Monday, February 07, 2011

Kindle Update Coming – With Real Page Numbers

Now this is something those who haven’t adopted eReaders yet will chuckle about:  Amazon let us know today they have a beta preview of the next Kindle firmware that includes real page numbers!  Here’s how Amazon describes this:

“Real Page Numbers – Our customers have told us they want real page numbers that match the page numbers in print books so they can easily reference and cite passages, and read alongside others in a book club or class. “

To be honest, this is an issue some with eReaders have complained about for good reason.  Most times for me it’s fine to only know the percentage of the book I’ve read so far, but there are times you want/need to compare where in the book you are compared to others so this will be a very welcome feature.

The old page location info looked like this on the Kindle:

Kindle Page Location

The new page numbers will display like the diagram below:

Kindle Page Numbers

Depending on the font size and other formatting on your Kindle, you’ll often be on the same “page” of a book through multiple screens so the location number may change, but the page wouldn’t in that case.  Only the corresponding page number for the text displayed at the top left of the screen will be shown.

Another nice part of this update is the ability to “Go-to” a certain page in a book via the menu.  Again this is useful in a class or book club type situation.

Page numbers are only displayed on Kindle (Latest Generation) with software version 3.1 or higher.


New Firmware Features Include:

  • Public Notes – This feature lets Kindle users choose to make their book notes and highlights available for others to see.
  • Real Page Numbers – As described above, Amazon is adding “real” page numbers that correspond to paper books.  This will not be on all books at first, but they say: “We’ve already added real page numbers to tens of thousands of Kindle books, including the top 100 bestselling books in the Kindle Store that have matching print editions and thousands more of the most popular books.  Page numbers will also be available on our free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps in the coming months.”  So it should be on most books right away.
  • Before You Go: When you reach the end of the book, we will now offer a seamless experience that lets you immediately rate the book, share a message about the book with your social network, get personalized recommendations for what to read next, and see more books by the same author.
  • New Newspaper and Magazine Layout: Amazon is updating their layout for newspapers and magazines.  This new layout gives you a quick snapshot of the news and helps you decide what you want to read first.  This will be a welcome update for those that use their Kindle for reading newspaper and magazines but I really feel the tablet format lends itself to these periodicals much better anyway – just as the eInk eReader lends itself more to books.

The official Amazon announcement is at and you can download the update from there as well if you don’t want to wait for it to be pushed out wirelessly.