Upcoming Kindle Firmware

I mentioned Amazon is planning on rolling out a new firmware for the Kindle sometime back. Well Ars Technica has a good review of the firmware (lucky dogs got it early).

I have to say overall I’m excited. The categories feature is enough for me to be excited. But it appears as Amazon also implemented a decent password system. If you don’t enter your password properly it pops up a message saying if you forgot your password call Amazon and gives you a number. This leads me to ponder if you have to reset the password remotely. If so it would be a boon for times when the device gets stolen because Amazon could just refuse to reset the device if it’s reported stolen making it a paperweight. On the other hand they would need a mechanism in place to reset the password on Kindles not within range of a cellular data network.

I’m far less excited about the social networking features. Needless to say it uses a URL shortening service (which I talked about today) to post passages from your books on Facebook and Twitter. On the other hand Amazon controls the service so you can be fairly sure (although not completely) the links you see from them are legitimate.

The other feature I’m looking forward to wasn’t covered much which is the ability to zoom and pan PDF files. PDF files don’t scale well on the Kindle’s small screen and are only legible if you put the device in landscape mode. Being able to zoom in and pan will allow you to read PDFs in portrait mode on the regular small Kindle.

Now Amazon just needs to hurry up and release the Kindle Development Kit so I can start writing applications for the bloody device (yes I have ideas for applications for me Kindle).