Monday, April 19, 2010

Kindle Software Update v2.3.3 and v2.3.4 (maintenance updates)

This is an update to the earlier blog article written when the Amazon Kindle software update v2.3.3 first came out for Kindle 2 and Kindle DX models.
  Update v2.3.4 is one that is done only for Kindle devices that need it, for whatever reasons, and is not being offered in manual-update version.

Software Update Version 2.3.4
 Yesterday, I found out from a Kindle Community forum thread (with specific info from the watchful mom2karen there) that one difference is that the automated and rarely installed v2.3.4 software update identifies the IMSI or International Mobile Subscriber Identity and notes the radio's serial number.  Again, it seems to be needed for few Kindles and the Kindles that get the update tend to be both Kindle DX's and the Kindle 6" Global.  Possibly, it is used only for certain modem types.  Customer Service has told those phoning them that it's not needed for most Kindles.

  When you're due for a software update, they're normally received over Whispernet, which means your wireless would have to be On to get it and your Kindle quietly updates, which you will notice if you're nearby because it reboots when the update is completed.

Checking Which Firmware or Software Version Your Kindle is Using
  You can always see your latest firmware version by pressing the Menu button, clicking on Settings and looking at the bottom status line.

Doing a Manual Update for Version 2.3.3
While these are normally maintenance updates that are done over Whispernet when you have wireless On, I've found that quite a few just never received the v2,3.3 update, though that one was to go to all.  When I alerted a couple of people writing about the Kindle's PDF display because I thought they'd like the wider Landscape-orientation font placement (to the edges), they found that their Kindles had not received the update.  As you can see below, with instructions from Amazon that I link to, the manual update is actually not difficult, and a forum member today said she was surprised to find it was so easy.

  At the time of the v2.3.3 update, I went to look at what the latest was all about, and I saw only that they were saying
" We're sending automatic wireless 2.3 series updates to all eligible devices.  Our most recent version update is 2.3.3.

If you want to start enjoying it now, you can download and install the update manually from the Applying Kindle Software Updates Manually section below.

Automatic Wireless Updates
We send out wireless software updates in batches, so rest assured that you'll receive updates automatically. "
They go on to explain how that works and again give the option to do it yourself, manually.  As many say, it's not difficult - but if you need help, you can ask at the Amazon Community forum where a lot of help is available 24/7 from many other Kindle owners.  Another place you can ask for help and get very good support from Kindle owners is at the Kindleboards forum

You can find the serial number on the back of your Kindle.  If it starts with:
B002... it's a 6" Kindle 2, U.S. version, using Sprint's wireless network
B003, it's an International or Global version of the 6" Kindle 2 version and uses AT&T's wireless network - released October 19, 2009
B004, it's a 9.7" Kindle DX, U.S. version
B005, it's a 9.7" Kindle DX, Global version - released January 6, 2010.
Another way to get the serial number is to have Wireless On, press Menu button, click on Settings and then input the numbers 411

The 4th line of info that then displays at the top will give you your Kindle serial number (just as small as it is on the back of your Kindle, so a magnifying glass may be in order).

The basic or main software version 2.3 and a description of it
The basic version 2.3 firmware update was first explained on their software update page.

The maintenance updates for version 2.3
  The "v2.3.2" and "v2.3.3" updates would be "maintenance" updates or refinements to make the recent main v2.3 update work a bit better, after feedback from customers and what they find themselves.
  They don't give details on that, though I wish they would.  But I'm also glad they're continuing to send updates to people or making them available to us to install ourselves.

What v2.3.3 improved
  After downloading the v2.3.3 file, I noticed that the awake-process takes less time and provides a quicker stop to the spinning activity indicater at the top left.  The Kindle seems more responsive again when starting out and in general.
  Several Kindle owners felt the contrast ratio seemed better.

If you want to get these wirelessly when they're released officially for all, just remember they're done in batches and it can take WEEKS for them to get this on everyone's Kindle.  Reminder: these updates are for the Kindle and Kindle DX (US & Global) models) but not for the Kindle 1, as the v2.3 update did not apply to that model due to the hardware on the Kindle 1 having a slower processer limiting users to indirect access to words on the screen and because it has less internal storage memory.

  If, instead, you do want to do this type of update yourself, manually, by moving a file from Amazon to your Kindle with the USB cable that is part of the basic power cable (except for Australia), follow their quite good instructions on the software-update page.

IMPORTANT - File must be placed above the 'documents' folder, at the top or 'root.'
  It's essentially the the way you'd move a file to your Kindle for reading EXCEPT that you'd put the software-update file ABOVE the "documents" file, at the "root".   If your Kindle is assigned "f:\" on your computer, then you'd put the file right on "f:\" but it can be assigned any drive letter from "e:\" to "i:\" usually.

Amazon also says at the page:
" If you cannot successfully update your Kindle software using the instructions above or encounter any difficulty with your software update, please contact Kindle Support.
The very best, and quickest, way is to PHONE Kindle Customer Support.

  * Inside the United States:   1-866-321-8851
  * Outside the United States: 1-206-266-0927

  Otherwise, click the "Contact Us" button in the right-hand column of the Amazon Kindle software-update page to ask for a callback from Amazon (usually done pretty quickly).

See the ongoing Guide to finding Free or Low-Cost Kindle books and Sources
  Check often: Latest free non-classics, shortcut Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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  1. When 2.3.3 was announced I decided to just let nature take its course (or Amazon, if you will) and then forgot about it. Now that I've manually updated, I have to agree with you. It is definitely "peppier" after the update. Thanks for the post.

  2. Louise,
    Thanks for letting me know you tried the manual update after, apparently, the automated one never took place, and that the Kindle does seem more spry now :-)


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