Changes In Kindle Paperwhite – and a New Kindle Update!

Screenshot of update your Kindle menu choice for new software

People have been asking me what exactly is changing in Amazon’s newest Kindles. It turns out that’s it’s already possible to experience some of the changes today — and the rest are definitely worth waiting for.

In their yet-to-be-released Kindle Paperwhites, “We’ve added 62% more pixels and increased contrast by 25%,” Amazon brags on their web page, “so whites are whiter, and blacks are blacker.” But the Paperwhite also includes a built-in light that can shine down on your Kindle, which Amazon is calling “revolutionary”. It’s supposed to offer the same relaxing effect as reading on a regular Kindle, but without a computer’s back-lighting shining directly in your face. They’re just $119, though there’s also a 3G version for $60 more ($179), which Amazon promotes by saying “Never pay for or hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot.”

You can order one of Amazon’s new Paperwhite Kindles at But even last year’s model of the Kindle is getting an upgrade! Amazon’s $79 Kindle now costs just $69, and according to Amazon, it now ships “with improved fonts and 15% faster page turns.” The high-contrast fonts are “crisper,” Amazon promises, and there’s also some additional new features in the software, including the ability to read comic books and graphic novels by zooming in on each panel. The new version of Amazon cheapest Kindle will now also include better ways to view images and tables, and there’s even some expanded parental controls, if you want to stop your children from accessing “Archived Items” or Amazon’s Kindle Store.

But if you bought one of those Kindles last year, you can also experience all these new features, just by downloading a software upgrade. Just point your web browser to And there’s some other new features that I wasn’t expecting. Now Amazon will pull up the keyboard automatically in situations where you need to enter text (rather than waiting for readers to first press the keyboard button). And now when you turn off your wireless connectivity, a little airplane icon appears at the top of your Kindle, reminding you that you’ve switched into “Airplane Mode.”

Amazon promises fresh ebooks will start appearing in the Kindle Store over the next few weeks to take advantage of all of these new capabilities. I’ve already tested out its comic book-reading capabilities — and it did a nice job of rending a Catwoman graphic novel in a noir-ish black-and-white.

Black and white Catwoman Kindle screenshot image

And ebook authors are also excited about a new feature that’s coming to both the Kindle Paperwhite and the new Kindle Fire tablets. “About the Author gives readers easy access to your photo, biography, and bibliography,” Amazon explained in an e-mail to their self-publishing authors, saying readers “can learn more about you and your other books, which are only 60 seconds away. Readers can tap on any of your books to go to the Kindle Store. Also, any time you update your bio or claim a new book through Author Central, we will update About the Author on Kindle so your readers have access to the most recent information about you.”

I’ve already ordered a Kindle Paperwhite, so now I’m just anxiously waiting until Amazon finally delivers its. Because then I can finally test out all the new features for myself!

Buy a new Kindle Paperwhite at

Viewers React to Amazon’s New Paperwhite Ad

Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite TV ad

In all the excitement, I almost forgot to mention: Amazon also has a new ad for their Paperwhite Kindle. It starts with some of the same text as their ads for the Kindle Fire HD. (“We’re the people with the smile on the box. We’re the re-inventors of normal….”) But then it segues into an explanation of what’s revolutionary about the new Kindle Paperwhite.

That’s why we created our newest Kindle, with the world’s first Paperwhite display that reads without glare in bright sunlight, at night and every minute in between.

Because the only thing more perfect than reading is more reading….

You can see the video in the Kindle’s channel on YouTube at — and within six hours, the video had already received dozens of comments. It’s fun to see how it generated a real ripple of excitement this morning around the world, and it’s apparently now been preserved online forever. “I want it now!” posted a 31-year-old woman calling herself DeniGirl2, leaving the very first comment on the video. And a nearly identical comment came later from a 32-year-old nearly 5,000 miles away.

