Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Kindle Paperwhite-2 Tips: Update v5.4.2 brings long-awaited CLOUD Collections, GoodReads integration (US), Personalized Freetime profiles for parental control

NEW KINDLE PAPERWHITE 2 Software Update v5.4.2 with long-awaited feature enhancements

Kindle Paperwhite Software Upgrade to v5.4.2

  REMINDER: Even when here is no startling news, I respond to questions in the Comments areas of the blog entries -- and the Q&A entries are always shown in summary form and linked to, latest first, on the blog's right-hand column (used for information that's ongoing or for reference materials on topics of interest to many who visit the blog.  So check "Latest Comments" (in the info/reference column on the the right of the page whenever you're curious what people are asking and the responses made.

On to the latest Paperwhite 2 (the newest Paperwhite model) update 5.4.2 eff. Nov. 19, 2013.

  Devices involved: See Paperwhite 2 (US),   UK Paperwhite 2: here; Global Paperwhite: here.

Tne new, free software update available for Kindle Paperwhite 2 can be found [here] [U.S.]

    [Here's the UK-only software update page]

The software page explains how to check the software version currently on your Paperwhite 2.  I'm usually one of the last to receive software updates, so sometimes I do follow the instructions to do a manual download and install to my Kindle if the change is important to me.

This update automatically downloads and installs on the applicable Kindle Paperwhite 2 eventually; however, as mentioned, you can also manually download the software and transfer the update to your device via USB cable.

Here's what they describe for update v5.4.2 [Emphases mine]
* Kindle FreeTime
FreeTime lets you create personalized profiles for kids, and give them access to titles from your collection of books.  Kids can keep track of their personal reading progress and earn achievement badges. To learn more, go to Kindle FreeTime (US) or for UK: here).

* Goodreads on Kindle
    [For customers in U.S., Canada, Australia, and
     Int'l customers registered to an Amazon.com acct]
Connect with the world's largest community for readers from your Kindle Paperwhite. See what your friends are reading, share notes, and rate the books you read. To learn more, go to Find and Share Books with Goodreads on Kindle.

* Cloud Collections
Use Cloud Collections to organize titles in custom categories and store your collections in the Cloud. To learn more, go to Organize Your Content with Cloud Collections (US) or for UK: here.

As ever, note that keeping your Kindle always connected to a Wi-Fi network can drain your battery faster.  So, once you've got the update "over the air" or manually, put the Paperwhite back to "Airplane Mode ON" via the 'Settings' option on the Menu -- the option lets you toggle Wireless Off with the "Airplane On" choice.

  Amazon has not put the "Wireless Off" and "On" back on the front menu as they did earlier this year for the Kindle Touch, removing the confusing-to-many 'airplane mode' icon, which many of us wish they would do, as it is very inconvenient to have it on a secondary menu and many don't even know about the wireless-off feature, causing more battery drain and confusion over that.  Amazon: please do this someday; the Kindle Touch team has the right problem-avoiding idea.

  I realize Amazon prefers Wireless 'On' due to delivery of Special Offers but the battery-drain problem can occur when circumstances involve subscriptions that are downloaded regularly or due to a weaker connection that results from the distance from the router (or even due to a weaker router), in which case the device keeps trying to connect when a download is due (and that can be for the special offers that Amazon regularly needs to send for those who choose to opt for the less-expensive special-offers feature, or for chosen subscription deliveries.)

Only if you'd rather not wait -- DOWNLOADING and transferring the Update via USB
US:  Go to the Kindle Paperwhite Software Update v5.4.2 download section to get the instructions for the download and transfer to your Kindle via USB:
UK:  Go to the update and download area for the UK-only page

That's it for the latest software update from Amazon.

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links.
New Kindle Fire HD 7" 2nd Gen - $139/169
Kindle Fire HDX 7" 16-64GB - $229/269/309
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" 16-64GB - $379/429/479
- with 4G added: $479/529/579
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16GB - 1st Gen $229
- 32GB w/ no special-offers: $314
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $69/$89
Kindle Touch WiFi - $99
Kindle Paperwhite 2, WiFi - $119/$139
Kindle Paperwhite 2, WiFi+3G - $189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $139/$159, Free web
Kindle DX - $379 $199 (*New* price)
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £69
Kindle Paperwhite 2, WiFi
Kindle Paperwhite2 3G, UK
Kindle Fire Basic HD 8/16GB, UK
 from £119
Kindle Fire HDX 7" 16-64GB, UK
from £199. 4G/3G
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" 16-64GB, UK - from £329. 4G/3G

CANADA - Kindlestore, CDN-$
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - $79
Kindle Paperwhite 2 - $139
Kindle Paperwhite 2, 3G - $209
KFire HD Yr 2012 7" $214,  8.9" $244.
Yr 2013 KFires: HD Gen2, HDX line

*OTHER Int'l pages*
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $89
Paperwhite 2 WiFi $139, 3G/Wifi $209
KFire HD Yr 2012: 7" $214,  8.9" $244
Yr 2013: HD Gen2 + HDX line

Australia Kindlestore
France Boutique Kindle
Deutschland - Kindle Store
Italia - Kindle Store
Spain - Tienda Kindle
Brazil - Amazon Brazil
China - Amazon China [?]
Japan - Amazon Japan

  For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
Temporarily-free books - Non-classics
USA: by:
   Publication Date  
   Bestselling   High-ratings

UK: PubDate   Popular

The Kindle Daily Deal

What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care

Highly-rated under $1
,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
Most Popular Free K-Books
U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
   Top 100 free
   Top 100 free

Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.

