Author Topic: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless  (Read 1694 times)

CaptnAndy

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Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« on: May 01, 2023, 04:20:24 AM »
I've been a insatiable reader for 70 years, but my vision has degraided to the point that I can't read most printed books. Kindle has been a blessing, since I could select the largest font and see well enough to read.

However, a recent update to my Kindle Fire HD 8 Fire OS 7.3.2.7, has reduced the maximum font size to either 6 or 7 pt, which I can't read. I spent a couple of hours unsuccessfully attempting to resolve the problem, before retrieving my backup Kindle (an older Paperwhite.) I found it too, had received a recent update, and now the font was too small for me to read.

If I can't fix this issue, I'll have to buy a non-Kindle tablet, which will allow me to set the font large enough to read.

In thinking about why Amazon would make such a problem, as an author with over 20 books on Amazon, I thought of an evil possibility.

What if, some Amazon bean counter had an idea of how to reduce Amazon's cost paid to authors for KDP page reads. By signifinatly reducing the maximum font size, a book will have fewer pages, and less KDP page reads.

I'm sure this is just a technical issue that will be resolved as soon as Amazom can correct it. We authors know that Amazon only has our best interests in mind, except maybe for that one bean counter...
When I read Heinlein's Stranger in a strange land, I Grokked, and the die was cast.
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       As a naval and military history buff, I also have written several books that feature warships, aircraft, airships, spacecraft, and military action.
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CaptnAndy

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2023, 04:46:43 AM »
PS: I just got of the phone with Amazon Kindle support. The font maximum size reduction is a "NEW FEATURE" of the latest Kindle updates. She told me that she would bring the problem to the Kindle update team, but couldn't say when or if the problem/FEATURE would be changed.
When I read Heinlein's Stranger in a strange land, I Grokked, and the die was cast.
       Many of my books are science fiction and donít include steam punk, fantasy, time travel, magic, elves or faeries.
       As a naval and military history buff, I also have written several books that feature warships, aircraft, airships, spacecraft, and military action.
       If Things Get Better With Age Then this 1944 model is Approaching Excellent.
 

PaulineMRoss

Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2023, 05:26:45 AM »
It's hard to imagine why Amazon would do this, when the adjustable font was one of the big selling points of Kindles. Why take away functionality?

I did some tinkering, and found that all four of the Kindle 'devices' I use still have biggenable fonts. That's two desktop apps (one on a laptop, one on a desktop), a Voyage and an Oasis. The latter two both go up to 14. This may just mean they haven't had the latest updates, of course. I do have an old Paperwhite, but it hasn't been used for so long that I doubt it's even on wifi any more, so it won't have been updated.

I sincerely hope Amazon fixes this pronto, or there will be a lot of upset people out there.

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CaptnAndy

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2023, 06:31:17 AM »
My font is still adjustable, but the largest is 6 or 7 pt. When Amazon support linked to my kindle, they said it was working correctly, as designed for the current update.
When I read Heinlein's Stranger in a strange land, I Grokked, and the die was cast.
       Many of my books are science fiction and donít include steam punk, fantasy, time travel, magic, elves or faeries.
       As a naval and military history buff, I also have written several books that feature warships, aircraft, airships, spacecraft, and military action.
       If Things Get Better With Age Then this 1944 model is Approaching Excellent.
 

Matthew

Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2023, 07:23:24 AM »
What if, some Amazon bean counter had an idea of how to reduce Amazon's cost paid to authors for KDP page reads. By signifinatly reducing the maximum font size, a book will have fewer pages, and less KDP page reads.
The settings a customer reads your book at will not affect the number of page reads you receive in Kindle Unlimited. Amazon determines a relatively magic value for the KENPC and assigns it to your book so that regardless of what device people are reading on, if they complete the entire book you will get paid for the same number of "pages" read. But they've changed the formula a few times so don't get too attached to it.

That said, I hope they fix the issue for you. I have no idea why they would limit an accessibility feature like that. I know someone with limited vision and even large print books (those few that exist) are too small.
 
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Jeff Tanyard

Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2023, 07:58:59 AM »
Sorry to hear that, Andy.  I hope you find a satisfactory solution, whatever that may be.


...biggenable...


I'm filing this word away in my mind for future use.   Grin
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CaptnAndy

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2023, 08:10:53 AM »
What if, some Amazon bean counter had an idea of how to reduce Amazon's cost paid to authors for KDP page reads. By signifinatly reducing the maximum font size, a book will have fewer pages, and less KDP page reads.
The settings a customer reads your book at will not affect the number of page reads you receive in Kindle Unlimited. Amazon determines a relatively magic value for the KENPC and assigns it to your book so that regardless of what device people are reading on, if they complete the entire book you will get paid for the same number of "pages" read. But they've changed the formula a few times so don't get too attached to it.
someone with limited vision and even large print books (those few that exist) are too small.

