Amazon Kindle update adds new features
Current Amazon Kindle e-reader owners can now download a firmware update that increases device battery life 85%, along with adding native PDF support, as the company competes with rival products from Sony, Barnes & Noble, and others.
Battery life has been one of the largest complaints from Kindle owners, who complained battery life drained too quickly if Wi-Fi remained on for extended periods of time. The new update allows battery life of up to 7 days with WiFi running, much better than the old baseline of a mere 4 days.
“Battery power management for portable wireless devices is a complex technical area, and the battery life improvement announced today is the result of a six-month firmware improvement and testing program.”
Kindle owners now also have the ability to view PDF files natively through the Kindle itself: “To read PDF files, you either e-mail them to your Kindle e-mail address or move them over using a USB connection. If you prefer to have your PDF documents converted to the Kindle format, you type “Convert” in the subject of the e-mail when sending documents to your “@kindle.com” address.”
The ability to easily convert PDF documents into the Kindle format is an added benefit that was previously requested, but wasn’t expected to be rolled out in this update.
Amazon has worked closely with its customers when discussing possible Kindle upgrades. Native PDF support and extended battery life should help Amazon compete with more business-focused e-readers.
The latest Kindle models are all capable of receiving the update through Whispernet, but Amazon also said it’s possible some older models may be able to support the update.
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