Many users of Amazon's Kindle e-reader devices have received notices via e-mail reporting (or have secondarily heard about) a mandatory update they must install by 22 March 2016. This is no hoax: Kindle customers who still have non-recent versions of Kindle software on their e-readers have to download and install a software update by that date in order to continue downloading Kindle books from the Cloud, accessing the Kindle Store, and using other Kindle services on their device. Customers who don't update their devices by the deadline date may find themselves reading nothing but failure notices until they do:
Customers using an outdated software version on Kindle e-readers, or that have not connected wirelessly since October 5, 2015, require an important software update by March 22, 2016, in order to continue to download Kindle books and use Kindle services
Important: If you do not update your device by March 22, 2016, you will receive the following message on your device: Your Kindle is unable to connect at this time. Please make sure you are within wireless range and try again. If the problem persists, please restart your Kindle from the Menu in Settings and try again. If you see this message on your device on or after March 22, you will need to manually install the latest software update for your device.
"The update will ensure their device is operating with the latest software, and that it remains compliant with continuously evolving industry standard," Amazon spokesperson Kinley Pearsall said.
This update is not required for every model of Kindle, but only those from 2012 and older. Customers who act before the deadline will face a relatively easy task: Kindle models from 2010 to 2012 can be updated via Wi-Fi, and models from 2007 through 2009 can be updated via the devices' wireless connections. However, Kindle users who miss the deadline will have to update their e-readers manually, typically by downloading the software update to PC or other devices and connecting their Kindles to those devices with a USB cable.
For many users their Kindles will update automatically (or have already done so), but this process requires that the Kindles be connected to Wi-Fi in order to receive the latest software update.
Amazon's customer service website list the various versions of software that each Kindle model needs to have installed. The mandatory update issue affects the following models:
Kindle 1st Generation (2007)
Kindle 2nd Generation (2009)
Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009)
Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010)
Kindle 4th Generation (2011)
Kindle 5th Generation (2012)
Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011)
Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012)