This article makes it sound like this is a huge improvement. I smiled at this part:
Marco Arment once lamented that the Kindle’s typography and layout engine was so bad, it felt like it only had a staff of one person “who’s only allowed to work on it for a few weeks each year.” That’s apparently not true: Amazon tells me that the Kindle team is significantly larger than just one dude, although they refuse to give exact numbers.
(Amusingly, no part of that paraphrased response from Amazon actually denies my speculation.)
It’s great that Amazon’s putting some effort into Kindle typography for the first time in far too long. But this is a small improvement, not a big one.
The new font looks nice, but the old font (Caecilia) wasn’t what made Kindle typography so bad — the biggest problem was forcibly justified text, exacerbated by the lack of hyphenation, leaving huge, horrible gaps that hinder reading.
Now, hyphenation is being added (which Amazon is doing not by changing the client-side configuration, but by slowly updating their entire catalog of the books themselves to individually enable it, and it won’t apply to all books). Hyphenation is a big improvement for the books that get it, and makes justified text suck less, but it still sucks.
The new font and hyphenation are also only available on iOS so far. They’re not coming to Kindles until “later this summer”.
I’m glad they appear to care, but I hope they take this further. There’s no good reason why justification needs to be forced on readers who can already customize the font, size, margins, and line spacing to make reading easier or more pleasant for them. If justification can’t be removed completely, make it an option.