Round up #74: Fire update coming, global Touch
Amazon touches the world…all over
As of yesterday, the Kindle Touch 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi is available for pre-order (for release on April 27) in 175 countries.
What, you thought they’d had it all along?
The Mindle has done very well abroad, apparently, ranking highly. The addition of the Touch has a couple of interesting implications.
First, it shows that Amazon is continuing to support reflective screen devices (as opposed to backlit devices like the Fire). Some people express concern about that…after all, the Fire has been the number one item, and there are people who are reading it on it regularly.
As I’ve mentioned before, that was a surprise for me. I didn’t expect to have the Fire be my main reading device, but it has become that. Even at home, I don’t usually switch to my Touch or Mindle.
Another interesting thing is that they are releasing it in seven languages (well, six languages and two variants):
- Brazilian Portuguese
- American English
- British English
The language experience appears to be similar to the Mindle. Text-to-speech is only in English, and it appears that you’ll be able to select your language on the fly (probably requiring a restart)…they aren’t offering seven different models, which is what the press release suggested to me.
My guess is that we’ll get this as an update for our current Touches.
Also, the press release is headlined about the Touch with wi-fi and 3G, but I checked both the British site and the French site, and they are offering both the wi-fi only and the wi-fi and 3G.
Fire update “coming soon” with added features
Amazon doesn’t usually tell us about an upcoming update until some people have started to get it. On the
they are telling us about 6.3. If you’ve gotten it already, let me and my readers know.
I haven’t, yet, but I’ll check again later today.
I’ll do a full post after I have it and can test it, but I thought you might want to know what they tell us it will have.
Before I address the feature adds, though, I do want to say that two bug fixes would really matter. One is this “partial download” of books problem. I’ve had it happen a couple of times, as I’ve written about previously. You download a book, but part way through reading it, you have to connect again to continue. Yes, I have had that happen on an airplane, where I couldn’t “complete” the download. The other one is this issue with books that open up and they are blank. There are workarounds for that, but I’m hoping the update just makes it work.
So, a brief listing of the new features (again, I’ll do more in-depth in a later post:
- Sharing passages: similar to what we’ve had on some other Kindles, you’ll be able to share a passage you highlight in a book via Twitter or Facebook, and it appears to be that these will also be part of the Popular Highlights program
- Book extras: we’ll get the Shelfari information about the book that readers contribute to that service. That means you can get character profiles and more…great for homework
- Archive of Personal Documents: if the implementation is like the recent update to the Kindle for Android app, it will be nice. I think you’ll see your personal documents on your Docs tab
- Print Replica textbooks: that’s more availability for more robust textbooks
- Reading View for Amazon Silk: again, bringing us something we’ve had on other Kindles…an “article mode”, make it easier to read websites
- Movie rentals: this has been pretty inconvenient in the past. Once you downloaded a movie rental, your 48 hour viewing period started. That meant you could load up a few movies to watch over a week while you were on vacation away from wi-fi, for example. Now, the viewing period will start once you start watching it. If it’s like it has been for other devices, you will need to watch it within thirty days of download, but that’s fine
- They also say there will be performance enhancements, including faster reconnect to wi-fi
I’m looking forward to seeing it! I expect I’ll have it within a day.
Update: reader and commenter jjhitt has posted this link:
That looks legitimate…still not official, though.
Update: this is the “I’ve done the update” update.😉 I’ll do it as a separate post when I get to test it. One good thing: it appears you can actually turn off the autocorrects now. That setting is in
Settings Gear – More – Kindle Keyboard
I tested it by typing “teh” with and without it. When the setting was on, it corrected it…when it was off, it didn’t. This has been a major complaint, particularly from those trying to type in non-English languages.
How did I do the update?
I was on my Fire and “long pressed” (I held my stylus on it for about a second) the link above from jjhittI chose to save the link.
That then put it in the Download folder. I used the free ES File Explorer to move it from that folder to KindleUpdates.
Then, I could go to
Settings Gear – More – Device
and choose to “update your Kindle”.
Three new Fires?
I’ve been hearing rumors about the number of Kindle Fire (or at least, Android) devices Amazon might add.
A reader sent me this link in a private e-mail:
That would fit my expectations. In my speculations for 2012, I said
“…I also think we’ll see another seven-inch Kindle Fire…with more features (GPS, cameras), and that it will be more expensive. My guess is we’ll see at least two of the larger screen”
So, three would fit right into it.
Feel free to tell me what you think…
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.