Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kindle 3 preview-release of software update v3.0.2 available at Amazon

Amazon is now requesting feedback on an "early preview of the next software update" for Kindle 3 and refers to this update-preview as software update version 3.0.2.

They stress this is offered so that "Customers who want to try this early release of the software and provide feedback can download the update" from their servers.

  Amazon explains that this update includes
web browser
  general performance improvements.

  After installing this update, please share your feedback with us at  We look forward to hearing about your experience and appreciate your feedback. '

The performance improvements would include software responses to reports that some Kindle 3's have had some slowing down of page-turn processes outdoors since the v3.01 update which seems to have prevented, on the whole, freezes and/or reboots some were experiencing with their Kindles -- and in phone calls that Kindle tech support reps have made to customers in proactive responses to forum notes, they've offered this second interim update with success in at least a couple of cases I was reading, although again some forum members have been given replacement Kindles within a day or so, possibly so that, as before, the Kindle crew could analyze the original one or because they felt a replacement Kindle would be best for the symptoms reported.

To report any unusual problems like this, it's best to write, as that mail tends to be routed to the development team.

Reports have included a few saying that page turns take "a full second" outdoors when they had taken half a second earlier, so some of the slow-downs are minor but shouldn't happen, though I suspect that this small a slowdown could have been the result of a compromise between two options in the prior fix.  Some, though, report having slowdowns to 2-3 seconds a page, and today, two Kindle owners reported that v3.02 given them by Kindle Support helped with the slowdowns outdoors.

Instructions at their preview-update page start with:
' Here's how to download Kindle software update version 3.0.2 and transfer it to your Kindle via USB:
  1. Determine your software version: :  From Home, select Menu, then Settings.  On the Settings screen you will see the Kindle version at the bottom of the screen.  If you see “Version Kindle 3.0.1” or earlier, please proceed with the steps below to update your Kindle to the latest software.

    Image of version information (Kindle)

  2. Download your software: Visit the appropriate link below to download the software update file directly to your computer: ... '

They have a good diagram showing how you can determine which software you'd download, depending on your serial number and the type of Kindle 3 you have.

You'll see step-by-step directions there for the download.  I'd say again that there's no need to install this interim update unless you actually are seeing any problems like this (many say they're not seeing any problems), but I don't expect it would hurt, since programming code will check status to see if a fix is needed.

A Theory
I posted the following thoughts in the forums (edited for the blog) about some instances that may be perceived slowdowns, especially for the ones that are unhappy that a page turn now takes a full second (though there are a few with heavier slowdowns):
' A lot of people have reported general speed ups in page turns after v3.01.  I think they may mean the immediate response when you press the page turn button, and they see this as faster because immediate response never happened before -- there had usually been a 1 second 'wait' and then the slight flash and the new page would show up.

  In the past, the next-page just didn't start showing instantaneously, as it does when we see it now with the Kindle 3, especially after the v3.01 update for some of us, but we also see the reverse e-Ink image doing its inevitable thing sooner and for what seems a longer time then.

  Some are bothered (as I was for awhile) by the longer reverse image screen.
  At first, I did think the immediate page turns that then show full black pages with text briefly meant that the page turn was slower when in fact (I tested them for 1/2 an hour in the sun) the K3 page turns are consistently faster than my K2 page turns of the same material at the same time -- the K2 shows hardly any interim black probably because the page turn doesn't start right away.  But my K2 turns actually take longer to complete despite the lack of very-noticeable reverse image. '

But, that's not to minimze the fact that some Kindle 3's definitely have heavier slowdowns after update version v3.01, and this latest update may fix that.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

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  1. Andrys

    I'm updating to 3.0.2 as we speak, though 3.0.1 has never given me any issues. It's interesting though that the size of the .bin file for 3.0.2 is nearly twice the size of that for 3.0.1 - I wonder why?

  2. Hello Andrys
    It appears 3.0.2 fixes issues with slow page turns with kindle's exposed to direct sunlight. I had this issue, the turns were slow enough that you could read the first line of text in negative image before it completed. I had this issue before and after 3.0.1.

    After the update so far, this appears to be fixed. I never thought this would be fixed with a software update, so I am very happy!

  3. Laura,
    I write about that black-page readibility, at the end of my blog entry. I can read part of the page also while in black, whether indoors or outdoors but nevertheless, the page turn starts immediately upon pressing the button and finishes considerably before the Kindle 2 page turn.

    The black comes up immediately. The Kindle 2 -waits- before even responding to the button press and you hardly see any black and that gives an illusion of lighting speed too but is slower than my k3 when I tested them together.

    However, what they did fix was what you very much experienced as an unsettling slowdown and it seems to have done the trick with almost everyone else feeling slowness, so this is excellent.

    Thanks very much for taking the time to put your feedback here.

  4. Nick in the U.K.,
    This update is probably fixing more things, , as they say, and other customers report, that the web browser is faster and smoother now in addition to slower page turns having been fixed.

    Also, the more they need to take care of with conditional statements for actions depending on circumstances of the model one has, as well as the possibility of adding a software library that wasn't used in the previous update, the larger the update file will be...

  5. Hi Andrys, thank you for your great blog. It's a pleasure reading it. Even more, since I'm eagerly awaiting my own Kindle. Kind regards V.

  6. Andrys, Do you know whether the battery drain/indicator light issue is addressed with the new update? Thanks, Hugh

  7. V,
    Thank you very much! Hope your Kindle arrives Monday.

    I read reports that battery drain is improved, yes. I don't know about problems with an indicator light though.

  8. Hi Andrys,

    Real pleasure to follow your blog. I updated my kindle last saturday with the 3.0.2 software and I think my page turns was faster with the 3.0.1 update. Now I get a flash of a black screen I didn't have before. Is it normal?


  9. Fernando,
    Thank you.
    A flash of a black screen is normal with E-Ink, but I have more to say about the speed that is perceived with shorter or longer black-screen pauses.

    See the bottom area of my blog entry at


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