As an author with all 24 of my books on KDP, I hope that is still true. I'm not waiting until they fix this, I just ordered an Android Tablet to be able to read Kindle books.

 
When I read Heinlein's Stranger in a strange land, I Grokked, and the die was cast.
       Many of my books are science fiction and donít include steam punk, fantasy, time travel, magic, elves or faeries.
       As a naval and military history buff, I also have written several books that feature warships, aircraft, airships, spacecraft, and military action.
       If Things Get Better With Age Then this 1944 model is Approaching Excellent.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2023, 10:40:03 AM »
This is terrible, and it's all of a piece with Amazon's megalomania. I suppose there's no way to turn off updates? That what I do with Apple and Microsoft and Adobe, too.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2023, 11:49:09 AM »
Can you do a factory reset on the device? If so, it might restore the original version. Then just don't update it until they fix the issue.

Otherwise, as far as I can tell the Kindle app on other devices hasn't been changed. My Ipad mini is unchanged, and I'm using a large font on that. (expensive though).
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Lynn

Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2023, 12:03:25 PM »
I think it's all planned obsolescence. Instead of leaving these older models alone, they push out updates that aren't supported and then shrug it off when customers complain.

When one of my last Kindles died with a black screen after an update, I just migrated to a tablet (and my phone). I shelved all my Kindles and my Nook, too. I don't even buy my books from Amazon any longer. It's much easier to get books elsewhere when you're not locked in with a retailer's device. I like epubs, which you can get from almost every other retailer out there. They're portable, easily saved, and easy to transfer between devices and e-reading software. One piece of software goes to crap, I just download another and keep reading. :D
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2023, 12:09:45 PM »
The mention of phone is also a good one now.

The Kindle app on my Android phone is actually readable now. Large font on there actually works now.
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writeway

Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2023, 02:11:50 PM »
Sorry this is causing you issues. I have a Kindle Fire and wear glasses but so far haven't had any issues. I think my Kindle Fire is an 8. I really have to check but I think so. If there was an update. I saw no difference. I'd give Amazon feedback. People think they don't listen but if you are having this issue then others are too and Amazon needs to be aware. Also, check around for any apps you can download that might make words larger, etc. They have an app for everything so I'm sure they have apps to make it easier for folks with vision issues to read.

As for them doing this to not pay authors in KU, they don't have to do this. We don't even know how many page reads we get. Only Amazon knows this so they don't have to change anything. They can easily just put up any random amount of page reads on how dashboards and how would we know or be able to prove what is what with no way to know our reads? Now if it was like the old KU with borrows where we knew how many, then you can tell if stuff matches up. But when Amazon is the only one who sees the reads anyway, they don't have to do fishy things to the devices. They can just report any amount of reads they want because again, no way of us to know how many reads we get.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2023, 02:13:56 PM by writeway »
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2023, 02:42:47 PM »
If you are in the U.S. and give Amazon feedback over this issue, you might want to mention that small fonts are not ADA compliant.

I don't know if the ADA covers Kindle devices, but it might get their attention since Amazon has been sued over ADA compliance in the past for their website.
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2023, 11:45:56 PM »
I think the ADA compliance point is a good one to explore. It may be because I spent so many years working in Beverly Hills, but my first reaction to a lot of things these days is, "Sue the b*stards!" At the very least, advocates for people with visual issues would probably be willing to make a ruckus over it. Like most big companies, Amazon isn't fond of bad press. They fix things much faster when the media turns them into scandals. The first Amazon attempt to clean up the review system happened only after the issue started making headlines.

I can confirm that the Kindle App for the PC still has a full range of font sizes. It doesn't identify a point size, but at the maximum one, there are only about twenty words on the screen, so I'm sure it would be large enough. It's worth noting that the app often doesn't perform in the same way the Kindle does, so it's possible it won't get that kind of update.



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Vijaya

Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2023, 12:50:24 AM »
I think it's all planned obsolescence. Instead of leaving these older models alone, they push out updates that aren't supported and then shrug it off when customers complain.

Yup. So far my kindle hasn't updated so I can still read on it. But I'm thinking I should get the phone app as a backup. I already spend enough time on the computer so don't want to do my leisure reading there.

CaptnAndy, I hope Amazon fixes it so you can enjoy your kindle reading again.


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CaptnAndy

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2023, 01:31:11 AM »
Thanks for all the feedback and helpful suggestions (particularly the ADA compliance one). My ne Android 12 tablet will be here today.
When I read Heinlein's Stranger in a strange land, I Grokked, and the die was cast.
       Many of my books are science fiction and donít include steam punk, fantasy, time travel, magic, elves or faeries.
       As a naval and military history buff, I also have written several books that feature warships, aircraft, airships, spacecraft, and military action.
       If Things Get Better With Age Then this 1944 model is Approaching Excellent.
 