“I want this!!!” posted a viewer in Turkey — who will probably have a hard time ordering one…

“Ordering as soon as it’s possible!” posted a 32-year-old using the handle AdamHitt. (“Congrats Amazon!” he added. “It’s beautiful!”) And a 62-year-old in England also posted “I WANT IT,” but they had another reason for delaying their purchase. “I already have two kindles tho :(”

There was also a lot of discussion about how exactly Amazon will provide the lighting on the screen. “Isn’t this Paperwhite display just another way to call a LCD display…” asked one users (adding “I hope I’m wrong.”) And within one hour, another YouTube commenter had set them straight. “It’s still e-ink, just like before. [Amazon] added a light around the rim of the screen (plus a special film to make the light even) on top of the e-ink display.

“If you turn the light off, it’s just like the old kindle (but better resolution)!”

One user wondered if it’d be hard to find the new Kindle Paperwhite in the dark, so you’d be able to then turn on its light. But I was impressed by the observation that came from another comment. “With the light on the battery will still last 8 weeks, so most people will just never turn it off, even in properly lighted areas.”

I’m excited about Amazon’s newly-announced Kindles, so it’s nice to see there’s other people online who are also sharing my excitement. A retired home entrepreneur had just three words for Amazon’s newest ad. “Awesome! Love this!” And at least one user was more interested in the obvious advantage of the Kindle’s new built-in lighting.

“Guess I won’t have to read my Kindle in bed with an LED Headlamp on anymore if I had this!”

And remember: You can pre-order the new touchscreen devices — with their new built-in lights — at !

Did Amazon Botch The Release of Their New Kindles?

Amazon's new Paper white Kindle

Amazon just announced a brand-new, high-contrast Kindle called the PaperWhite! (You can pre-order the new touchscreen devices — with their new built-in lights — at ).

But the way Amazon handled today’s announcement left me wondering if they’d made a big mistake…

I still remember that big day last September when Amazon announced their new Kindle Fire tablets. Besides a press conference, there was a message from Amazon’s CEO on the front page of (“There are two types of companies,” he wrote, “those that work hard to charge customers more, and those that work hard to charge customers less…We are firmly in the second camp.”) A month later, Amazon revealed that that historic day had been Amazon’s “biggest order day ever” for a newly-released Kindle, “even bigger than previous holiday peak days.” But this morning I was wondering if Amazon was missing their chance to make history again.

Because while they were announcing two new Kindles, including a black-and-white reader called the Paperwhite, it wasn’t possible to buy it at You couldn’t pre-order the Paperwhite, and there were no information pages at, until nearly 4 p.m. EST. Even during Amazon’s big press conference about the new device, if you searched Amazon for the Paperwhite Kindle, it didn’t return any matches.

Amazon didn’t actually list their newest Kindle at until nearly 1 p.m.! “I want my Paperwhite. Now!” someone posted Thursday morning in a customer discussion forum at “Or at least let me order it now. :)”

“I’m with ya on this one!” posted another anxious Amazon customer…

“I have no patience, I can’t wait to order,” added a third customer. Someone even jokingly posted a link instead to Amazon’s web page for some flower seedlings — the paperwhite Narcissus. (“Very Fragrant!”) Ironically, you could already buy a two-year warranty for your new Paperwhite Kindle by Thursday morning. It just wasn’t possible to actually buy the Kindle yet!

Amazon’s web page for the extended warranty even featured a link titled “Add a Kindle Paperwhite to your cart.” But when you clicked it, it just took you to Amazon’s standard error page that said “Looking for something? We’re sorry. The Web address you entered is not a functioning page on our site.”

It was fun to read the comments that Kindle owners left in anticipation of the new device. “At least you have the option of new Kindles in the US…..” complained one poster in Amazon’s discussion forum. “Nothing as per usual for the UK market :-(” But an American poster responded that at least U.K. shoppers had access to one of England’s independently-produced ales. “On the other hand, we in the USA have a heck of a time finding Theakston’s Old Peculier.”

There were at least half a dozen eager purchasers (who apparently couldn’t find a link on Amazon where they could buy the device all morning). I only saw one negative comment — a complaint that Amazon was only releasing a touchscreen version. It seems like Amazon had a lot of potential buyers for their new Paperwhite Kindle, who could’ve helped Amazon reach a new sales record. But you can’t sell any new Kindles until customers have a web page where they can actually buy them!

Fortunately, Amazon revealed the web page Thursday afternoon, and you can now pre-order these elusive new touchscreen devices — with their new built-in lights — at