A software update for Kindle Touch devices has just been released. The update will be distributed directly to e-readers via Wi-Fi in the coming weeks, but users can download it right now at Amazon and then transfer it to their Kindle Touch using a usb cord. The update brings the Kindle Touch firmware up to version 5.1.0.
Major changes accompany the update including:
- Support for languages other than English, including German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese
- Instant translation of highlighted text to another language
- The ability to switch between landscape and portrait mode, even while in books and PDFs
- New formatting and layout improvements
- Extended sharing options that will allow users to comment to Facebook or Twitter from anywhere in a book
Though the software update won’t turn a Kindle Touch into a Kindle Fire, the Touch still supports many cool features. And at only $99, it’s an e-reader that’s hard to beat unless you abhor all types of Digital Rights Management (DRM).
The new feature that seems most exciting is the intant translation support. It will allow readers to tap or highlight text and have it translated into another language instantly using Bing’s translator. The dictionary on Kindles has always been a godsend while reading books from authors who have an extensive vocabulary (China Miéville, I’m looking at you), so this new translation feature will certainly help reading comprehension in cases where authors love to mix in foreign phrases. Sadly for science fiction and fantasy fans, though, I doubt the feature will translate Sindarin or Klingon into English.