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Old 11-14-2013, 11:36 PM   #1
Stridr
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Some "mystery" issues with Kindle Paperwhite 2

So I got a Kindle Paperwhite 2 to give to my Mom. This is my first purchase of an e-ink reader. (I've only used android phones/tablets before this.)

After I got the Kindle, I spent about 1 1/2 weeks playing with it and sideloading some public domain DRM-free mobi books. I also did a fair amount of "test-driving" it, reading for a number of hours. It all seemed to work well.

Last weekend I gave the Kindle to my Mom and showed her how to use it. I just checked in to see how things are going with it. She has two complaints.
-- She says that when she touches the right side of the screen to turn the page, it won't turn, and she'll have to touch it sometimes 3-4 times before anything happens.
-- She also says that sometimes when she is trying to turn the page by touching the area in the lower right corner the font will suddenly get very small and/or the options menu will pop up even though she is NOT touching the area near the top of the screen.

Anyone experience these issues? I'm wondering if her unit is defective.

Or maybe this is user error? But it's hard for me to see what she could be doing wrong, since touching the screen to turn pages is so easy and straightforward. She is pretty sharp.

On the other hand when I was test-driving it I didn't have an problems. (But maybe something happened since then.)

All suggestions or comments are welcome!
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:42 AM   #2
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I'm new to the PW2 also- although its not my 1st eink reader. It took me a day or 2 to get used to the PW2, one of the "problems" I had was with turning pages. I found it takes a fairly firm tap or swipe, as opposed to my old Sony which was far more "sensitive". Which is no bad thing- on more than one occasion my Sony would go into a page turning frenzy just because a cat hair or a dust particle had found its way onto the screen.
I haven't had the issue with the font size window appearing, but other forum users have IIRC. Its thought this is due to the device thinking that the user is pinch/zooming the screen rather than swiping it.
I'm sure that your mother will get used to her PW2, given some time.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:48 AM   #3
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You can also turn page by swiping gesture - I find this a more reliable way.
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:02 AM   #4
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The most common cause for a page turn not working is having another part of your hand already touching the screen.
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:08 AM   #5
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When I was evaluating the PW2 as a possible upgrade from the PW1 I ran into both problems. A thumb tap on the right sometimes did not turn the page. A slightly longer tap worked. And yes, I found that if you tapped the lower right hand corner you sometimes got the font size menu. Amazon will probably fix soon.
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:12 AM   #6
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And yes, I found that if you tapped the lower right hand corner you sometimes got the font size menu. Amazon will probably fix soon.
This is user error - there's nothing to fix. You'll get the font size menu if you do something that the PW interprets as a two-finger pinch or zoom on the screen (try it and see).
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:14 AM   #7
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If you can, I would watch how your mom holds and uses the device. If she swipes, she can try tapping and if she taps she can try swiping. When the font changes, the Kindle thinks there was a two-fingered pinch. If the problem is "extra fingers" touching the screen, you might get a case so she has more area to hold onto.

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Old 11-15-2013, 09:46 AM   #8
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I do not believe that the problem is likely to be user error. If there is anything that this forum has shown us is that slight variations occur between the same model devices. If yours have not manifested the symptoms while it is smart to consider user error, don't assume that is the problem. In my testing there was a slight sensitivity difference in how the PW2 handles screen input. I have had a PW1 from day one and I am very familiar with screen control. The PW2 would randomly interpret a thumb tap in the lower right hand corner as a font command. I don't know what causes it, if there is a fluctuation or unnoticed re-tap or what but no other finger needed to be on the screen. The PW2's intermittent failure to recognize a quick right(forward) tap on occasion also happened. In the short time that I tested the unit I noticed both effects.

Last edited by Stingo; 11-15-2013 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stridr View Post
Last weekend I gave the Kindle to my Mom and showed her how to use it. I just checked in to see how things are going with it. She has two complaints.
-- She says that when she touches the right side of the screen to turn the page, it won't turn, and she'll have to touch it sometimes 3-4 times before anything happens.
-- She also says that sometimes when she is trying to turn the page by touching the area in the lower right corner the font will suddenly get very small and/or the options menu will pop up even though she is NOT touching the area near the top of the screen.
The Kindle Paperwhite (both 1 and 2) use capacitive touchscreens, similar to those on modern smartphones. Capacitive touch is very easy to use because it doesn't require pressure to be applied (unlike so called resistive touchscreens), but it does require conducting electricity and that can result in two kinds of issues:

1) If the touching instrument isn't conducting electricity, the touch won't register.

2) If there is something else conducting electricity on the screen, the screen might register two or more touch points instead.

The first angle affects mainly women, because fingernails don't conduct electricity - and in most cultures long fingernails are usually in the female domain. If you mother has long fingernails, she can't use those to click the screen - ask her to use her fingertips instead or consider buying a capacitive stylus that has a soft conducting tip. (Very few touch smartphones work with long fingernails, Nokia Lumia is one of the rare ones with new supersensitive screens.)

