Monday, January 16, 2012

Kindle Touch SOFTWARE UPDATE, VERSION 5.0.3 is ready -- How to get it.


Kindle Touch Software Update, V5.0.3
is available online, and downloadable at the link, in case the update isn't already on your Kindle Touch and you decide you want it right away.

I received an alert on the update by eagle-eyed Randall Leverette.

  My Kindle Touch is still at v5.0.0 and the 'Update your Kindle" button is grayed out.  So I'll be updating instead of waiting, although the latter will be easier for most.  As with the Kindle Fire update, I don't think they'll take their time on sending this one to the devices.

I recommend that most wait for it to happen unless they need to have it now and haven't been updated yet.  See further below on that.

As mentioned, here's the actual software update page for the Kindle Touch update v5.0.3 rather than have you choose from several possible ones on the general page.  They have been sending these types of updates out pretty quickly when they happen.

On the Kindle forums, some have reported sporadic freezes on the Kindle Touch.

The reason given by Amazon for the update:
"This update features general software improvements for Kindle Touch."

Amazon's directions on the software update page:
  1. Determine your software version: From Home, tap "Menu," and then tap "Settings." On the Settings screen tap "Menu" and select "Device Info." If you see "Firmware Version: Kindle 5.0.3" you're running the latest software. If you see a prior version, proceed with the following steps to update your Kindle Touch to the latest software.
  2. Download your software: Click on the link below to download the software update file directly to your computer:

At THIS point go to Amazon's page to get the actual file, linked under this #2 point. and follow the rest of the directions there.  It's pretty straightforward.  But it's important to follow EACH step completely to avoid problems.

  Important things to remember:
  . This uses your USB cable as you'd be opting to do this transfer manually.
  . Don't drop the file into one of the Kindle folders.  Put it at the top.
  . Make sure the transfer is complete before you disconnect.
  . Then 'safely disconnect' (depends on your computer) the Kindle.
  . Disconnect the USB cable from both your Kindle Touch and your computer.

After you're finished with that, follow Step #5 to start the Kindle up using the new updated software.

The software update will automatically download in the background and will be applied once download is complete and the device is asleep.

  If you have reactions to these changes or find any other ones, and have time, please let us know what you find.   Thanks.

Kindle Touch 3G   Kindle Touch WiFi   Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. I just manually updated and it went very smoothly. Took just a couple minutes start to finish.

  2. It may be just my imagination, but it seems noticeably more responsive.

    One thing has definitely improved: it is _much_ easier to get endnotes/footnotes to de-reference, even at small text sizes (I use '2' most of the time). Before I had to tap 'just right', and even with much care taken, it would often turn the page instead of jumping to the note. Since the update, the expected jump has worked every time I've tried it.

    I still miss the 'full page scroll' that I enjoyed on K3 using the page turn buttons (in the browser). Swipe only scrolls about 55-60% of the way. And now the Kindle Store item descriptions scroll. So it feels less 'efficient' than it should be in those contexts.

    It seems we'll have to wait awhile longer for KF8 support, and whatever other new features that may come along with that.

  3. Tom and Anonymous,
    Thanks for the very quick feedback. I connected my USB cable and asked that the download go directly to the drive designated for my Kindle (which happened to be 'f:\' in my case) and it didn't take long.

    Menu response is considerably faster now. Page turns are quicker and smooother in response time, for me, and the 'highlighting' of paragraphs, which sometimes stalled before completing has been smooth and fast so far.

    Tom, Great to read that accuracy of link touching with footnotes seems much better for you now.

    Scrolling on Home Screen at least gives a full page, but they seem to make sure that the last part of a 'page' in the Kindle Store is repeated in the beginning of the next page, to orient us as to which review we're reading, in the case of reviews, where I most care about the scrolling.

    I miss the full-page turns at the Kindle Store too, in the old book-style rather than scroll-ups and scroll-downs.

    Yes, I think this update is to fix reported problems more than anything else.

    The picture zoom: Not sure but I thought for awhile they added 'zoom' in place of the microscope icon (maybe that's just with the Kindle Fire), but now "share" is an option for the image while the zoom-in icon is in the center of the picture again.

