Archive for the ‘Kindle Touch’ Category

Kindle Touch refurb on Woot for $54.99

December 1, 2013

Kindle Touch refurb on Woot for $54.99

Thanks to reader Brian for the heads-up on this!

Woot (owned by Amazon) has refurbished Kindle Touches for $54.99:

http://tech.woot.com/offers/kindle-touch-wireless-reading-device-4

The Kindle Touch, which is the forerunner (based on software numbers of the Kindle Paperwhite) is a touchscreen, non-lit Kindle with sound (including text-to-speech).

I’m going to get this out to you right away, because Woot deals commonly sell out very quickly.

Thanks, Brian!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Kindle Touch also back on sale!

October 25, 2013

Kindle Touch also back on sale!

Maybe Amazon decided it was almost Halloween, and time to bring some zombie Kindles back from the dead? ;)

Kindle Touch with Special Offers

This is quite similar to my announcement yesterday about the Kindle Keyboard being back on sale, new from Amazon. The page is acting in a similar way, it’s not on the “family stripe”, and if you want it without Special Offers, you can’t get it directly from Amazon (but you could buy out if later, if you want).

It’s priced at $99.

If you do want to benefit a blog or other site when you buy this, you could first get an Amazon Gift Card from a link on the site, then use that to buy the Kindle.

The Touch had also been a popular model: touchscreen and text-to-speech.  4.0 out of 5 stars, 8,095 customer reviews…less than a quarter of the reviews as the Kindle Keyboard, but more than the Mindle (the lowest cost Kindle…that’s just my name for it) or the Kindle DX. A comparison of those different review numbers for different models might be worth doing in another post

Gee, what’s next…the 2007 Kindle 1? ;)

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

Kindle Touch 5.3.2 update

January 9, 2013

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 the I Love My Kindle blog.

Menu map: Touch 5.1.0

June 11, 2012

Menu map: Touch 5.1.0

I’ve done this kind of thing for the Kindle Fire in my book, Love Your Kindle Fire: The ILMK Guide to Amazon’s Entertablet, and I’ve done it in this blog before for other models. I think this may become a regular feature, but do let me know if you find it helpful (or not).

I’m going to run through the menus on a Kindle Touch (specifically, a wi-fi only Kindle Touch with Special Offers in the USA). This is based on firmware version 5.1.0.

I’ll add comments where I think that’s appropriate. Do feel free to comment on this post if you have more questions.

What is a menu?

It gives you options, just like a menu in a restaurant. You select a menu (you might be tapping, clicking, arrowing and hitting enter…depends on the device), and see a series of choices. You pick one (if you want), and that “launches” (starts) something on your device.

With the Touch, you would first wake it up or turn it on with the power button on the bottom (press and release).

Those four horizontal lines below the screen are the “Home” button. I’ve heard people asking if that was a speaker or a vent. I personally would have made it look like a little house, because four horizontal lines typically means a menu, rather than Home.

The Menu button is in your top right corner of the screen. Tap that.

  • Menu (with an X…if you tapped this by mistake, the X will close it with no changes)
  • Turn on Wireless
  • Shop in Kindle Store
  • View Archived Items (these items available to be downloaded to this Kindle from the account…and there is a place here to import Collections from another device. This will only be up to date if your Kindle has done a sync with Amazon since the last change)
  • View Special Offers
  • Create New Collections
  • Sync and Check for Items (this will communicate with Amazon’s servers. Not only will this download new items, it may set the time, get you an update, and so on. If your wireless is not on, it will ask you to do that…your Kindle can’t communicate with the server with the wireless off)
  • Sort By…> (tapping this gives you four sort options…Recent ((which is the default)), Title, Author, or Collections ((if you have created any)))
  • Settings (a very important menu)
  • Experimental (Web Browser, MP3 Player, Text-to-Speech…but TTS doesn’t do anything here. This is a list of experimental features, and TTS only works in something you’ve opened that you can use that feature, like a book)

Let’s take a look at the Settings menu:

There are four sections here:

  • Registration
  • Wi-Fi Networks
  • Device Options
  • Reading Options

Here’s the key thing, and something that might surprise you.

You got here by doing

Home-Menu-Settings

You can hit Menu again to see another menu.

You got here through a menu, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use Menu to get even deeper.

