Potential Kindle 3 freezing fix available via Kindle 3 update

The latest update for the Kindle 3 is now available for download. It’s called 3.0.1 and there are three different versions.

This update seems to fix the Kindle 3 freezing issue for some/most people. People who were having the Kindle 3 freezing issue are mostly seeing the issue disappear after their Kindle 3 gets this update.

Warning: Very small sample size and anecdotal evidence.  

What is the new Kindle Upgrade? Should you get it?

An early preview release of the Kindle 3.0.1 software update is available at Amazon’s website. It’s an ‘early preview’ of a Kindle 3 update which Amazon is releasing to gather more customer information.

It’s an upgrade that is defined as –

This software update adds the ability to create a new Amazon.com account directly from your Kindle, as well as additional performance improvements.

It’s probably better defined as –

This is our best fix for the freezing issue and we’re hoping you’ll test it out and let us know. We can fix it for 80% of people who’re seeing it. We need more data to figure out how to fix it for everyone.

Note: This is just my opinion.

There’s no other explanation for why Amazon would release an ‘early preview’ and ask for feedback. It’s also puzzling that there are two sets of Kindle 3s marked out (Serial Numbers starting with B00A and Serial Numbers starting with B006) with separate fixes for each.

  1. If you aren’t having the freezing issue – Please don’t download the new update. It’s much better to wait until it’s well understood and Amazon sends it out to everyone.
  2. If you are having the freezing issue but can live with it or can’t take a chance on a ‘preview release’ – Again, please don’t download the update. It’s better to wait until the brave souls have tested it out for you.
  3. If you are experiencing the freezing issue and you’re willing to try out the Kindle 3.0.1 update – Well, check out the next section.

 Once more time just to be sure –

Warning: If you don’t have the freezing issue or aren’t willing to risk an ‘early preview’ release then please DO NOT install the fix.

How do you install the new Kindle Upgrade?

The Help Page has good instructions. However, will quickly walk you through the steps –

Go to Help and Read Instructions

Go to the Amazon Help Page linked above (Kindle 3.0.1 software upgrade). Read the instructions.

Find out which Kindle you have

Figure out whether you have Kindle WiFi or a B006 Kindle 3 or a B00A Kindle 3. 

To do this press Menu on the Kindle Home Page and choose Settings. On the Settings Page scroll down to the bottom and look at the Device Info section.

  1. Kindle WiFi – The network capability will say ‘Wi-Fi’ and serial number will start with B008.  
  2. Kindle 3G Group B006 – The network capability will say ‘Wi-Fi and 3G’ and serial number will start with B006.
  3. Kindle 3G Group B00A – The network capability will say ‘Wi-Fi and 3G’ and serial number will start with B00A.

After figuring this out go back to the help page and choose the appropriate download link.

Download Kindle 3 Update and move to Kindle 3

Choose the appropriate download link and click on it. Choose ‘Save’ in the File Download dialog and save to a Folder like Documents which will be easy to remember and easy to access.

The various file names are (these might change if Amazon changes the files) –

  1. Kindle WiFi – Update_kindle_3.0.1_B008.bin .
  2. Kindle 3G Serial Number B00A group – Update_kindle_3.0.1_B00A.bin .
  3. Kindle 3G Serial Number B006 group – Update_kindle_3.0.1_B006.bin .

Now plug your Kindle 3 or Kindle WiFi into your computer and drag (or copy) the downloaded file into the main Folder of your Kindle. This is the folder that has ‘Documents’ and ‘Music’ and other folders in it.

Update your Kindle 3

Unplug your Kindle 3 from the computer. This is important. Don’t just eject it – unplug it. Go to the Settings Page again (On the Kindle Home Page press Menu and choose Settings).

On Settings Page press Menu and you should see the ‘Update Your Kindle’ link available in the Menu. You won’t see this if you didn’t move the file correctly or downloaded the wrong file. Press this link and the Kindle will start upgrading.

Please don’t turn off the Kindle 3 or try to restart it – just let it upgrade. It takes 5 to 10 minutes (sometimes a bit longer). It goes through two restarts so don’t interrupt it if you see the second restart.

After that your Kindle 3 will be up to date. To confirm you have the latest version go to the Settings Page and at the bottom right check the Version. It should say Kindle 3.0.1.

What are Kindle 3 owners seeing with the latest update?

Well, here’s what people are reporting –

  1. Page turns seem to be faster. Not sure in my case as page turns were pretty fast and didn’t remember to time them before upgrading. 
  2. If you have a Mac you might see an issue where you get a zip file instead of a .bin file. Call up customer support. The fix (untested) might be deleting ‘.bin’ from the end of the file name.
  3. A few people were seeing Kindle 3 freezing when using the Browser and are no longer seeing that problem.
  4. Don’t see the ‘ability to create a new Amazon account’ that’s listed on the update page. Not even sure of how to check for it.
  5. Quite a few people are reporting that they are seeing no problems at all after the Kindle 3 update. There is also one person (on another forum thread) who reports that the fix didn’t work for her.

It’s pretty cool to see a potential fix done and available. It seems to be working for most people and if you’re having the Kindle 3 freezing issue – hopefully, it works for you.

What's in Kindle Update 2.3.3?

Amazon have sent out a new update for both Kindle 2 and Kindle DX.

