Kindle Touch Updated with Features from the Kindle Paperwhite

kindle-5321[1]Amazon may have replaced the Kindle Touch last Fall with a new model but they haven't given up on supporting this ereader. I've just learned that Amazon has released a new update for the Kindle Touch. Edit: I have been reminded that many of these new features were actually added in January, when I covered the then-new update. Somehow that earlier post did not show up when I Googled for more details on this update. (I looked, I swear.) I must say that I was surprised to read about this update. Not only has Amazon supported an old and discontinued device, they've also spent time and money giving it a feature that the 2012 model, the Kindle Paperwhite, can't ever have *because the KPW lacks sound).

According to Amazon, this update gives the Kindle Touch a number of features, including: a new user interface, better support for graphic novels, improved ancillary content like author's bio, enhanced parental controls, whispersync for voice, better integration between samples and purchased ebooks, and time-to-read (a feature that estimates your remaining reading time).

At long last the Kindle Touch can now read the digital comics that Amazon launched with the Kindle Fire in 2011. To be more exact, digital comics can now be read with Kindle Panel View, the directed-viewing mode that you to read a comic book panel by panel.

The sample feature now works better, too. When you buy an ebook after reading the sample, Amazon will now automatically start the book at your last reading location in the sample and delete the sample from your Kindle Touch.

This update also give the Kindle Touch the same parental controls that Amazon has added to the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD. Parents can lock down the web browser, Kindle Store, and Cloud (aka archived content) with a password, protecting their kid from accessing questionable content. Readers can now to find more info about the author of the ebook they're currently reading, all from inside the ebook. When reading, you can tap the Menu icon and select About the Author.

And of course Whispersync for Voice, one of the high points of the Kindle event last Fall, now works as well on the Kndle Touch as it does on the Kindle Fire HD. Readers can switch back and forth between reading a Kindle ebook and listening to a separately purchased Audible audiobook without losing their place. This feature also works to sync your reading location with other Kindles as well as Audible apps for OS and Android.

This update was released in the first week of March, so chances are a lot of my readers have already downloaded it. But if you haven't received the the v5.3.2.1 update you can download it manually and install it yourself.

You can find the update at Amazon.

source

About Nate Hoffelder (11374 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

7 Comments on Kindle Touch Updated with Features from the Kindle Paperwhite

  1. I thought it was odd to see Brad post about this so late, but it’s even stranger to see you post this. Forget something :).

    the-digital-reader.com/2013/03/26/kindle-touch-updated-with-more-features-from-the-paperwhite/

    I don’t think the .1 changed much…

  2. Thanks for posting this (again). It afforded me an opportunity to check once again to see if there were actually any comic books in the Kindle Store that were available for KT. For so many weeks, there weren’t any. But it seems that the support matrix has been updated (recently, I probably checked less than a month ago), so anything that is available on KKeyboard/Kindle/KPaperwhite seems to be also available for KTouch. So I’m finally able to download some of my comics and compare with PW (pretty much the same).

    There are many comics that aren’t available for any Kindle eink device. Apparently this is an option the publisher sets. I wish they would at least make the option available, it may be ‘inferior’ to viewing with a color display but that should be up to the customer to determine. I don’t think it is a technical restriction. In one respect, the eink implementation of KF8 fixed-layout is ‘better’ in that you can zoom and pan both the full page and panel views, which I don’t think is possible with Fire or iOS/Android apps (unless the newer Fires do this).

    Note that Kindle Touch is (as of now) still available on amazon.com:
    New: $99 (wifi with SO)
    Refurbished: $89 (wifi with SO), $129 (wifi+3g with SO)—$50 less than PW+3G
    You have to search for it (‘kindle touch’), it is not listed on the ‘Buy A Kindle’ page.

    In some respects, I find it preferable to Paperwhite: having a physical button for Home is a little quicker than having to tap twice to get there, it has about 3x storage (comic books chew up LOTS of storage!), audio/TTS, one still has the simple wireless on/off option on every menu instead of having the silly ‘Airplane Mode’ buried in Settings, and the chapter navigation up/down swipe gesture is there (apparently some users found that confusing and Amazon removed it from Paperwhite—but to me having more navigation options is a Good Thing).

  3. Has Amazon stated where the “About the Author” information is pulled from? Is it from the author’s Author Central page or is it metadata?

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