Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kindle 3 Software Update v3.0.2 Officially Released Now - 10/13/10


I'm re-posting this original assessment (Sept. 19) of Kindle 3 software update version 3.0.2 that was first put on the Amazon servers as an early-preview Beta on Sept. 18, as it did resolve early problems that some Kindle 3 owners had.  The original title was Kindle 3 software preview release v3.0.2 improves performance.  Collections.

  To download the official release, if you'd rather not wait for it to come over Whispernet, see the instructions originally pointed to and described at the time of the software update announcement if you have a Kindle 3 and want to install it yourself.

The early preview release of software update v3.0.2 for Kindle-3 models has worked well for almost everyone reporting in, with regard to page-turn slowdowns outdoors, and there are also reports that the web browser is also faster and quite a bit smoother.  Others mention improved battery performance as well.  The Kindle software engineers have been very responsive and effective, and definitely the Kindle customer support team too.

  See the Amazon Kindle Community message thread for the feedback so far.  I noticed one person was still seeing a 1-second page turn, which seems slow to her.  I haven't tried it yet since I've been happy with mine, but I imagine this update will be official by Monday or Tuesday (this is just my conjecture).  Laura wrote the following to this blog's comment area as well today:
' It appears 3.0.2 fixes issues with slow page turns with kindle's exposed to direct sunlight.  I had this issue, the turns were slow enough that you could read the first line of text in negative image before it completed.  I had this issue before and after 3.0.1.

After the update so far, this appears to be fixed.  I never thought this would be fixed with a software update, so I am very happy! '
See Saturday's software update announcement for instructions on how to get software update v3.0.2 if you have a Kindle 3 and want to try it out or take earlier advantage of the improvements.

While I'm here, with this short post, I'll post a modified version of a Q&A from the Comments area the other day with new Kindle-3 owner gazza who was interested in how to do folder organization by author.   Many of the most recent added features were actually introduced with the Kindle 2 and DX in July, and when "Collections" were created, many did not realize that is the equivalent today of what we're used to thinking of as 'folders' except that the organization is done by 'labels' or 'tags' (just as GMail's mail system is).

My reply was:
' With the Kindle, 'folders' are called "Collections" and you can make one for each Author.

Please see the Guide & Intro I did when "Collections" became possible with a software update called, at the time, v2.5.x for the Kindle 2 and Kindle DX's.

  That general guide to new features, which your Kindle-3 also has, is at

  The specific portion on how to do "Collections" is at

  Give that a look, and if you have any problems with it or more questions, you can add that here or at the blog article that explains Collections.

  I'll add here that if anyone wants answers to questions as soon as possible and by an army of experienced Kindle owners now worldwide (covering most hours of the day), be sure to visit

TIP: "Collections"
This is an option at the top of the Home screen which is hidden until you cursor up to the top, where if you 5-way to the right, you'll then see options for
  Most Recent First     Title     Author    and    Collections.

The "Most Recent" titles are usually the Default listing so that we can quickly get to what we were reading last even if we forget what that was.  That makes sense although I most often like to get mine in Title sorting so that I can press the first letter or alpha character of a book and click the 5-way, and this will get me to that part of the alphabet quickly.

When we choose to sort by "Collections" (by clicking on that word at the top of the Home screen), we see our Collections not in alphabetical order, as most have expected (there were many long forum discussions about this problem), but in Most Recent Order.  I don't know about you but but when I open a cabinet drawer to find a folder, I don't expect to see the folders sorted by most-recently accessed!

At any rate, a few figured out that we can force an alphabetical sort by putting a low-alpha-ranking symbol in front of the Collection names and if the symbol is the same (the easiest method), then the 2nd character decides the sorting alphabetically when we choose to sort the Home screen listings by Title.  (Amazon shows Collection names in italics to differentiate them from book titles.)

  For example, I use the simple opening curly brace or bracket to get a Title-sort that looks like this:

and so on.  Since we are on the Home screen listing, sorted by Title, the individual books will also be there, as only in the Collections sorting are individual books hidden from view.

Since most symbols come before A-Z, the Collections are shown first.  We can ignore the individual book titles that follow.  But the FEATURE here is that they're of course in alphabetical order also and, to get right to a book if we don't want to open a Collection to look for a book, we can just (as described above) type the first alpha character of the title and press the 5-way button down, to be brought to that part of the alphabet.

Some mix their symbols to get different ordering by priority + alpha, but Amazon has changed the order of some of the symbols with software update v3.0.x for Kindle 3.  Others use methods that mimic the Dewey Decimal System.  We can look at those suggestions in a later blog article, as this should be good enough to get newcomers started.

