Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kindle Paperwhite News: Paperwhite Software Update v5.3.6 and feedback about an error message which can be safely ignored

Kindle Paperwhite Software Upgrade to v5.3.6

I missed a forum notice about about a software update four days ago for the Kindle Paperwhite (US)   (UK Paperwhite: here; Global Paperwhite: here.) [Bracketed notes are mine.]

Amazon Kindle Forum Notice and thread
"Initial post: Jun 17, 2013 10:38:18 AM PDT
Kevin G.., Community Manager, says:
' We have a new, free software update available for Kindle Paperwhite which can be found here: [U.S.]

    [Here's the UK-only software update page]

The software update will be delivered wirelessly and includes a feature enhancement and general improvements for your Kindle Paperwhite.  This update automatically downloads and installs on your Kindle Paperwhite; however, you can also manually download the software and update your device via USB cable.

The software update includes the following enhancement:
* Improvements when buying from a book sample - While reading a sample of a book, you can view the price of the full book and purchase from the reading toolbar with one tap..

If you have any questions or need help with this update, please visit the Kindle Help Forum: '

As ever, note that keeping your Kindle connected to a Wi-Fi network will drain your battery faster.  So, once you've got the update "over the air," put the Paperwhite back to "Airplane Mode ON" - which turns Wireless Off.  They still have not put the "Wireless Off" and "On" back on the front menu as they recently did for the Kindle Touch, removing the 'airplane' icon, which many of us wish they would do, as it is very inconvenient to have it on a secondary menu and many do not even know about the wireless-off feature, causing more battery drain and confusion over that.  Amazon: please do this in the next update.

  I realize they prefer Wireless On due to delivery of Special Offers but the battery-drain problem is real.

Only if you'd rather not wait - DOWNLOADING and transferring the Update via USB
US:  Go to the Kindle Paperwhite Software Update v5.3.6 download section to get the instructions for the download and transfer to your Kindle via USB:
UK:  Go to the same for the UK-only page

  - The v5.3.6 enhancement and some feedback on the software at the forum
This is an update I think most wouldn't rush to get, waiting for it to be delivered over the air instead, as it makes it easier for you to buy a book from the sample you're reading and is more an enhancement for Amazon, though it's convenient, but I thought it was easy enough as it was, when you're asked if you'd like to buy the book, and you can click to get to that function.

  One fear expressed was that people could make a tap they didn't intend and wind up buying a book if inadvertently tapping the link on the toolbar to get the book.  I don't have the update on mine yet, but I imagine that after the one-tap, you'd be asked if you want to buy the book, but if a person is distracted s/he may click an unintended Yes if in a hurry and not reading carefully.

  NOTE: Amazon has always asked, at the end of a purchase, if you've just bought a book by mistake and then reverses it if you click on Yes -- and they also have a refund period you can use if the book is unsatisfactory in some basic formatting, is missing pages, or is filled with typos, etc., and even if you realize later that you didn't intend to get that book.  This would work better when you're not on record as having read the full book.

  The "general improvements" are not listed or described.

  Unintended-error-messages after the install have been reported by some of the forumners after the installation when requesting a download of a book.  If the error messages are ignored, the download completes without problems (unless you really have exceeded device limits for that book).

  The "Exceeded device limits" message has been received even for two Oxford dictionaries, which are not subject to the restriction which publishers can require on normal e-books.

  A couple of customers reporting this said they were called by Amazon to to get more information on the glitch.

  Other than that, there've been no reports of installation problems or other glitches involved with the upgrade over the past 5 days.

  For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
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  1. I notice that you continually advise readers to keep wireless off. I did a cursory search and couldn't find any details on why you suggest this. I haven't worried about that since the original Kindle. I currently have the Kindle Paperwhite and keep wireless on all the time since I use Whispersync to read on multiple devices. Battery life for me is excellent. I only charge it every few weeks. What do you consider excessive battery drain? I think the convenience of never worrying about toggling wireless exceeds the minor inconvenience of perhaps charging a few days sooner.

    1. Chris,
      Here's #1 of 2 in response to your question.

      Wireless On usually means the device will 'look for' something at intervals, which can be a battery drain.

      It will depend most on what kinds of apps are enabled and things like Special Offers. Weather apps are something that drain the device and if you have a 3G version of the Paperwhite, maybe location apps. I use the 3G version sometimes when riding in a car or just away from home and Google door-to-door wants to know where I am.

