Kindle Touch 5.3.2 update

Yep, you read that correctly…an update for the Kindle Touch!

That model is no longer sold new by Amazon (it was basically replaced by the Kindle Paperwhite), but they are giving it a significant update. Here’s the information:

Kindle Touch update announcement

I’m hoping that resolves properly while I’m typing this on my Fire…we’ll see. If it doesn’t work, go to

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates

or just wait…you’ll get it automatically over wi-fi.

It brings you parental controls, for one thing. Also, if you get a sample and then buy the book, the book will start where you left off in the sample.

The announcement thread above has more details about the features. Sorry I can’t reproduce them easily here…due to technical difficulties, I don’t have my usual resources.

Update: I’ve temporarily switched computers, so I can give you more details:

  • Updated User Interface: they are bringing the Touch in line with some other devices, and will refer to the archives as the “Cloud” on the device
  • Book Covers on the homescreen…you’ll have the option to see pictures of the covers there, rather than just a list
  • Recommended content…I presume not everybody will like this. :) I’ll look for a way to turn it off
  • Enhanced sample-to-book experience: as I mentioned above, you’ll be able to go from a sample to the same spot when you buy a book. People wanted that for a long time :)
  • Parental controls: you’ll be able to turn off access to the archives and/or the Kindle store
  • Whispersync for voice: this lets you switch between a recorded reading of the book and sight-reading…you typically pay extra for the recorded reading, although less than you would if you bought the audiobook separately
  • Author profiles: while you are reading a book, you can look up info for the author (if available), and other titles by that author
  • Children’s books get Kindle Text Pop-Up
  • Comics get panel view

You can get the update manually (and instructions) here:

Kindle Touch Software Update 5.3.2

If you update and notice anything special, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post. One thing I have seen is that it may require your Kindle to re-index. That can take a lot of battery charge, depending on how many books you actually keep on your device. I’d leave it plugged in over night after the update, if you have a lot.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in theĀ I Love My Kindle blog.

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12 Responses to “Kindle Touch 5.3.2 update”

  1. cardinalrobbins Says:

    Thank you, BC! I *never* expected another update for my Kindle Touch, because I thought Amazon had sunsetted this model entirely. I love it — hope mine never wears out, despite the heavy use it gets, because I’d want another one right away.

    I read your blog every day and absolutely *love* it. You ROCK! :-)

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, cardinalrobbins!

      Thanks for the kind words!

      I have no doubt that I’ll see posts within the next week or so complaining about how Amazon doesn’t support older devices. :) Eventually, I have to figure that all of my devices will wear out…but they are fun while they last. ;)

  2. oldiesuz Says:

    I appreciate the heads up on this, but for a different reason than most I suspect. I will be keeping my wi-fi off on this model until others report in on whether or not the simple “Turn On/Off Wireless” option is replaced by having to go the extra step into “Settings” and then “Turning On-Off Airplane Mode”. Also the Recommended content sounds like another intrusive feature Amazon will force on users until enough complaints force a future update that will allow users to shut it off.

    • Tom Semple Says:

      They haven’t changed it. It is still ‘Turn Off Wireless/Turn On Wireless’ in the menus. No ‘Airplane Mode’.
      Also the swipe up/down chapter navigation is still there.
      Recommended Content can be turned off in preferences, just as on Paperwhite (since they updated it).

  3. Tom Semple Says:

    I’m not able to download (or send from MYK) KF8/fixed layout comic books (e.g. Watchmen) that work on my Kindle Keyboard and Paperwhite. “device not supported”. I side-loaded the KF8 fixed-layout samples from KDP, and they work, so the support is there, but for some reason they don’t have the right permissions set up on the server side. I will be following up with Amazon CS.

    Otherwise it is an excellent and welcome update, and I can see myself using my KT more when I want a little TTS. I tried the WhisperSync4Voice and it worked flawlessly with my 3G KT.

    Charles Dickens apparently doesn’t have an Author Profile. He should get a new agent.

  4. oldiesuz Says:

    Thanks much for the info Tom! I will proceed with the update now.

