Amazon released a new firmware update last week that introduced new features for sorting and viewing your library and collections. They are provided a clearer message when the Kindles battery is low. Apparently, there were some serious problems with this update and prompted Amazon to stop the automatic firmware update process and and delete all of the patch notes. They have rolled back to the firmware update 5.14.2 and will likely release a new update sometime in the next few weeks.
I believe that Amazon pushed out this update very quickly, because they wanted to patch the vulnerability that allowed people to jackbreak their Kindles using a new system called Watch This jailbreak. The firmware also had an adverse effect on battery life, making Kindles run 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 benefits of Amazon stopping an update, full of bugs, is that they do not push it to all Kindle e-readers at once. Instead, they do a staggered release. This is why it takes 3-4 weeks for all Kindles to receive an update. Some people simply can’t wait weeks, and end up sideloading the update themselves from the Amazon Firmware page.
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.