Amazon announced a major software upgrade tonight, to version 2.5 for the Kindle 2 and the Kindle DX; unfortunately, they have not announced anything for the first generation (also known as Kindle 1).
So, what is in version 2.5? A lot of things people have been asking for on the Amazon discussion boards as well as in various news articles. Here it is, straight from the Amazon website:
- Collections: you will be able to organize your books and documents into one or more collections.
- PDF Pan and Zoom: this one seems pretty neat – being able to zoom into PDF’s and pan around to easily view small print and detailed tables and / or graphics.
- Password Protection: you will be able to password protect your Kindle when you are not using it.
- More fonts and improved clarity: you will be able to use two new larger font sizes and sharper fonts, which should make the reading experience better for some of you.
- Facebook & Twitter Posts: this one seems pretty neat – you will be able to mark and share book passages with your friends on Facebook and Twitter direct from your Kindle.
- Popular Highlights: you will be able to see what the folks in the Kindle community thinks are the most interesting passages in the books you are reading.
The next question many of you may be asking is “when will I see this rollout?” I don’t imagine they will do it all at once or AT&T’s and Sprint’s servers (they carry the Kindle traffic) will be overloaded. According to the Amazon website, the version 2.5 software update is coming “soon,” and will be rolled out to a limited group of Kindle users, and they plan a broad release in late May. To me, that sounds like we should all have it in a month.
Here’s how you get it – you can either leave your wireless on all the time, or you can periodically turn it on, and the Kindle will download the software update and install it once it gets it. With prior software releases, Amazon would provide a link to allow you to force the update manually, but they do not have that link available at this time. I imagine they want to stagger the software release, see if any issues crop up, and have the ability to tweak it as they continue the rollout across the Kindle community worldwide.
The Amazon website says it should take less than 10 minutes start to finish and, during the update, you will see screens showing the update progress. When your Kindle displays the home screen after the download, you should be done.
One important note is to not turn off the power or reset your Kindle until the update is complete. You can check to confirm the software your Kindle is running by going to the Settings screen. To do that, follow these quick and easy steps:
- Make sure you are at the Home Page.
- Click the “Menu” button.
- Select the “Settings” option.
- Look in the lower right-hand column to see the software version.
Here’s to hoping the next software update includes the ability to put your own screen saver pictures on the device (you can do that with a hack, but it will void your warranty)!
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