Kindle firmware updates

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Amazon Kindle

If you have recently bought a Kindle in the UK, whether the Kindle 2 or the newer and larger Kindle DX, then you may find that if you go into Menu / Settings, your firmware (as displayed down the bottom) is v2.2; yet Amazon promote the Kindle as having the ability to download firmware updates over the 3G network; so why isn’t your device on the latest firmware (v2.3.3 in both cases)?

Well, it seems that although the functionality for 3G network firmware updates is now available, you have to be on a v2.3 version for it to work, so a device that shipped with v2.2 won’t ever update.  If you are in this situation, simply head to the Kindle Software Update webpage, where you can download the latest firmware for your device (please make sure to select the right device; chances are you’ll be looking for the Kindle (Global Wireless) version, but make sure first, and then follow the instructions to download and then copy the file to the root directory of your Kindle.  Once you then unplug the Kindle from your PC, you can then go into the menu on the device to apply the update; it will take some time, although you shouldn’t lose any content.

In case you were wondering, the v2.3 firmware also brings with it other features (as covered here); mainly PDF file support, ability to select portrait / landscape mode, and better battery life and although this and all other firmwares “should” be available over the wireless 3G link, this can often takes weeks to show up, and so it’s worth a regular check of the Kindle Software Update webpage in case a new feature makes a new firmware worthy of a manual update.


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Amazon extend Free Super Saver Delivery

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Amazon Logo

Over Christmas, Amazon UK made Super Saver Delivery free for all orders.  Once upon a time, you needed to spend £15, then they reduced the minimum spend to £5, but in October 2008, Amazon made Super Saver Delivery free with no minimum spend.  Well, Amazon has now made this permanent for the foreseeable future.  As always, Free Super Saver Delivery only applies to orders shipped direct from Amazon.co.uk, but it’s nice to see Amazon helping to support everyone.


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Amazon Kindle DX available for pre-order to the UK

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Amazon Kindle DX

Amazon have announced that the Kindle DX, the larger brother to the Kindle will now be available in a Global Wireless edition, working in the UK.  With it’s 9.7″ screen (compared to the 6″ screen of the standard Kindle), it offers a much larger display for viewing eBooks.  Available for Pre-Order today (it will start ship in a couple of weeks time), however there is one slight downside; the price is $489 (compared to $259 for the Kindle); which puts the UK price, including VAT & Customs, approaching £400, which maybe a little too expensive for some.

It’s good to see Amazon supporting a range of devices for the UK market though.  Don’t forget, Amazon only ship with a US power adaptor in the box, and although the device will charge from your computer via USB, if you want to charge it directly, you’ll need to buy a microUSB charging cable (see Kindle Accessories from Mobile Fun).


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Google Nexus One coming to other UK networks?

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Google Nexus One

Talk Android are reporting that representatives of both T-Mobile and 3UK have indicated that they are hoping to be able to carry the Google Nexus One in the future too.  One thing that does seem to be becoming clear though, the phone may not be available for sale in the shops in the UK any time soon.  In the same way you can buy an Amazon Kindle from the US, and get it shipped to the UK, it looks like Google will be handling the sale of this phone for the time being, and if you buy it from them, you can either pay for a SIM-free version, or you can buy the subsidised version, which they will then ship out to you.  Whether the Vodafone SIM ships direct is not clear, and there’s no word on whether upgrades will be available either.

Having said all that, getting other networks onboard will be key for Google’s long term plans, and T-Mobile and 3UK are obvious networks, both offering Android phones which they are happy to heavily promote.  I wonder if Vodafone will have an exclusive for a month (or 3) and then these other networks will be able to sell it too…

Rumours are also around that it may be possible to purchase the Nexus One from Google with a Vodafone SIM sooner than “Spring 2010” implies, with a possibility it may even be within the next month.


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Kindle for iPhone now available

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Kindle on iPhone

For those who have bought an Amazon Kindle and were hoping to use the Kindle for iPhone application to additionally read their eBooks, we can announce that Amazon have finally released the iPhone / iPod Touch application for the International market (60 countries, including the UK), and it’s now available to download from the Apple iTunes Store.


