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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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Kindle Fire 6.2.2 Details Released

While we knew that the 6.2.2 update to the Kindle Fire tablet was mainly going to be a matter of performance upgrades and behind the scenes stuff, a few things were noticed as the roll-out quietly began that were worth drawing attention to immediately.  As noted, the upgrade to this newest firmware did break root access for user who went that route.  This was addressed quite quickly, however, and initial doubts about whether or not BurritoRoot 2 would do the job seem to have been based on people failing to follow instructions correctly.  Aside from that, all we could see was the admittedly convenient full screen option for the Silk browser.

Things have settled in a little bit better now and Amazon was kind enough to let us in on what the entirety of the patch was meant to accomplish.  There are a couple perks:

Kindle Fire Silk Browser Customization

Users are now able to set their browser to disable Flash.  This was possible previously, but through the setting for “Enable Plugins”, which some users found confusing and overly broad.  By default, Flash will be disabled.  Check Silk’s Settings menu under the Behavior heading to turn it back on.

It is also now possible to disable the constant encrypted data shuffle through Amazon’s servers.  While you are still able to turn it on in settings by clicking on “Enable Optional Encryption”, users should find significantly improved performance now that it is non-mandatory.  This will not have any effect on encrypted connections to web pages.

Also, to access the previously mentioned full screen browsing, simply click on the square of four outward facing arrows in the lower-right corner of the Silk browser’s menu bar, next to the bookmark button.

Performance Improvements

There has been some small but noticable improvement made to the speed and smoothness of rendering on the Kindle Fire.  Scrolling, panning, and pinch to zoom all seem to work more fluidly and without the occasional stutter than previously occurred during fast movements.  Hard to say how impressive this is for most things at the moment, but there’s never anything wrong with optimization.

Email Control

It is now simpler, and in some cases possible where it was not before, to get email addresses set up manually.  Doesn’t fix all gmail complaints, but for the most part that has to do with the gmail end of things being updated so often (for the record, my own gmail account works fine with IMAP enabled, but other experiences may vary).

Many users have been somewhat disappointed to note that this update did not include the addition of finer control over the carousel or Kindle library collection management.  Presumably, however, a project this large has more than one feature being worked on at any given time and so we can probably assume that something is being done to address the vocal complaints of the user base even if it is not quite ready for release yet.  Personally I found it beyond tedious to manually delete my entire Kindle library from the carousel when the feature was introduced and would love a Mass-Remove type of option as soon as possible.

Amazon Addressing Kindle Fire Criticisms In Upcoming Update

While overall the response the the Kindle Fire has been overwhelmingly positive, there have been a number of ongoing complaints that hold some merit.  Some professional critics, as well as Amazon.com reviewers, have been incredibly negative.  In response to some of the more important issues, Amazon is planning to release a content update within the next two weeks.  That does not necessarily tell us what will be addressed, of course, but educated guesses are possible.

Much of this is speculation, of course, but there are a few things that need to be taken care of right now that Amazon would be foolish to delay on.  My predictions:

Likely To Be Addressed

Connectivity Issues

Some users have experienced ongoing problems with their WiFi connections.  Whether these take the form of a complete inability to connect or an intermittent and unreliable connection, they get in the way of enjoying what is meant to be a portable means of streaming internet content.

Privacy & Parental Controls

Let’s face it, no matter how this was marketed it would end up in the hands of kids.  It’s durable, gives easy access to books and movies, and lasts for hours.  It makes little sense, then, to have such vague and occasionally buggy parental controls.  Censorship might be bad, but few people think that everything a parent enjoys is suitable for their children.

Expect something that will allow either blocking of media content based on content ratings or a Whitelist system to designate child-approved titles.  The ability to remove items from the home screen’s shelf and the account’s app selection will be vital in this area as well.

Responsiveness

While usually fine, in my experience, the Kindle Fire occasionally has a spurt of input lag that gets in the way of a seamless user experience.  My understanding is that this some people far harder than it has me, possibly depending on what the tablet is being used for.  Look for some degree of performance optimization to address this.

Possible Update Features

Improved Browser Configuration

The Silk web browser is a decent enough application for a mobile device, but has yet to really impress people.  A great deal of that is that it will take time for the predictive features made possible by the two part browser setup to begin paying off in any major way, but we can’t count on that ever happening until proof shows up.  For now it would be enough to get the ability to prioritize mobile versions of sites, since the 7″ screen is less than ideal in some cases.

Categories

Missing up to this point has been the ability to organize your purchases, be they books or apps, in any way.  They are simply either on the Kindle Fire or in the Cloud.  This is something that I am certain will come up down the line, but it is unclear how much of a priority it will be.

Improved Netflix Streaming Option

Let’s face it, the Nook Tablet is currently doing precisely one thing that is clearly superior to the Kindle Fire.  It draws from the HD stream on Netflix content and downscales rather than the other way around.  No reason this should not be an option for Kindle owners, though this may be dependent more on a Netflix agreement than a device update.

We’ll know soon enough what is going to be addressed. and I think it is fair to assume that while the vital fixes will be quick they will also be followed by more substantial feature improvements as time goes on.  If nothing else, if the next generation of Kindle Fire is expected as early as six months from now then they’ll want to be optimizing in the meantime.