Monday, June 14, 2010

DOWNLOAD v2.5.x. - An Intro and Hands-on Guide to Kindle Software Version 2.5.x Features - Updated Info7



KINDLE-3 users should jump direct to the Intro and Guide
by clicking HERE

  You can now download the official software version 2.5.x instead of waiting for it to come to your Kindle over wireless.  Thanks again to Frankie Sutton for monitoring the appearance of it :-).

To check whether you already have it (if, for instance, if Amazon already sent it over Whispernet when reception makes that possible and your Wireless is On), press Menu Button, select Settings, and then look at the lower-right of the status line.
  If the version number has "2.5.2" or "2.5.3" you already have the new version.

  As mentioned, it is also being delivered over Whispernet, and as usual, it can take a few days or weeks.  So, you can also wait to get it that way, of course.
  I found v.2.5.3 appearing on my Kindle DX U.S. to my surprise, over the air, and v2.5.2 appearing on my Kindle 2 U.S. as well.

  As of this moment, the server files for all 4 Kindle types have filenames of v2.5.2 though people report Kindle 2 Int'l and Kindle DX (US at least) settings of v2.5.3 (probably Kindle DX Int'l too).

Also, here is an adapted Guide to Installation of update from an Amazon forum posting by Marc Miwords.   First,
. Go [to the help page].
. Download the file associated with the Kindle version you have.
(Do you have K2 or DX and is it US or International?)

. (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

Steps to Start a Collection (no periods used after each step)
. Once you have loaded the file, put it on your desktop [or to a download folder you normally use], so you can easily find it
. Plug your Kindle in to the computer using the USB cord
. Find the Kindle, usually shown as a 'Drive' or labeled "Kindle"
. The space you then see with a bunch of folders showing is called the "root directory"
. Drag your new .bin (update file), to the root directory. [Make sure your file is placed ABOVE the folders you can still see, such as "Documents" "Music" etc.
. Safely eject your Kindle the way you normally would
  (How you do this depends on what operating system you you have XP or Vista or a Mac? etc.)   For Vista, you go to "Computer" and right click on the drive letter with the Kindle.  For Marc's Vista, it's "F" but with other operating systems it could be 'G' or 'H' etc.  It may also be labeled "Kindle"... (You will see a choice to "eject" {or 'remove' on some Macs} and you click on that.)
. Unplug your Kindle from the computer
. From your Home page on the Kindle, click "Menu"
. From that menu, click "Settings"
. From the settings page, click "menu" again
. "Update My Kindle" should be black rather than gray'd out
. If black, click on it to start the update
. Your Kindle will update. (Takes a while because the file is large.)
. The Kindle wording will alert you to do nothing until it completes
. It reboots during all this of course
. When it is updated, click "Home" button

COLLECTIONS KINDLE 3 USERS - Ignore above section
. From Home, click on "Menu"
. Go to "Add New Collection"
. Name the Collection.  Repeat as wanted  *
. Go to your books
. At each book, push the 5 way controller to the right
. From that menu, click "Add To Collection"
. Using the 5 way Controller, scroll to a collection you want to use for that particular book
. Click the 5 way controller
. One click ADDs it, another click REMOVES it -- from the collection but not from your device
. Press Back button to get back to where you were in the books
. Repeat until you have all of your books in collections.

ALTERNATIVE Collections-creation method
* NOTE: You can, instead, create a Collection, name it, and THEN choose to
ADD books to it
, and you will be taken to your book collection and you
can mark the books that are to be added to the collection.
  A book can be added to many collections. '

*** Kindle 3 users should start here ***
INTRO AND GUIDE - Main portion

Kindle Update v2.5x
, featuring the new Collections capability among other new items. is still being rolled out via Whispernet while the files are downloadable from their servers.

 Amazon indicated that Kindle Support received good feedback on the few update version 2.5 files sent out early in May and were making 'small adjustments' based on what they did hear.  The update scheduled to be available 'before Summer' when announced in November made its deadline.

 Basic answers to questions we had initially are in the online documentation.

  So I've linked to the Amazon help pages for each new feature when I've found one, as those describe how these new features work.  As mentioned, the software updates have been delivered to many Kindles but without help files or alerts that a new nicely-different update was installed.