There’s discussion at the kindle forum and at Kindle World about what’s in the update.

What’s in Update 2.3.3?

Andrys at Kindle World describes it as a maintenance update –

The “v2.3.2” and “v2.3.3” updates would be “maintenance” updates or refinements to make the recent v2.3 update work a bit better, after feedback from customers and what they find themselves …

All right, having downloaded the file, I see that the awake-process takes less time with less of that spinning thing at the top left.  It seems more responsive again when starting out and in general.

At the Kindle Forum there are varying reports on what improvements and fixes there are (remember this is all guess-work and not official) –

  1. Fixes for the Kindle DX. 
  2. Faster deletes.
  3. Faster going in and out of sleep mode. 
  4. More precise moves of the 5-way cursor.
  5. 3 separate people find the font is Darker.

What improved on my Kindle

The font is definitely darker – think they bolded it by default.

It’s quicker to jump into a book and jump out. It’s quicker to go into and get out of sleep mode. The cursor seems to move a bit faster.

Measuring with a stop watch (Black Powder War by Naomi Novik) my Kindle clocked 11 page turns in 6.6 seconds – Unfortunately haven’t measured page turns in the past so don’t know if there’s an improvement and to what extent.

Overall a very useful little update.

How can you update your Kindle?

If you don’t want to wait for the wireless update you can just head over to the Kindle Update page at Amazon, get the update,and manually update your kindle.

  1. Choose the right file from that page – there are 4 different files, 1 each for Kindle US, Kindle International, Kindle DX US, Kindle DX International.   
  2. Download the file.
  3. Plug in your Kindle.
  4. Transfer the file to the main folder of the kindle – the one that has ‘Documents’ folder in it (along with other folders). 
  5. Unplug your kindle after the file is transferred.
  6. Go to your Kindle’s Home Screen. Then press Menu, choose Settings, press Menu again, and choose Update Your Kindle.
  7. Let the update happen. Remember not to switch off your kindle while the update is going on.

Your Kindle will show a progress bar for the update and then will restart. Then you can try it out and see if things are faster and better.

Kindle Update Guide – Kindle's Better Now

The Kindle Update has made the Kindle much better value for money. Wanted to walk through all the new features and mini-features added.

This covers Kindle Update 2.3 that adds PDF support, screen rotation and more.

Here’s a video discussing features added (it misses the Words Per Line feature) – [wpvideo bcjeUPEf]

Details on the Kindle Update

The big Features –

  1. Kindle PDF Support.  
  2. 85% longer battery life when wireless is on – supposedly only for Kindle Global.
  3. Screen Rotation, including on the Home Page.  

The cool features –

  1. PDFs in other languages work.
  2. Status Indicator pages that let you know a file is being opened up and also prevent ghosting. 
  3. New, improved Search – Found terms are shown in the book itself. You can circle through results. 
  4. Everything’s Faster. Definitely loading of books and perhaps even screen refreshes.  
  5. 5 way cursor seems to move faster.

Also showing –

  1. Words Per Line. Find it in the Fonts Menu (Aa key).  It lets you change the number of words per line – both in portrait and landscape mode.
  2. Status Messages in certain situations. 

Did this make it in? Rumored Features

  1. Better screen contrast and darker fonts. Some  people think so. 
  2. Better Power Management with wireless on for Kindle US. I feel my Kindle 2 US now does better with its battery, as do other people. Wishful thinking?

Lots of these updates were discovered and shared at the official kindle forum – thanks to the people who did.

How to get the Kindle Update – Manual and Automatic Updates

You can find details at this Kindle Update Page at Amazon.

  • You should normally get the update for your kindle wirelessly – automatically.
  • It should all happen automatically – you get a progress bar saying the update is happening, then your Kindle will restart, and you have a new updated Kindle.

In case you need to do a manual update –

  1. Go to the Kindle Update page – it always has the newest update file. It also has instructions.
  2. Figure out what Kindle you have – Kindle 1 is the one with an SD card slot. Kindle DX is the one with a large screen (8.9″).
  3. To figure out Kindle US Vs Kindle Global – Go to your Settings Page (Home Page > Menu > Settings) and check on the bottom right.

    Kindle (U.S. Wireless) devices begin with: 2.0, 2.0.1, 2.0.2, 2.0.3, and 2.0.4.
    Kindle (Global Wireless) devices begin with: 2.2, 2.2.1, and 2.2.2.
    Kindle DX devices begin with: 2.1 and 2.1.1.

  4. Then at the Kindle Update page select the update appropriate for your Kindle. 
  5. Download it to your PC and transfer the file via USB to your Kindle.
  6. It’s important to transfer it to the main Kindle folder – the one in which the Documents Folder and other folders are.
  7. Wait for the file to transfer completely – give it 2-3 minutes.
  8. Unplug the Kindle and go to the Settings Page again.
  9. Click Menu and select the option to ‘Update Your Kindle’.
  10. Choose ‘OK’ to continue and then let the update happen – Please do NOT restart or fiddle with the power button during an update.
  11. Congrats – You have updated your Kindle to the latest version.

It’s fair to say that with this update – via big features like PDF support, screen rotation, speed improvements, and better battery life – the Kindle is much better. 

Amazon Kindle has jumped from Kindle 1.5 to Kindle 2.3.

It does make the Kindle the best option for Christmas – edging out the Nook.