only activating if the child prompts them.
‘Read Me’ mode is pretty self-explanatory. A voice reads aloud to the kid as he follows along, just as in early reading methods taught at schools. The built-in glossary, on the other hand, is available to readers at all times by just selecting the unknown words in a story.
Parents can find Amazon Rapids on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The first two weeks are free, and after that, they need to pay a $2.99 monthly subscription to get access to the application.