The topmost-left image starting this blog article is of my Kindle screen after I applied  a workaround recommended by knowledgeable Kindle user luvmy4BRATs.   Using certain symbols such as '*' or '[' or '{'  forces the Collections group-names into an above-individual-books alphabetical sort when using the  "By Title" option, which people with many Collections will find more useful than the official and separate "Collections" sorting that is done by the new software.

That official Collections Home-listing, as seen in the image at the right, sorts only by most-recently accessed Collection and at times it even appears to be random.

  With 30 Collections and three pages of those on my Kindle 2 (U.S.), I had problems finding any Collection I knew held the book I wanted because I had to check each Collection name on the Home screens.

  See image on the right for how the Default listing for Collections displays.

  Then note image at top-left for the workaround recommended by luvmy4BRATs.

* Collections: Organize your books and documents into one or more collections.


Sorting Content and Using Collections

Once you have this software (most of us in late May), we would still go up to the top of the HOME screen and navigate the SORT options, which will now include "Collections," which are categories we create.   The set-categories given us before (Personal Docs, etc.) are no longer shown.

The HOME screen will look the same, but when we go up to the SORT options area at the top of the screen, we'll be able to view the Collections we've created.  You can see that the categories or collections are shown along with the number of books or documents in those collections.  The default option will remain "Most Recent First" unless we arrow over to Collections option and click on it.

Collections are created from a Menu option on the Home screen and can be renamed or deleted later (see screen image below).

  A book can be in several collections, but even if it is in only one collection, the deletion of that collection won't affect the book, which will then just show on the Home screen.

  Collections can be transferred across registered Kindle devices and you'll be able to import collections from your other Kindle devices under the Archived Items page, using "Add Other Device Collections.

  If you re-download a deleted book, it will download to the collection or category it was a part of before.

M O R E     O N. . .
Except for no option for Alpha sorting of Collections, this feature is especially well thought out, so it's intuitive, logical, and therefore easy to use.   It has a tag-type structure, so that you can have a book in several groupings at any time.  There is only one level of groupings though.

  See a Step-by-Step for Adding Collections and books for them, by Marc Miwords, above.  After reading that, press 'Back' on your browser to return here.

  Already I have 30 named Collections under which I want to find things.   But it's still brought my list of 200+  books and documents way down.  And it's really easy to find the books I'm in the mood to read now.

   I had wished earlier that we could mark and move several books at once into this or that collection.  A few reporting having a thousand or more books on their Kindles would need this even more.
UPDATE - Ray Fowler (and later, Eric) points out in the Comments area that we can "Open a collection.  Press Menu.  Select Add/Remove Items.  Now you can go through your list of books checking them off as part of the collection or unchecking them as you go."
  While it wasn't what I had in mind exactly, as I wanted to check books off and then create or fill a new 'Collection' for those, it fills the bill.
  Thanks to them for taking the time for the reminder.  I had not looked forward to opening 30 collections one by one and then reviewing over 200 books each time to see what should go in, but the way I had wanted would have its own probs.

* PDF Pan and Zoom: Zoom into PDFs and pan around to easily view small print and detailed tables or graphics

  Zooming on Images and PDF Documents
  That page will show how it's done for books and for PDF documents. 
    Normally, rotating to Landscape, which fits the PDF width to the Landscape screen   will be all that's needed.

   But, you can also Press "Aa" key (font & layout key) to magnify a section by 150%, 200% and   300% -- or view in "actual size," which sometimes allows you to scroll to right and left.

   When using the little boxes to identify what you want zoomed, be sure to use the Shift-key with 5-way button to "nudge" the box in any direction you want to get something closer to the specific area you need.

* Password Protection: Password protect your Kindle when you're not using it. 
  Here's the guide.  This feature is Off as a Default and is optional.
    The password is set from the Menu/Settings screen and you provide a hint.
    If you don't remember the password, you'll get a phone number for
    Customer Support who will help you reset it.

* More Fonts and Improved Clarity: Enjoy two new larger font sizes  and sharper fonts for an even more comfortable reading experience.

* Facebook and Twitter Posts: Share book passages with friends on Facebook and Twitter directly from your Kindle.

    Sharing Highlights and Notes on Facebook and Twitter
  The linked Amazon help page for this (just above) details how this is done.

