16 July 2010

6" Kindle Upgrade Features

Just recently I saw a comment on a blog that Amazon were rolling out upgrades to their current registered Kindles.
When they did it before (the first time I think)  I received notification, had to connect my Kindle to my PC, and go to a link in an email which then took care of the upgrade.

However the last couple of upgrades have happened without notification and when I have connected to Whispernet, and I have accidentally discovered they have been done.
I am a bit alarmed that these are things “done to me” in the name of progress, and that I don’t actually get notification from Amazon. It isn’t as if they don’t have my email address.

Here is what I have noticed in the last one:
* in Aa there is a larger range of font sizes available: 8 now

* in Menu>Settings:
- Popular Highlights
- Social Networks
- Annotations Backup
- Device Password
- Device Name
- Device E-mail
- Personal Info - can't make up my mind if I want my mobile number there or not
- Device Info - my Kindle software version is now 2.5.3 and my device serial number shows

* in Menu>Create a New Collection
- I can now create collections and add books to those collections.
- you can now List books according to collection (go up to the top bar)
- Most Recent First shows everything on your Kindle, as do Title and Author
- However if you show by collection, you get a different number, so I am not sure what is happening there. Archive is not treated as a collection. I've managed to put some titles into Archive but at the moment can't work out how I did that or whether that functionality has disappeared.
- in Archived Items there is a heading Add Other Device Collections - it requires you to connect to wireless and then I think it will show collections on any other device registered to your account. Might be handy for libraries.

* in Menu > Experimental
- basic Web - launch browser - requires the wireless on:
there's a choice of Google or Wikipedia, or you can put in a URL
there's a choice of Basic or Advanced. The latter will show graphics
Can't work out how this browsing is paid for - doesn't appear to be connected to my Kindle account, at least not instantly

- Play MP3 - listen to music or podcasts while you read. The MP3 files have to be copied from your computer into the "music" folder on your Kindle. This will be battery hungry I think.

- Text to speech - this was available before but now in a different place. You'd need headphones for audibility, but it will read the book to you while your eyes follow along. It will also make battery life a lot shorter

* in Menu> (when you are reading a book)> there are a number of new functions including Go to
- Depending on what has been provided by the publisher, you may be able to get cover, table of contents, beginning, or a location.
- Sync to furthest page read is useful
- Book Description: requires wireless connection: useful if you are reading a free sample and want to buy the book.

BTW I think that if you don’t have wireless turned on, and don’t use the audio, then the battery life is about 30 hours. Battery improvement was one of the earlier upgrades.


Bernadette said...

I'm a bit like you in not liking things happening without notification Kerrie. All a bit too big brother for me.

Do you use any newspaper or magazine subscriptions on your Kindle? That would be my key reason for getting an e-reader and am curious about whether or not it is a decent experience.

Kerrie Smith said...

I'm not using magazine or newspaper subscriptions Bernadette.
There are no Australian ones listed in Newspapers on the Kindle site, although 63 US and 7 UK. You can get 14 day free trial for most, and then your account pays "seamlessly" after that.
There are 41 magazines and journals listed including Time and Newsweek, the Times Literary Supplement, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Ellory Queen - again they all seem to have 14 day free trial and prices seem quite reasonable. Perhaps I should subscribe to one to find out how it works.

Somebody told me that she had transferred her online magazine subscriptions to her iPad and that it was wonderful. I would imagine the bigger screen would be more accommodating.
A colleague did tell me that he had subscribed to the Australian on his iPad and was disappointed because what was being delivered was so minimal and so much of the paper was missing.

Kerrie Smith said...

I've just subscribed to the New York Times Book Review- might tell me about even more books that I will want to read :-(


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