Big Kindle Update Available (Improved Battery Life & Native PDF Support)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by mkrishnan, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #1
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/182989/kindle_update_boosts_battery_life_adds_pdf_support.html

    The update will install automatically once the Kindle is on with the wireless radio turned on. Sadly my battery is dying already so I can't try this until I go home and charge it.... Looks like the battery life update applies to all Kindles of the "second gen" ilk (seemingly both the EVDO and the UMTS ones) and the PDF reader is good for all Kindles.
     
  2. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2003
    Location:
    Kalifornia
    #2
    This is great news! Unfortunately, I have the 1st gen Kindle. No increased battery life for me.
     
  3. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    Awww, I sowwies! :p

    I'm really excited to try it. What happened this morning is exactly what annoys me about the Kindle battery to date. The wireless was off. Granted, I'm halfway through reading an extremely long book, more than twice as long as most books I read, and usually I charge my Kindle in between books, so I did know it was due. However, it showed 40-50% battery life with wireless off, and it was plugging along fine. I turn on the wireless for all of two minutes, and it goes to (!) and pops up a low battery warning. I turn off wireless again and it's still in low battery warning mode... :rolleyes:

    I'll be really excite to see how they fixed this.

    Also curious to try uploading some journal article PDFs and see if they're even vaguely usable. I believe the update also allows manual rotation to landscape view, so journal articles might be readable in that mode.
     
  4. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    As a clarification, I saw Amazon's official page and there is no update for 1st gen Kindles -- the update applies to all US Wireless (CDMA) and International (GSM) Kindle Gen 2's as well as all DX's.

    The new version is 2.3

    In the meantime, I tried turning my wireless on when I finally got my Kindle home and charged last night and it did not update. The option to update my Kindle is also greyed out... I'm going to play with it a little more, and if I can't get it to update, run it manually, although I should not have to do that. :rolleyes:
     
  5. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #5
    I read somewhere on the Amazon site that the update will be pushed out over the next couple of weeks. I didn't want to wait that long, so I updated mine manually.

    I haven't played around with the new settings or anything at all yet, but am happy about extra battery life for a machine that already has a stellar battery.
     
  6. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    So I haven't experimented with the battery yet, but my understanding is that the battery life is only improved with wireless on -- they're estimating now 1 week instead of 3-4 days, but still ~ 2 weeks with wireless off. I agree the battery life with the wireless off is stellar -- I thought it was rather unfortunate with the wireless on. I was able to finish most literary fiction books (books that are typically 250-350 pages in hardcover) without recharging. Hopefully to me the update means I can now leave the wireless on, and maybe have to just have to recharge once during each book. Once a week is bearable; I just have to remember to do it.

    I did the update manually (thanks for the clarification -- I didn't see that on Amazon's 2.3 page) just now. I did try uploading a PDF to the 6" Kindle 2 and wanted to share some results.

    Most of the features seem identical to the way the DX works. PDFs should be placed in the Documents folder and then appear as Personal Docs (so if you put your Kindle in "Show Books" mode it will hide them conveniently). There is no zooming, nor is there annotation. There is keyword searching. Page turning is actually quite fast at least in the example I tried. Actually, at the risk of sounding like an old Safari thread... page turning might be slightly faster even in books compared to 2.0.3, which was previously on my Kindle.

    Interestingly, as a testament to the grey scale, aliased rendering, in good lighting, two-column scientific journal articles are actually mostly legible even in portrait mode, although I would think landscape mode would be the defacto choice, since it's still quite the eye chart. In landscape mode the full document width is shown and the prev/next keys scroll down through the page. Here is a journal article in typical format presented in both landscape and portrait.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Overall, so far I'm quite impressed. Now I'm going to leave the Wifi on and see how the battery does.
     
  7. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    The lack of a zoom on the PDF baffles me -- unless I just haven't figured out how to do it. The rendering is quite good but the text can be very small. I haven't measured battery life / etc. yet...
    (I had to manually update as well, went smoothly)
     
  8. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    Yeah, I don't get that either...

    One more thing (see link below). Some users, myself included, found that the dictionary mysteriously disappeared after updating. The posters in the thread linked indicated that they resolved it by manually shutting down the Kindle and restarting it; I realized it was a problem just now, but I had to use the restroom. When I came back and woke my Kindle up, it appeared to have resolved itself. :confused: So if you experience it... now you know.

    http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?p=669218
     
  9. JBazz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    #9
    Has anyone noticed a real increase in battery life with the update? I havent. But I generally dock my Kindle nightly. I always keep the wifi on because I subscribe to tons of blogs and like the hour by hour updates.
     
  10. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    With my usage profile it's hard to tell -- my Kindle gets charged once every few weeks -- just now I'm trying with the wireless on.

    Using it like you describe... what's the battery life like? Is it pretty full at the end of the day when you dock it, or is it notably depleted?
     
  11. JBazz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    #11
    It seems to use about 20% of the battery life with a day of wifi enabled and browsing/reading.
     
  12. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    I just wanted to provide my update.... now I finally updated my Kindle the morning of Thanksgiving, which was last Thursday. Today it had 25% (I think... are the increments of the battery meter in fourths or fifths?) left and I recharged it, which is a couple days shy of a week's use with roughly my normal usage profile. Now that being said, I did notice one very nice thing, which is that before, with the wireless on, my battery wouldn't really stay at this reported charge for long, but would drop off precipitously to the charge-now warnings. Doesn't seem to be happening, meaning I probably would have no trouble extending my battery to seven days with wireless.

    I consider it an upgrade. Tuesday is good anyway, because I brought my USB cable to my office so I can use it to upload PDFs from my work computer, and on Tuesdays I normally am with patients all day on the other side of the street and so it can charge during the day in my office.
     
  13. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #13
    Do pdfs scale yet? I don't want to load my pdfs on and not be able to read them. Im thinking about buying one.
     
  14. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #14
    No, sad... the two views I posted above are all you get. Also the fact that the eInk is a lot slower than an LCD display should probably be taken into account. Right now I'd say that it would be hard for me at least to be happy with primarily reading PDFs (which is not why I have my Kindle) on any of the eReaders on the market aside from the large format ones like the DX.
     
  15. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #15
    Sorry for the bump, but one more -- after that charging it's now charging again today, after six days this time (and this time it got down to (!) on the battery gauge). So yeah... not really making it up to a week for me. But definitely an improvement.
     

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