Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Kindle goes horizontal

I just finished installing Amazon's latest update on my Kindle 2.  This update adds a number of enhancements:


Support for landscape-mode reading.

  • This capability was already included on the larger Kindle DX, and now works on Kindle 2 devices.  There is no sensor in the device, so you change the orientation of the screen manually from a new option in the text menu (at right).

Native support for PDF files. 

  • You can get them on your device in 2 ways:
    • Email them to a special address that sends them to the Kindle for 15 cents per megabyte.
    • Connect the Kindle to your computer via the USB cable and drag your PDF files over to the Kindle - this is free.

Longer battery life on the global wireless version.

  • This will allow you to read for up to a week - even with the wireless on.  Apparently, this doesn't improve wireless battery life on the US-only version since the US version uses a different wireless technology.

The option to convert your PDF's to the Kindle format

  • Converting your documents to the native Kindle format can sometimes make them more readable as this will allow them to be reformatted based on your selected font size (this requires you to use the email-based conversion process, which costs 15 cents per megabyte).

How do you get the Kindle update?

You'll receive the update automatically over wireless in the next few weeks. If, like me, you are impatient, Amazon has provided instructions for updating your Kindle to the new firmware manually.  It's a piece of cake - I installed mine in less than 10 minutes and it worked flawlessly.

If you're thinking about a Kindle, let me just tell you this:  I have had mine since the Kindle 2 was released early this year and I haven't gotten tired of it yet.  In fact, I'm growing even fonder of my Kindle since I can carry so many books with me with so little effort (and yes, I've used the iPhone Kindle app - it doesn't hold a candle to the Kindle).

Whether you want to pick one up for yourself or as a gift, I recommend you become a Kindle owner and pick one up, especially since they lowered the price recently.  If you're still on the fence, you can read my initial review of the Kindle 2 for more data.