The second point goes the cleanliness, possible products used on hands and how the device is held. Make sure your mother doesn't hold the device in a way that the touch screen gets pressed from multiple points - she needs to hold it from the bezel, not from the screen. It sounds like the text getting smaller is an accidental pinch to zoom (out) where two touch-points have registered. Also, again something that might affect women more often than men in our culture, if she uses some products on her hands/skin, that might leave residue on the screen, those can leave "ghosts" on the screen - one can try to drop a few droplets of water (very conductive) on a capacitive touch screen and see how it goes berserk.

Finally, Kindle Paperwhite 2 has an options menu that comes when swiping upwards from the bottom, so that gesture has actually registered correctly it sounds.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:24 AM   #10
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I do not believe that the problem is likely to be user error. If there is anything that this forum has shown us is that slight variations occur between the same model devices. If yours have not manifested the symptoms while it is smart to consider user error, don't assume that is the problem.
The reason I believe that the most likely cause is user error is simply because I experienced exactly the same issues myself when I first used a touch-screen Kindle (the Kindle Touch). If you're not used to a touch screen device (the KT was my first one) it takes a bit of practice to avoid such things.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:31 AM   #11
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The reason I believe that the most likely cause is user error is simply because I experienced exactly the same issues myself when I first used a touch-screen Kindle (the Kindle Touch). If you're not used to a touch screen device (the KT was my first one) it takes a bit of practice to avoid such things.
I agree user error sounds like the most likely explanation in this case, because the symptoms sounds like fairly classic problems with touchscreens.

Just to be safe, I must mention Kindle Touch uses a different type of touchscreen as PW1/PW2, it uses infrared and thus isn't susceptible to the exactly same kinds of issues as capacitive touchscreens. I believe you could, for example, use a Kindle Touch screen with your fingernails whereas you couldn't reliably use a PW especially with long fingernails.

Of course defective touchscreens ARE out there. But what suggests to me that is not the case here, is that the OP used it for 1.5 weeks without issues and only the second user encountered issues (and ones that sound like quite usual capacitive touchscreen user errors).
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:42 AM   #12
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I do not believe that the problem is likely to be user error. If there is anything that this forum has shown us is that slight variations occur between the same model devices. If yours have not manifested the symptoms while it is smart to consider user error, don't assume that is the problem. In my testing there was a slight sensitivity difference in how the PW2 handles screen input. I have had a PW1 from day one and I am very familiar with screen control. The PW2 would randomly interpret a thumb tap in the lower right hand corner as a font command. I don't know what causes it, if there is a fluctuation or unnoticed re-tap or what but no other finger needed to be on the screen. The PW2's intermittent failure to recognize a quick right(forward) tap on occasion also happened. In the short time that I tested the unit I noticed both effects.
PW2 according to launch info has a different touchscreen than PW1, although both are capacitive, so obviously PW2 and PW1 are expected to behave a little differently. And between two units, and two different times, who knows if something conductive was left on the screen, some residue that needed to be wiped off. Also, PW2 has new gestures that PW1 doesn't have, such as swipe up from the bottom.

Defective touchscreens are of course possible, and do happen on gadgets from time to time, but that is not the only (or probably even the likely) reason.
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:15 PM   #13
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I have a PW1, not a PW2, but I did have to adjust quite a bit to the touch screen. I came from a K3. I use a prepaid old iphone as my phone and it was my first touch screen gadget. I still struggle to make it "read" my fingers.

We have ipads in the house that cause me issues, my husband has none. I don't have as many issues with my fire HD for some reason.

Now I am almost used to the PW touch screen, but I too had to peck at the screen a few times to make pages change. Maybe peck isn't the right word. According to hubby, he watched me and he can't see anything wrong that I do. I have no long fingernails due to being a life long biter and also a guitar player. So that is not it.
We have determined that I am somehow touch screen challenged. Is there some weird body chemistry that can cause that? Or am I just, um weird.

But yeah, 2 fingers on the PW will bring up the size menu, that one I don't have any issues. For me its more making the screens react at all to my touch.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:44 AM   #14
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Now I am almost used to the PW touch screen, but I too had to peck at the screen a few times to make pages change. Maybe peck isn't the right word. According to hubby, he watched me and he can't see anything wrong that I do. I have no long fingernails due to being a life long biter and also a guitar player. So that is not it.
Has the guitar playing hardened your finger tips? Capacitive touch screens rely on the changes of capacitance conductive materials on the screen surface generate. If the finger has been insulated, be it by nail, glove or perhaps even hardened skin, it might not conduct electricity sufficiently. Of course since the touchscreens on different devices have different sensitivities, some work just fine, when others might fail.

That said, it isn't hard to imagine age might do the same in the question of OP's mother, if she is older. Older skin might be harder etc.?

Last edited by fearindex; 11-17-2013 at 10:47 AM.
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