USEFUL for your Kindle Keyboard (U.S. only, currently):
  99c Notepad 1.1,   99c Calculator,
  99c Calendar,   99c Converter

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  1. Looking forward to getting these features on my PW1 when they roll the update for it. They should do Kindle Touch as well as both are so similar, and I think they would do well to offer Goodreads integration as broadly as possible. If they were just a little smarter, they would have a single code line for all three and dynamically configure features when updating them to match the device, instead of having separate code branches and having to merge changes from one to the other.

    But ereader innovation has largely come to an end, it seems. Well, unless Liquivista has something in store for us.

    1. Tom, re the single code lines -- considering that the Kindle Touch and Paperwhite menus are so different (starting with the Wireless Off being hard to find on the Paperwhite), I think decisions and code are done by separate sub-teams on these two pieces.
      Touch-areas on each are configured so differently, for one thing.

      Saw a headline the other day saying that e-Ink reported a rise in orders and earnings this last quarter...

    2. I think you are making my point about the problem with having separate code bases and teams. They should consolidate the so that separate teams commit their changes to the same code base. HP did this in their Laserjet division and went from spending 90% of their effort merging code from one branch to another to spending less than 5% of their effort on resolving how to support multiple and varied devices from one code base. Oh and they were able to reduce headcount by 40% in achieving that (over a period of about 3 years). They have far more resources to work on new features and are able to easily support the older printers as well which makes customers very happy. But it is probably more important that they achieve such efficiency with Fire, as the competition there is much stiffer. Hence 'Fire OS'. So far though they have abandoned the previous gen devices in terms of updates, once the new gen ships.

      Wow a lot of people on MR are upset with Cloud Collections, regard the update as a virus, threatening to go all Kobo etc. Mostly they don't want to see 'cloud' items in their collections, and to have collections showing that don't actually have any on-device items in them. I think there are a couple of problems with the implementation but nothing that can't be addressed.

      But Amazon often ships half-baked features and this is another instance of that. Look how long it took to finish Kindle Touch (add back landscape, allow highlighting across pages, add KF8 support that Fire & K5 already had etc.). They had promised to ship something in November, and so they have. Now they can finish baking.

    3. Tom, sorry to be so late getting back on these comments that are so useful. Hmmm, I thought I got a Kindle Fire update at one point. Too soon to know about the Fire HD from last year though,

      Yes, I saw that on the Paperwhite 2 -- and meant to caution PW2 owners to get their collections the way they want them on all their devices in preparation for the new way of combining all the collections from one account (which is what I'd prefer, but those with several members on an account would not). I wouldn't mind the books in collections being shown if done only under the 'Collections' choice, but the e-Ink devices using image covers (although we can choose text-LIST displays instead) are slower than the new tablets for showing book covers..

      I have Collections on my HDX and, since I'm the only person on my account, I really like the way they are. I don't have to see them if I don't want, but I love having them all in one place and on a faster device, I guess, though I never thought the old e-Ink Collections were slow.

      We didn't have 'image' covers on the older e-Ink Kindles, so they were never a slower process since we just had fast text and many on one page.

      The fast-paced additions of new hardware from all vendors will mean that if you don't have one ready to go out, a company can lose out big time -- so the emphasis will be on getting out what you can, with additions (and fixes) later. Seems to be true about all of them.

    4. Mostly I think people are surprised/dismayed that CCollections show the entire membership and there's no way to filter down to what is on the device. So if you have more than a dozen or so items in a Collection it becomes rather tedious to page through them all (on PW especially).

      But I'd prefer it to be like it is on iOS (and I gather HDX/NewHD) where it is a separate listing and not mixed up with 'items' as they have always been on the eink kindles.

      I'm not sure you can always get them 'the way you want' beforehand. But (based on my experience with iOS app, which was the first to have CC) it's easy enough to get rid of chaff. The problem is that before if you just removed from the device it remained in the collections. So 'Current Reading' looks like it has only say 5 items but there are all the items that were ever in that collection as well. You just have to delete the collections and members you don't want and move on. It doesn't affect the non-CC supporting devices.

      Yeah, I rarely bother with Cover View on my PW. Too slow.

    5. Tom, interesting because I don't have a Paperwhite 2 but I was reading the latest notes in the Paperwhite 2 forum thread and one gal said she chooses to view her Collections as text-lists rather than cover images and that it's easy to tell which ones are on one's device. There is some kind of check mark.
      What's changed drastically, it seems, is that accounts with several account members will get the same Collections and no one in a group acct like that will want that. On the other hand, they are used to always seeing the full archive when they choose Cloud.

