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Old 02-19-2020, 07:29 AM   #1
hius07
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Firmware update 5.12.4

Version 5.12.4 – February 2020

Here’s what's new:

Aa Menu: Over the next couple of weeks, you will see an updated Aa menu that makes it easier to access all font, layout and reading options without leaving your book.

Performance improvements, bug fixes, and other general enhancements.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:59 AM   #2
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I'd love it if I could invert black and white without having to go through Settings and Accessibility!
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Aa Menu: Over the next couple of weeks, you will see an updated Aa menu that makes it easier to access all font, layout and reading options without leaving your book.
I examined firmware 5.12.4 and it has a number of changes related to the user interface update known internally as Kindle++. I assume that it what is being referenced by the above "What's New" item.

Here are some interesting things I found. I don't know when or if these features will be activated.
  • Options to control features like "Popular Highlights", "Word Wise", and "PinYin" moved to the Aa menu.
  • Contrast setting with 5 choices: -2, -1, 0, 1, 2
  • "Set the cover of the title you are reading to appear on your lock screen" (It's about time!)
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jhowell View Post
  • Contrast setting with 5 choices: -2, -1, 0, 1, 2
Wooow, maybe we are going to have some new screen tech soon, where you could adjust the contrast? It gives me the hope to have higher contrast screens.
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Old 02-19-2020, 01:58 PM   #5
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my sceptic nature and past experience suggests it's only settings to have poorer contrast.
The contrast is related to two things:
1) How opaque and white the milky liquid is of the cells with the black balls. Maybe the depth of the cells too.
2) How much reflected light is reduced by the light pipe, touch screen layers etc.

It's not improved hugely since Pearl and capacitive touch (rather than none or IR) and light pipe layer have both reduced apparent contrast under ambient reflected light compared to fresh copier paper.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:02 PM   #6
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Make sure you know which version your Kindle is
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custo...MQC26VQQMM8XSW
The PW3 is I think the Paperwhite generation 7 and may be the oldest with the 5.12.4
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
my sceptic nature and past experience suggests it's only settings to have poorer contrast.
The contrast is related to two things:
1) How opaque and white the milky liquid is of the cells with the black balls. Maybe the depth of the cells too.
2) How much reflected light is reduced by the light pipe, touch screen layers etc.

It's not improved hugely since Pearl and capacitive touch (rather than none or IR) and light pipe layer have both reduced apparent contrast under ambient reflected light compared to fresh copier paper.
The only thing this could be doing is adjusting rendering contrast. Character elements that are thinner than a pixel are probably gray rather than black. What likely gets adjusted is how much less than a full pixel gets rendered as black (and how much darker each lighter calculated shade gets rendered). Illustration contrast might also get stretched.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
Make sure you know which version your Kindle is
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custo...MQC26VQQMM8XSW
The PW3 is I think the Paperwhite generation 7 and may be the oldest with the 5.12.4
I think the Voyage predates the Paperwhite 3, and got the update. As far as I can tell,the 7th gen and newer got it except for the 7th gen basic.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:28 PM   #9
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Just installed 5.12.4 on a PW3, I can't see the difference on the Aa menu?
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.p.s View Post
Character elements that are thinner than a pixel are probably gray rather than black. What likely gets adjusted is how much less than a full pixel gets rendered as black (and how much darker each lighter calculated shade gets rendered).
Maybe I need a better magnifying glass. I can't see any grey pixels on text, though the font diagonals are smoother than the same publisher font on the Kobo Libra (both using Georgia embedded from Linux Mint by Calibre). I also examined diagonals on y on built in Futura.

Last edited by Quoth; 02-19-2020 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Font name
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:35 PM   #11
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It is suggested for these changes to appear in “a few weeks”, as stated by update note (AFAIK)
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:49 PM   #12
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Ah, the evil timed or OTA enabling of features in a firmware. Why don't they just test properly and then release in the normal fashion?

I remember this stupidity on the homepage Filter/Sort menus. It's a crazy way to change the GUI as then the change is unexpected.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:59 PM   #13
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I have an iffy suspicion that they push to in small batches, test it along the way, slightly debug it, so each next batch receives a better polished version of the new feature
I hope they iterate the whole line of batches again so that the first receivers receive the final version
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:39 PM   #14
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Well, I’m pathetic enough to be very excited about this!

Particularly having the book cover on the lock screen. I changed to a kobo for a while to get this, and also added the hack to older kindles to do this over the years, so it would be great to finally get this as a native feature.

It’s about time they brought the Aa menu back to being one press away instead of hidden a couple of clicks away as currently. I’m always tinkering with my fonts and sizes and orientation, depending on where I’m reading and what time of day it is. So that will make this less frustrating.

I’m pleased to hear they are adding a contrast adjustment, as bolding the font makes it thicker, which displeases me, so hopefully this will mean I can make the text slightly darker and not lose sharpness. Either that, or it is set up ready for new screen tech. It’s exciting, anyway.
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:41 PM   #15
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I have an iffy suspicion that they push to in small batches, test it along the way, slightly debug it, so each next batch receives a better polished version of the new feature
I hope they iterate the whole line of batches again so that the first receivers receive the final version
I've tried manual download of the firmwares upon initial release and later down the line and they're bit-for-bit identical so I don't think they polish it per se.

Amazon's probably just testing to see if bugs crop up. If no complaints, continue with the rollout. If there are complaints, stop rollout, fix the bug and start gradual rollout of the new firmware update (e.g. 5.12.4.1).
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