Amazon Updates Kindle Fire, Adds New Parental Controls & More

Amazon released a free new software update for the Kindle Fire. With the update to version 6.3.1, you'll get additional parental controls that let you protect purchases with a password, disable access to content libraries, and block access to the web browser.

The update also brings new sharing features to the tablet that let you share favorite passages and notes from books. After highlighting a passage, select Share, add a note, and send the content off to a social network of your choosing. Here's a closer look at the other new features that come with update 6.3.1:

  • Book Extras: Powered by Shelfari, Amazon's community of book lovers, Book Extras make it easy to see supplemental material about the book you are reading, without leaving the book. View descriptions of characters, a glossary of common terms used in the book, information on the authors and common locations referenced in the book, and more. To view Book Extras within your book, tap the bottom of the screen to bring up the options bar, tap the menu icon and select "Book Extras."
  • Archive of Personal Documents: Your personal documents are stored in the Amazon Cloud and available for redownload at any time from the Docs content library on your Kindle Fire. Just as with Kindle books, Whispersync automatically syncs notes, highlights and furthest page read for personal documents.
  • Print Replica Textbooks: Students can buy thousands of print replica textbooks to read on their Kindle Fire and save up to 60% off the list price of the print textbook. Print replica textbooks maintain the rich formatting, color and layout of the print editions, with features including notes and highlights, zoom and pan, linked table of contents, real page numbers, and Whispersync of notes, highlights and furthest page read.
  • Reading View for Amazon Silk: With Reading View on Silk, the content that you're interested in is elevated above the clutter in a reading-optimized, single screen view (even for multi-page articles). The full page is still available in the background, allowing you to easily toggle back to a traditional view to see other interesting features on the page.
  • Movie Rentals: The rental period for movie rentals downloaded to Kindle Fire now starts when you starts watching the movie, rather than at download.
  • Additional Enhancements: Faster re-connect of Wi-Fi after your Kindle Fire has been asleep, and general performance enhancements.

The update will be delivered automatically to the Kindle Fire. For users who want to download the software update manually, Amazon provides directions on its support page.