* Popular Highlights: See what the Kindle community thinks are the most interesting passages in the books you're reading.

  Annotations: Highlights ...
    Part of this feature is already included in our private, password-protected Annotations webpage (we have this page if we left Annotations Backup enabled in the Menu/Settings options).
   Here's an example of what highlights for a book look like on our private annotations webpage (ignoring my own idea of privacy for a moment) before the recent addition of  "popular highlights."

  If three or more people highlight overlapping portions of a passage, this will trigger the alert, in your book, that others have highlighted a given passage.  You can turn this feature off under Menu/Settings.

  I think I'll turn this off until I've read
the chapter or book because I don't want to be influenced by what others highlighted while I'm still reading.  I don't read movie reviews in detail for the same reason.  I'd like to read just what the author wrote, without cues from others.  The feature is probably very useful for bookclubs though.

(Often wished-for enhancements that are Not on the list:   Direct editing of PDFs and ability to directly-read non-rights-protected ePub w/o converting them first).

M O R E   O N . . .
This is very effective for zooming in on a selected area (zoom box size is not extendable as they fit what your chosen magnification is).  Using the  'Aa' font-key, we can choose magnifications of 150, 200, and 300x.  And the resulting scaled-up text is VERY clear.

  I'd like, though,  a smoother way to move to another part of the page, to the right especially, when using the moving box border but the shift + 5-way button to nudge it a bit over helps.

The Amazon Customer Service Team mentioned on the official Kindle forum and on Facebook earlier that this update promised before Summer would include a font that is twice the size of the current largest Kindle font.  The new fonts really ARE huge..

  There'd also been some hope that Kindle menu-options would be included in text-to-speech by then but I don't see that audio feature listed.  

  The Facebook/Twitter features are ready, and the online-tutorial I'll link to shows you how to use it and what we'll see when we send out a highlighted section for others to read.  Those familiar with Facebook and Twitter know that these two companies ask you to link other webpages or processes to your page on their sites.  Some will be more comfortable with that than others.  Some already do like the feature quite a bit.  I decided to test it out and here's what the Facebook portion of this shared-highlight looks like there:

The actual highlight I made (and the nicer aspect of this is that we can make a longer highlighted passage this way) is linked to at Facebook (or at Twitter if you choose that) and the passage is then shown at an Amazon page made for that.  Here's how the highlighted portion appears at your shared highlight page at Amazon.

  News writers seem to find this by far the most interesting feature though Kindle-owners have long pushed for the other new features.

  Not only is Sharing across cables apparently sexy (newswise), but few e-readers have easy wireless access, not to mention almost-anywhere-anytime 3G Wireless access at no added cost.  So, you could be sitting on a bus, or a bench somewhere, reading a passage you want to share with friends, and you can just highlight something of interest to friends at Facebook or Twitter and send it off.  The advantage for Amazon is obvious. 

WHEN DO MOST OF US GET THE V2.5 UPDATE? (Only  maybe 25,000+ received v2.5, but many more have received v2.5.2).   This firmware update will probably be updated now and then and delivered over Whispernet (Kindle Wireless). I had said that Amazon is probably readying a final version or about to designate v2.5.2 v2.5.3 official and will eventually have an announcement about it and hopefully the proper files for each Kindle model, as usual, for manual download when necessary.  So that time has come (6/14/10).

  For Whispernet downloads when available - What I do - I plug in the adapter at night after turning Wireless ON through the Menu system, just in case.  Amazon has said that the update will be delivered when the Kindle is in 'deep sleep' mode. I've also read that they say that leaving your wireless on for 30 minutes a day when expecting an update will serve to get the update if it's been 'sent' to your Kindle.

  It's *important* also to remember to turn Wireless OFF after you remove the power adapter the next morning to avoid fast battery drain once you've  downloaded any subscriptions/periodicals that might be coming in that day.   I do appreciate the early birds taking care of any bugs before the rest of us get it though :-).

  Their over-the-air (OTA)Whispernet updates are usually distributed over a matter of weeks, so some will wait for what can seem a long time if they're reading about an update on the forums. With v2.5.x we now can download the software version and install it. (See top of this intro and guide.)

