Kindle 3.1 software update prevents jailbreaking

By Chris Walters

If you wanted to use custom fonts or screensaver images on your Kindle but haven’t yet applied the jailbreak hack, make sure you do it before you update to the latest Kindle OS.

But hurry: Amazon is now pushing the new 3.1 software update over the air to all customers, and in fact you may have already received it and never noticed the change. (Open the “Settings” menu and check the bottom of the screen.) It brings several new features like page numbers and a more efficient magazine layout. Unfortunately, it also blocks the method in which the jailbreak hack was applied, as this MobileRead forums post explains:

It used to look for any public key which meant it would use the one added by the jailbreak. They’ve now altered it so that it specifically only checks the two Amazon Kindle public keys. This means all hacks will NOT be able to be installed.

The good news is if you already applied the hacks, they’ll continue to work. My custom screens are still working fine and I don’t even know when the 3.1 update was applied to my Kindle — I discovered it just a few moments ago when I checked my Settings screen.

The bad news is if you wanted to apply the hack but Amazon already updated your Kindle, you’ll have to wait until someone finds a new workaround — but fortunately someone is already working on it. Here’s hoping this setback is only temporary.

(Photo: AMagill)

reposted from BookSprung


  1. Alexander Inglis23 February, 2011

    I was pleased to see the update pushed over wifi silently — no muss, no fuss. It’s another example of the Amazon user experience: it just works.

    It was odd to link (“several new features” above) to a blogger who hadn’t used the Kindle for weeks and had a “dead” Kindle. Why not just to Amazon’s very clear features page?

    The one thing I miss so far: persistent locations display. Some of my content is not directly sourced from Amazon and won’t ever have page numbers. I rather liked the locations; it would be nice to have a toggle option to keep them displayed instead of having to press the menu button.

    1. fjtorres23 February, 2011

      Calibre has a plug-in that will generate page numbers on the new Kindle software. Just run a Mobi to Mobi conversion and feed the result to the Kindle. (If page numbers matter to you. 😉 )

      1. Moriah Jovan23 February, 2011

        I thought he said he missed LOCATIONS, not page numbers.

        Really? Locations went away completely? REPLACED by page numbers? *sigh* Two steps back.

        1. Chris23 February, 2011

          They’re still there, but they don’t appear unless you press the Menu button. The default progress indicator displays percentage. See this page for Amazon’s explanation:

        2. fjtorres23 February, 2011

          My bad.
          I focused on the non-Amazon content part of the comment. non-Amazon content doesn’t have the add-in page mapping file which is where the plug-in comes in.

  2. Chris23 February, 2011

    Actually, it looks a new jailbreak for 3.1 has already been released, so you can disregard this warning.


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