(I've found that many with Kindle 2's have not heard that they probably have an update on their systems that offers this feature as well as panning and zooming of PDFs + several other features (like the social networking ones for favorite highlighted passages that can be sent to friends at Facebook and/or Twitter).  Again, that's at the Kindle 2 software update 2.5.x guide.

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

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
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  1. It seems Amazon can't take a step forward without taking a step back. Why remove Subscriptions while adding Collections. I tried to create a collections folder for my periodicals but lo and behold, the Kindle doesn't allow that. Very disappointing. Clearly Amazon does not understand user enhancements and customization like Apple does. This devolution plus limitation on highlights (without disclosure of what the limits are) are the reasons I'm looking forward to mothballing my Kindle within the next six months. It's been an expensive, disappointing, and monochromatic ride.

  2. Anonymous,
    Subscriptions isn't so much removed as renamed "Periodicals" and is at the end of the Home screen listing unless you're sorting by title.

    The limitation on highlights is like the other limitations that are chosen by the publishers.

    If you feel or find you can do better with publisher limitations anywhere else you should definitely get rid of the Kindle and get something else.

  3. Collections and Symbol Sort Order:

    Your tip about grouping similar collections by pre-pending their names with a symbol should be quite useful. Your comment that "most symbols come before A-Z" got me wondering exactly which symbols come before/after A-Z and and what their sort order is on the Kindle. Experimenting with Kindle Version 3.0.1, it turns out that ALL of Kindle's symbols appear before A-Z. But the sort order of the symbols is not the same as they appear in the table accessed by pressing the "Sym" Key.

    When you press the "Sym" key, the table you see looks like -

    : < > " ? { } | ` ~ £ €
    ; , . ' / [ ] \ « » į ¿
    ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ +
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 - =

    The sort order of those symbols (left to right & top to bottom) is -

    " ? } ; , . ' / ] \ « »
    ¿ ! @ # % & * ) - _ : į
    ` ^ ~ ( [ { $ € £ + < +
    > | 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

    As a side note. While Kindle Collections are typically described as 'like folders', it may be more useful to think of them as the card catalogs in your Kindle Library. A single instance of a book may appear in numerous collections. Collections contain references to books, but NOT contain references periodicals (blogs/news) - nor references to other collections.

  4. Anonymous,
    What I meant about Amazon changing the order of the symbols was about how they display in the real world of Kindle Titles.

    A book that started with " was one that I temporarily deleted because it used that as a trick to get above normal titles and it was showing ABOVE my Collections, which I hated seeing.

    With v3.0.x, it now comes AFTER Collections and so I have brought the stupidly-titled book back as it is an otherwise helpful book.

    The sorting of the SYM table has never had much to do with the normal sorting order of symbols.

    I don't know what they're thinking with '-' and '_' so far away to get to with the cursor when it is often needed for URLs.

    As far as my saying 'like folders' that was for the audience that very much has clamored for "folders" over two years and this is its -equivalent- for them and that's why I used the word. I even went out of the way to mention labels or tags when that kind of statement only confuses things for many.

    It is useful for some to think of them as card catalogs in a library, yes, for sure, but it's more remote from the day-to-day experience of the average person.
    What I -can- imagine as a way for them to see what it can do, is that you can put a copy of that book or its 'association'-label into other 'folders' and are not limited to one 'folder.'

    Most will come to understand that a 'folder' is just a label or group-tag and a digital-grouping tool afterwards. Or never will, and that is fine too. The idea is that people understand it fills the need they requested.

    Some day it would be nice to see 'sub-groupings' too but that is the more advanced way of doing this that I'll write about later, with various styles described as thought up by some very creative forumners at the Amazon Kindle Community forums.

    It's worthwhile to remind people that 'Periodicals' is a PRE-MADE "Collection set in place by Amazon in order to take your older subscription issues automatically, though one must check that they want to 'keep' something longer than the default time period of 7 issues.

    'Periodicals' is put by Amazon at the end of the Most Recent listing but is listed with "P" titles in the Title listings. These are for subscriptions of Kindle-editions purchased from Amazon.

    Personal ones can go into any Collection you yourself name.

  5. I'm sorry Ms. Basten, that's just incorrect. "Periodicals" today is not the same as Subscriptions was before the "upgrade". First it's actually "Periodical:Back Issues" not all Periodicals. The current, updated, and timely periodicals are mixed in with all other content so that it takes extra time to visually sort through the new, dynamic postings that I look for throughout the day (especially newspapers in the morning and blogs throughout the day.) As a result, I don't look at my Kindle as often during the day and instead turn to my PDA and computer, which does a far better job of bringing updates to the top of the queue. And Kindle has lost several paid subscriptions from me as a result of how they handle Periodicals in the device, which used to be straight-forward and is now very clumsy, slow, and confusing.

