Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A special Kindle v3.3 Software version was used for public library access tests - Update


Amazon's info page for the latest Kindle 3 software still shows v3.1. My Kindle 3 (UK: K3) is on v3.1.

  The overall "Kindle Software Updates" page leads to no software version later than v3.1 for the Kindle 3's.

However, Kindle Special-Offers model comes with v3.2.

  However, Michael W. Perry of Inkling Books in Seattle just wrote to say that he was able to download a public library book, looked at his Kindle's Menu/Settings' bottom-right corner and found that the Kindle software version on his Kindle 3 is v3.3.  Thanks to Michael for the captured image.

 Kindle-Special Offers devices have been on v3.2.1 after an update for them, from v3.2 as delivered, but there is no software update page for that on the Amazon servers and v3.2 would have just come with that unit (which would monitor ads exposure etc.).  I could find no v3.3 discussed on any of the Mobileread forums, which would know about them.  Michael mentioned that he saw the update happen (boy reading under tree, which serves as both a screensaver image and a restart image except that there are messages that come with the latter).

  So, yes, they are likely using a further-updated software version, but since it was delivered without comment to a regular Kindle customer, it seems a beta at a quite late stage.

UPDATE: Two commenters from Seattle were still on v3.1 when they were able to get loan books. On Mobileread, two who downloaded from the Library last night wrote today they were upgraded to v3.3. On the Kindle Forum, someone with v3.1 was able to do it.

V3.3 is going to regular Kindles also ( I saw two of these last night) , so since library lending HAS started on Wednesday, 9/21, it probably adds checking for 3G downloads and has something about that not being possible for this type of download.

  Michael said that the loan period there is 21 days, and public-library due-dates are understood by the software.

  I also had thought that Amazon would have to do SOME software upgrading to interact with Overdrive and processes involving a Kindle customer hoping to borrow a book, in that there should be Help Error messages for those using Overdrive, especially when hoping to download via 3G if there was no WiFi in the area (or for the older Kindles, which use only cellular network 3G rather than include local WiFi network access).

  We heard earlier that the Kindle-SO updates for AmazonLocal coming "in a few weeks" would be PART of updates for Latest Gen Kindles.  That also doesn't mean that there wouldn't be separate udpates at the time for older Kindles as well.

  All Kindles will have access to the library, Amazon has said, but those depending on only 3G wireless access will have to download borrowed books by USB cable, as Amazon pays for the 3G access -- and there will be a flood of people downloading as often as possible from the library, in search of free books, for which Amazon won't see revenue to charge the expense against.  People downloading by wireless from smart phones pay for their own 3G data time.

  So, again, things seem to be moving along.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's)   K3 Special ($114)   K3-3G Special ($139)   DX Graphite

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  1. *grumble*... I use three library systems that offer Overdrive (and list the beta support of Kindle)... but so far I'm not seeing the Kindle option....

  2. I'm in the Seattle area with a Gen 3 with software version 3.1 and was able to download a book through wifi from the public library here. I understand Seattle and King County are part of the beta test.

  3. I was able to download a library book to my Kindle 3 yesterday from the King County Library, but my Kindle still has version 3.1 software. So, I don't know what 3.3 does, but it does not appear to be necessary for library lending.

  4. Qapla'! (Success!) - one of my three local systems is now offering Kindle books!

    Books you already have out (I have an Android phone) cannot be downloaded as Kindle books. Also requests and checkout seem to be two-tier - you have to choose between Epub or Kindle (and not all books are available in Kindle form).

  5. Joel, success, yes,
    because Amazon went official this morning, involving the 11,000 libraries promised last April.

    Right, Amazon won't carry everything other stores do and definitely, on contemporary works, other online book stores won't carry many that Amazon does.

    I think the v3.3 that went out to many (I updated this entry to say many were updated, some weren't) will be slowly distributed and we haven't checked Kindle 2's or 1's yet, but one change would be checking for 3G type of download and preventing it and then explaining it to the customers who have always used 3G to download books and don't have WiFi modules.

    Red Letter Day :-)

  6. Sandi and Sherri,
    Thanks for your info last night. I made an update this morning on that and mentioned it again in the blog entry today that spreads the good news that the public library lending is now official and US-wide, though it is somewhat mixed news for older-Kindle 3G users who've avoided USB transfers and will need to learn to get books that way (as they don't have WiFi unless they move to a later Kindle). They'll get messages eventually that 3G can't be used for the download of library books.

  7. Does anyone know if this works the same for people using a K2?

  8. Yes, the article says that ALL Kindles will get this capability but that the older Kindles don't have WiFi and they'll have to have the borrowed books be downloaded to a computer and then moved to your Kindle via a USB cable (which is a part of your power cord)...

  9. I am wondering about the 3.2.1 software. I have a Kindle Wifi, when Amazon's great customer service sent me a replacement it came with the 3.2.1 software BUT it's not a Kindle with Special Offers. I wonder why, and if you can get SO on it somehow. Does anybody know?

  10. K. Hugh,
    It's interesting you received the v3.2.1 software, considering yours is a regular Kindle 3.
    I suspect Amazon has been planning (as admitted in an interview) to consider giving regular Kindlers the *option* to choose to receive 'special offers' (and I think that would then also come with actual ads on the screensaver), as many forumners have asked for SO's (while others don't want that at all).

    Some K3-SO's did not download ads or special offers, so I think that probably a few get through with unintended software settings. It hasn't happened in the other direction.

  11. I was able to check out two books from the library but I'm still on K3 v. 3.1


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