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Old 05-17-2021, 06:57 AM   #16
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Amazon is the one company I know of that hides new features and randomly rolls them out instead of just allowing new features when the new firmware is installed.

I've never see Sony or Kobo do anything like that.
It is commonplace. Microsoft also do it. So does Google (both for Android and Chrome) and Mozilla for Firefox (though they eventually have a 'big bang' when they roll things out for everyone).

The only real difference is that Amazon doesn't document them at all (so people assume they are fully-baked features and get annoyed that they aren't available everywhere as soon as they start rolling out), while everyone else calls them 'trials' or 'tests' or something like that until they are rolled out for everyone (and also give people a way to manually turn them on if they want to, enrolling in the trial), so people don't get annoyed. Amazon could definitely learn from that.
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:00 AM   #17
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It is commonplace. Microsoft also do it. So does Google (both for Android and Chrome) and Mozilla for Firefox (though they eventually have a 'big bang' when they roll things out for everyone).

The only real difference is that Amazon doesn't document them at all (so people assume they are fully-baked features and get annoyed that they aren't available everywhere as soon as they start rolling out), while everyone else calls them 'trials' or 'tests' or something like that until they are rolled out for everyone (and also give people a way to manually turn them on if they want to, enrolling in the trial), so people don't get annoyed. Amazon could definitely learn from that.
I've never had features rolled out with Windows or Office. So what does Microsoft do?

I've also never had rolled out features for Firefox.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:23 AM   #18
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I've never had features rolled out with Windows or Office. So what does Microsoft do?
Microsoft are a major cloud provider (these days this is their most important business unit by a long way: Office is small beer by comparison). Their cloud services do this all the time.

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I've also never had rolled out features for Firefox.
It happens all the time. I guarantee it's happening now because they do this with every release. In any given release a bunch of new features appear, gated as experimental trials and turned off for all but a small proportion of users. In the next release more users get it, until the developers are satisfied that it really works and it is turned on for everyone: thus only a few users are exposed to stuff so new it might have serious bugs.

The only distinction from what Amazon does is that Mozilla flips the proportions of people in trials mostly when new releases happen, but since new releases for web browsers these days are so frequent and unheralded (usually happening automatically without user interaction), this is a distinction without a difference: most users don't know when their Kindles get a software update either, and Amazon's approach means they can decouple the bandwidth-hungry, disruptive, relatively rare update push from the new-features rollout cycle, and roll new features out without having to wait for a new update push just to adjust the proportions of people in (what they should call) the new-feature trial. They only need new releases to fix some of the bugs the trials uncovered.

What *is* probably true is that most new web browser features are imperceptible to normal users: the user interface may shift slowly over time but most of the changes are at the "platform" layer, visible only to web developers: so the real impact is that websites slowly get more capable (obviously, more slowly than the features they need are rolled out to the majority of browsers). The Kindle's "reboot and a dialog appears telling you about a new feature, which you unconciously dismiss before reading it and then can never get it back again" *is* clunky as hell, and there should be a better way to do that: but I'm fairly sure that gating new features on new releases and giving them to everyone at once would be no better, and likely quite a lot worse since now you can potentially break everyone at once.

But having perceptible feature changes appear magically like this does happen in Firefox too: FF has rolled out several major UI changes this way. Nobody seems to have minded much, except insofar as some people complain about every UI change no matter how minor.

As a counterexample, FF dropped old XUL extension support all at once for everyone, without a trial run as such (after a long deprecation period and then a period in which it was disabled by default), which caused screams of rage from people relying on the old way (and then they got used to it and the screams of rage die away again). I can't see that the screams would have been any more if this had been rolled out gradually. The old extensions still all disappeared, and then there was a period in which FF was buggier than usual as the new extension system bedded down. After this, Mozilla started making much greater use of trial runs: at least this way the new features work well once they're exposed to everyone, rather than exposing everyone to lots of nice fresh bugs.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:52 AM   #19
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Well, my Oasis (9th gen) *is* ad-free (though not initially purchased that way), have updated to the latest firmware and STILL no cover for sleep screen option.