UPDATED INFO6 - Now that the current Kindle v2.5.x software update is downloadable from Amazon's servers via their manual update process, I've removed the history of Kindle owners sharing various files and previous files in order to get the update they saw others getting.

  I imagine this was encouragement for Amazon to finally get updates up, but it's also likely that Amazon wanted a subset of the v2.5.2 version to go out globally to see if there were problems with being able to use it intuitively and to make sure there were no obvious problems for the non-tech users which is their target audience.  For that they'd need non-beta-test-type users, and of course their software version would have been bullet-proofed earlier against damage to the Kindle and the users' files.
  It IS intuitive, to the extent that software with so many features offered in e-reader can be.

The Kindle-owner history of sharing unofficial update-files where there were none that they could download but people around them were getting them, which I felt was an unhealthy situation for Amazon but one that brought cheer to Kindle users not getting such an important update, is now at this page as a sort of "blog-archive."

Ars Technica's Jacqui Cheng has a fine hands-on report on the Kindle software upgrade, thoroughly illustrated.  Don't miss this one.

  Wording on the page had indicated the update would not be for the original Kindle 1, no real surprise, as the screen-handling of the cursor navigation for the Kindle Klassic, as it's often called, is "indirect" and uses entirely different software instructions from the "direct" screen cursor access for the current Kindle 6" and Kindle DX.
  But a note from Customer Support to a Kindle 1 owner suggests strongly that they may well be working on a similar organizational feature for the Kindle 1.

Check often:  Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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  1. >I wish mainly that we could mark and move
    >several books at once into this or that

    You can. Open a collection. Press Menu. Select Add/Remove Items. Now you can go through your list of books checking them off as part of the collection or unchecking them as you go.

  2. "I wish mainly that we could mark and move several books at once into this or that collection."

    You can.

    Go into the collection and click Menu -> Add/Remove.

    You'll get a listing of all books on the device, with check marks next to the ones already in the collection. As you scroll through the listing, you'll see "Add to Collection" or "Remove from Collection" appear for each book as appropriate.

    When you're all done, scroll down to the "Done" link at the very bottom.

  3. To Ray,
    Yes, I read that earlier on the forums, but as small as my collection is, I didn't want to go through all my books (210 or so) thirty times with each of my 30 collections finding what should go into them.

    I wanted (I'm done now) to go through my home list, mark the books I want that would go into a specific collection.

    This would be a bit like the old Content Manager for the Kindle 1 when we were given check boxes for a specific function affecting many files except that I want to go from files to one Collection whose name I have in mind.

    Still, it's close enough so that I really should add your pointer which is a key one. What I felt I preferred to do has its own problems.

    Thanks much for the important reminder.

  4. Eric,
    Thanks to you also. I incorporated Ray's reminder into the body of the Intro before getting to the emailed alert on your added post.
    But included your name for the help.

    Much appreciated.

  5. is there any 2.5 bin file available for Kindle DX Global version?

    if not, any scheduled date for global updating via whispernet?

    thanks in advance

  6. jomaweb,
    Yes, it's in the smaller-font section near the bottom.

    I wish we had anything from Amazon re the schedule. Right now people are receiving Whispernet v2.5.2 updates globally but it's still spotty and roll-outs can take weeks.

  7. This was handled badly by Amazon. They should not have announced the update and instead simply rolled it out the way they did with 2.33.

    Their apparent desire to blunt some of the excitement over the Nook prompted them to jump the gun and announce an update prematurely. The result was frustrated Kindle owners who, like you and me, leave their wireless on overnight in the vain hope that Saint Jeff will deliver a present while they sleep.

  8. Roberto,
    Excitement over the Nook? The iPad maybe. Or the march of low-cost readers like the Kobo, or higher cost ones like the Kakai Kno which is drawing heavy student interest.

    Besides, in November or so, they announced they hoped to have an organizer feature and two larger fonts released sometime before summer.

    It could be that they didn't want to miss the deadline by much and released these interim versions for Kindle-owner feedback.

    I agree that managing expectations hasn't been done though!

    Hope you get yours soon!

  9. yes Andrys, I've read carefully your smaller font section, but the links provided don't have information on how to bring the DX up to 2.3.3 at this time as they show in the "Manual Update Available" link.