Home-Menu-Settings-Menu

  • Turn on Wireless
  • Shop in Kindle Store
  • Update Your Kindle (if you have an update package on your Kindle which hasn’t been executed yet…this option is generally “grayed out”, or what geeks may call “disabled”. You see the option, but can only select it in certain circumstances)
  • Restart (this will restart the Kindle, which is often a fix for problems. You may need to sync with Amazon after doing a restart. This is a way to restart the Kindle using the software (going through the menus and the “user interface”), so you may see it called a “soft restart”. You can also restart a Kindle Touch by holding in the power button for at least twenty seconds. That uses the hardware (the button), so you may see the term “hard restart”. Amazon has indicated that it is better to use the software restart when possible. If your Kindle is non-responsive, that’s when you use the hard restart
  • Reset Device (this used to be called Reset to Factory Defaults. This is a really radical thing to do, and should be used with caution and when other options have been tried. It will wipe out everything you’ve done to your Kindle, except firmware updates. You’ll lose personal documents on the device, it will forget your wi-fi networks ((so you may need to enter a password again)), it will lose your internet bookmarks…pretty much everything. It’s appropriate to do this when giving or selling your Kindle to someone not on your device, or if you have a problem you just can’t fix any other way)
  • Device Info (this is sometimes crucial information for someone helping you, and I do wish it was a bit less buried. It gives you your firmware version, the memory you have left on your device, the wi-fi capability, the serial number, the Wi-fi MAC ((Media Access Control)) address)
  • Legal (254 pages of small print that you can’t enlarge)
  • Sync and Check for Items

You may notice that this sub-menu inside Settings has some of the same options as the main Home menu. Yes, that can happen…not every menu is unique. Gee, for some reason, Amazon likes to make the “Shop in Kindle Store” option available in several places. ;)

Within a book

To access the Menu from within a book, you first tap towards the top of the screen, in the middle horizontally, then tap Menu.

  • Menu
  • Turn on Wireless
  • Shop in Kindle Store
  • Landscape Mode (switch it so the image is wider than it is tall)
  • Sync to Furthest Page Read (this has to connect to wireless, because it is to coordinate between different devices. Device A has told Amazon’s servers how far you have read on that book. Device B wants to get that information from the server, to set the book to the same point. That works well when the same person is reading the same book on more than one device. It’s not something you are going to use if two different people are reading the same book on different devices)
  • Book description (requires wireless…it gets that information from the Amazon website. An X-Ray enabled book downloads information about the book to store locally, although I don’t believe that affects this menu choice)
  • Add Bookmark
  • View Notes & Marks
  • Share (this lets you write a note about the book and share it with others)
  • Turn on Text-to-Speech (this may be grayed out, if the publisher has blocked text-to-speech access)

Those aren’t the only menus: you’ll have a different menu in different types of content. For example, a magazine will have a menu option to “Keep This Issue”, which keeps a copy of that specific issue locally on that device. If you don’t do that, you’ll eventually lose that issue as new ones come it. That kept issue is not saved for you on Amazon’s servers…just that local copy which is keyed to work only on that specific device.

Let me know if you think this was useful. I think it will help people find what they need more quickly. It also lets me document what is in the menus, so I can compare them after an update. :)

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

Kindle Touch update 5.1 available…major changes

April 12, 2012

Kindle Touch update 5.1 available…major changes

Thanks to Andrys Basten of the

A Kindle World

blog for the heads-up on this!

When I checked my Pulse app on my Kindle Fire  this morning, I saw that there was a new 5.1 update available for my Kindle Touch (and yours too, of course).

This brings us some big new abilities. Among them is one that people have wanted since the Touch was released, one that I suggested back at the Kindle 1, and one that the less expensive Mindle (the $79/$109 version) has already had.

Before I get into the specifics of the update (now that I’ve teased it) ;) , here’s how to see if you have it and how to get it if you don’t.

On your Touch:

Home – Menu – Setting – Menu – Device Info

If your Firmware version starts with 5.1, your Touch has already updated itself over wi-fi.

If it hasn’t, you can just leave your wi-fi on and wait for it to happen, or you can update it manually right now (I’ve already done it that way).

As always, you can get any Kindle software update at

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates

or go straight to the Kindle Touch update at

Kindle Touch Software Update Version 5.1.0

They have good instructions there, but if you need help, let me know.

The update was 38.5MB, and went smoothly for me.

Okay, here are the features:

Multiple language support

The Mindle has had the ability to switch the device menus to different languages, which has no doubt contributed to its international popularity.

You can now go to

Menu – Settings – Device Options – Language and Dictionaries

and under Language, you can choose

  • Deutsch
  • English (United Kingdom)
  • English (United States)
  • Espanol
  • Francais
  • Italiano
  • Portugues (Brasil)

I’ll get the special characters in here later. :)

As with the Mindle, if you make a selection and click OK, the Kindle will have to restart itself to change the menus.

Landscape, ho!