I've synced it, left the WiFi on for two days now, restarted it, nothing.
I had to restart a couple of times following the FW update to get the current reading covers to show up.
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Old 05-17-2021, 04:21 PM   #20
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I had to restart a couple of times following the FW update to get the current reading covers to show up.

Thank you! I had just finished a book, bought the next in the series, decided I might as well try another restart while WiFi was on, and the feature finally showed up!

I have a Kobo, and mostly read on that device, so when I do go to the Kindle, I miss seeing my current read cover on the lockscreen.


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Old 05-18-2021, 02:08 PM   #21
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I think I may have noticed a change with 5.13.6: when reading a book and tapping to reveal options, the label for ‘go to’ has changed from ‘GO TO’ (upper case) to ‘Go To’ (mixed case). It’s the same for my Kindle with the UI in Russian.

We have waited years, years! for this feature.
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Old 05-18-2021, 02:27 PM   #22
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We have waited years, years! for this feature.
Yay! Huzzah! OMG! Awesome!
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Old 05-18-2021, 02:51 PM   #23
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We have waited years, years! for this feature.
Well, Rome wasn't built in a day!

All joking aside, I too noticed the "GO TO" change to "Go To", and the font looks like it might be just a bit smaller, but that could be an illusion due to the prior all caps.
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Old 05-18-2021, 03:02 PM   #24
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Well, Rome wasn't built in a day!

All joking aside, I too noticed the "GO TO" change to "Go To", and the font looks like it might be just a bit smaller, but that could be an illusion due to the prior all caps.
Yes the text will look smaller not being in all caps.
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Old 05-18-2021, 04:09 PM   #25
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I think I may have noticed a change with 5.13.6: when reading a book and tapping to reveal options, the label for ‘go to’ has changed from ‘GO TO’ (upper case) to ‘Go To’ (mixed case). It’s the same for my Kindle with the UI in Russian.

We have waited years, years! for this feature.
Hundreds of man-hours spent on that. I'm not joking.
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Old 05-19-2021, 05:58 AM   #26
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I really wish they would add the option to "open dictionary" to menus on Kindles. Currently, if you are in a book, to access the dictionary you have to first look up a word on the page, and if you do this a lot, you'll end up with lots of words needlessly added to your vocabulary builder list.
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:35 PM   #27
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Hundreds of man-hours spent on that. I'm not joking.
And more than likely not one of those hundreds of hours involved a Human Factors Engineer.
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:52 PM   #28
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I really wish they would add the option to "open dictionary" to menus on Kindles. Currently, if you are in a book, to access the dictionary you have to first look up a word on the page, and if you do this a lot, you'll end up with lots of words needlessly added to your vocabulary builder list.
I take it you use Vocabulary Builder, but you want to be able to see definition without highlighting them (because that adds them to VB list)?

But even if you could open the dictionary directly you would need to type the word to lookup, navigate to the definition, and then work your way back to the book. This seems awkward.

You can in fact use Search to open the dictionary by typing the word to search for and choosing Search everywhere option. Dictionary is one of the things that you can jump to. But it’s a lot of steps.

There is already an Open Dictionary option, when you highlight a word or phrase: it is found in the ‘more options’ (3 dot) menu. This will open the dictionary where you can see the full definition. The only issue is that it also adds the word to VB.

If you use VB, you are always going to need to review the word list regularly and dispose of unwanted words.

Perhaps Amazon could add a Vocabulary Builder option to make adding words explicit (select word, then Add to Vocabulary Builder option would appear) rather than implicit as it is now. Implicit is probably good for young readers and for learning a new language, but for people who select words for other reasons most of the time, explicit would be better.

For learning a language, it would be nice if there were separate lists for each language.

I do like the idea of Vocabulary Builder but it could use a number of improvements, starting with making it a platform feature (available on Kindle apps as well as Kindle devices) and syncing between devices.

Last edited by tomsem; 05-19-2021 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 05-21-2021, 01:12 AM   #29
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Question Root 5.13.6

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Old 05-21-2021, 03:19 AM   #30
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The cover for the sleep screen is only for the ad-free firmware.
I failed to mention, My Voyage is “Ad free”. Apologies.
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