Software Update v3.4 for Kindle Keyboard Adds New Features

Kindle 3

Today Amazon released a software update for the Kindle Keyboard, also known as the Kindle 3. The update is somewhat surprising seeing as how that model is a couple generations old, but it’s good to see Amazon continuing to support the older Kindles.

It also appears that they intend to continue selling the Kindle Keyboard 3G even with the release of the new models for those that want a keyboard and the extra accessibility features (text-to-speech and voice guide). It’s also the only Kindle with free web browsing over 3G (the newer ones are limited to Amazon and Wikipedia over 3G). So even though the Kindle Keyboard is a couple years old it still has its pluses.

The new software update is version 3.4 and it will be wirelessly delivered automatically to Kindle Keyboards in the upcoming weeks. Or you can download the update from Amazon right now and install in manually. The directions are on the other side of that link, and make sure to download the proper version for your model; there are three variations.

This is a fairly major update. Here are the list of changes via Amazon:

Software Update Version 3.4

Version 3.4 is a brand new, free software update for Kindle Keyboard that includes:

  • Improved Font: We’ve improved the reading font to have more contrast and be more crisp.
  • Parental Controls: With the latest software update for Kindle Keyboard, parents can restrict access to the Experimental Web Browser, the Kindle Store, and Archived Items. While the Kindle Store and Archived Items are locked with Parental Controls, you can continue to buy books from a computer and send them to the Kindle wirelessly for a child to read.
  • Kindle Format 8: KF8 makes books look even better with support for author specified fonts and more book styling options.
  • Comic Books: Kindle Keyboard now supports comic books with Kindle Panel View. Supported titles can be purchased from the Kindle Store. Books open in Kindle Panel View by default (a view that allows you to read a comic book panel by panel).
  • Children’s Picture Books: Kindle Keyboard supports children’s picture books with Kindle Text Pop-Up. Supported titles can be purchased from the Kindle Store.
  • Whispersync for Voice: Now you can switch back and forth between reading and listening without losing your place. Whispersync for Voice will synchronize what you read on any Kindle platform device with Audible playback on Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Fire, or on Audible apps for iPhone and Android.

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10 Responses to “Software Update v3.4 for Kindle Keyboard Adds New Features”

  1. So exciting! I am updating mine now.

  2. I can’t say I notice much of a contrast improvement, but text does look sharper and more defined. Letters look less blurry. Perhaps the blacks are a tiny bit darker. All of these display improvements are in very small increments though.

    New parental controls are available, plus the other things you mentioned. The parental controls just make selecting the web browser or Kindle Store impossible. I don’t see any of the time limit options Jeff was talking about for the new Kindles. I probably won’t use the cartoon paneling or Whispersync features, but it’s nice to know they are there. K8 format support is also good to have.

    In all, I am really glad Amazon has chosen to continue its support of the Kindle Keyboard. Out of all the different eReaders I have owned (Kindles 1,2,3,4, Kindle Touch; Nook 1, Nook Simple Touch; Sonys PRS-300, PRS-600, PRS-950, PRS-T1; Kobo Touch), the Kindle 3 has always been my favorite. I am really hoping the Paperwhite will be amazing, and then I can finally move on to a different, more updated reader. There are so many things to love about the K3 though (the design of the device, the physical keyboard, audio support, text-to-speech, amazing contrast, ect).

    • I read on my Kindle 3 all evening, and as time went by, the text/contrast improvement became more noticeable. Perhaps the device needed time to acclimate. Text is definitely better, but still not a major change. Interesting!

  3. Sounds like a good upgrade! Looking forward to seeing it in action. I’m very pleased with my K3, it is a great e-reader.

  4. That”download the update from Amazon”seems to be a bad link at least for me.

  5. I took before and after screenshots and can see slight differences in the font by toggling back and forth (like Flip-O-Rama in Captain Underpants). The newer font actually is slightly bolder and thicker. In this animated gif http://makeagif.com/i/eH_Mzr the newer font is the version with the smaller percentage indicator in the lower left. Thanks Nathan for you excellent blog!

  6. How about that comic books stuff? I’m reading manga using mangle and I’m afraid this things may collide…

    Thank you for the gif, Mike :)

  7. Seems to me that after the upgrade my beloved Kindle got a darker, yellowish background… Not happy about it at all, I hope that’s not a silly strategy to convince customers to switch to a brand new Paperwhite :-(