  5. Haole Man Says:

    Did anybody else have a problem with this update (5.3.2) and the next (5.3.2.1) breaking your active content? I rely heavily on Notepad Plus and both updates stopped it from loading. The only fix was to do a hard reset, which removes everything from the Kindle. I had data backed up, but I have yet to find a successful method to backup/restore my Collections. So, yet again, I will spend the next several days downloading over 800 books and placing them into Collections. I’m not a happy camper. Kindle support was less than useless. I’m no longer recommending Kindles to anybody.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Haole!

      I didn’t have any problems, but I’m not sure I tested active content. I’ll try to take a look at it.

      I’ve never had Kindle Support not be helpful. Had you contacted them at

      http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

      ?

      In terms of your Collections, there shouldn’t be any need to backup/restore them (as long as your device is communicating with Amazon regularly, since Amazon backs them up for you. You can even create them on one device and import them to another.

      To be clear about that piece of it, though, the Collection is not the books. It is a definition of where to display the titles of those books so they can be launched.

      If you did have to restore the device, that would have removed the books from the device…that removes all personalization that you’ve done (which would include personal files, downloaded Kindle store books, internet bookmarks, and wi-fi networks). After the restore happened, you would then download the books you wanted to have on the device again. Would you mind describing your process in getting the books back on the device, and what you did at that point? Just want to make sure all the points are covered.

      Of course, if you do choose to have hundreds of books on your device (many people do), that does take a while to do again. I only keep about ten Kindle store books on any of my devices at a time, but I know others who, like you, use the device for storage rather than primarily for display.

  6. Haole Man Says:

    I contacted Kindle support through the normal channels, both by chat and phone. The first support person told me to simply copy the entire contents of my Kindle to a hard drive, then copy it back after the reset. That doesn’t work on the Touch; it restores the content but not the collections. The next two people suggested I transfer my collections to Kindle for PC, then transfer them back after the reset. The first time I tried that I got back 3 of 21 collections with no books in the collections. I thought it might be because I used an old installation of K4PC on my desktop computer that had been through several different iterations of my collections. The next time I had to reset my Kindle Touch, I first installed a new copy of K4PC on my HTPC, which had never had a previous installation of K4PC so I know it was clean. I transferred my collections from the KT to K4PC; it transferred 28 of 21 collections. That’s not a typo; it transferred collections that weren’t there. There were no books in any of the collections. I eliminated the extra collections and arranged the books into them manually. After I reset the KT, I downloaded about 100 of my books to the KT and then attempted to transfer the collections from K4PC to my KT. It transferred NO collections. None. I did another reset and tried it again with the same results. I then created my collections and spent the next 2 days downloading the rest of my books and putting them into the collections. Amazon needs to have a better system; one that actually works.

    I’m not worried about my content, that part works as it should. Sorting the books into collections should work as well and be automatic. Once I put a book into a collection (or 2 or 3), it should always be there on ANY Kindle device until I change it. One of the reasons I have a Kindle is so that I can carry my library with me, but not if I have to re-catalog it about once a month.

    The last time I talked to Kindle support about my lost collections and asked a supervisor questions she couldn’t answer, she hung up on me. Emails to Kindle support have gone unanswered. Am I doing something wrong, or is my Kindle Touch broken? I should add that I also tried Kindlean, but that also did not work. Kindlean could give me no answer other than they’ve seen that problem on at least 3 other KTs

    I plan to buy a tablet this summer. It won’t be a Kindle Fire.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Haole!

      Wow, you’ve had some unusually bad experiences, from what I hear and have experienced myself!

      In terms of the flow, just to be clear: you are downloading the books to the device first, and then importing the Collections? If you download the Collections first, they will empty…the Collection isn’t the books, it is a set of instructions for the device on how to display books which are are already on it.

      I’m guessing you are the only person using your account? For multi-people accounts (like ours), having the Collections automatically appear on all devices would be a real problem. For example, several people in a family may have “To Be Read” Collections with different things in them. The Collections need to be device dependent (or person-dependent…something I’ve suggested as a possible, but complicated new system).

