Kindle Fire gets a performance update

Kindle Fire gets a performance update

Summary: Much needed performance improvements, but still some security holes

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Earlier this week, Amazon released an over-the-air update for its Kindle Fire. The update includes the following improvements:

  • Enhanced fluidity and performance
  • Touch navigation responsiveness
  • Carousel display options
  • Password lock on Wi-Fi access

To check for the update tap on the Quick Settings icon, tap "More," then tap "Device." From there you'll see what your current system version is. The latest version is 6.2.1, so if you see "Current version: 6.0, 6.1, or 6.2", then you need to update to the latest.

Even though Amazon released it over-the-air, I'm hearing that many people (myself included) have not yet received it. If you'd like to update your Kindle manually, follow the steps below:

1. Download the latest software: version 6.2.1 2. Transfer the software to your Kindle: Turn on your Kindle Fire and swipe the unlock screen. Connect your Kindle to your computer, using the USB cable, and then drag the file you downloaded to the kindle updates folder on your Kindle 3. When the transfer is complete, click "disconnect" on your Kindle and then disconnect it from your computer 4. Start the software update: Amazon recommends a full battery, but the update can work if you have more than 40 percent battery life. To start the update, tap the Quick Settings icon in the upper right of the screen, then "More" then "Device". Then select "Update Your Kindle". The Kindle Fire will restart twice, and then the device will display "Current Version: 6.2.1" when complete.

For more information check out Amazon's update page.

My update worked flawlessly and I have noticed some definite improvements in the touch screen behavior. Unfortunately, the update doesn't solve the issue that many people have been concerned about around device security. The issue is that if you are logged in to your Kindle Fire, anyone can pick up your Fire and make a purchase without any further authentication. This is an issue if you decide to give the Kindle to your children and then they start surfing the Amazon App Store. They're one-click away from downloading just about anything they want, without a password being required. I'm surprised that Amazon left this one alone for now, but there is definitely a placeholder for it in "Restrictions", where you now go to enable password protection on using Wi-Fi.

Topics: Hardware, Amazon, Mobility

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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26 comments
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  • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

    Ouch, that security hole is a big one. On my old Nook Color, at least, you could set it so the shop required your password before allowing a purchase. That's super important if you'd like Jr. to find one under the tree this Christmas.
    dsf3g
    • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

      @dsf3g Ahem. It's not a "security hole", it's a feature ;) And one that can easily be disabled either on the Fire or on amazon.com from any browser: go to My Account->One-Click setting
      Bellingman
      • Didn't work for me.

        @Bellingman I'm pretty sure I've already done that but I can still buy things on the Fire without entering any credentials. What I want is the same behavior I get on iPhone: every purchase requires me to enter my password.
        RoverDaddy
      • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

        @Bellingman

        On the newest update you can not do that. You can only select deregister under My Account
        tim.w.jung@...
  • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

    Kindle is really nothing more than a catalog store brought to you via a tablet. One click purchase is their dream. Why slow things down by asking for a password?
    pdxdoug
    • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

      @pdxdoug

      So..... how is that any different from any online website that has 'one click' purchasing, like Newegg, TigerDirect, etc.

      The fact is that some people need to have some SELF-CONTROL and not buy every fancy doodad that they see.

      Heck, I've been accused of that before, but I have usually been looking at the thing that I buy for MONTHS and when I see it on sale? BOOM! Bought.
      Lerianis10
  • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

    As an e-reader it's ok. As a tablet it's ghastly. I've had one for week and it's going back. Wht are the problems? keyboarding errors, web page display, design issues with page loading and navigation (probably because of integration with Amazon servers), poor quality apps, poor selection of apps, no integration with google contacts, no apps from google for voice, etc.

    This is google's OS and their web pages don't render correctly in the browsers.
    essin
    • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

      @essin

      This guy is a troll. I have watched a lot of youtube video's of the Fire and used the Fire. I have seen NONE of what you claim.
      mstrsfty
    • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

      @essin
      I own a Fire and I have none of those issues at all. I'm not sure I want all the apps that Google Marketplace has given the issues of Trojans.
      tim.w.jung@...
  • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

    I don't remember any advertisements that called it a tablet. It's an e-reader.
    redbear2
    • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

      No, they didn't but when you advertise that over and above the reader, it's a great web browser, can use apps, play games and and listen music, they sure make it sound like one.
      marc.lowy@...
  • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

    Does the update add a camera and microphone?
    nagging
    • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

      @nagging

      Went to a school holiday performance recently. Some guy and his family brought an iPad and was filming with it intermittently. It was the most ridiculous sight I have seen in a while. I was looking at the lcd screen while he was filming. With no zoom, the stage was puny. I am sure when he got it home, he couldn't see a thing, much less a particular person he was looking for. A camera for a tablet this big is basically useless. My six year old SD camcorder took better movies.
      mstrsfty
      • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

        @mstrsfty

        True.... if you want to take pictures/video of an event, you should bring a standalone camera/camcorder.

        Though, at our school holiday performances lately, we have a professional filming who then sells the things on DVD at quite high resolution at cost or near cost.
        Lerianis10
  • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

    Amazon did not solve the "Security Hole" for their One-Click purchase is not because it is a complicated technical issue they can not easily fix in less than a day; it is because Amazon prefer your Kindle Fire to easily make purchases by your kids or accidentally by yourself. They are losing money on each tablet they sell to the consumer. Having such "feature" in the Kindle Fire enables them to quickly make they money back. So don't expect the "feature" to be fixed any time soon. :)
    makelvin
    • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

      @makelvin
      Thank you. The only place where I see "security hole" mentioned is in the article summary at the top of the page. Some comments imposed their own thoughts about "one click" purchasing being the security hole. Hah. As others have noted it's just Amazon's way to make purchasing easy. I you don't want "junior" going crazy on your credit card, don't let him have the Kindle with One Click. I'm guessing that the "security hole" is one of those open back doors that lets hackers into our devices.
      bunkport
  • ipad killer getting killed! hmm!

    too bad amazon. what's wrong. too much advertising no substance. where the heck is the ipad killer and that too with a 7 inch underpowered dud. good luck.
    ug123
    • RE: Kindle Fire gets a performance update

      @rondsouza2000@...

      Amazon didn't advertise this as an iPad killer...
      Michael Alan Goff
  • ipad killer getting killed! hmm!

    too bad amazon. what's wrong. too much advertising no substance. where the heck is the ipad killer and that too with a 7 inch underpowered dud. good luck.
    ug123
  • RE:

    At least now one has a way to prevent kids, or strangers from making any purchases. Just set password-protect the Wifi enabling, so that they cannot connect to the internet to do any naughty stuff, or make purchases. So, that way the major security concern is mitigated to a large extent.
    gunanaresh