Older e-Ink software update - Links involved, if your update hasn't been completed
1. Critical Software Update for Kindle E-Readers - Amazon Help page
2. Amazon Devices - Identifying yours: U.S. and UK
UPDATED 3/19/16 to add footnotes for asterisks used in the affected-devices table.
UPDATED 3/26/16 to add device-photo-page links just above the table of affected devices.
Amazon has sent personal e-mail alerts to all owners of older Kindle e-Ink E-Readers needing a "critical" software update that would be automatically delivered to that older device "over the air" via either 3G Cellular network (for the oldest Kindles) or via WiFi.
While they identify the e-Readers needing the updates, it may not be clear to us which device is named in the e-mail, since they mention the "generation" of Kindle and most of us don't tend to identify our devices that way.
We don't always see our Amazon emails when they're mixed in with daily discount alerts or order confirmations received, among all our other email, so this article is to make sure owners are aware of the needed update.
The email I received listed the specific older devices I own:
' The following Kindle e-readers registered to your account require an important software update:
[The affected-device list is placed here -- my Kindle e-Reader 1 (2007)'s odd mercury-column
selection cursor still works 9 years later (!) and is very readable.]
Update the e-readers listed ... to continue downloading e-books and using Kindle services. To receive the update, follow these steps:
- Plug your Kindle in to charge during the update.
- Turn on wireless.
- Leave your Kindle plugged in and connected to the wireless network overnight, or until the update is complete.
The software update will download and install automatically, even if your device is asleep. Your device may restart multiple times during the update process. You will get a final confirmation letter on your device when the update is complete, which can be found in your Kindle Library.
If you do not update the devices' software by March 22, 2016, you will no longer be able to access Kindle services or get the update via connecting to a wireless network.
To resume access, you will need to manually update the software on each of your Kindle devices. Please visit our Help page for more details on how to update manually: www.amazon.com/ku2016.
I did receive my updates over the air a couple of weeks after I got the notices, and it was pretty seamless if you were expecting it.
The "critical" update that allows you to continue downloading your e-books and use Kindle services will not show any differences (that I could see). But, as mentioned, you're told it's completed and, in my case, I also received a 'letter' document letting me know it was done. Again, if you haven't received it, you should plug in your Kindle overnight to receive it, before March 22.
AFTER March 22, you can do this ONLY if you get the software update file and load it onto the Kindle yourself. For ANY of this, if you have any trouble understanding what to do,
call Kindle Support:
OR use the Contact Kindle support page
For convenience, here is info for affected (and UNaffected) devices from PART of the critical-software-update page.
|Device and Year||Software Version Your Device Needs||Update via Wireless (2G/3G) or Wi-Fi|
|Kindle 1st Generation (2007)||1.2.1||Use Wireless|
|Kindle 2nd Generation (2009) *||2.5.8||Use Wireless|
|Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009) *||2.5.8||Use Wireless|
|Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010) **||3.4.2 or higher||Use Wi-Fi|
|Kindle 4th Generation (2011)||4.1.3 or higher||Use Wi-Fi|
|Kindle 5th Generation (2012)||4.1.3 or higher||Use Wi-Fi|
|Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011) **||126.96.36.199 or higher||Use Wi-Fi|
|Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012) **||188.8.131.52 or higher||Use Wi-Fi|
|Kindle Paperwhite 6th Generation (2013)||No Update Needed||No Update Needed|
|Kindle 7th Generation (2014)||No Update Needed||No Update Needed|
|Kindle Voyage 7th Generation (2014)||No Update Needed||No Update Needed|
|Kindle Paperwhite 7th Generation (2015)||No Update Needed||No Update Needed|
* For these devices, even if you are running software version 2.5.8, if you have not connected to wireless (2G/3G) since October 5, 2015, please connect now.
** For these devices, even if your device has built-in 3G, you will need to connect to Wi-Fi to receive the latest software update.
FAR more detail if you need it is at the softwareupdate help page.
Again, here's the page that helps identify your device(s): U.S. and UK
Then there is a SECOND update for many with older (but more recent) Kindle e-Readers.
This second update is to get the interface to match what they've done for the newer e-Ink e-Readers.
My Paperwhite 1 stayed at software version 184.108.40.206 so far and the interface is the same. My Paperwhite 3 got the new interface (v5.7.x.x), called the HOME VIEW vs the old 'cover' or "list" page styles.
The change I liked was that instead of "Cloud" and "Device" they now use the terms "All" and "Downloaded" --and these are clearer in that the Cloud holds ALL that you own while "Downloaded" refers to the copies you've put on your device to read.
SOME are not enthralled with the new interface because it includes Recommended books
Some of us have always turned off the option to see Amazon recommendations, as we just want to see the books we bought and prefer to go to the Amazon pages if we want recommendations.
Others LIKE having recommendations based on their reading habits and keep the Home View.
If you DON'T want the book recommendations and some other features of Home View, you can turn them off. Here are tips from the Kindle forum.
Voyage/Paperwhite - new interface tips
The following settings tip ALSO turns off the "Recommend Content" feature and you'll be able to get the old home page List View instead.
The new, somewhat paler or lighter-contrast screen and smaller fonts will still be in effect.
On the 3-dot menu icon at the top-right:
Go to: Settings / Device Options / Personalize Your Kindle / Advanced Options / Home Screen View
and Set that to Off when you'd rather not use the new view.
Others say to just pull down the top menu down (in some models, the 2nd one from the right) and choose "List"
Some tap "All Items" at the top and then "List View."
Another finds that "Anything new that I've downloaded never shows up. I can find them if I do a search or if I switch to the grid."
For the grid:
"Tap "All Items" and then Grid View to get -that- view.'
The font sizes on collections and book lists are smaller and some have requested larger fonts.
Others have found the new, smaller fonts clearer though.
NOTE: In a thread at Teleread, I saw the following:"The difference you noticed with the weight of the Helvetica font is an issue that we are aware of,” Stephany Rochon in Amazon PR e-mailed me earlier this week, “and we are correcting it before the update is rolled out broadly to customers. "Changing Portrait to Landscape is done in a different place now.
Tap the "Aa" option at the top, then "page" and then "orientation."
When tapping on "Downloaded" rather than "All" -- you'll tend to get only titles you've not read or samples, of course.
If there's a book or sample that you don't want,
you can tap the 3-dot menu next to a book title and see
an option to "remove from device" -- some have wondered how to do this on the updated Kindles.
TABLETS: Option to reset your 4th Generation Kindle Fire tablet from Fire OS 5 to Fire OS 4
I've had a couple of complaints from users who found themselves faced with a very sudden, new tablet interface and HATED it. They asked what they could do about it. I don't have a tablet that gets the new update/upgrade, but I advised them to wait a bit to see if they might like it better after some time. As it turns out, they did find new features that make the new Fire OS5 update worth keeping. One is the ability to switch easily between currently running programs. It works well.
HOWEVER, I saw, on the Kindle forum, that some have, nevertheless, wanted to return to the old "Fire OS4 Version, and Amazon has made this possible, but it involves a Factory Reset and you lose personal docs and customizations made.
Here's Amazon's help page that details how to "Reset and Downgrade Your 4th Generation Fire Tablet to Fire OS 4."
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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