Amazon announced a software upgrade for the latest base model Kindle (the $79 wonder). Here is the laundry list of new features:
- Improved reading font that is higher contrast and crisper so that you can enjoy a paper-like reading experience.
- Parental Controls that allow you to restrict access to the Experimental Web Browser, Archived Items, and the Kindle Store.
- Support for books with complex layouts and formats with Kindle Format 8.
- Support for children’s books with Kindle Text Pop-Up and comic books with Kindle Panel View (which allows you to read a comic book panel by panel). Books that support these features will be available in the Kindle store over the next few weeks.
- Dictionaries grouped into a collection in Home and Archived Items called “Dictionaries” for better organization.
- Improved table and image viewing (panning and zooming) on supported titles.
If the font is improved, it is hard to see, because it was crisp and sharp to begin with, but I’ll take their word for it. The parental controls are welcome, especially if you will have kids using the new panel view to read comic books on Kindle. Oddly, Amazon did not include the new translate or the improved X-Ray technology that has for some time been available on the Kindle Touch.
In any event, if you do not want to wait for the upgrade to automatically roll out to y0u, here is how to install it manually.
1. From the Home screen press the Menu button and then Settings. Look at the bottom of the Settings screen to verify that you are using a version prior to 4.1.0, the version number of the upgrade.
2. Go to this page at the Amazon web site and download software update 4.1.0.
3. Connect your Kindle to the computer on which you downloaded the software update file and transfer the file to the root of the Kindle.
4. Eject the Kindle from your computer. On a PC, click the popup in the system tray, lower right of the screen, and choose Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media.
On a Mac, drag the Kindle icon from the desktop to the trash to eject it.
5. From the Home screen press Menu > Settings > Menu again > Update Your Kindle.
6. You will receive a warning, select OK. Be very sure that you have sufficient batter power so that power will not be interrupted during the update.
7. You will see a screen indicating that your Kindle is updating. You will be warned not to turn the machine off while the upgrade is in progress, and that the Kindle will restart automatically. After it’s first pass you will receive a success message, and the Kindle will reboot. Then you will see the update screen again, same warning. It the actual update, and a longer restart.
That’s it. Now if you check your version status on the Home > Menu > Settings screen it will be version 4.1.0.