For the longest time now Amazon has been releasing updates for their apps, new Kindles, and the Kindle Fire while sadly neglecting the now 2 year old K3. This ereader didn’t die last year when Amazon released the newer models, but was instead kept around as the Kindle Keyboard. But that was about all Amazon did as they turned attention to the newer gadgets. Today that changes.
Amazon has rolled out a new update for the K3 which gives it all the latest features. If you’ve been holding on to your old device, today you get rewarded.
The K3 now supports the KF8 ebook format, which offers near Epub quality of formatting. (Dropcaps, wrapped images, and embedded fonts, oh my!) And this update adds support for the Kindle fixed layout format. Now you can read the digital comics, children’s books, and magazine titles introduced with the Kindle Fire last fall.
This update also adds the parental controls features which Jeff talked about so much last week. Parents can now restrict access to the web browser, Kindle Store, or Archived Items. Even if you’re not a parent, I’m sure you can appreciate not having to worry about some fool buying stuff on your Amazon account.
And the K3 also now can support Whispersync for voice. Now you can switch back and forth between reading and listening without losing your place. Whispersync for voice will sync your reading position on any Kindle with Audible playback on Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Fire, or in Audible apps for iPhone and Android. Of course, you have to buy both the ebook and audiobook, so there is a downside. But this is still going to be a fun feature.
Last but not least, the K3 also gets the improved fonts which rolled out to the K4 back in June. That’s the one that has been improved to have more contrast and be more crisp.
There’s a lot to take in, so much so that I almost didn’t notice that the K3 still lacks X-Ray. And I’m also half expecting that this update will take away the free web browsing over 3G. But I don’t have a K3 handy to test so I will have to wait for user feedback.