Monday, July 28, 2014

Kindle News: Kindle Paperwhite 2 software update v5.4.5 -- Sync to most recent page read across all Kindle devices + reading apps; Small preview window now in margin of PDF pan & zooms; Sample of beginning of a book ready in your Cloud while waiting for a physical book.

NEW KINDLE PAPERWHITE 2 gets Software Update v5.4.5 has some general improvements and feature enhancements.

Many report never getting automated updates on their E-Ink readers.  In that case you can download the update-file and install it manually if wanting to get the feature updates.  More on that below.

This update was released last week.

Kindle Paperwhite 2 Software Upgrade to v5.4.5

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

The new, free software update available for Kindle Paperwhite 2 can be found here [U.S. and some international].

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

Amazon's software update 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 step-by-step instructions to do a manual download and install to my Kindle if the change is important to me.  In my case, I have the Paperwhite 1, and there's no current update for that one.

This update normally 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 are the feature enhancements they describe for update v5.4.5 [Emphases below are mine]
  • Sync to the Most Recent Page Read
    Any books you are reading on your Kindle Paperwhite will now sync to the most recent page read across all Kindle devices and/or reading apps registered to your Amazon account. You can still manually sync your Kindle Paperwhite to go to the furthest page read.  To learn more, go to Sync on Your Kindle Paperwhite.
  • Preview a PDF in Pan-and-Zoom Mode
    When viewing a PDF in pan-and-zoom mode, you will now see a small preview window in the margin of the screen.
  • Read a Sample While Your Physical Book Ships
    While you are waiting for select physical books to arrive at your doorstep, you can start reading the book right away by adding a sample of the book to your Kindle library.  With this release, these samples will be now available for download in the Cloud tab of your Kindle Paperwhite in addition to your other supported Kindle devices and apps. Any previous samples you have claimed through a physical book purchase will also be available in the Cloud to download. To learn more, go to Read While Your Book Ships.
A Reminder about how syncing of your reading between devices and apps is done
In order for this to work reliably, the changes to your last page read and any new annotations done (highlighting, notes and bookmarks) must be 'seen' by the servers at Amazon -- this means that your WiFi or 3G wireless connection would need to be 'on' at the time you close the book by tapping the Home icon.
   Once the Amazon servers note the changes, they'll be available to the next Kindle-compatible reader or app you open (with Wireless on that device turned On also).
  You can turn 'off' the WiFi or 3G Wireless connection after leaving the Kindle book reading, which will help maximize battery use on that device.)

  When an eInk screen is displaying a page but there is no change to that screen, the display is having no effect on the battery.
  When you change what's being displayed (changing or adding anything on the page, as in tapping it on the side to get a new page or when an action brings a pop-up window or dialog box), the display IS using the battery.  That's why just pressing the power button for only ~1 second puts the Kindle to 'sleep' during which it displays an image, which doesn't use the battery, but the Paperwhite light turns off.

  Leaving it in this sleep state doesn't draw battery power as a result of the image display itself.  If, however, WiFi is On during Sleep state, any activity with subscription downloads or a Special Offers download -will- use battery power.

  There is always very slow battery drain in between charges even when a device is turned off.

  So, the "Screen Off" is an relatively new choice on mine, I noticed.  This just blanks the screen and puts it into sleep state.  SOME have requested a blank screen so they know it's "Off" but, in this case, it's only that there's no image seen - not even Amazon's default images during normal sleep-screens.

Mentioned previously also:
  "Restart" acts more like a soft-reboot on a computer and clears up memory states that may be causing problems.

  There is NO option on my Paperwhite to completely Power Off or Shut down the Kindle.  My options are to (1) Cancel a longer key-press action, (2) Restart the Paperwhite (mine is a Paperwhite 1), or (3) choose "Screen Off."