You can now switch your view to landscape! Landscape is wider than it is tall, portrait is taller than it is wide. If you think about pictures in a museum, that’s how they are typically hung…a portrait is “tall”, a landscape is “wide”. Within a book, it’s

Menu – Landscape Mode

Instant translations

I sent an e-mail suggesting this to Amazon when the Kindle 1 was released, although it would undoubtedly have been harder then. :) Tap a word or highlight a section, then tap More.  You’ll get a choice for

Translation

This uses Bing. Interestingly, when I was testing this this morning, it didn’t work. I was connected by wi-fi (which I’m guessing will be necessary), but it repeatedly said, “Unable to contact the server. Please try again later.” There are more language options here than there are for the menus, which makes sense…the latter are onboard, the translation for words is not going to be. You can slide the list to see more. The list includes:

  • Chinese Simplified
  • Chinese Traditional
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

By the way, another choice under More? “Report Content Error”…

Update: the translation worked tonight, and appeared to work well! The Spanish translation of a half a sentence looked pretty good and was fast. The Hindi looked like Hindi…although I can’t judge the quality of the translation on that one. :) It does require you to be connected via wireless, which isn’t a surprise. If you highlight and tap translation when unconnected, it does give you a chance to “Turn on Wireless”, and then it did complete the translation once it did connect.

KF8 support

The Kindle Touch now supports Kindle Format 8, which has a lot more capabilities.

Wi-Fi Enhancements

You can now connect to more types of wi-fi networks! That includes WPS and “select” WPA2 enterprise networks. You may be able to connect at work when you couldn’t before. :)

Text-to-speech with Read-to-me

The Kindle Touch has had text-to-speech, of course, but there is now a feature for content summaries for magazine and newspaper articles, when available. I haven’t tested this yet.

More sharing options

Well, this disappointed me a bit! I was hoping this was going to bringing tweading and the bookstream to the Touch, but I don’t think it does. It does make it easier to share our highlights and notes. When you highlight something, you can choose Share. It lets you add up to a 100 character note.  You can also tap Menu in a book to get to a Share choice.

Onscreen keyboard suggestions

Yay! As you type into, say, the search box, the Touch suggests possible words. You then tap the word to input it. That’s going to real speed up input…which will be good with the sharing noted above. I mean, it’s felt like I was typing on my Blackberry rather than my Android phone. ;) These are suggestions, not just completions. When I tried “cat”, one suggestion was “chat”.

There are probably other changes as well that may be more behind the scenes.

Overall, this a great update! It also demonstrates that Amazon is still supporting RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles….anything but a Kindle Fire). I never doubted that, personally, but some people worry about it.

The translation, in my opinion, would be great on the Fire and I expect we’ll get it there.

If you’ve tried out the update, let me and my readers know what you think. :)

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

New update 5.04 update available for the Kindle Touch, Kindle for PC updated

March 1, 2012

New update 5.04 update available for the Kindle Touch, Kindle for PC updated

Thanks to regular reader and commenter Tom Semple for the heads-up on this.

There is a new update available for the Kindle Touch (5.0.4).

The description isn’t very explicit: “This update features general software improvements for Kindle Touch.” :)

I won’t get a chance to test it until later, but if you want to get it right away, you can at

Kindle Touch Software Update Page

There are instructions there for using your USB cable to transfer it to your KT.

You can also just wait, and you should get it when connected to wi-fi…that’s easier, but it’s hard to say when it will happen.

Tom also tells me that Kindle for PC has been updated to accommodate KF8 (Kindle Format 8).  I’m not where I can test that one, either.

If you get either of these and notice differences, feel free to let me know.

Thanks, Tom!

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

Update 5.0.3 available for the Kindle Touch

January 17, 2012

Update 5.0.3 available for the Kindle Touch

If you have a Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi only or a Kindle Touch 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, there’s a new software update available for you at

Kindle Touch Software Update Version 5.0.3

It’s interesting, because this one doesn’t say that it will update automatically to your Kindle Touch…at least at this point. It only says, “…manually download”. That may mean they are going to wait a bit before rolling it out, but they aren’t listing it as a “beta” (test) version either. I’d feel safe doing it.

What does it do?

Amazon doesn’t always tell us, unless there are new features to tout. This time, they say, “This update features general software improvements for Kindle Touch.” ;)

What that probably means is that things will work more smoothly, but that we won’t notice something different (for example, it won’t add landscape mode).

They have pretty good instructions on that page. I’m going to go ahead and install it on mine, and I’ll let you know if I notice anything. I’m going to test highlighting across pages, for one thing.

If you notice anything, let me know…

Update: My update is finished. It all went smoothly. It feels more responsive to me, although that’s a bit subjective (I’d probably need a millisecond timer to prove anything). Still can’t highlight across pages, by the way. I understand the technical limitations there, but it would be nice. I haven’t noticed any menu changes yet.

By the way, if you want to check your software version on a Kindle Touch, you do

Home-Menu-Settings-Menu-Device Info

My guess is that this mostly fixes problems I haven’t had.

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


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