When Amazon announced the new Kindle Oasis ereader earlier this month they said it would be getting support for playing Audible audiobooks in a future update.
That update arrived yesterday, and it packs in more than a few surprises.
For starters, the changelog mentions new storage management options:
- Audible: Listen to Audible on this Kindle. Play audiobooks directly from your library or explore the Audible store to discover new ones. Easily switch between reading on your Kindle and listening to your story on your favorite Bluetooth device – like speakers or headphones. Simply pair with Bluetooth to listen.
- Storage Management: Under Advanced Options in Settings, Storage Management offers two new ways to free up space on your Kindle. You can remove content by content type, such as Books, Docs, or by groups of files that haven’t been opened recently. Items downloaded from the cloud will still be accessible by tapping All on your library. Personal content that was transferred manually to your Kindle will be removed.
The storage management is a new option under the settings menu, and it’s a great way to quickly clear content you’re not using any more. (Coincidentally, my seventh-gen Paperwhite, or PW3, also got an update that added the storage management feature – but no Audible support.)
Audible support and the storage management feature are nice, but what caught my eye for this update were the hints in the code itself.
A hacker has pulled apart the Oasis update and found that the new Oasis, which is codenamed Zelda, repeatedly refers to an MX7D chip from Freescale:
board\lab126\mx7d_zelda\imximage.cfg:PLUGIN board/lab126/mx7d_zelda/plugin.bin 0x00910000
One should be careful when trying to interpret other people’s code, but when I see Freescale mentioned in connection to MX7D I can only conclude that this is a reference to the i.MX7D chip. This is dual-core CPU that was launched in 2015 but never before used in ereaders (to the best of my knowledge).
Most ereaders have either a Freescale i.MX6 single-core CPU (Kindle, Kobo, Netronix) or a multi-core Rockchip CPU (used in some Android ereaders).
We will need to wait until someone tears open the new Oasis and confirms the chip is inside, but if it is really there then this means this $249 ereader has a faster and more powerful CPU than any other Kobo and Kindle models on the market.
Update: Frank pointed out in the comments that Ars Technica mentioned the new Oasis has this CPU in their post from a few weeks back. So that is confirmation, then.
In comparison, the Kobo Aura One, which just got a storage bump yesterday, runs on a single-core i.MX6 chip.
But will that better CPU translate to better performance? Probably, but we will need to wait for first-hand reports before we know for sure.