Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kindle news: Software v2.5 rollout?, Target's Kindles, Kindle for PC on Asus netbooks - Update

Kindle software update, version 2.5, is said to be starting its official rollout, per Engadget, which has photosev taken with a flash for some reason so we see a big white glare in the middle of each picture, and the display-text they want to show us is then hard to read.  The picture I used here is from Crunchgear's story.  Both websites used a Kindle DX in their photos.  But I have the software installed on my 6" U.S. Kindle.

HOWEVER, I have to add that the "proof" that Engadget offers is not strong:
'...we've got pictorial proof that the new code is being pushed out as we speak.  This particular unit is a Kindle DX, and it's not hesitant in showing off the social networking features we were promised. Feel free to poke around in the gallery below, and then fire up your own Kindle to see if you've received an OTA surprise. '
The picture of a Kindle with the release version features showing is not actually proof that it's being 'pushed out' now (though I sure hope it is), as it was being pushed out to a smaller subset of customers when first announced a few weeks ago and other websites showed images back then.  I do see forum notes that a few are reporting getting updates yesterday and today though.

  But the software should be in broad release any day as they announced it would be in late May.  Even then, the automated Whispernet releases of software updates are usually slowly distributed.  And this is a 10-meg file, with some Kindle owners  in areas with weak-wireless reception.

UPDATE 5/26/10The same message thread I linked to above has a later post from Evelynne, who let us know a customer rep she contacted said that the delivery was on target and used the words 'real soon'...

  Frankie Sutton at the Amazon Kindle boards contacted Amazon Kindle Support to ask about the update and received a reply which included the portion below, which is of special interest because of the apparent confirmation that there'll be a manual-update available to us:
'...Once the Kindle 2.5 update is officially released, you can download latest version or update the Kindle software by following the instructions on the below link. You can check the below link, about when the Kindle 2.5 is available. "
   www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates '

TARGET: KINDLES "flying off the shelves"
Wall Street Journal's Karen Tally reports in the expanded version of their article that "On Monday, the retailer said it is expanding the electronics and videogame sections in most of its stores by 30%.   Target recently struck a deal to become the first brick-and-mortar store to carry Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle e-reader. 
  In a 100-store test, the Kindle e-readers "flew off the shelves," the company said. "

  (That paragraph is behind Wall St. Journal's online paywall.)

Liliputing's Brad Linder reports that Some Asus netbooks and notebooks will ship with Amazon’s Kindle eBook software for PC.  The software makes it easy to find, purchase, and download eBooks from the Amazon Kindle store and read them on a computer without even needing to own a Kindle.  These will be on models sold at the Amazon store and will include other models than the ones identified this week.
  Props to Amazon for getting the ready-to-use app on Asus laptops, since the software is free for anyone to download but most new netbook users probably wouldn't even know it exists.

Linder wonders: "Could we eventually see dedicated eBook readers with access to Amazon’s digital book store that aren’t the Kindle?  Or maybe we’ll see Kindle software on future Asus Android or Windows tablets?  Or maybe not."

Buyers will see these first on the Asus Eee PC 1005PE-Mu27 netbook and the UL30A-X5K and UL30VT-X1K thin and light notebooks.  These are models in stock at Amazon with the Kindle software already installed.

Asus' netbook users for these and some other models are automatically set up to use, on existing WiFi networks, "Amazon’s Whispersync technology which saves your notes, highlights, bookmarks, and last-read page so that you can start reading a book on a netbook and pick up where you left off on another PC, Mac, iPhone, Kindle, or other device."

Readers can choose from white, sepia (my favorite) or black display modes, and adjust the brightness of a text from within the application (very useful).

Here's more information on the free Kindle for PC for those who haven't read about it yet.

 See the ongoing Guide to finding Free or Low-Cost Kindle books and Sources
   Check often:  Latest temporarily free non-classics or late-listed temporarily free nonclassics. 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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