      But the problem is most true mainly for those who have subscriptions to periodicals, some of which are updated at least daily and some several times a day. For those who have those, it's best to keep wireless off (if battery drain is important to the person) until you want to see if you've something pending delivery.

      This is more important for the tablets, as the limit on those is 11 hrs if you have no real activity going on (just reading won't do much) and as little as 8 hours.

      The Paperwhite model has seen many questions from people about why the battery drains so fast for SOME, and it shouldn't. It's partly probably because of the built-in light, which some keep very high day and night when it's active and it doesn't really completely shut off.

      There is also the problem that newcomers turn the Paperwhite off when not using it rather than let it just 'sleep' as On/Off takes more battery power than just letting an e-Ink device sit with no page changes.

      But the newest situation is that Amazon has the "Special Offers" thing now, which means they want your wireless On so it can look for ads wanting to come down the pike -- and so it is active there with intervals of checking to see if Special Offers are due for delivery and in the downloading of those.

      I got tired of my locked screen asking me to turn on Wireless so they could deliver the Special Ads (though I realize it can help pay for the hardware and labor, transport, storage, marketing costs, with Amazon's low net margins).

      Other causes, though, are those who download lots of free or low-cost books at a time (some, often) and keep them on their devices rather than rely on the cloud's archiving and download system -- and those will be indexed in the background and this can do significant drain with the indexing of key words and customers aren't aware of that.

      So it's hard to know whether battery drain that's unusual is due to one or another or more of those factors. A sure way to keep Wireless Checks and Syncs from happening is to turn it Off.

      (continued on the next reply)

    2. Chris,
      This is #2 of 2.

      On the Kindle Touch (which Amazon quietly discontinued again a month or so ago) they had recently just put "Wireless On/Off" on the FRONT of the menu again in a recent software update (to ecstatic responses in the forums), as in olden days and made sure you had it available while reading a book.

      That ensured that it would not be active and 'looking' and people would easily see it and enable or disable it. As a *hidden* setting now, on a secondary page, many don't even know it can be disabled and if they are among those concerned with the battery not lasting as long as it should (see Kindle Forums), then it's not a good thing to hide it behind the main menu.

      Add that the reason Amazon would want it on as much as possible is that the ads get more eyes logged, as advertisers do want records of how often their ads are seen.

      I paid, after the fact, for no Special Offers on my Paperwhite because of the locked-screen messages bothering me to turn On Wireless, but I like to see them 'Offers' (which can be good ones) on the Kindle Fire. With the KFire, you can have Wireless Off when the device is sleeping (or at least you used to be able to do that).

      If you're reading across several devices, you're smart to prioritize being able to sync the devices over any battery drain though. Some people wonder why one device doesn't have the same page you last read, as marked, when they didn't have Wireless On when reading the last one, so no record of the last-page-read was sent to the servers.

      Hope that helps somewhat...

  2. I think the "wireless on" feature isn't nearly as much of a drain if you don't take the Kindle out of your house. I keep m y Kindle in my purse, and if leave wifi on all weekend, it's not so bad, but if I take it with me to work, out of range of my home wifi, it does drains the battery much faster.

    Please tell me the new Paperwhite upgrade will restore the "next chapter/previous chapter" function to the up and down page swipe, like I had in my Kindle Touch! Why, why, WHY did they take that away!

    1. Carmen, thanks. If attempts to check or sync via wireless can't get through, they will "keep trying" which drains the battery faster. That's one reason I keep mine off unless I want something, as I have periodicals that cause checking to see if there is an issue to download and the Paperwhite is always in my purse when I leave the house.

      Re page swipes for prev/next:
      I think the reason they did it is that they changed the Home screen at some point so that you swiped up or down to get the rest of the "List View"... (as opposed to Cover View). Then they did this for periodicals too, including blogs. (They left in the normal left-right taps though.)

      After getting used to that, when people use it on their books, they'll wind up on another chapter (if the publisher enabled chapter markers) while not realizing the swipe-up will do that and then they report that suddenly the Kindle put them way ahead or whatever.

      Now, on the Kindle Touch, I can swipe to Prev/Next chapters on the Kindle User's Guide but I can't do that on the Paperwhite.
      I still don't have v5.3.6 and haven't had reason to do the update, so I don't know if it's changed that, but I doubt it...


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