Software update for Voyage, Paperwhites, and Mindle Touch brings new features

Software update for Voyage, Paperwhites, and Mindle Touch brings new features

All of the current Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers) are getting an update!

You can update your device manually from (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

or you can wait and it should happen automatically eventually.

This update (for all of these models) brings them to 5.6.5.

The new features include:

  • Enhanced “SmartCards” when you do look-ups (by “long pressing”)
  • The Bookerly font
  • Better lay-out (including improvements to “…hyphenation, justification, ligatures, and kerning, as well as pop-up footnotes, endnotes and chapter notes.”). These aren’t available for every book yet, but for many of them, including in multiple languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch
  • You’ll now be able to get to author pages and personal recommendations from Goodreads

This is yet another example of Amazon giving us something more after we’ve already spent the money.

The affected models include:

  • Kindle Voyage, Kindle Paperwhite 3, and Mindle Touch (all 7th generation models)
  • Kindle Paperwhite 2 (6th generation)

The Kindle Paperwhite 1 and early generations of other models don’t get this one…at least at this point.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

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


15 Responses to “Software update for Voyage, Paperwhites, and Mindle Touch brings new features”

  1. Lady Galaxy Says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I was just wondering when this update was finally coming. Unfortunately, the Voyage battery is totally drained, so I’ll have to wait until it recharges before I can apply the update. I haven’t used it since the last time I recharged it. I surely hope this update makes it more appealing.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      I’ll be interested in your feedback on it…I know you have had some concerns about the Voyage’s display of text.

      As a tip, it’s generally best not to let lithium-ion batteries get completely drained. I usually charge my devices in the “middle half”: not the first 25%, not the last 25%.

      • Lady Galaxy Says:

        I’m really disappointed. I was hoping this would finally be the upgrade that fixed all the downgrades that have happened since Kindle software 3.3. All the changes after that have hurt my eyes. The more Amazon tries to make the Kindle look like a book, the harder it is for me to read.

        I’m still Goldilocks when it comes to selecting font size. The first six font sizes are still too small to read comfortably, the last two font sizes are still too large to read comfortably, and none of the font sizes are “just right.” I wish the programmers would make more of an effort to understand what life is like for those of us with vision problems that cannot be corrected with reading glasses!

        I see a slight improvement in justification. There is still full justification except for lines where there would have been a major gap in the middle of a line. Now the big gap on those lines is at the end. There is still irregular spacing between words in the fully justified lines which makes it hard for my myasthenic eyes to scan.

        The indentation for a paragraph break is also barely noticeable, which makes the text seem to run together. I can only manage a chapter or two before eye strain sets in.

        I still can’t access Goodreads without a wi-fi connection.

        I have never gotten good battery life from any Kindle I’ve ever owned. I have to recharge my older Kindles about every other day. I don’t normally allow batteries to fully discharge, but the Voyage is so uncomfortable to read that I gave up on it. I can’t even remember the last time I tried to read it, so I didn’t think to check to make sure the battery wasn’t discharging on it. I was waiting for the upgrade hoping it would make the Voyage usable, but I don’t think it’s going to. I should have sent it back when that was still an option. I’m realizing that once my older Kindles get to the point here the batteries will no longer hold a charge, I’m going to have to go back to life without books.

        I’m sorry to sound so negative, but I’m so disappointed that Amazon still didn’t fix the things that I need for them to fix.

      • Lady Galaxy Says:

        At least I’m discovering that there are a few books here and there that have left justification on the Voyage. I downloaded one of the Nancy Pearl’s book crush books yesterday as a borrow, and was pleasantly surprised to find the text to be left justified and the test size to be close to “just right.” So I’m thinking I’ll have to test books out on the Voyage first. If the text is fully justified, I’ll move them over to one of the K3’s. If they have left justification, I’ll try to read them on the Voyage. I’ve also discovered that the back lighting is contributing to the eyestrain with the Voyage, so I’m turning it down as low as it will go which makes the background almost as gray as on the K3.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Lady!

        I’m glad you are making some progress. 🙂

        The frontlighting may be adding to the contrast, I suppose. I often have the lighting turned down quite far on my devices.

      • Lady Galaxy Says:

        I know the Voyage does not have text to speech capability, but I think the Paperwhite does. Did this update improve text to speech? Have any of the updates improved the handling of the long dash? I was using text to speech earlier with my K3 to read a book whose author was in love with the long dash, and the Kindle voice barely paused when it encountered one. Since I was reading along, it wasn’t a big deal, but if I had just been listening, it would have seemed as if there were skips in the text. And yes, I know the K3 software won’t be updated. but my next Kindle will need to be one that has text to speech, and I’m hoping it’s getting better.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Lady!

        No non-Fire has had text-to-speech for several generations…and that includes the earliest Paperwhite on down. They don’t have audio capabilities at all.

        If you want a new Amazon device that does TTS a this point, it’s going to be a Fire. The TTS is vastly better on the Fires than it was on the EBRs (E-Book Readers). I don’t hear any problems with dashes…

  2. Allie Says:

    Bufo- I am trying to figure out which generation my kindle paperwhite is, and thus figure out if this new download will do anything for my kindle or not.
    Pathetically, I’m one of the zillion kindle-owners who has no idea which generation device they own! Here is the best info I have found: My “manage your Kindle” tab refers to a device with no further elaboration than “Paperwhite”. Does that automatically mean it is first generation?
    I’m sorry to ask such a dopey question, but I’m guessing that you know the answer to this right off the top of your head 🙂

    Edited to add: you asked me to correct something, which I did, but I wouldn’t haven’t seen it as an error…let’s just say I’ve encountered that before from friends and family. 😉

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Allie!

      Believe me, that’s not dopey! The way Amazon names the devices has been very confusing, so it’s not a surprise that people don’t know which one they have.

      If it says “Kindle” on the back, it’s the generation that’s too old for this update. If it says “Amazon” on the back, it’s the newer generation.

      I also have this page with serials numbers and such:

  3. Robert Anderson Says:

    Updated both my Voyage and Paperwhite 6th gen. This a good update, been waiting for it. Bookerly font looks good, sharp and very readable. Can’t say I notice the kerning differences, but very readable and on the Voyage looks good ever with small font size. I like it better than Caecilla, Futura is my 2nd favorite font.

    The enhanced Smartcards let you swipe to switch from Dictionary, to Wikipedia, to Translation. Before we had tabs to switch.

    The update is about 200kb in size. It failed on my Paperwhite on first try, as I only had about 250kb of free space. Once I free up more room, took off some books, then it updated.

    I don’t use goodreads enough to see those changes.

    To update sooner I downloaded the update and copied to the device. A very easy process.

    Recommended update for the Bookerly font. Good to see Amazon didn’t forget the Voyage owners.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Robert!

      I’m glad you liked it! I often update my devices manually, and you’re right…if you follow the instructions, it’s not that tough.

      I think you might notice the kerning more on the larger font sizes…

  4. Marianne Adoor Says:

    I just purchased a Voyage Erb a d cannot get the list view on the home screen. I tried the above procedures didn’t work. The device was half charged. I am charging it now. ideas?

  5. Robert Anderson Says:

    Marianne- For list view make sure to go into Settings > Device Options > Personalize Your Kindle > Advanced Options > Home Screen View > OFF.

    Then you should be able to toggle between Grid View and List View.

    Hope that helps….

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