    No doubt that in my case, it's generally more responsive.

    Thanks again for your input !

  4. The responsiveness of the home screen and page turning seems zippier to me as well. Also, and maybe it's just my eyes playing tricks or my current lighting, but the ghosting on the homepage seems to have been reduced a good bit. Before, the screensaver would bleed through a lot, or the home page text could be seen "behind" the screensaver while the kindle is asleep. Not as much now. I think the whole screen does a full refresh when going to sleep and waking up. Dunno if it did that before. And even when flipping through the home page screens without the page refreshing, the ghosting seems much better. Time will tell if I'm just crazy or not though!

  5. Todd, thanks for your added feedback.

    The homepage ghosting might be reduced (I don't know, but probably), but when in a Kindle book and Searching, that dark-ink keyboard will still leave a heavy residue when the virtual keyboard panel is hidden again, but I've never minded this because pressing either back-arrow or a Menu button or activating next/prev pages while reading will get rid of that faint, leftover image very well.

    I've been working with it more and it's definitely a faster experience...

  6. It was just today when my K Touch froze yet again, that I decided to research the issue in the forum and maybe even call customer service. Before I got around to it however I read about the update and did that first. It may be wishful thinking, I'm not sure, but it sure seems to be a whole lot faster and smoother than it has been; especially opening new books and returning to the home screen. Prior to the update, returning to the home screen would cause the K to freeze and reboot. I was getting pretty frustrated. Sure hope this solves the problem. Thanks for the link Andrys.

  7. Lily,
    Am glad it was so well timed! Your experience so far matches what others of us have noticed. Even the 2nd time I tried it, I was still amazed. I had thought that maybe my hundreds of books and encyclopedia indexes were causing slower responses but apparently not. Wow, sorry you had so much trouble -- even just returning to the home screen. I guess opening and closing files, whatever is done at that time internally, was a real problem until now. Hoping for the best! Thanks much for the feedback!

  8. I have run the update and I am also experiencing much faster highlighting. Page turns may be faster but it's hard for me to tell.

  9. I am writing a book about financial calculators. Of course, I wrote a financial calculator application to go with the book (HP-12C emulator). In version 5.0.1, the emulator was sluggish. Now it is as fast as a real HP-12C.

  10. Caroline,
    Especially true for me, too, on highlighting, which sometmes stalled on me for recognizing the highlight and, apparently, recording it.

    Thanks for taking the time to add this.

  11. edu500ac,
    There's nothing like efficient code!

  12. I thought it did not apply to my Kindle Touch, since the Amazon page said that an update was not needed. But I read carefully and figured that it was indeed my device (including the pictures), I was running software 5.0.1, and especially since Amazon does not update its own site well, I thought it was worth a try. Everything went smoothly, but I have not had time to use the Kindle after the update.

    By the way, I am new to Kindle (got it New Year's Eve), but very pleased overall. Even wrote some Weblog posts on it. One of the most important things for me is that I can send stuff to the device from the Web (I have research to do, and spend 60 hours a week in front of a monitor). This way, I can be away from the desk, comfortable, with portable reading material and far less eyestrain.

  13. Stormbringer,
    Welcome to the brave new world then :-)

    I hope they wreen't long Weblog posts you wrote on it. I've done only exceedingly brief ones when my power went down and I had to. Yes, sending web research pages to the Kindle is one of the best uses of these devices and newer users don't usually find that out as quickly as you didn.

  14. My current firmware version says -5! Not sure what that means but it is not working to update the software. I get the download fully transferred from my computer to the Kindle Touch but when I turn the Kindle back on the update is not available...then when I go look for the update (the .bin file) in the root menu it has completely disappeared! Any suggestions?

    1. ern, that firmware version number is not a promising one! Sometimes you'll see odd things if you didn't download the right software file (which happens a lot). You put it in the right place, so you should call Kindle Customer Support at 1-866-321-8851 or go to and ask them to call you (it will take about 3 seconds to get that call.

      Let me know if you can what they say.


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