    What I'd like to know is if it's possible to revert to the old operating system where there's Subscriptions but no so-called Collections.

    As for "publisher limits" any device that simply discloses what the limits are (or that they even exist) will provide a superior user experience compared to the Kindle. Lots of opportunity here for competitors.

  6. Anonymous at 8:21:00 AM PDT,
    The Periodicals Collection or grouping is for ALL subscriptions except the most current issue of each subscription.

    If you choose to sort by Most Recent, you'll see the current issues at or near the top.

    No, it wouldn't be possible to go back to the other software versions which were entirely different programming code and structure.

    You should express your great dissatisfaction to where they can at least take it into consideration for the next update.

    By that time you might have found something better for your needs though.

  7. I wonder when Amazon will add epub support and why it's still not there!!

  8. romk1n, I'd love to see non-DRM'd epub at least and some kind of Agreement with public libraries, but it's so easy to convert an epub file to a kindle file now (you can automate it with a free utility) that it's not been as big a concern.

    See for how one way to do it.

    I don't imagine they will want to defer to Adobe and pay them for a license to do the rights protection on files the publishers want protected.

  9. All of my observations were done on WiFi and none using 3G.

    With 3.0.0 I was unable to delete or index the Mobipocket Guide. The 3.0.1 update allowed me to delete it. I was gun shy about downloading it again but did so after updating to 3.0.2. It downloaded fine, I was able to use it to download a book and while the Guide was not indexed on my first index forcing "edrfgthuj" search it did index fairly soon after that when I tried another search.

    My experience with using online e-mail accounts, unfortunately, was only exercised with 3.0.0 and 3.0.2 so I don't know if the improvement noticed was a result of 3.0.1 or 3.0.2 but the improvements are these: with 3.0.0 the only online account I was successful in accessing and using was Gmail. After 3.0.2 I have been able to successfully access and use Yahoo Mail, Hotmail and

    After a short but intense workout of the web browser with 3.0.2 I did not experience any of the freezes that were common when the web browser was overextended using 3.0.0 or 3.0.1.

    Today I noticed a little anomaly in "Periodicals: Back Issues". The anomaly pertains to non-Amazon periodical content, viz. Calibre and Instapaper downloaded periodical content.
    This content does get automatically moved into "Periodicals: Back Issues" as it ages. I did not expect it to auto-delete as it ages past 7 issues and so far it does not appear to auto-delete. The anomaly is this: Some of these non-Amazon periodicals now have the 24 hour warning of deletion exclamation point but this symbol is appearing randomly and inconsistently. Eg., six items from 9/10/10--2 have deletion warnings 4 do not (none were marked to be kept); items from 8/29/10, 8/31/10, 9/1/10, 9/5/10 have no deletion warning (none were marked to be kept); a Calibre periodical dated 9/7/10 has the deletion warning but an Instapaper periodical of the same date does not (none were marked to be kept); the same periodical from Calibre dated 9/7/10 which has a deletion warning has no warning on the 9/8/10 edition (neither were marked to keep).

    Since the software is able to mark some non-Amazon periodical content for deletion (although it is not apparently being deleted after more than 24 hours) it would be my preference that non-Amazon periodicals be treated in the same fashion. It would be easier to mark some for retention than to have to delete an accumulation of back issues. I see that back issues, particularly when one fetches multiple periodicals with Calibre, quickly get out of hand.

  10. /BeginQuote
    What I meant about Amazon changing the order of the symbols was about how they display in the real world of Kindle Titles.

    A book that started with " was one that I temporarily deleted because it used that as a trick to get above normal titles and it was showing ABOVE my Collections, which I hated seeing.

    With v3.0.x, it now comes AFTER Collections and so I have brought the stupidly-titled book back as it is an otherwise helpful book.

    First and only Kindle is less than two weeks old, so I can't speak to Amazon having CHANGED the sort order of symbols, but bith regard to the stupidly-titled book, I think you're probably mistaking a pair the single quote character (') for a single double quote character (").

    If you create a series of new collections named -
    I believe you'll see that the sort order for symbols is as cited -

    " ? } ; , . ' / ] \ « »
    ¿ ! @ # % & * ) - _ : į
    ` ^ ~ ( [ { $ € £ + < +
    > | 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

  11. My2¢worth,
    Thanks for all that feedback. The gmail link I gave (in 3 shortcut versions) has worked since 3.0 but the others hadn't, so it's good to know things are improving on other ones.

