Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Kindle Tips: Kindle for iOS software update v4.9 and for Kindle Fire tablets. Also, small update v4.5.4 for Kindle Fire tablets. Family Library sharing. Free Kindle books listed for June. Monthly Kindle book specials.

Software update to v4.9 for Kindle for iOS and Kindle Fire devices

Amazon announced, on their Kindle Forums, a software update for both Kindle for iOS (v4.9) and on the Kindle Fire tablets.  Here's the main info from that:
' Several exciting improvements offer faster reading with less eye strain.

Discover these features on Kindle for iOS and Fire tablets today, with more devices coming later this year.

What's New in Version 4.9?
Available today on hundreds of thousands of books, including most bestsellers like J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," Stephen King's "Revival," Veronica Roth's "Insurgent," and Abigail Strom's "Almost Like Love."
And coming soon to most Kindle books.

Faster Reading, Less Eye Strain
Hyphenation plus smoother word spacing result in faster reading with less eye strain.
Improved character placement increases word recognition speed at any font size.

Beautiful Page Layout
Drop caps, text, and images adapt automatically to look great no matter your screen or font size.
Print-like layout dynamically adjusts for any combination of screen size and font setting.

Large Fonts, No Compromises
Enjoy reading with larger font sizes without compromising your reading experience.
Page layout and margins automatically adapt to work well at even the largest font sizes.

Bookerly - The Font for Readers
Bookerly is a new Kindle exclusive font designed for reading on digital screens.
Warm and contemporary, Bookerly is inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books but is hand-crafted for optimal readability at any screen size. '

The Kindle for iOS software-update page at Amazon also mentions
' • Audible Improvements – This release includes a new look for the Audible player controls in the reader and a new player bar that appears in the library while you’re listening to an audio companion '

Latest Fire OS update, v4.5.4 for Kindle Fire tablets (in addition to the built-in Kindle Reader update v4.9)
My Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" tablet (Yr 2013) received an over-the-air (OTA) update yesterday, and the reasons shown are
  "...includes general improvements and performance enhancements."
So it's just a maintenance update.
All Kindle Fire tablets get an OS update at the same time.
  Software update pages: US and UK

  No new features have been announced since v4.5.1 in September 2014 (though some will have missed some noteworthy ones) when the latest features newly introduced were:
Family Library: Family Library lets owners share apps, games, audiobooks and ebooks with another adult in their household, even if they have a different Amazon account.  Available in the US, UK, and Germany.

Lock screen media controls: The update brings MP3 and Audible playback controls to the locks screen, and for tablets that have a rear-facing camera, this too can now be activated form the lock screen.

Prime Music Stations: Prime members now have access to ad-free personalized stations with unlimited skips. "Over a million songs by artists including U2, Blake Shelton, Daft Punk, Bruno Mars, Madonna, and more.   Just open the Mujsic tab and select Prime Stations to start listening."  Available in the US.

Emoji: The Amazon keyboard now features hundreds of color emojis.

Camera for Kids: Amazon FreeTime now includes a camera feature designed for kids that allows them to play with the camera but not post photos to social media.  Available in US, UK and Germany

June's free Kindle books (contemporary or non-classics)
    May 2015  June 2015.
    Also, all currently free non-classics sorted by:
    Publication Date   Bestselling    High ratings

  There are only a few shown on the first few days of any month, and these include pre-orders due that month -- most of these are listed as "free preview" of whatever chapters chosen, some are short stories, and a few (overnight) not-entirely-family-safe titles may show up.  Since this is June 2, the listing will not include more already available, full books

Reminder: The special monthly book deals for June 2015
  JUNE 2015's monthly Kindle Books deal, for $3.99 or less   (See UK listing here.)

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. The Fire update seems to have significantly improved performance when navigating around on my HD6. It was annoyingly sluggish prior to that.

    1. Tom, very good to hear that a maintenance update for improved performance did actually show marked improvement on something important to us. With the small amt of RAM and storage space, that is quite a feat for them to make all the Fire OS features work w/o being sluggish, actually.


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