Gessert Books

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2023, 06:46:50 AM »
Does it do this for multiple books? Something else seems likely to be a factor, because 6pt text would be near illegible to most anyone, and is only a few points removed from security microprint. Does the font size change at all? Can you make it even smaller?
 

elleoco

Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2023, 11:44:07 AM »
Something else seems likely to be a factor, because 6pt text would be near illegible to most anyone, and is only a few points removed from security microprint.

Size 6 font on a Kindle isn't the same as 6 pt. It's the Kindle's very own sizing. You'd have to get down to 2 or maybe even 1 on a Kindle to get the equivalent of 6 pt.

My Oasis and Paperwhite both still have the full font scale, but mine are always slow to update so this latest foolishness is probably coming. I hate almost everything about what they did in the update that changed the Home screen and a lot else. It was like someone decided to make everything you do require more steps.
 
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Gessert Books

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2023, 12:37:06 PM »
Something else seems likely to be a factor, because 6pt text would be near illegible to most anyone, and is only a few points removed from security microprint.

Size 6 font on a Kindle isn't the same as 6 pt. It's the Kindle's very own sizing. You'd have to get down to 2 or maybe even 1 on a Kindle to get the equivalent of 6 pt.

My Oasis and Paperwhite both still have the full font scale, but mine are always slow to update so this latest foolishness is probably coming. I hate almost everything about what they did in the update that changed the Home screen and a lot else. It was like someone decided to make everything you do require more steps.

Right, but OP isnít talking about a font setting of 6 on a sliding scale, theyíre saying the maximum font size on that scale  now renders something that looks to be equivalent to either 6 or 7 pt  type. And that the problem is happening with multiple devices.

Granted, both devices got an update, but since one was a tablet and the other was an e-ink device (the latter not in regular use, so a backlogged update unsurprising), it wouldnít be the same update. Made  me wonder if it might be a problem with the book.
 

Luke Everhart

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2023, 12:39:58 PM »
Does it do this for multiple books? Something else seems likely to be a factor, because 6pt text would be near illegible to most anyone

I can read 6pt font without trouble. 5pt is still clear but is small enough that it slows down reading a bit. 4 pt is illegible to me. But yeah for older people or those with slightly compromised vision it would be a pita I'm sure. ...Yeah I know my comments aren't helping the OP just pointing out it's not THAT tiny but nobody (myself included) would want to read 400 pages of it 😒

👉Ok here is a kinda useful thing, though. Check out this visual reference (just for fyi) on font sizes to see how small you can read

https://www-archive.mozilla.org/newlayout/testcases/css/sec526pt2.htm
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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2023, 11:21:15 PM »
It's not so much the specific size as it is taking choices away from readers and calling it a feature.

The best strategy is for everyone with a kindle device who has this issue to start bombarding Amazon with complaints. Amazon may not pay much attention to author complaints, but it pays more to customer complaints, particularly if large numbers complain about the same issue.


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Crystal

Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2023, 05:02:26 AM »
Something else seems likely to be a factor, because 6pt text would be near illegible to most anyone, and is only a few points removed from security microprint.

Size 6 font on a Kindle isn't the same as 6 pt. It's the Kindle's very own sizing. You'd have to get down to 2 or maybe even 1 on a Kindle to get the equivalent of 6 pt.

My Oasis and Paperwhite both still have the full font scale, but mine are always slow to update so this latest foolishness is probably coming. I hate almost everything about what they did in the update that changed the Home screen and a lot else. It was like someone decided to make everything you do require more steps.

Yeah, but 6 isn't that big... doesn't the Kindle go up to 12 or 13? I keep my size in the middle sih, but I often raise it. I get eyestrain headaches and I keep everything at about 125-150% on all my devices.

I'm not sure what Kindle I have TBH and it had the full scale last I checked, but it doesn't allow me to zoom in on graphics. It's got e-ink so I understand that it might just not be capable, but it is frustrating. I rarely read print books for the same reason. I *can* read them but they give me a wicked headache, usually.
 

Maggie Ann

Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2023, 04:18:59 AM »
I rarely read on my Kindle Voyage or my Fire tablet. I read on my phone. I carry it with me at all times; at home, doc's appts, shopping, sitting with my dog on the yard.

CaptnAndy, have you checked into cataract surgery? You're about the same age as me when I had the surgery. My eye doc said to come in and schedule it when I had trouble reading. I did and magically, I can read without glasses most times.
           
 

CaptnAndy

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Re: Both My Kindles Are Now Useless
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2023, 05:29:07 AM »
I had both catracks repllaced 3 years ago, and I also have Mac D & Glocoma. No treatment is available to improve things.
I had to go to a big screen monitor to keep writing. I just have to do the best I can.
When I read Heinlein's Stranger in a strange land, I Grokked, and the die was cast.
       Many of my books are science fiction and donít include steam punk, fantasy, time travel, magic, elves or faeries.
       As a naval and military history buff, I also have written several books that feature warships, aircraft, airships, spacecraft, and military action.
       If Things Get Better With Age Then this 1944 model is Approaching Excellent.