Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kindle 3 preview-release of software update v3.0.1 available at Amazon

Amazon wants feedback on an "early preview of the next software update" for Kindle 3 and refers to this update-preview as software update version 3.0.1.

They stress this is offered so that "Customers who want to try this early release of the software and provide feedback can download the update from their servers."

  Amazon explains that this update will add
' the ability to create a new account directly from your Kindle,
      as well as
  additional performance improvements.

  After installing this update, please share your feedback with us at  We look forward to hearing about your experience and appreciate your feedback. '

The performance improvements would include software responses to reports that some Kindle 3's have had freezes and/or reboots -- and in phone calls that Kindle tech support reps have made to customers in proactive responses to forum notes, they've offered the interim update with success on most of the problem Kindles, although some forum members have been given replacement Kindles within a day or so, either so that the Kindle crew could analyze them or because they felt a replacement Kindle would be best for the symptoms reported.  One technical representative was reported to have suggested there might be a modem problem in some cases.

To report any unusual problems like this, it's best to write, as that mail tends to be routed to the development team.

  Installing this preview update, if you're having any problems, will probably be the fastest route to a normally-functioning Kindle, which most people I know have been enjoying, although Len Edgerly did report problems with his Kindle 3.

Instructions at their preview-update page start with:
' Here's how to download Kindle software update version 3.0.1 and transfer it to your Kindle via USB:
  1. Determine which type of Kindle you have: Look at the serial number located on the Settings screen.  To view the Settings screen, press Home, then Menu and select Settings.

    { You should see something like the following in the bottom right of the status line. }

    Image of version information (Kindle)

  2. Download your software: Visit the appropriate download the software update file directly to your computer: ... '

They have a good diagram showing how you can determine which software you'd download, depending on your serial number and the type of Kindle 3 you have.

You'll see step-by-step directions there for the download.  I'd say there's no need to install this unless you actually are seeing any problems like this, but I don't expect it would hurt, since programming code will check status to see if a fix is needed.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's 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'm finishing up my 4th day with the 3.0.1 update. After averaging a couple of crashes a day prior to that, I haven't had any since then.

  2. Tom,
    Great news! For the very few who I see have remaining issues (two so far, on the forums), I guess replacements will do the trick, along with the early-preview update (love that phrase).

    I'd had no probs either - except that when web browsing ALL my kindles would eventually run out of memory. So I paid no attention to that this week --I was (like you) just impressed with what the new web browser can do now.

    I played Every Word for 1.5 hours tonight (it is too addictive). The battery indicator didn't move!

    Then I browsed the web heavily for an hour, trying full sites vs mobile ones and, unlike the Kindles 1 and 2 and DX, the Kindle 3 had no struggles at all with it. And the web browsing is much faster, though I'll do a report on that, since some pages work better than others, of course.

    Glad your K3 is treating you well.

  3. I had a couple of non-web browser freezes and one spontaneous reboot in 12 days of use so I wasn't that worried about it and had not called Customer Service (CS).

    However, I did have a non-Amazon book (the guide from MoblieRead) that wouldn't index and that couldn't be deleted. I also noticed that page turns seemed to have slowed down.

    I read a thread on the Amazon forum that posted a CS letter about deleting all the index files from the root directory then reeindexing. While considering that I saw the news about the availability of the beta software fix. I tried the beta fix and immediately noticed that I could delete the book that was not indexing and that page turns seemed faster.

    Haven't been exercising the Kindle much since the beta download so too early to tell about its other effects but so far so good.

  4. Thank you for your interesting blog! I haven't got a kindle yet, but I am planning to get one. Regarding the web browser, the websites I am mainly interested in are: Gmail, google reader, google notes (to take notes online). Other google services like google book and google viewer are also interesting to me. With google viewer, one can view documents like pdfs online. I am curious if these websites works fine in the kindle browser.

  5. Thought I'd try SunSpider JavaScript benchmark:
    MacBookPro2.53MhzCore2Duo, Safari5: 434.4ms
    KindleWebKit browser: 36113.6ms

    Just a wee bit slower...

    It's also interesting to visit web sites which assess browser capabilities and compare K2 with K3.

    One issue that keeps coming up is that the Kindle browser is unable to open links that specify a new browser window. Seems like they could modify the browser to treat these as regular 'goto' links.

  6. Tom,
    Yes, a tad :-)

    It's very frustrating. We're taught that if you don't open a new window, then people don't know how to get back or are lost in all the 'back' stack-ups.

    I posted somewhere that I want to (and will) write that they should just allow people to go where they wanted to go and, at the most, get their permission to 'go' to the link without opening a new window.

    Will do that tonight. It's a real stopper.

  7. Yesterday I took along my Kindle 3 and visited the IFA exhibition - Consumer Electronics Unlimited.
    More than a dozen manufacturers (here a few names: Pocket Book, Netronix, Wolder, iriverMedion, Elonex, Eken, Kingta, View Sonic) presented there new E-Book readers on the Ifa. Pepole here are saying that every tenth German book shall be sold in digital form to 2015.
    ( Here are some pictures from "The Spiegel":
    One of the large Book chains Thalia expects a market share of ten to 15 per cent within the next five years in the line of business for E Books. Thalia presents his own E-Book reader, the OYO, on the Ifa. Up till now the chain already had readers of Sony in the supply.
    Thalia is not the only supplier who would like to drive the market. Even if E Books already were in the centre oft the last German Book Exhibition, the hardware was restricted to some few manufacturers for the digital reading fun. The competition is opened. Manufacturers present more than a dozen of E-Book readers here.
    However, a tour by the eLibrary on the Ifa also shows the problems of the still young market. Anyway external only few are innovative, they are strongly alike. Much equipment of the new generation offers, touch screens known from modern Smartphones. I found a lot of problems among software and operation from the E-Book readers of the smaller manufacturers: Confused menu-driven operation, too small icons and hackling control over buttons or mini-joy-sticks might deter many customers. Some of the introduced models still seemed extremely immature.
    While going from on company to the next I would lay my Kindle besides there E-Book product and compare - there was quit an excitement from customers and company representatives (voices like o here is the market leader, looks good, great type etc.).
    My personal résumé I got the best E-Book reader / System with the Amazon Kindle 3
    Greetings from Berlin

  8. Reinhard, thanks very much for the link to the photos at Der Spiegel.

    The problems you saw are interesting and I imagine most shows have early copies of later products and they are just not quite ready for the market.

    Thanks for the report!

  9. Reinhard,
    A question for you. Are you able to use the 3G web browsing feature in Berlin? Am just collecting information and hoping eventually this is possible.


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