Amazon pushes Kindle Fire touch update
Addresses complaints about touch response and parental controls
Computerworld - Amazon on Wednesday issued a software update for its Kindle Fire tablet that it said addresses some of the most vocal complaints about the device, including a sluggish response to touch and a lack of parental controls.
The 6.2.1 update "enhances fluidity and performance [and] improves touch navigation responsiveness," Amazon claimed in a note on its website Wednesday. Other changes let users select which items appear on the Fire's "carousel," effectively the device's start page, and password-lock the Wi-Fi connection, two options parents had demanded in order to prevent children from seeing all content on the tablet, or monkeying with the crucial link to the Web.
Not addressed were complaints rooted in the hardware, including a lack of external volume controls and the position of the On/Off switch, which some feel is too easy to accidentally trigger.
The update was expected: Last week, the New York Times quoted an Amazon official as saying that the company would deliver a Fire software upgrade shortly.
It was the second update to the Fire since the tablet launched five weeks ago.
Version 6.2.1 of the Fire's system software will be delivered automatically to all Fire tablets via Wi-Fi, Amazon said.
Users can initiate the update process by tapping the Quick Settings icon at the upper right of the display, then touching "Sync." The update will download and install automatically.
Computerworld updated a Kindle Fire to 6.2.1 using a Wi-Fi connection without problems.
While the update made the Fire more responsive to touches, and navigating the carousel was decidedly smoother, the tablet still balked at times, particularly when the user tapped on a link in the built-in Silk browser. The browser itself still loads most pages slowly, even when the tablet is within range of a strong Wi-Fi signal.
Other reviewers have generally given the update high marks, however.
To delete an item from the carousel -- a good idea when several people, children especially, are sharing one Fire -- users simply touch and hold an item, then select "Remove from Carousel" in the ensuing pop-up menu.
Amazon also updated the iOS editions of its Kindle app today, adding the library of more than 400 magazines that the Kindle Fire has been able to access since its debut. Those magazines are generally available as single-edition purchases or as subscriptions.
New features of Kindle 2.9 for iOS -- there are separate versions for the iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch -- include the ability to push documents to one's Kindle account by using the Send-to-Kindle email address. Documents forwarded to that address are stored on Amazon's servers, and can then be downloaded to an iOS device.
Send-to-Kindle addresses are assigned by Amazon when a customer purchases a Kindle device.
The free iOS Kindle upgrades can be downloaded from Apple's App Store.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts