Kindle Fire gets a performance update

Much needed performance improvements, but still some security holes

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.