Amazon released the 14.3 firmware update a couple of weeks ago and pulled it within a day, before too many Kindles downloaded and installed it. This is primarily due to a large number of bugs. The update had an adverse effect on battery life, making Kindles run out of juice within a couple of days, instead of weeks. There were also widespread problems with opening books and reading them. Some worked, some didn’t, there really wasn’t a rhyme or reason that anyone could identify. One of the biggest problem was book cover art not displaying properly. Amazon solved these issues and just released a new update, version 18.104.22.168.1.
This new version patches a vulnerability that allowed Kindles to be be rooted with a new process called Watch This jailbreak. Only a very small subset of users employ methods like this, so it only affects a very small minority. However, there are some changes that everyone can appreciate. There are new ways to sort and view your library and collections. Amazon is also providing a clearer message when the Kindles battery is low.
Other notable changes include a new scroll bar in the library, you can drag to scan, tap anywhere to jump around, or hold for a continuous scroll. The home screen can now display up to 20 of your most recently read ebooks. Finally, you can now read details about a book in a quick view without leaving the page you are on. Additional actions are available from the three-dot menu on the top right corner of the quick view.
Amazon will push this update slowly out to all modern Kindle e-readers. The oldest model still supported is the Kindle Paperwhite 3, released in 2015. You often need your Kindle to be on the sleep screen for the update to occur.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.