Amazon just announced a software update for the $79 Kindle, the least-expensive of its dedicated e-readers, including changes that the company says will improve the experience of reading on the device.

The update will be delivered automatically to these Kindles in the coming weeks, according to the company.

Here’s the rundown on the update from Amazon.

  • Improved reading font that is higher contrast and crisper so that you can enjoy a paper-like reading experience.
  • Parental Controls that allow you to restrict access to the Experimental Web Browser, Archived Items, and the Kindle Store.
  • Support for books with complex layouts and formats with Kindle Format 8.
  • Support for children’s books with Kindle Text Pop-Up and comic books with Kindle Panel View (which allows you to read a comic book panel by panel). Books that support these features will be available in the Kindle store over the next few weeks.
  • Dictionaries grouped into a collection in Home and Archived Items called “Dictionaries” for better organization.
  • Improved table and image viewing (panning and zooming) on supported titles.

The company is also offering the option for a manual download, available here.

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  • Johnathon_Fitzpatrick

    I tried out the new update today. Screen doesn’t look any better and you can’t just turn off the WiFi anymore (to save on battery power). Used to be from any screen you could pull up the menu and turn it off. Now you have to go into settings and enable ‘airplane mode’, something I’ve never understood since airlines never seem to go along with it. Now I have to stare at a useless airplane logo while I read. Do they test these updates first??

    • Guest

      Thanks. I was going to load it and you saved me from a headache.

    • Todd Bishop

      Thanks for being a beta tester, @jjtweets:twitter :)

      • Johnathon_Fitzpatrick

        Hey, how ’bout that! Glad to be the guinnea pig. Just super-glad you’re posting such focused, device-specific info like this.

    • Guest

      I actually like the new font/readability and the little airplane doesn’t bother me. I guess it’s personal preference.

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