Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Now we have the Kindle 3 early preview of software version 3.0.3

Amazon's not standing still.  They recently officially released Kindle 3 Software Upgrade version 3.0.2, and last night they began requesting feedback on the "Early Preview of Next Version 3.0.3" for Kindle 3.

  Thanks to Golf11 (Randall), who alerted us to this one as he did the last one. 

As before, 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.

  This update will also be available wirelessly in the next few weeks.

  Amazon explains that this update includes general 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. '
This time there haven't been many reports of software quirks -- except in one area, reported here as people come with questions about the experimental Kindle 3 WebKit-based web browser.

Caution  The software update v3.0.3 may have NOTHING to do with the Webkit browser functions, but customers have reported that the Kindle  (UK: K3), while faster than and generally much more capable than the Kindle 2, has been:

  1. strangely unable to have its keyboard input recognized on several websites so that some of us have looked for alternate sites that are workarounds.

  2. not interacting as well as the Kindle 2 does with mobile-device-oriented websites, which are of course much faster to load (if not as visually impressive) and easier to read than the full-webpage version displayed on the K3 web browser for a screen too small to be able to read complex home pages with fonts that are necessarily tiny.

      The website bookmarks that Amazon puts on the Kindle 3 tend to take us to the full version of the websites, which look great but take longer to load and are harder to navigate with the 5-way ('controller') button.  Maybe we could have an option of bookmarks that are for mobile-version websites.

  3. unable to follow website links that are programmed to expect a 'new window' opened in addition to the current webpage window (so that the user can stay on the current page while getting a new page and not be 'lost' when the new window is closed after we're through with it).

   Some of us have requested that in this case they just ask us, via a dialog box, if we would like to leave the current page and go to the linked site!  I really hope for this one eventually, since it's a basic function of a web browser to follow clicked links.  It also has been frustrating for Kindle Edition blog subscribers, who cannot follow those types of links.

 There IS, when reading a newspaper article, a new web-browser Menu option, with this Kindle model, to choose "Article Mode" to see only the text of the article (no surrounding links and ads), in larger fonts that are easy to read.  Once we can navigate TO an article and click to get it, this mode can be chosen and usually works VERY well.  We can go back to "Web Mode" after reading in Article Mode.

Instructions at their preview-update page start with:
' Here's how to download Kindle software update version 3.0.3 and transfer it to your Kindle via USB:
  1. Determine your software version: :  From Home, select Menu, then Settings.  On the Settings screen you will see the Kindle version at the bottom of the screen.  If you see “Version Kindle 3.0.2” or earlier (3.0.2, 3.0.1, or 3.0), please proceed with the steps below to update your Kindle to the latest software.


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

They have a good diagram there 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.  As before, there's no need to install this interim update unless you actually are seeing any problems (most say they're not seeing any general ones), 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

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  1. Can you tell us if Amazon is working on a solution for referencing books on the kindle that academics will be happy with? (As apposed to simply asking them to change their style of referencing.)

  2. hm, i still have 3.0.1. I remember i got it automatically and expected 3.0.2 the same way.
    Once i read your post about 3.0.2 being officially released, i turned wireless on for a few hours daily.
    nothing since.

    Do you know how the upgrade happens? i mean, which state should the kindle be in for this to happen? sleeping, active and reading or active and in the menu, or what?
    The "Update Your Kindle" option in the is grayed out.

  3. They send official update releases in batches, over a period of a few weeks.

    The wireless must be ON for it to happen of course since how can they reach you if it is off.

    I'd just leave it on overnight, plugged in and then it doesn't deplete your battery power for that session.

    But if you read my posts on this carefully, they tell you how to put it your Kindle yourself if you're in a hurry and want to try it and give feedback to them.

  4. Academics will have to adjust to the various e-readers situation and there are new ways being explored to handle this.

  5. Sorry, that last one was to another 'Anonymous,' who asked about referencing books on Kindles (and I would assume any other e-readers) and what would make Academics 'happy' ...

  6. >academics will have to adjust to the various e-readers situation and >there are new ways being explored to handle this.

    I'm sorry but this is not good enough If fact, it is just plain weak!

    If Amazon, and others such as myself, would like to see the Kindle take a foothold in the academy then the problem needs to be recognized as just that—a problem.

    Now, it may not seem a problem to you, but then you are not an academic. You do not fully grasp the issue at hand, for if you did the simply minded dismissal, "Academics will have to adjust", would not get raised as a defence for the lack of referencing functionality in the Kindle.
    If you grokked the issue at hand we would get more sympathy. Ask any academic and you will see this to be true.

    I am saddened by your—and Amazon's—flat-out refusal to even acknowledge this as an issue.

    Am I angry? Kinda. Why? Because I love my Kindle, and it is for this reason that I wish a solution was available so that I could buy more academic books on the Kindle. I might even buy all more books for the Kindle if such a solution were available.

    In fact, I prefer reading on a Kindle than an actual book these days. So do not accuse more of not "getting" the paradigm of eBooks. It's Amazon and responses such as you—"Academics will have to adjust"— who do not get the importance of accurate referencing in the academic world.

    So, the truth is: I will continue to buy non-kindle books in the area I work (Philosophy) simply because I cannot cite Kindle books with an accuracy at this point in time.

    Given the copious amount of reading a professional academic does over the course of a year—not to mention a career—it makes good business sense to address this issue before another company does.

  7. My last 6 years were with UC Berkeley. I am also a realist and, frankly, you are being narrow and not reading the news either or forums.
    They've discussed the changes being made to adjust to the reality of ereaderS already - the Kindle is just ONE ereader.

    The iPad uses pages but they don't corrspond to hardcopy book pages. Same with the Sony in some cases. You really think the only problem is with the e-reader you and I so far prefer to use?

    I grok plenty and that includes that this is hardly an issue that affects only the Kindle. It is also true that Academia must accept the reality of digital books and what that does with regard to a paper copy (today) and its particular page number in a particular edition.

    And who is it that you are imagining accused you of not getting the paradigm of ebooks? I'm talking about today's digital reality, not about what you do or do not get. It's you who are angry at Amazon and at me for not agreeing with your particular perspective on working to get a referencing and citation system that -can- work in the future. Broaden it a bit.

    Accurate referencing is to the CONTENT, not to the particular page of a particular hardcopy book if the e-book world keeps expanding at the rate it is going.

    It is to a chapter and paragraph or whatever division they agree on. That's what they're looking at now.

    Some of us don't GET the importance? Everyone gets it. But that doesn't mean all ereaders adjust to the particular edition of a hardcopy book.

    I'm as much a Kindle enthusiast as most but this is not a problem for the Kindle as a company but for all that must agree on citations with all the different reading modes that are upon us and only increasing.

  8. Any word that a graphite DX with WiFi and 3G is coming. Poor At&t in my area and I like bigger screen. California Boy

  9. Peter,
    I'd personally love it if there were one with WiFi coming AND a bit less expensive, but I've heard absolutely nothing on that. Bear in mind that I almost never hear anything on things like this :-) unless a gadget site gets a hint about something. Amazon is famously tight-lipped.

    I expect that sooner or later, the DX-graphite should at least get some software enhancements that were put into the Kindle 3 since it does have that faster, more high-contrast Pearl screen.

    But again, I've heard nothing. Which doesn't mean anything :-) That bigger screen IS amazing, so I hope they do get a WiFi edition out eventually. Good luck! If I get a whiff of anything, will write it here.


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