      I'm surprised that the Paperwhite would have it mixed up with Items. The HDX has only separate Collections for Books, for Apps, for Games etc. Very nice. And if you just click on a collection it's easy (as before) to see which items are on the device (there's a check mark on the cover).
      -- On the e-Ink devices, when I was deleting a book from the device that I didn't want in a Collection anymore I'd delete it from the Collection first (this was a rare desire), but if I kept it in one, I'd want to see it while viewing Cloud Collections but they were not shown to us., Now they are. We requested that we be able to see Cloud collections.
      -- So,
      it seems to make sense to me that where it's a time-based collection of current reading, one would take it out of that and then delete the collection, but as you imply, no one had to before.
      -- I think that with most collections which are more for genre and category, people would WANT the books to stay in them ! That was the whole idea of wanting to see Collections for our Archived stuff too. "I want a mystery now" -- and then you go to Archive or Cloud for that Collection and choose a mystery...

  2. I just got the new update and all of a sudden I went from 50 books on my device (either reference or unread) to over 500. That is just not manageable. It makes the Kindle close to useless as an alternative to paper. Even in line mode that is close to 80 pages of titles. Trying to get them off the device is a slow tedious process. I finally resorted to connecting the device directly to my PC and using the Windows Explorer to delete items. When I was finished Kindle put them all back again.

    1. Anonymous on Dec 4, at 8:56am PST - As mentioned to Andrew below, there is a heavy discussion of this at this Amazon Kindle Form thread. One thing that has worked for some is to choose "Collections" because then you don't see the individual titles. You could have your current book(s) NOT in a collection and these would show following the Collections OR make a collection for current books, titled
      (the "[" will alphabetize that Collection on top of the other ones if they're normal-alpha titled collections.

      That would help until Amazon programmers fix what is a real problem for many.

      I don't have a Paperwhite 2 as I stayed with the original one so I can't explore the possibiities more closely. Let me know if this workaround helps.

  3. Is there some way to TURN OFF/DISABLE the Sync Collections feature of this update? My husband and I were updated last night and both of our individual collections were either damaged or deleted both on the cloud and the device. We can no longer control the individual collection content of our Kindles. Having our shared collections on the cloud is not so much a problem, but the fact that we have to scroll through each others collections is unacceptable. If I or he attempt to delete the other's collection, that collection is deleted from the cloud and device on both Kindles! I know that this feature was included for people who read their Kindle content on multiple devices, but this has had a disastrous effect on those of us with shared content. HELP!

    1. Andrew, there's a way to disable sync'g for people who share an account.
      That's at http://amzn.to/ksync-yesno

      Now, whether that solves the sync'g of the Account's Collections or not is another question but there's a good chance it may although they seem to have set these up for an account rather than for individual Kindles although the EARLIER Kindles had their own Collections which could be imported to another device on the accountl

      But give that a try. I have a Paperwhite 1, which is not affected by the update that was done for the Paperwhite 2.

      There is a huge discussion of this with over 240 customer notes and Kindle owners are discussing their individual workarounds or attempts at workarounds for this problem and hoping that a new update will solve this problem. Here's the Amazon Kindle Forum thread on this.,

      Let me know how it goes.

  4. FYI - I have the Paperwhite 2, and suddenly the collections on my Kindle were mirroring the Collections on my wife's kindle (a Kindle Keyboard.) I have always had the Sync feature turned off so as to avoid issue when my wife and I try to access the same book and loosing each other's places. It's a huge pain - she has collections and I have collections and now they're kinda shuffled together in a confusing morass. I guess we'll have to wait for Amazon to fix it. This was not a very well thought-out feature deployment: they should have made it an opt-in feature, or at the least have made provisions for a way to disable it. I can see why I'd want to closely duplicate collections between my reader and my PC and Android software, but If I have more than one reader I'd likely want them to be different, as I'd be using them for different purposes. And having two people with readers wanting different collections is a very common scenario.

    1. Bruce, I have to agree with you on the now shared collections vs the older device-oriented ones. I wonder if it has anything to do with publishers intending the sharing to be for several devices on one person's account (B&N was more strict on this, and look what'd happened with them).
      - I have an idea that may work for you folks until Amazon does something about this, since they seem to be getting a lot of feedback similar to yours (add your own feedback by mailing: Kindle-feedback@amazon.com
      -- BUT
      Try this. Both of you can rename your collections to prefix them with 'b' for you and whatever first initial for your wife (hoping it's not 'b') or you can just use 'a' and 'b' to differentiate them. OR put a symbol in front of each alpha title that means something to each of you that will designate it your collection and then you can sort Collections by Title.

      Let me know if that helps somewhat until there might be a change in how they do this.

  5. Is there a tutorials how to use this software?

    1. Web_Design/JKM - Your Paperwhite Help button will give some steps. but here is the User's Guide for the Paperwhite 2 device, which has been updated for the newer features.

      I hope that helps.


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