Reports: new Kindle for Android update doubles memory use

Reports: new Kindle for Android update doubles memory use

Thanks to Allyson Bright Meyer in the Kindle community for the heads-up on this!

Amazon Kindle community thread

It is being reported that there is a new update for Kindle for Android ( that is considerably increasing the memory used.

I’m on the road and can’t investigate this much until later today.

My Samsung Captivate has not updated yet…I’m on

If you are having a problem with this, try going to your main menu on your device, going to settings, going to Applications and clearing your cache. You could also try clearing your data, but that would likely remove your books from your device as well.

I’m typing this on my phone …my Fire wouldn’t let me edit the body of the post for some reason.

Let me know if you run into this.

Update: before updating, my memory use was:

Total 21.29MB

Applications 0.00B

Data: 16.71MB

That’s on my Samsung Captivate (and it’s not on the SD card)

My Cache is 4.58MB

I don’t use it very much, so I was willing to experiment for you. I’m hoping it doesn’t mess up my other apps, though!

First, I cleared the cache. That did not remove my books from the device (and that’s what I expected would be the case).  My notes and marks and last page read were also preserved.

I then had an update available on my phone for Kindle for Android.

Updating took…oh, twenty seconds or so.

It asked me if I wanted to replace the existing application…I said OK.

The warnings:

  • Storage (Modify or delete SD card contents)
  • Network communication (full internet access)
  • Phone calls (read phone state)
  • System tools (prevent phone from sleeping, retrieve running applications)
I clicked Install.
Installing took about 15 seconds.
I clicked Open.
It took a relatively long time to open (maybe 15 seconds, again).
What’s New:
  • Support for reading PDF documents
  • Phone users: customize your reading experience with new margin and line spacing controls
  • Support for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) phones
  • Several bug fixes
My books were preserved, my last page read was preserved, my notes and marks were preserved.
My new memory readings:
Total: 31.20MB
Applications: 13.39MB
Data: 17.82MB
Nothing in the Cache.
So, my data size increased about a meg, but my applications size increased more than 13 MB.
Interesting stuff…I think we may see an Amazon press release on this, since it brings PDF to the phone. Hard to say, though.

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

6 Responses to “Reports: new Kindle for Android update doubles memory use”

  1. Tom Semple Says:

    I can’t say whether it increased the memory used, as I don’t know what it was before, but the app itself is 86MB now (I don’t know how that relates to runtime usage, if at all). That’s pretty hefty for a reading app; by comparison, Aldiko and Google Books are each about 40MB, and support both ePub and PDF. Most other reading apps are much smaller. Probably accounting for most of the size increase of the app file itself is the addition of PDF support (!), which probably is adding what the Kindle app on Fire has. This is the new feature list for version 3.3:

    – Support for reading PDF documents
    – Phone users: customize your reading experience with new margin and line spacing controls (but I don’t see these on my Xoom)
    – Support for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) phones
    – Several bug fixes

    It’s interesting that they are adding PDF support. Not sure if it is related, but I noticed a couple of days ago that PDF files are now stored in Personal Documents (not sure when that started). Presumably these may already sync and back up highlights as with other PDs (I haven’t tried it yet, and K4Android still does not support PD).

    The Kindle ‘Print Replica’ format that appeared (for K4PC and K4Mac) a few months ago might well leverage this as well at some point, though even with this update, I can’t send or download a sample of one of these books to K4Android.

    So it is kind of a mystery at this point, though it makes some sense as part of a greater plan to rent/sell textbooks in PDF form on devices with sufficient resolution. PDF is still the #1 format for this, and likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future, so it would be smart of Amazon to leverage that instead of trying to get publishers to convert to azw or kf8 for that matter. Kindle Fire doesn’t have as large a screen as one might wish for but it is better than the Kindle eink devices, and K4Android running on a tablet would be even better in many cases. Presumably the iOS app will get this also.

    • Tom Semple Says:

      I wasn’t looking at the right numbers. ‘Total’ is 87MB, ‘Application’ is 25MB, ‘Data’ 6MB, and ‘SD Card’ 56MB. So it is more in line with other reading apps in terms of Application usage, though it remains the largest.

  2. AugustFalcon Says:

    Just uninstalled and then downloaded and reinstalled the Kindle App For Anderoid from the Amazon AppStore.

    After installation the new app uses 25.20 MB on the phone.

    Moving it to the SD Card changes that to 16.07 MB.

    The previous version used about 13 MB IIRC after being moved to the SD card.

    Kills my LG Optima V since with it installed I only have 14 MB left on the phone.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, AugustFalcon!

      Thanks for letting me know!

      Did you try clearing your cache? I’m guessing that maybe the large size is partially an update file, but I don’t know.

  3. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I’m writing this on my Kf (laptop is in the shop getting its hard drive replaced with an SSD). My phone got a bunch of updates today — most important were kindle and google+. Installed ok — I. don’t read much on my phone — so G+ was more useful to me. One of the commmenters on your initial Kf post suggested some PDF 3rd pry apps. One, EzPdf reader is really good — has text reflow even.

    Read a whole book on Kt used xray a lot– very useful for keeping track of characters and jargon. Will have more to say when laptop comes back.

  4. Tom Semple Says:

    Note that Amazon recently invested in FoxIt, makers of PDF reading software.

    And with Fire and Kindle Touch, the user manuals no longer give attribution to ‘Adobe Reader’ technology. And the ‘Print Replica’ format is essentially PDF with Amazon DRM wrapping. So again it suggests that Amazon sees quality PDF support on the Kindle platform as strategic, most likely for the educational and technical markets.

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