  10. Hi, Andrys, hi, everyone, writing just to say that I've followed luvmy4brats instructions and it did work for me. I'am in Brazil and was tired to wait for the upgrade. First I upgrade my K2int to 2.3.4 (it was 2.3.3) and then to 2.5.2. Everything is working just fine. Thanks for all the useful links! B.

  11. jomaweb,
    If you have global DX version 2.3 and are very keen on trying the DX global update there, you could try the global DX v2.5.2 file in case it does handle a Kindle with v2.3 on it.

    If it really does need the v2.3.3 pre-installed, it will 'see' your v2.3 and not run. I personally am inclined to just wait for an official file.

  12. Bruno,
    Thanks for coming back to let us know that your Kindle International 6" model (same as luvmy4BRATs has) did update well with her file and the recommended prior file update.

  13. Handy Collections tip: Start your collections names with an underscore. That way, you can sort by Title from the home screen and see all your collections first, and don't have to use the lame Collections sort category that force-sorts by 'most recent'.


  14. Elmo, I don't think you read my first item, explaining the topmost left image that leads this blog entry...

    I agree it's a good tip, but it led off this entry :-)

    I show both the workaround screen result and the default one for Collections...

  15. Doh. Looks like I missed it. Sorry about that. Underscore does show up ahead any other symbols, though. ;>

  16. Elmo,
    Right! Some are working with the Ascii Table to force certain ones to the bottom or top regardless of alpha letter too.

    A couple of us are using "{" because it seems more visually appealing to us. Mileage/vary.

  17. I recently managed to install the 2.5.2 version on my Kindle DX.
    While most of the new version is really nice, seems to bee a bit faster, better contrast, collections and FINALLY zoom into pdfs, there is an annoying flaw: the vanishing of the subscriptions folder.

    When I converted RSS-feeds with mobipocket reader in version 2.3 these documents could be found in the subscriptions folder.
    This folder now has vanished and the converted RSS-feeds are spread all over my other documents, also they can not be organized in collections since this option is grayed out in the menu for these documents.

    Since I read a lot of RSS-feeds (including this blog) all this results in a hole mess. So far I managed to organize all my other documents in appropriat collections, so when I switch to the collections few, the RSS-feeds are the only documents shown beneath the collections.

    One other annoyance is, in collection view, the docs and collections aren't ordered alphabetically but by last read...

    Well I hope for a 2.5.3 version

  18. MyGadgetBlog,
    Hmmm, you're the 2nd person within a few hours to have missed the workaround I placed at the top of the blog article.

    Obviously, my verbiage has discouraged reading of that part, so I've now put that in Red, as it was an important workaround to me because I agree with your last point that the lack of an alpha sort option for Collections is ridiculous.

    Re the vanishing of the subscriptions folder. It's actually there, under "Periodicals"

    When in Most Recent sorting mode, this and 'Archived Items' will be placed last.

    When in Titel order,it will be with the "P's"

    Interesting about the RSS-feeds. You could remove the clue to the Kindle that they are
    rss streams that are seen as 1-time blogs.

    I've put Instapaper and Readability documnents into folders so I wonder what is keeping your RSS conversions.

    I use Kindlefeeder sometimes - combined RSS feeds - and that is placeable within folders. I have one called xKindlefeeder and they are moved there (by me).

    Let me know if you find a solution to your RSS feeds problem.

  19. Sunny,
    Could you write me at andrys1 [at] if you get this?

  20. FYI: There is no 2.5.2 upgrade file yet available for the US Kindle DX. The thread you reference is for the old original 2.5 (which is what I've been running), I'm afraid. (drat)

  21. Elmo,
    Thanks, as noted in the forum. I've corrected it and advised that anyone using it will, like us, not be able to ourselves update to v2.52 from v2.5 as there's no such file yet.

    However, do you wish you didn't have v2.5 ?

    In my case, the spinning wheel takes its time but in all cases I can do other things. Even when it spins upon opening. Definitely when editing collections and removing books, etc.

    Is yours not letting you do an action until the wheel stops spinning?

  22. Most actions can still be performed while the wheel spins, (albeit slower), but when downloading new books, you have to sit and wait for them to finally show up long after they've been downloaded.

