This unanticipated and reassuring update (for an earlier Kindle model) was announced by the Amazon Kindle Forum's Community Manager, Kevin G., close to noon Tuesday. Thanks to regular contributor Tom Semple again for the alert. See notes re what users have found about this following the announcement details below [updated].
From the Amazon US update and Amazon UK update pages -
(bracketed info is by me.)
"The update will be delivered wirelessly and includes an updated user interface and new features. This update automatically downloads and installs for Kindle touch customers; however, you can also manually download the software an udpate your device via USB cable."
' This software update includes the following new features:
. A new user interface
. Whispersync for Voice [ US only ]
. Enhanced Parental Controls
. Book Covers
. Recommended Content [ This can be turned off. ]
. Enhanced book samples
. Navigate graphic novels, and comics '
If your Kindle Touch has software version 5.1.0, 5.1.1 or 5.1.2 installed, you'll either get this wirelessly or you can download it manually as mentioned.
If you have a version prior to 5.1.0, Amazon links you to the earlier 5.1.0 update that must be downloaded and installed before doing the 5.3.2 update.
Determine your software version
- From Home, tap Menu and then tap Settings.
- On the Settings screen, tap Menu (the Amazon update page omits a step here) and THEN select Device Info. Your software version is listed under Firmware Version.
The Kindle Touch Software update page ( US, UK ) leads you through what to do, depending on which Firmware Version is showing for your KTouch.
What's New -- and what you need to know
Amazon has a page explaining the new features ( US UK ), including the fact that "Archived Items" is gone, and "Cloud" replaces it, listing all the items or, in this case, Kindle books or newsstand titles you've purchased (including the $0.00 ones) and which can be (re)downloaded to your Kindle at any time.
It includes fuller descriptions of the new features and also explains that you can turn off "Recommended Content" if you don't want to see it (which entails going to Settings, Device Options and then Personalize your Kindle).
Other descriptions detail:
. how to view your book covers or, instead, just a listing
. how to track your reading progress with Time to read
. enhanced sample-to-book feature
. navigation of graphic novels, comics, and children's books
The Kindle Community forums post lists them and I'll include that here for easier access in one place (italics and bold-facing added by me):
' * Updated User Interface: We have an updated and streamlined interface for your Kindle. Archived Items has been renamed to Cloud and appears in the top left of your screen under the toolbar. All your archived items can be found there.
* Book Covers on the Home screen: View the covers of your books by selecting Cover View in the menu from the Home screen.
* Time to Read: Kindle Touch calculates your reading speed to let you know when you'll finish your chapter or book.
* Recommended Content: We've made it easy to discover new titles with recommended content. The Kindle Store uses the same personalized customer experience you're used to across Amazon.com, matching our best recommendations to your personal reading habits.
* Enhanced Sample-to-Book Experience: When you buy a book after reading a sample, we will now automatically start the book at your last reading location in the sample and remove the sample from your Kindle.
* Parental Controls: With the latest software update, parents can restrict access to the Experimental Web Browser, Kindle Store, and Cloud. While the Kindle Store and Cloud are locked with Parental Controls, you can continue to buy books from a computer and send them to your Kindle wirelessly.
* Whispersync for Voice: Now you can switch back and forth between reading and listening without losing your place. Whispersync for Voice will synchronize what you read on any Kindle platform device with Audible playback on Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Fire, or on Audible apps for iPhone and Android.
* Author Profiles: We've added biographical information and the ability to browse other books by the same author from within your book. When reading, tap the Menu button and select About the Author.
* Children's Books and Comics: Children's books come to life with Kindle Text Pop-Up, enabling you to easily read text over images. Comic books can now be read with Kindle Panel View, which allows you to read a comic book panel by panel.
We will be delivering this update over Wi-Fi in the coming weeks. Customers who prefer to receive the update immediately can manually download and install the software update from [the] kindlesoftwareupdates/touch page ( US UK )
If you have questions or need help with this update, please head over to the Kindle Help Forum [no announcement in UK forum at the moment]. '
What users have discovered about the upgrade
1. Kindle books can't be searched before a re-indexing of keywords is done. This re-indexing will happen automatically and will take quite a bit of time in the background (you can read a Kindle book in the meantime) and will use the battery pretty heavily before it's done.
*~*Pineapple*~*, a Kindle Forum Pro, writes
' To check for indexing, search on the Home page (Device) for an uncommon or nonsense word like zxcvb and at the bottom of the list will be the number of unindexed books.
To start them indexing:
1. Turn on wireless
2. Restart (Home > Menu > Settings > Menu > Restart)
3. Wait '
Depending on how many books are on your Kindle, it could take hours or a day, but you can use the Kindle while it's slowly re-indexing the books in the background.
Note that the software update itself is a big one and it takes longer than usual. Leave it alone when you see it happening and let it complete. It may take up to 15 minutes. I like to plug in my Kindle when manually doing an update, but it's not necessary. However, it's a good idea to plug it in for the re-indexing that will have to be done and can be quite a battery drainer.
At any rate, this extensive update is quite a boon for Kindle Touch owners.
Updated info 1/11/12
Users have reported problems with font face selections, and Amazon customer reps have told them they are working on a further update that will fix that.
Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
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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