  It could be that my dialog box for powering off is different from that seen by others because I chose not to get Special Offers sent to my Paperwhite (I accept Special Offers on my Kindle Fire tablets) and, therefore, blanking the screen with a "Screen Off" does not interfere with the marketing offers on the lockscreen.

  Some may choose to get the offers on the Paperwhite and, as a result, may not get the 'Screen Off' option.  That's just conjecture on my part.

  But, in that case, they seem to get the option to 'shut down' the Kindle.

  Also, in my case, holding in the power button for over 20 seconds (rather than 5 seconds) does still cause a Restart (and a clearing of current memory use), as in the past.

IF you experience unusual battery drain
Note that keeping your Kindle always connected to a Wi-Fi network can drain the battery faster under certain circumstances.  If you're experiencing that, then once you've got the update "over the air," put the Paperwhite back to "Airplane Mode ON" via the 'Settings' option on the Menu -- the option lets you toggle Wireless OFF, using the "Airplane On" choice.

  Amazon's Paperwhite development team won't return the Wireless Off/On choice to the front menu as they did last year for the Kindle Touch, removing the 'airplane mode' icon which confuses many.  It's very inconvenient to have the WiFi On/Off setting on a secondary menu and many, as a result, don't even know that they can turn WiFi Off if needed.

  Amazon probably prefers that we keep Wireless 'On' due to delivery of Special Offers but the battery-drain problem can occur when circumstances involve (1) subscriptions that are downloaded regularly (my New York Times Latest News subscription updates the Kindle edition about five times a day - $1.99/month)) or (2) due to a weaker connection that results from the distance from the WiFi 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 model with the special-offers feature) and is then constantly active.

  BUT, again, WiFi needs to be 'On' after you've read a book and made annotations for a session AND when you then want to be able to continue reading later, on another device (like a smartphone), starting at where you'd stopped.
  If WiFi isn't turned on, the Amazon servers won't have any way of knowing the last-page-read location nor any notes or highlighting you've made, which you'd want to be able to access on the other device.  So, a reminder on my usual recommendation:
1. When you're finished reading, tap the top-toolbar and press the HOME icon.
  That will 'close' the book session and record the last page read and log the annotations.
2. Tap the top of the Paperwhite to bring up the toolbar and menu icon.
3. If you see an airplane icon at the top, your WiFi is Off (and you're in "airplane" take-off mode).
4. Tap 'Settings'
5. Turn Airplane Mode OFF, and that'll turn WiFi ON.
6. At that point, the Kindle will try to sync your changes to the Server and will download anything that is pending (a subscription to a newspaper, magazine, or blog, usually).
7. After that's done, you can go ahead and leave WiFi ON if you have no problems with faster battery drain
      OR you can turn OFF the WiFi if you need to save battery power.

Only if you'd rather not wait -- DOWNLOADING and transferring the Update via USB
US:  Go to the Kindle Paperwhite Software Update v5.4.5 download section to get the instructions for the download and transfer to your Kindle via USB:
UK:  UK Paperwhite eReader owners can do the same for the UK-only page

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. I must admit that the 'Read a Sample While Your Physical Book Ships' feature underwhelms me. Yikes, I don't want to add samples to my library, which is cluttered enough as it is. How do you get rid of them afterwards? Or conversely, why make me purchase a physical book just to get a sample in the cloud? Maybe some people would want to do that (B&N for example puts samples in your library, which I found annoying but others must have liked). Especially if you can add them to cloud collections. Anyway it is totally hypothetical for me as I haven't read a physical book in a few years.

    Hope the 'most recent' tweak makes it to PW1, though it usually doesn't matter that much.

    1. Tom, I also was unimpressed at first with the 'sample' feature but that was because the samples I got never gave the beginning of the book in any useful fashion - it would give just a bit from an intro or some area I wasn't interested in, but this seems to give you a large section of the actual beginning of the book to get you started..

      You can get the usual sample types still, without buying a physical book, but this latest appears to be a more useful version of a 'sample' ...


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