    One Mobilereader member has reported that they appear to have fixed this issue with 2.5.2. and he notes that we now can have Annotations Backup without forcing us to participate in that goofy "Popular Highlights" garbage. Who in their right mind would want that enabled?? I have yet to find a single Kindle owner who would. Hopefully they'll get rid of that by 2.6... Wish they had devoted development time to legitimate improvements that everyone wants: more fonts and screensaver configuration.
    Ah well, still love the darn thing....

  23. Elmo,
    Ours are the same then. It takes longer for downloaded files to show up but even then I can actually do other things.

    Hmmm, I cut off Popular Highlights at one point but was still backed up. They're different options.

    Yah, like I suddenly want to find a highlighted passage when I'm reading a book.

    BUT for bookclubs that can be helpful since they're likely the ones doing the 'popular' set of 3 or more.

    I don't even want more fonts or screensaver though I'd like the latter but I was hoping for non-DRM'd ePub directly read (instead of going through the conversion) and editing, annotations for PDF's.
    I echo your final statement. And am probably enjoying v2.5 more than you, it seems.

    I love using Collections and now the new add-note capability that lets me add a note to a highlight in my webpage of annotations and then that new note done on my computer shows up on my Kindle.
    So, little flaws and all, yah. Love it.

  24. ELMO left a comment that was right after a bunch of spam comments and I inadvertently rejected it with the large group of spam (sorry, Elmo!) and here is his comment:

    Elmo Glick has left a new comment
    Well, MyGadgetBlog, you got your wish. 2.5.3 has been received by one
    DX owner in the Mobileread forums. And the plot thickens...

    [ It certainly does ! ]

  25. Got 2.5.2 and deleting files is now pretty much instantaneous. Whew; sure glad they fixed that!

  26. Elmo,
    I got the news after finishing a project and just did the blog, including moving the user-file history to another place. Glad Amazon got their act together on this. But testing this w/o warning on non-techies probably paid off well for us too.

    I'll go get it now. Many good reports. With beta files they'll have debugging code in there also and now it should be fleeter. One forum member said that the text in book pages is darker now. That would be a plus.

    I never had problems with the delays because they managed to allow us to continue with what we were doing. Showing new downloads was a bit of a wait too, but I could still read things in the meantime.

  27. I've had the 2.5 on my DX for a few weeks now. What Amazon thoughtfully made available is the ability to import my collections I had already made on my DX right to my K2 from Archives! Nice! Would have ben very tedious to have to start from scratch.

  28. PaulGuy,
    Yes, that Import feature is great.

    What I did have to do from scratch is (re)add to my 2nd Kindle's collections all the books and docs not bought from Amazon (probably over half of them).

  29. Thanks for so much explanation and clarification. I was able to download 2.5.2v from the Amazon help page because you let us know it was available today, stepped us through the process and gave us the 411 on all that we would enjoy once we got it done.
    Your blog is the first place I check for Kindle info.
    With admiration, gratitude as always,

  30. Jan,
    "...the 411" -- I love that. Will have to remember it.

    Many thanks for your generosity. It IS great to know that it's helpful rather than annoying, which is always a possibility!

  31. I am noticing that there's a pretty small limit to the length of excerpts you can post to Facebook, IMO. Unless I did something weird, it looks like only about 500 characters or so. I haven't seen any documentation on this, do you know if there's a hard limit on length for this stuff?

  32. Josh,
    I imagine they got Publishers' permission for the feature on the basis of 'fair use' which is usually very short excerpts.

    I haven't read about the limits but am sure there would be some. There are publishers that hardly let you highlight much that would go into the My Clippings folder. They're allowed to set limits, and you can be sure many do.

    The number of large publishers not permitting text-to-speech in that computerish style even is probably over 50% and it's ridiculous -- as if it could compete with audiobooks for people who like Audible. No comparison.

    You can send two of them of course if one isn't long enough.

  33. Re PDF/ePub support: I think what most people are asking for is PDF reflow (ability to resize and reflow the text on small screens), not editing them (which is not really possible). This, plus ePub viewing is provided by the Adobe Mobile Reader SDK, which Amazon licenses from Adobe and uses on Kindle for its basic PDF viewing. Why don't they support these features? It is not for technical reasons...

