Kindle Software 2.3 (399380047)

It definitely looks like I’ll have to eat my words… One month ago I made a statement that there will be fewer Kindle software updates and that chances of new features being added via update are slim. At least on the second count I was wrong. Amazon has released Kindle software version 2.3 for Kindle 2 US, Kindle 2 International and Kindle DX. It added significant features to all of these devices. In fact Amazon deemed the update so significant that they’ve sent out emails to Kindle owners about it.

  • Kindle 2 International (wireless by AT&T) got a significant battery life boost. You can now go for a week without having to recharge the device and keep the wireless on. Since it doesn’t apply to the US version of Kindle 2 (that uses Sprint for wireless connectivity) it looks like Amazon didn’t change the poll frequency but either fixed some bug in wireless driver or took advantage of a technology similar to PUSH email.
  • Both US and international versions of Kindle 2 got native PDF support based on the same code that was used in Kindle DX. Now you can also manually switch screen orientation to landscape. Kindle DX style automatic switching doesn’t work since Kindle 2 devices lack the accelerometer hardware. PDF files are better cropped now as blank margins don’t use up valuable screen space. This is especially important for small 6″ Kindle screens since PDF viewer still lacks zoom feature.
  • Since all Kindle versions now support PDF, sending PDF file to email will no longer convert it to native Kindle format by default. If you still want the conversion to happen, you should put the word “Convert” in the email subject.
  • Kindle DX screensaver activation time was increased from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. This makes sense since larger screen can contain more text that takes longer to read.
  • All Kindle versions will not require signed update packages. This problem however has already been solved.

Normally you Kindle would update itself automatically if you have wireless connectivity. However if you do not or the update failed because you had hacks installed, you can update Kindle manually. This time around though, rather than trying to hit dynamic URLs that are supposed to always provide the latest version, you can download the update from the appropriate static location. These locations are listed on Help page.

By bringing all Kindle devices to the same version, Amazon will simplify software development process in the long run. They may change the update process in the future to cut the update delivery costs. 2.3 update package was around 10 megabytes large. If they keep the current method update packages will get only larger.

At the moment there is no update for 1st generation Kindle. And dare I make another prediction – the chances of it happening are rather slim.

While we are on the topic of updates. There might be another update currently in the works in Lab126. On Kindle Facebook page Kindle developers have posted the following message:

Amazon Kindle Kindle Customers, We have heard from many of you that you would like to have a better way to organize your growing Kindle libraries. We are currently working on a solution that will allow you to organize your Kindle libraries. We will be releasing this functionality as an over-the-air software update as soon as it is ready, in the first half of next year. – The Kindle Team

Personally I have just one question left: Where are the bleeping Unicode fonts? Amazon, seriously! Is it too much trouble to replace the current fonts with ones that support wider range of characters? Although with PDF support in place there is workaround via PDF font embedding, it would be nice to have native support as well.

I guess this leaves me with little choice but to recompile Kindle Unicode Font Hack to work with Kindle Software 2.3… I’ll post as soon as it’s ready and tested.

14 thoughts on “Kindle Software 2.3 (399380047)

  1. I’ve recompiled the UFH using Georgia (for Serif, main reading) and Droid (for Sans and Mono, including Bold and Italic, for menus and title bars). There are updates for K2, K2i and KDX, that work with 2.3. Packages are signed so no pre-jailbreaking is required. Have fun, use at your own risk, and please post your results. More information, the BIN files, and screenshots can be found at

  2. I just updated my wife’s Kindle 2 Int.

    The rotation looks pretty good and is easy to use.

    The PDF support is going to be great with only one issue. Sometimes, when viewing a PDF it cuts off part-way through the text of a line.

    I don’t have a feel for the battery life yet.

  3. I tried to manually upgrade my kindle 2(US). It failed in the middle of the upgrade (stage 1 of 2). I didn’t hack it. Does anyone have this problem? I even tried to set it to factory default, but it’s still not working…

  4. I just got a new Kindle 2 and downloaded a PDF to it, however the PDF formatting has been screwed up after I ran it thru the converter. Lines are wrapping unevenly. Any suggestions ?

  5. Amazon converter does screw up PDF formatting.
    However since K2 now supports PDF natively you can just copy the file into documents folder and it will display as is. You’ll not be able to change font size though.
    If PDF is vital for you, Sony readers support it in a much better way.

  6. I just tried reading a PDF on my US K2 by copying it via PC and it’s very light. You can hardly read the words. Am I doing something wrong? I like the rotation feature.

  7. PDF feature for me is useless as the print is so small I would have to retrogress about 50 years to be able to use it.

  8. It is probably just a dumb question, but I can’t find any information on what keys I should use how to rotate Kindle 2.3

  9. Just press the “Aa” key that opens menu to change font size and control text-to-speech. Rotation options will be there.

  10. When Amazon sent me a letter raving about 2.3 update I was really surprised.

    Naitive PDF support seems like a nice feature to have.

    Several weeks passed and 2.3 update yet to appear on my Kindle2.

    The whole point of wireless e-book reader is that it updates automatically.

    Is there something I am missing. Or Amazon trying to save money on bandwidth?

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