    Amazon is not about to go delete what is essentially a 'personal document' after the brouhaha earlier re the deletion of an illegally sold one.

    I'm amazed they move any Calibre RSS feeds to the Subscription folder. That's probably a loophole in their programming code in that it doesn't see that it's not an Amazon product before it moves it.

    Please send that feedback you wrote to so the developers know what is happening and what you would like, within their capabilities, but they're not likely going to ever delete personal docs, which are not on their servers.

    People have been clamoring for Amazon to control the content of our devices less, not more.

    Good luck with trying to keep track of it. Tell CALIBRE what it is you'd like done for older editions though.

    I handle my kindlefeeder feeds separately and do like a number of older copies for search purposes but most would not like them filling up their Kindles.

    I do prefer navigation on the Kindle editions so I have about 3 of those also...

  12. Anonymous,
    Now you say:
    -----"First and only Kindle is less than two weeks old, so I can't speak to Amazon having CHANGED the sort order of symbols, but bith regard to the stupidly-titled book, I think you're probably mistaking a pair the single quote character (') for a single double quote character (")."

    Yes, context is important when stating how things are or aren't so. I'd made the point from what I do know of Amazon's changing the order of SOME symbols in their Home screen listings -- and others have noted this on the forums. I don't write from a 2-week viewpoint when I say such things :-)

    But you add that I'm "probably mistaking" two single-quote marks for a single double-quote mark?

    Are you always this sure of yourself before knowing things like the title of the book I referenced? :-)

    Really, I'm being a bit biting because you need to know more before writing with such certainty that someone else is probably mistaken in something.

    The book is seen at

    Highlight and copy the title. Then try backspacing on what you say are probably two single-quote marks. You'll see that each is a single double-quote character.

    These single double-quote marks WERE, earlier, placed *before* the "{" character and before the A-Z ones in software v2.5.x.

    My blog-point was they can change the use of these 'symbols' in Home Screen ordering, when doing different software versions, so we shouldn't count on them for "priority" ordering.

    With v3.0.2, this single double-quote character is nicely no longer hogging lead-character space in the titles anymore. One nice choice by Amazon.

    I like that you have discovered quite a bit though and give examples, and I hope you'll be back to contribute more of what you find though taking a bit more time first before saying someone else is probably mistaking something for something else.

    Thanks for being interested enough to write here what you had explored and found.

  13. "Are you always this sure of yourself before knowing things like the title of the book I referenced? :-)


    The book is seen at

    Highlight and copy the title. ..."

    I'm sorry, my post was carelessly worded.

    No, I'm not always that sure of myself.
    And I'm often - as in this case - mistaken.

    After downloading a sample of the stupidly-titled - "The Chinese Cookbook" and studying it's position in the sort order, I was prompted to do more tests and created four new collections named as follows.
    A) "The Chinese Cookbook
    B) "The Chinese Cookbook"
    C) 'The Chinese Cookbook'
    D) ''The Chinese Cookbook''
    In the final example the name begins and ends with pairs of single quotes. For purpose of exposition lets reference the actual book sample as E.

    When the Kindle sorts by title, the result is as follows:
    A) "The Chinese Cookbook
    ... (various other collections and books here)
    E) "The Chinese Cookbook"
    C) 'The Chinese Cookbook'
    B) "The Chinese Cookbook"
    D) ''The Chinese Cookbook''

    With the stupidly-titled book and similarly stupidly-named collections in close proximity, there can be no doubt that the symbol in question is indeed a single double quote character.

    The sort order is somewhat different than I expected.

    Is it different than you expected too?

  14. Anonymous,
    Thanks for your work - I like that you really look at these things.

    Amazon from the start chose a sorting order that didn't exactly match what I expected from normal sort-orders for ascii or extended ascii tables, so i just stopped expecting that things would stay the same.

    It's more situational and I'm glad they moved the single double-quote character down the line instead of it being used by those wanting to trickster their books to the start of book listings (many).

    What you show is interesting to see and your sense of humor tickles. Now we have stb's and snc's :-)

  15. It appears to me that they haven't "moved the single double-quote character down the line" in the sort order; it's that they are filtering out/ignoring bracketing pairs of quote characters.

    eg. If the title of the book were -
    "The Chinese Cookbook
    rather than -
    "The Chinese Cookbook"
    then I think it would still appear at the very top of the sorted by Title list.

    At least that's how it works for Collection Names.


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