Update your Kindle or lose access on it to your Cloud, the store, and other Kindle services
Big thanks to regular reader and commenter Lady Galaxy for letting me know about an e-mail from Amazon about a looming deadline.
One of the other Kindle Forum Pros (we get that designation from Amazon for being helpful on the Amazon forums, but we aren’t employed by them) pointed me to this Amazon help page with the details:
The basics are this:
For many older Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers), if you don’t update them by March 22, 2016, they will no longer be able to access the Kindle services. You would still be able to read e-books from the Kindle store you have already downloaded to your devices, but…
- You would not have access on that device to your Cloud: the books (and other items) that you have purchased from the Kindle store and are being stored for you by Amazon
- You would not be able to buy new items from the Kindle store on that device
- “Other services” would likely include subscriptions (including blogs like this one), Send to Kindle, Whispersync between your device and other devices on your account, and backing up your annotations
First, I do want to say that this is going to be a pretty small group of people (which does include Lady Galaxy). Devices generally automatically update “over the air”. I would guess that not one percent of devices out there are not updated.
However, people do choose not to update. For example, I know of people who chose not to update a device after Amazon allowed publishers to block text-to-speech access. That meant that they didn’t get the books wirelessly on those devices, they downloaded them with a computer and transferred them via USB…which is what could happen after this deadline passes, I assume.
What I don’t like here is that was voluntary: this won’t be.
Second, it’s important to note that Amazon is not taking away people’s purchases. They can continue to read them and they could do it using Amazon’s free reading apps.
The “however” on this one is that if they want to read those books on an e-ink device, they would have to buy another one (or have another one registered to the account).
Third, and significantly, this could lose people access to active content (games and apps) unless they update. You can’t use those in the reading apps. They don’t work on the current devices.
So, this is a takeaway, although not for very many people in many situations.
Still, I don’t like that. We don’t commit to updating our devices to continue to have the access we have when we purchase a license from the Kindle store.
Now, this may be unavoidable in some way.
Since this is going to affect all devices back to the 2007 model, it clearly indicates a change in the Kindle network/server side, not on the devices.
They aren’t suggesting that you have to get a new update, just the current ones.
Personally, especially given how small this group is going to be, I think Amazon should compensate them in some way.
One smart thing to do would be to offer them a small discount on a current device and to promote the trade-in.
Amazon could give them a $20 discount on the purchase of a new device. They don’t have to do that; Amazon is, I believe, within their contractual obligations to require this update. It would be good Customer Service (and Amazon has great Customer Service), and help alleviate fears that this might inflame about eventually losing access to your Amazon purchases. It’s not my intent, but this post may spark a bit of a tweetstorm about Amazon taking away access. Of course, it might not: I don’t get quoted all that often. 😉
I’m writing this to give you a heads-up so you can take some actions if you want.
You could download things to your current device. Downloaded e-books and active content and such should continue to work (although features like Wikipedia look up and sharing quotes probably wouldn’t). You could then use them…until it died.
You could update it…while you might lose some things you like, it would be fully connected.
You could emotionally prepare yourself to switch to (or at least add) another device. 🙂
Even if Amazon doesn’t offer a discount to those affected people, there is a trade-in program (probably won’t get you much, but could get you something):
Also, and I don’t think there is any connection, but most of the current line up of EBRs and Fire tablets are on sale right now.
I had started to write a post about that, but this story is important to me…so I’ll paste what I was writing here:
It’s not just KU that’s on sale: so are many devices!
I wrote recently about
being on sale through this Sunday:
Many of the Fire tablets and Kindles are also on sale!
In terms of the EBRs (E-Book Readers), this is similar to a deal they did in November…$20 off, with the Voyage not on sale.
So, I’ll copy in what I said then:
The $20 off also means you could get it without the Special Offers ($79.99, down from $99.99) for the same price you would normally pay for an ad-supported model.
This is the entry level model, and it’s a good one. Here are some of the differences between this and the Paperwhite (which I’ll link below):
- No frontlighting, so you read it like you would a p-book
- Fewer pixels per inch (167 versus 300), so the image isn’t as sharp (but I would say sharp enough for most casual reading…you might notice it with images, like graphs)
- Available only in wi-fi…no wi-fi and 3G option (for more money)
- A bit less heavy, a bit thicker
Kindle for Kids Bundle with the latest Kindle, 2-Year Accident Protection, Kid-Friendly Blue Cover (at AmazonSmile*) $79.99 (down from $99.99)
This is like the above, but includes a ruggedized cover and an extended warranty…since each of those costs $20, this is a big savings, even without the discount.
Certainly something to consider for a gift.
The Paperwhite (this is the latest generation) is a great model Kindle! I’d say it may be my favorite (price and everything taken into account), with the Kindle 3 (Kindle Keyboard) being second…well, wait, lack of TTS makes that a tighter battle. For sight-reading, it’s my favorite. 🙂
Why would you literally pay $100 more (right now) for a top of the line
You do get a few more things:
- Adaptive light sensor
- Page press buttons (in addition to touchscreen…these all have touchscreen)
- Quite a bit less heavy and a tad smaller
Also on sale are the least and most expensive Fire tablets:
- Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile*) $39.99 instead of $49.99
- Fire HD 10, 10.1″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile*) $179.99 instead of $229.99
Note that all of these prices are for the USA, and are for a limited time…as always, check the price before you click or tap that “Buy button”.
Here is Amazon’s list of the devices affected by the deadline:
|Device and Year||Software Release Your Device Needs||Update via wireless (3G) or Wi-Fi|
|Kindle 1st Generation (2007)||1.2.1||Use 3G|
|Kindle 2nd Generation (2009)||2.5.8*||Use 3G|
|Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009)||2.5.8*||Use 3G|
|Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010)||3.4.2 or higher||Use Wi-Fi|
|Kindle 4th Generation (2011)||4.1.3 or higher||Use Wi-Fi|
|Kindle 5th Generation (2012)||4.1.3 or higher||Use Wi-Fi|
|Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011)||18.104.22.168 or higher||Use Wi-Fi|
|Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012)||22.214.171.124 or higher||Use Wi-Fi|
|Kindle Paperwhite 6th Generation (2013)||5.6.5 or higher||Use Wi-Fi|
|Kindle 7th Generation (2014)||No Update Needed||No Update Needed|
|Kindle Voyage 7th Generation (2014)||No Update Needed||No Update Needed|
|Kindle Paperwhite 7th Generation (2015)||No Update Needed||No Update Needed|
* For these devices, even if you are running software version 2.5.8, if you have not connected to wireless (3G) since October 5, 2015, please connect now.
Let me be really clear: I’m not mad at Amazon about this. It’s clearly part of Amazon improving services for the vast majority of their users. Inevitably, that can cause some losses to some people. Building something that’s great for cars may be bad for people who ride horses. Building something that’s great for electric cars may be a negative for people who use internal combustion engine cars. I do think it would make sense for Amazon to give something to the people who are losing something, but I don’t think it’s required…
What do you think? Do you have one of these “unupdated” EBRs? What do you plan to do about it? Had you gotten the e-mail? Whether you have one or not, do you think Amazon should compensate people in some way for the change? Do you think we as consumers will see changes to the Kindle service on all of our devices after March 22nd, or is this just a “behind the curtain” change? If you do think there will be visible changes, what do you think they will be? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* 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.