Updates for 7″ Kindle Fires, iDevices
There are a couple of big updates available!
First, you can go from this page:
to get the latest version of their app for iDevices (iPhones, iPod touches, iPads).
Version 3.5. brings X-Ray to the devices, which is a great feature! It allows you to get more information about characters, locations, and other items in a book you are reading.
It also improves rendering for Manga (Japanese graphic novels, basically).
There are also updates available for the current generation 7″ Kindle Fires:
This one brings a camera app (yay!), the Swype keyboard (I know people love it, but I haven’t tried it yet), and Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, which I wrote about earlier, and I which I think is truly innovative and a potential game changer.
This update for the least expensive current gen Kindle Fire
brings Swype and Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, but no camera app…since it doesn’t have a camera.
Those features aren’t available yet for the 8.9″ or the Kindle Fire 1st Generation, but I suspect the 8.9″ will get it shortly.
I’ll download the update to my KFHD7, and let you know what I think. If you’ve done any of these and have any comments, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post!
Update: I hadn’t realized that the keyboard on my 8.9″ was Swype (I knew it was different and that I liked it better), so I have used it.
I’ve done the update…it’s a large file, well over 500MBs. If you download it manually, don’t forget to delete it after the update is complete. Update: it now appears that the file deletes itself after updating, which is a considerable advantage over the way it used to work.
I’ve played around a bit with Kindle FreeTime Unlimited. You are automatically subscribed for a free month. As I suspected, there is content in there I’ll enjoy. For example, there was an old Speed Racer cartoon, and (Mr.) Peabody & Sherman.
Update: here’s some more information on the content in KFTU (I’m getting tired of typing “Kindle FreeTime Unlimited” ):
Books: there are literally hundreds of options. Give that they are for supposed to be curated for three to eight year-olds, I’m not surprised that I’m not seeing recognizable “chapter books”. Lots and lots of licensed characters (Madagascar, Phineas and Ferb, Shrek, SpongeBob, Mater), many light non-fiction (a history series, “PUGS ARE THE BEST!”, Exploring Stems).
The videos included Mister Rogers Neighborhood, Reading Rainbow, SpongeBob, Dora the Explorer…and some older ones, like H.R. Pufnstuf and The Archies). I didn’t see almost any feature length movies. It appears to me that they are only available streaming…not for download to view offline.
Apps: here you had Where’s My Water, Where’s My Perry, Cut the Rope, Magic Piano Kids, and other popular titles. There were also a number of adaptations of classic works, like Gulliver’s Travels and Moby Dick (is it just me, or does Moby Dick seem like an odd choice for five-year olds?).
Overall, I’d say the choice of content is pretty good, and I would guess it changes fairly often.
I’d need to experiment more with the changes in the interface…looks like they might have made it easier.
I haven’t found a camera app yet…
Update: thanks to readers Jay R Bernhard and Ann Von Hagel, I now know the camera app is available by going to the Photos tab. Silly me, I was looking for what Amazon told was an app under Apps.
When you tap on Photos, you’ll see a little icon of a camera up under the battery charge life indicator. Tap that, and you’ll activate the camera. There will then be an icon of a shutter (although how many people know what a physical shutter like that looks like any more?).
Tap the shutter, and your picture appears in a thumbnail strip. Tap the picture there, and then you get an e-mail icon, a trash icon, and a menu icon.
Tapping the menu icon gives you a choice to either Send it or get Help.
I don’t see any settings, or a way to access the video or panorama functions (which I’ve used with the camera with other apps).
The picture is then accessible to you through the Photos tab, where it will show up in a collection called “Camera”.
This is definitely a bare bones app, but it’s nice to have. Ann also pointed out that it is on the 8.9″.
That means that the update brought two things to the 7″ that were on the 8.9″ already: the Swype keyboard and the camera app. We should still see an update to the 8.9″ to bring the Kindle FreeTime Unlimited.
For other camera apps you can use, see this earlier post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.