      I could understand choosing not to get a Kindle Fire, with what you say you’ve experienced. I’ve only had good (I’d say extraordinary) experiences with Kindle Customer Service. The best method of response for me has been to have them call me, although I am in the USA and bought from Amazon.com, and that’s not always going to be the case (I’m simply ignorant of the Kindle Customer Service for other sites). Amazon has very highly-rated Customer Service, so I think your experience is unusual. However, that doesn’t change the way it feels for you, of course.

      Here’s the way it should work (but apparently hasn’t for you…I can’t, of course, tell if something is wrong with your Kindle Touch from the information I have):

      You should be able to import Collections from one device to another, through the Archived Items. Collections are created on a device, and stored there (I believe it is in a “JSON” file). Let’s just use animals as an example.

      I have the following animals:

      Lion
      Tiger
      Cougar
      Wolf
      Dingo

      On one Kindle, I create the following Collections:

      Cats: Lion, Tiger, Cougar
      Dogs: Wolf, Dingo

      Now, on another Kindle, I want those same Collections.

      First, I put Lion, Tiger, Cougar, Wolf, and Dingo on the second Kindle. Then I import the Collections from Kindle A, sort by Collections, and the animals should be in their proper Collections.

      If I import the Collections without, say, Tiger on Kindle B, Tiger won’t be in the Cats Collection on that device.

      I have created Collections in Kindle for PC (where it is somewhat easier), and transferred them to a Kindle.

      The place where this gets particularly confusing is if Kindle C has the following Collections:

      American Animals: Cougar, Wolf
      Foreign Animals: Lion, Tiger, Dingo

      Also, let’s say there is a Kindle D, which has

      Cats: Lion, Tiger, Cougar, Serval, Ocelot, Margay

      You can’t just have Cats be defined by Kindle A, because it would mess up Kindle D.

      Well, that’s probably more than you wanted to hear :) and doesn’t solve your problem.

      Remind me (because I think you are continuing an earlier conversation). Are you backing up your Collections because you are going to do an upgrade? What started the call to Customer Service?

  7. Haole Man Says:

    What started the whole thing was when the 5.3.2 firmware update rendered Notepad+ (active content) inoperable. I won’t go through the whole series of events; what finally worked was to do a hard reset. I had backed up my Notepad+ data so I didn’t lose that, but my collections were gone since the brute force copy everything method suggested by the first support person doesn’t work on a Kindle Touch – there’s no collections.json file on the Touch. Without that I can’t use Calibre or any other 3rd party application to manage collections.

    The 5.3.2.1 upgrade also hosed Notepad+, which is when I attempted to use Kindle for PC to back-up my collections. I’ve been working with IT/computer networks for about 30 years; I’m a strong believer in frequent back-ups. It’s very frustrating for me that a simple concept like categorizing books should cause this much trouble. I have a fairly simple situation: one Kindle,one user, one account. I understand what a collection is; Kobo uses the concept of a bookshelf for the same purpose. I don’t have a problem with loading my 800 books/personal documents after a reset, but I don’t want to spend DAYS re-categorizing them again and again.

    I can see why collections would be more complicated when there are multiple devices. Maybe in “Manage Your Kindle” we could send the book to a specific collection on a device. Using mine as an example, I could send a book to Ansel/Mysteries and it could remember that the book is always in Mysteries when on Ansel. With their vast resources Amazon could also write a program that manages collections on multiple devices. I suspect they got rid of the collections.json file just to stop the third party applications.

    I followed Amazon’s guidelines and loaded the books before I imported collections from Kindle for PC. As I said, no collections were actually imported. I don’t know if the books would have been placed into the right collections because there were no collections imported. Kindle support refused to believe me that no collections were imported.

    I live in the US (California) and my content has mostly been bought directly from Amazon or sent to it from the Send to Kindle application. The Kindle was purchased from Amazon along with an extended warranty. Like you, I also prefer to have Amazon call me, mainly because I’m a slow typist.

    I don’t expect you to solve my problems, but I thank you for listening to me; that’s more than Amazon has done. I mainly wanted to find out if anybody else has had these problems.

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