Kindle Users Must Update To Keep Using Online Services

When people think of e-books most will associate the word with the Kindle, Amazons e-reader. The reason being is that the kindle has become the symbol of e-readers, with the electronic ink making the original device easier to read than a traditional screen and the latest version including everything from Netflix to Angry birds. If you own a kindle though you may want to update otherwise you won’t be able to use their online services.

Revealed by Amazon, anyone using an outdated version of kindles software will need to update by March 22nd, 2016 or they will lose the ability to download books from the cloud, access the kindle store or even use other services provided by the device.

Failure to install the update by this date will provide users with the following message:

Your Kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please make sure you are within wireless range and try again. If the problem persists, please restart your Kindle from the Menu in Settings and try again

If you find this message on your kindle after March 22nd you will have to do a manual update to regain access to kindles services. Below you have a list of the version that each type of kindle will need to be at in order to keep using the services.

Kindle 1st Generation (2007) 1.2.1 Use Wireless
Kindle 2nd Generation (2009) * 2.5.8 Use Wireless
Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009) * 2.5.8 Use Wireless
Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010) ** 3.4.2 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 4th Generation (2011) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 5th Generation (2012) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011) ** 5.3.7.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012) ** 5.6.1.1 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 6th Generation (2013) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Voyage 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Paperwhite 7th Generation (2015) No Update Needed No Update Needed

For more information regarding how to update or how to find out your software’s current version, please check out Amazon’s post here.

Amazon to Pay Authors Per eBook Page Read

Amazon will soon implement a plan which will essentially sell eBooks page-by-page, paying its authors for every page read. From 1st July, authors who self-publish through the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Program – an eBook only outlet that gives authors 70% royalties on their works – will earn money for every page that remains open long enough to be read on an e-reader, making page-turning cliffhangers a revenue generator. Dan Brown is said to have ordered a case of Bollinger in anticipation.

The scheme, however, could be seen as Amazon finally rewarding authors of longer works, since it was previously seen as pushing novellas and short stories. As The Atlantic puts it:

Amazon’s letter to writers who publish through its Kindle Select program explained that the formula was changing because of a concern “that paying the same for all books regardless of length may not provide a strong enough alignment between the interests of authors and readers.” Amazon is being clever: While the authors of big, long, and important books felt that they were shortchanged by a pay-by-the-borrow formula, they probably didn’t expect that Amazon would take their proposal a step further. Instead of paying the most ambitious, long-winded authors for each pagewritten, Amazon will pay them for each page read.

A market in which authors are constantly fighting and searching for new ways to coax readers into turning that page could change the future of written fiction forever. What would entice you to turn the page?

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

Using a Tablet or e-Reader in Bed Can Disrupt Sleep

It seems the death of paper is causing the death of sleep. As reading habits have shifted from books and magazines to e-readers and tablets, our sleeping patterns have become impacted. Backlighting from the two devices has been demonstrated to disrupt the body’s clock, its circadian rhythm, that controls our sleep schedule.

According to the study by the Mayo Clinic, “Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.”

A dozen volunteers spent a fortnight at a sleep centre, with a strict 10pm bedtime. For one week, half the volunteers were given regular books to be read by dim light, and the rest used backlit e-readers. The roles were switched the following week.

Levels of melatonin, the hormone that controls the body’s day-night cycle, were 50% lower in e-reader volunteers, compared to their book-reading counterparts. The data suggested that the drop in melatonin pushed the subject’s circadian rhythm back by an hour-and-a-half, and resulted in 10 minutes less REM sleep than the book readers.

The study is just the latest in a series that points to backlit tech use before bed hampering healthy sleep.

Source: Ars Technica

Sony Gives up on Selling E-Readers

Sony have given up selling e-readers as they just can’t find a big enough market.

Due to a Amazons Kindle dominating the market, with them claiming a 90% share in the e-reader market and smartphones and tablets being very popular to read books on, Sony just havnt been able to get their foot in the door properly. The Sony PRS-T3 will be the last model produced with Sony having no plans to create a successor.

Earlier this year usersof the Sony devices in the US, Australia and Europe were directed to a rival company, Kobo, to buy their ebooks. The Japanese will still be able to buy from Sony directly however. Kobo who is now owned by Rakuten are looking to take on Amazon and this could be a step in the right direction for them. It’s possible that it’s too little to late though as it seems that e-reader sales have been steadily dropping since their peak of 23 million in 2011. In 2017 it is expected that only 10 million e-readers will be sold, but by 2018 it is expected that the sales of e-books will outnumber the sale of printed books.

Thanks to The Digital Reader for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of The Digital Reader .

New High-Res Kindle Paperwhite In The Works

Amazon is rumored to have another Kindle Paperwhite in the works which is due for next year, considering that the previous Paperwhite released is just two months old.

The new tablet is said to have a high-resolution of 300 ppi and is designed to be a strong competitor for the Kobo Aura HD, boasting a 265 ppi screen and the current tablet with the highest-resolution display available in an e-reader, compared to Amazon’s current Paperwhite which has only 212 ppi.

In addition to an improved screen, the new model will resemble the Kindle HDX and be lighter than the current model. Some hardware makeovers include a display that is flush with the front panel rather than recessed. There are also reports of Amazon moving from plastic to a matte glass for the new model. Also, there are no major software upgrades planned for the new model, but Amazon is said to be developing a new custom font specially designed for the device. The company is also reportedly working on an option that will allow text to break with hyphens at the end of lines rather than a ragged right presentation.

Amazon unveiled the current Kindle Paperwhite device in September as one of its trio of new tablets. The device is Amazon’s first self-illuminating e-ink reader. The new Paperwhite is expected somewhere in the second quarter of 2014.

Thank you Cnet (via Techcrunch) for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Cnet

Study Shows Tablets & eReaders Help People Read More

A study by USA Today in partnership with Bookish reveals that tablet and e-reader owners tend to read more books than people who do not own a tablet or e-reader. A representative study of  1000 18 to 40 year old American citizens and 819 e-reader and tablet owners suggests that 46% of people have a tablet or e-reader – with the iPad and Amazon Kindle being the most popular of their respective categories. This is up from just 18% to the same study conducted 2 years ago. Since getting those devices 35% of people say they now read more – 41% of e-reader owners and 29% of tablet owners.

The study compares tablet/e-reader owners with consumers who have neither device and the study suggests the average tablet/e-reader owner reads 18 books per year while the average consumer without either device reads 11 books per year.

E-books are said to be driving this growth as they accounted for 20% of all book sales in the USA in 2012 and grew 42% last year, though the rapid growth of previous years is slowing.

Image courtesy of Barnes and Noble