Amazon has rolled out a software update for the Kindle Touch, bringing some of the features from the Kindle Paperwhite to folks still using Amazon’s first touchscreen Kindle eReader. Clearly the software update won’t bring a front-lit screen to the Kindle Touch, but it does give users new ways to navigate the home screen, book recommendations, and a few other new features.
Kindle Touch software version 188.8.131.52 brings a new user interface that lets you navigate books and collections on the home screen using a Cover View, which shows large thumbnail images of book covers. Recommended titles also show up in a row below the books on our device.
Amazon has also changed the name of your Archived items to Cloud, to better indicate that books associated with your account but not currently on your device are hanging out on Amazon’s servers.
While reading a book, you can click the menu button and see an estimate of how much time it should take you to finish reading a chapter or book. Amazon makes a guess based on your reading speed.
The new software also saves your location when reading an eBook sample. So if you download a free sample and read a chapter or two, then buy the full book, Amazon will automatically sync your location so you can pick up exactly where you left off.
The software update also includes an About the Author option which lets you view biographical data about a book’s author, as well as other titles from the same author.
If you’re reading a comic book on a Kindle touch (which seems like a bad idea unless it’s a comic that was originally in black and white), you can also now view comics panel-by-panel instead of a full page at a time.
Clearly, a lot of the changes are prompted at getting you to buy more books from Amazon. But that doesn’t mean some of the updates aren’t useful. And it’s nice to see Amazon continuing to support a discontinued product.
Amazon has been rolling out the update automatically to Kindle Touch users over the past week or so. But if you’re still waiting for the update, you can grab Kindle Touch software version 184.108.40.206from Amazon’s support site and follow the instructions for installing it manually.