I reported a couple weeks ago that Amazon was getting ready to send out an over-the-air update for the Kindle Fire. There’s been talk of it coming out over the past couple days, but there was no evidence of it on the Amazon site so I didn’t talk about it. Well, it’s now fully rolled out and available, and there are some nice changes.
Before I talk about the exact changes and improvements that come with the update, let me just say that if you’ve got at least 40% battery life and a wi-fi connection, your Kindle Fire will automatically update.
If you don’t think yours has updated or if you want to see if you need to update, you can check to see which version of the software your Kindle Fire is currently running. Go to the Settings menu (the cog in the upper right corner) and then tap “More”. Tap “Device” on the next page (you might need to scroll down to get it). You’ll then see “System Version” and if it’s anything other than 6.2.1 (like if it’s 6.2), you should update. If your current version is not 6.2.1, and if you’re connected to wi-fi and have at least 40% battery life left, you should be able to press the Update Your Kindle button and it’ll update.
If your current version is already 6.2.1, your Kindle Fire has already updated itself.
You can also download the update on your computer and transfer it to your Kindle. There’s more about that on this page from Amazon.
And you can also manually update your Fire without a computer or wi-fi, and you can find more info about that here at GigaOM.
Things that version 6.2.1 changes or updates
This update was made to fix several shortcomings of the original Kindle Fire. This includes:
1. No longer blocking the Google Android Market website. The apps still won’t run on a regular Kindle Fire, but at least Amazon isn’t hijacking your browser and taking you away to its won app store.
2. Adding a password lock to wi-fi access. Some people were complaining about how there were no parental controls on the Fire and that kids could look at porn and stuff. Now you can set a password that blocks wi-fi access. There still aren’t any controls that limit what you can view once you’re in the browser.
3. Removing items from the carousel. You can now remove items from the home-screen carousel. Just press and hold down your finger on the item you want to remove. One of the options that comes up says “Remove from Carousel.”
4. Touch navigation responsiveness fixed. The carousel isn’t quite as unwieldy as it was before and the touching/tapping experience overall is better.
I’m happy with the update. I loved my Kindle Fire before and though none of these updates are life-altering for me, it’s nice to know that Amazon is taking its feedback and criticism seriously. It’s nice to see the company listening and responding.