    Lack of support for PDF navigation links is also a bummer; annotation would be nice to have. As it is, Amazon's PDF viewing support is worst of breed. Clearly, it is not a priority for them.

  34. Andrys Basten said: "...The number of large publishers not permitting text-to-speech in that computerish style even is probably over 50% and it's ridiculous -- as if it could compete with audiobooks for people who like Audible. No comparison."

    I actually prefer TTS in many ways. Mostly because it is much easier to navigate precisely when you are able to view and search text. Audible 'chapters' are usually around an hour long and if you need to skip back because you want to hear it again, or review something further back, good luck. I'm hoping some day there will be a Text Enhanced Audible format that will allow you to follow along in the text when your device has a display (or just read the text without audio, like an ebook - with all the navigational niceties that would include).

  35. Hmm, and somehow this inspired me to create my first blog, and I've inaugurated it with my review of the 2.5 update:

  36. Tomster,
    I think Sony's use of Adobe license allows reflow and annotations with the stylus. That's all I meant by 'editing'...

    An older Irex did? Entourage Edge does. I want to be able to highlight or at least add a note (to "margins") and of course these go into an auxiliary file and not into the PDF itself.
    Just as notes do with a normal Amazon book file.

    Amazon licenses lower rights from the Adobe Server Edition package, from what I can see. Adobe seems to have various packages from which you can choose for licensing PDFs capabilities. The 'full' one allows for the most advanced feature set of their Adobe Acrobat Pro.

    In the last place I worked, Adobe In-Design (or sometimes just a Microsoft Word Doc file) was used for the design and then we converted to PDFs from Adobe Acrobat Pro which allowed us to place navigation links in as wanted on text-based docs (we never used image-based PDfs). See LHS Population Growth sample

    On this book sample, which you can view and download, the links are followable on a computer but not on the Kindle. When I ask Amazon's conversion process to 'Convert' (putting that word into Subject field of email for direct-send to [me] ($.45 for speed & no labor on my part), it's nicely converted and reflowed via their MobiPocket Creator software and we can access the screen as usual, the links aren't recognized.

    But I can make 'notes' "to" or for that copy, while retaining the original PDF for reference on the actual layout.

    I don't understand why Kindle PDFs don't recognize links in this kind of PDF, but then I'm confused by the whole thing anyway, but there is no cursor control for the Kindle on these text-based PDFs that would allow us onto a specific word or phrase on the computer.

    "Worst of breed" ? What's wrong with choosing 'Actual view' and then scrolling around? How do you expect them to make it LARGER without scrolling? to see the rest of it.

    What's wrong with identifying a small section with a box you can 'nudge' in any direction with a shift-cursor-any-direction and then be able to zoom it 150-200=300% ? But 'Actual size' is usually all I need OR the Landscape mode where the characters are larger due to more space available in the width.

    TINY letters in PDFs, zoomed 200 or 300% are extremely readable. So what makes it 'worst of 'breed' to you ?

  37. Tom Semple/Tomster
    You were meant to blog.

    Re your first blog entry (which repeats some good points made here by you), we are in complete disagreement on Collections.

    Subscriptions are still there but under "Periodicals" and only the latest issue is shown on the Home listing, probably done for people who might forget to look into Periodicals.

    And that particular pre-set-'Collection' is on the last page of Home listing for 'Most Recent' along with 'Archived items' and if, for you, that is on page 5, then you type '5' and click on 5-way button and you're on the page for the P's. It's easier than slowly cursoring up.

    Old 'Personal Docs' - ALWAYS problematical in the past because we had personal docs that stayed as 'books' and we couldn't get them into Personal Docs.

    Now all you have to do is make a Collection called 'personal' or whatever you would name it and put your own stuff in there ! If it's important for you, put two of same symbols in front of the title of that collection.

    Open the collection and mark all the books that apply. You have control, vs before.

    And you have only 40 or 50 items while others of us have much more because we like them all at hand, so we need customized Collections more.

    Re minimalist experience, just put everything in Collections and choose Collections. OR, choose sort by Titles after prefacing Collection names with a symbol you like and you'll have them in alpha order at the top, where you can ignore anything trailing them.

    Yes, individual books are still listed after them but it is extremely easy to ignore them or, if you remember the name of a book just press the first character (*only*) of a book title and click on 5-way to skip to books beginning with that alpha letter.

