Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Kindle Fire Software Downdate to version x.3.1 for HD models and 2nd Gen Kindle Fire is available, but two of us received an update to x.4.3 ... This is an alert, and I'd wait for more news.

Kindle Fire software downdate to version x.3.1 from x.4.1 but with some Kindle Fires updated over-the-air to x.4.3

In the rest of the world, when an update may be causing unexpected oddities, vendors will offer an option to fall-back to the former software version.  Amazon hasn't done that in the past, though customers sometimes request that option if they feel an update brings unforeseen glitches and needs further updating.

  The other day, Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader found that his Kindle Fire now had software version 7.4.3.  The last update announced for the 7" Kindle Fire HD was v7.4.1, and the Kindle Fire Gen 2 and HD models received the version x.4.1 updates.

  However, when you go to the associated software update page linked for your Kindle Fire model, those Amazon software update pages now show (for the last 2 days) Version x.3.1 and there is no explanation for it there.  The main difference I see is that the update pages normally show what to do for downloading a file for manual-updating if preferred, depending on your software version number, with added update-steps for some devices with old software versions.

  For the last two days, it has said "If you see a System Version other than x.3.1_user_3140720, follow one of the steps below to download the latest version."  No mention of version x.4.1 that had been announced and used since May 29 or so.

  Stranger yet - Version x.4.3 was received by Nate, and today, when I looked at version numbers under the Device "About" settings for both my 7" and 8.9" tablets, they show "Current Version: 7.4.3..." and "8.4.3" respectively.

  It seems that Amazon developers are planning to do these over the air but aren't putting the x.4.3 update files on the public area until (maybe) they are certain that the apparent glitches with version x.4.1 are fixed with version x.4.3 sent wirelessly to customers, in batches.

What were the glitches?
Best guess? Problems with charging and battery drain and some random freezing were mentioned in the forums and those experiencing them hoped for a fallback to the older version.  But I have nothing to go by but that.

  I didn't have the random freezing but did see faster battery drain than normal. The newer x.4.1 update brought us the Show Battery Percentage in Status Bar option.  Anytime you monitor something like this and update the figure, the battery is used more than when it doesn't have to monitor or update what is showing for the figure.  However, the battery calculation IS used already for the battery icon, although small percentage changes wouldn't cause icon-display changes as often, and the drain seemed faster than one would expect.

  The version x.4.3 update being sent over the air (but the Amazon software update pages for those who want to do this manually not showing it yet and instead offering only the older x.3.1 software version) may lessen the drain.  Some apps will generally cause hanging when they're not taking into account what to do when operating memory is too low but there should be recovery methods in those apps and in the system.  I've not experienced any system hangs except with the very buggy ABCWatch app for its full-episodes.

  Do nothing, unless you're experiencing glitches that interfere with normal use of your device.  In that case, you can use the blog article announcing updates for versions x.4.1, which will link you to the current software files for your Kindle Fire (US and UK), which (until they offer the version x.4.3 file), currently shows the older x.3.1 software version.

  Since I hardly ever get a software update over the air until after most people have, I'd guess that the version x.4.3 upgrade will be here within a couple of days for most and if you sync your Kindle Fire, that may cause it to slowly download when the device is idle.  Once a file is fully downloaded, then it will be installed.

  If you're having no particular problem with yours, there's no reason to get the current older file.

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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  1. Very interesting! My battery suddenly started to take at least five times as long to charge earlier this week , although I have a fast charger. Thought it was faulty even though only six months old - until I read your comments! Checked my version and its 4.3! Didn't appreciate they upgrade over air (should have!). What should I do?

  2. Crow, I'd check if the charger port is a little loose. The x.4.3 is the one that is apparently helping with some battery drain problems. It is with mine.

    Also, try turning off the battery percentage in settings under Device, if you haven't already.

    But sometimes after an update, doing a Restart will cure this. Press and hold in the power button for about 21 seconds, ignoring pop up messages. Then, release the button. After about 5 seconds press the power button again, just a tap this time and after *awhile* it should start cleaning up the memory ocnfiguration and should be okay.

    Let me know if this helps (or doesn't). Also remember that you can call Kindle Customer Svc at 1-866-321-8851 to report your charging problem. They'll probably ask you to keep a log for them and if something is wrong with your Kindle, they'll replace it. But I would bet the Restart trick will normalize things...

    1. Hi Andrys, thank you for your swift reply - I've been away but have now tried your recommendation and I'm very happy to say it appears to have worked! Great forum and I will keep an eye on it. Many thanks! Crow.

    2. Crow, good to see. Thanks for the follow up!

      If you have time, was it the Restart that worked? OR was it turning off the battery percentage. It saves a bit of draining but I suspect all you needed to do was do the restart...

    3. Have tried replying twice but they don't seem to be getting published. The restart seems to have worked as I don't have the percentage on. Still though, my fast charger seems to be taking 8 hours rather than 4, even though I purchased the fast one. I suppose I can live with that though!


    4. Crow, it shouldn't take that long at all. Let Kindle Customer Support know and they'll probably send you a replacement after doing some logs with you

      1-866-321-8851 for fast Kindle Support access, or use this to have them contact you. If you can, let me know how it goes if you do this (which I would).

  3. Andrys

    It must have been the restart, as I'd already turned the percentage off.


    1. Crow, thanks for the follow up. Apologies for being away for a bit and not getting comments up during that time!


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