Flash! Early preview software 3.1…page numbers!
Do they never rest?
I was actually wondering if Amazon might coast on their current software version for a while…silly me.
Amazon has just announced early preview software bringing four major new features:
Here are those features…I was going to do a thorough post, but I think I’ll give you mostly the highlights (you’ll be able to tell where I stopped) , and then do an FAKQ post after I’ve tested it a bit:
1. Real Page Numbers
This one is interesting and may be underappreciated.
Amazon has already added “real pages” to tens of thousands of Kindle books. That’s always been a tricky thing. A single print page may appear on several e-book screens…or maybe on one. It depends on your text size. You will only see page numbers after you have updated your Kindle’s software…and then hit Menu inside the book. The page number and the total number of pages. Which version? It will give you the ISBN of the version on the book’s Amazon Product Page. What happens if more than one page is on your screen? You’ll see the page number only for the first page displayed.
UPDATE: I’ve tried about 10 of my books…none of them have page numbers yet. I’m happy to report, though, that “Go to page” will be an option on books that have page numbers. There is also a “Go to end” choice.
UPDATE 2: Found one! I figured a big-name publisher was a better bet, so I went with Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich. It works as expected: when I press the Menu button, I see page number, total pages, locations displayed, total locations. I can go to a specific page. NOTE: location numbers no longer show in books until you hit the Menu button.
UPDATE 3: Thanks to Jess in the Amazon Kindle Community! I wasn’t finding page numbers because you have to do
Home-Menu-Sync & Check for Items
or freshly download a book to see the page numbers (after doing the update).
2. Public Notes
You can already participate in the Popular Highlights program (in fact, you have to opt out). This new features lets you share notes you write in your books. This one has a lot of nuances to it.
First, you choose whether you or not you are sharing notes from a particular book at
You’ll be able to post specific notes, all of your notes from a book…and see other people’s notes. They’ve added a way to “follow” people at the above site.
This could be really significant…but I have to look through it more. How do they prevent obscenities and libel and that sort of thing? Who owns the content you write? I won’t be doing this until I’ve researched it. If I decide to do it, I’ll let you know so you can follow me if you want.
UPDATE: Here’s the FAQ for Public Notes
UPDATE 2: Amazon confirmed for me that you own the content of your Public Notes. That not matter to you, but it makes a difference to me. I’ll look at publicly posting individual notes. For example, I was pleased when there was a shout-out in a book I read recently to Lidsville…I might write a note explaining what that is. You can follow me at that kindle.amazon site above, if you want.
3. Before You Go
This is a nice feature, and something people have requested (at least parts of it). On the last page of the book, you’ll be able to rate it, tweet that you finished it, and see recommendations for other books. This may also help recommendations, making them more Netflix-like (people who liked the same things you liked also liked…that sort of thing)
UPDATE: Yep, at the end of the book. I can tweet or share that I fnished the book, rate the book…and click on books bought by other customers who bought this book, and click on more books by this author (only Kindle editions, by the way).
4. Better magazine and newspaper layout…the screenshots look promising.
Well, there you go…a four-fer.
If you don’t do anything, you’ll get the update…on Kindle 3s. That’s all that shows on the
The announcement is less clear, saying “Kindle 3G” customers would get it, which suggests everything…Kindle 2, Kindle 1, and Kindle DX. I don’t think they mean that, though, but I could be wrong.
I’ll write again after I get it installed and play around with it. It’s been trying to download for about fifteen minutes on one of my computers. UPDATE: On my fourth attempt, it downloaded…in under fifteen seconds, I’d say. It took ten minutes and nine seconds to do the update. The sequence looked like this:
I have it now. Time to start experimenting…
If you try it, let me know what you think.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.