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Updated Kindle firmware

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Amazon Kindle

Amazon have just announced a new firmware update for the Kindle, which has a couple of new features.  The first, and potentially in response to the Barnes & Noble Nook, is support for PDF files.  Now, anything too complicated won’t really work, and, although you can rotate it into landscape mode, there’s no zoom, so some PDF files will still be unreadable (and for them we still recommend Calibre to sort out your conversion into the native Kindle format for better reading).

The second though, is even more interesting, especially in the UK; they have announced that you can extend the battery life by as much as 85% (offering up to 1 week), although you can extend this even further (to nearly 2 weeks) by turning off the wireless support.  Remember in the UK, there are additional charges for using wireless (to download ebooks which is built into the price), and until they offer full browsing next year, the only accessible website is Wikipedia (see here for more information).

This update should appear automatically via the wireless connection shortly, if it hasn’t already.


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Kindle updates planned…

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Amazon Kindle

We’ve heard of a number of interesting Kindle updates that should come to the International Kindle at some point, although possibly not until 2010.

Firstly, we understand that Amazon have announced that by the first half of 2010 the Kindle will support organising eBooks into folders.  Of course, this comes just after the beta release of Kindle for PC (Kindle for Mac is due out into beta soon), which although it does not improve the organisation, does allow you to pick up where you left off on either your Kindle or your iPhone Kindle client.

Secondly, and probably more key to the uptake of the Kindle around the world, is news that Amazon may well be bringing the full web browser experience to the International version.  Now, when we say “full” experience, this means that the ability to view web sites on the B&W screen, without high CPU facilities such as Flash (it’s often better on the Kindle to head to mobile optimised websites), and it will be a little slow.  At the moment, the only Kindle accessible website is the English Wikipedia mobile website, so extending this will be very useful, and allow a number of small applciations (such as some games) to be able to work too.

This web access would remain free too, which will make the device even better for accessing email, news websites, blogs, Twitter, etc. as it is commonly used in the US; although at this moment in time there is no ETA for this function to be made available.


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Chumby One Review

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Chumby One

We’ve been a fan of the Chumby since even before it was available in the UK (you can get the Chumby either via Amazon US or in the UK from VEDA), and recently Chumby announced a new, slightly simpler unit, the Chumby One, which we briefly mentioned here).  Engadget have posted a review of the new Chumby One here, which goes into a fair bit of detail between the old (now called Chumby Classic) and new units. which includes:

  • The Chumby One loses the squeezable button feature, the stereo speakers, one of the 2 USB ports, and is only available in White
  • However, it gains an FM radio, a volume control dial, is smaller, has a faster processor, has more internal memory, and has support for a battery, and also seems to ship with a power adaptor and “prongs” for US, UK, Europe and Asia out of the box.

Of course, finally, the Chumby One is cheaper, at $120 instead of $200 (and is currently on sale at $100).  No news yet from VEDA as to when they will have stock of the new unit for direct shipment in the UK.


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New Kindle on its way, but not for the UK

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Amazon Kindle

Rumours are starting to gather pace on the Internet that the Amazon Kindle 3 will soon be launched in the US.  Whether this is in a direct response to the Barnes & Noble Nook, or whether it’s just time for an upgrade we’re not sure, however, we understand that the device will only be available for the domestic US market for time to come, so there’s no reason to not order the International Kindle now.

With sales of over 2 million Kindle devices in the US to date, yet only a rumoured 80,000 eBook readers bought so far in the UK (mainly Sony eReaders), it’s understandable that Amazon want to concentrate on the US market for a new device, where there are many more potential buyers than in the International markets.

Some information on the Kindle 3 courtesy of Kindle Review.


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Kindle for Mac to follow Kindle for PC

Monday, October 26th, 2009

Amazon Kindle

Although we don’t have much detail, Amazon have announced that following on from their announcement of Kindle for PC last week, that they will also be releasing a Kindle for Mac software application which will provide similar functionality for Mac OS X users.


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