    How is Periodicals different from Subscriptions?

    While in sort-by-Titles, by the way, with Collections at the top in alpha order -- if you preface names with a symbol, you can just press 'p' to get to the P-starting titles.

    What's so difficult about making your own Samples collection?? Almost everyone else has done it - and some don't care about that. Why do you want Amazon to do it for us? More clutter on a top line made by them that we would have to slowly cursor up to on an e-ink screen. We can name one 'Samples" or we can have Samples:History and Sample:Fiction etc.
    By the way, within Collections - some people have over a thousand books they like to have as a 'personal library' which was advertised by Amazon. Why shouldn't they be given the option of sorting that collection by author or title within a Collection?

    I like your blog already but I think you have not given enough time to a methodology which wasn't your first preference when it comes to collections.

    Me I'd love Collections w/2 sorts on Home List: Alpha or Most Recent

    But that's my only quibble and there are easy ways to simulate both though I hope to see them give the option that addresses my on small quibble, natch.

  38. Thank you for your fine blog. You mentioned in a reply to another reader that you were able to move Instapaper documents into a collection. When I went to do the same, I found that command grayed out on all my Instapaper articles. Any ideas? Thanks.

  39. Jim C.,
    In one thread I mentioned this in, I also remembered that I don't take it as a subscription. I put articles in a folder and when ready, I send them to the Kindle as a set of articles.

    That's probably why they're not seen as subscriptions and are treated like other personal docs

    There's also in which you can choose from several feeds. That one, I ask be readied and then I request it from the Kindle which avoids the 15c per megabyte charge as it doesn't go through the Amazon servers. It is just downloaded from ...

    I have those in a 'xkindlefeeder' Collection but I don't download it often. I used to. I like the navigation of the Amazon Kindle blog subscriptions but I use Kindlefeeder whenever I want to see certain blogs and newspapers I don't want subscriptions for.

    Sorry to be so vague!

  40. I downloaded the 2.5.2 software for my Kindle 2, and it all came through okay. One of my friends had 2.5.3 downloaded automatically to his Kindle, and I noticed that the the font was sharper in that version. I have not been able to find 2.5.3 on the Amazon web site, and I wonder why some downloads are for version 2.5.2 and others are 2.5.3. The sharper font is the most desirable feature of the new software for me, and it appears that my Kindle will not be upgraded with that feature. Does any one have information on how these two upgrades are distributed?

  41. Jay,
    The v2.5.3 software has been going to the Kindle International 6", the DX U.S. and possibly the DX International (not sure about that last one). We haven't noticed it going to the Kindle 6" U.S. model though. (That's the one I have.)

    What happens with the Kindle 6" Internationals are that the downloaded file is for v2.5.2 and after a couple of days, the Whispernet will tend to bring v2.5.3...

    I'm pretty sure the font is sharper in all v2.5.x but the 'darkness' of the font is sometimes stronger relative to what it was before.

    That's all I know right now. Will update if/when I hear more...

    And if you get v2.5.3 later, let us know. Thanks.

  42. Andrys:

    I'm glad to see that your Blog exists!

    I have been using Skindle to unprotect Kindle books I have bought so I can read them on my Nokia N900, a handheld computer and phone. And I have been using TextAloud to create readings I can listen to on my N900. I think that the BEST way to read is to read AND listen to a book at the same time I also prefer color to black and white, though I also love my Kindle. Decoding with Skindle gives me a lot of flexibility in how I use the Kindle books I buy.

    On another subject -- have you heard anything about the rumored Shasta Kindle Amazon is said to be working on?

  43. geneven,
    At the top right of the blog, do a search for

    It's all I've come across.

  44. DX International from download updated to 2.5.2 (but this was a week or so ago).
    The update to 2.5.3 came over Whispernet a few hours after.
    Maybe people reporting 2.5.3 from the download just had the wireless autoupdate very quickly and never noticed it happening?

  45. Anonymous from July 16,

    See to see my description of what has been happening on each Kindle model with respect to the various versons of software update v2.5.x

    What you mention IS how it happens... Someone mentioned the manual file for v2.5.3 is now there but I haven't looked at that again yet.


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