Earlier this week, my Fire HD 6 updated to OS 5.1.1 Bellini. I started to write a post on the topic, , but there didn’t seem to be a lot of fuss about it so I put it on hold. Today, however, I seem to be getting a lot of hits on an old Fire OS update post looking for information on the latest update for the tire Tablets. And, so….
Last December, Amazon said that they would provide an update to OS “Bellini” for older Fire tablets. That 5.1.1 update rolled out over the last week for a lot of people and there have been a lot of complaints. For the record, my own personal comment was “Yuck!” Add in the recent update for the Paperwhite and there are a lot of unhappy customers.
A look on the Amazon discussion forums shows some interesting threads on the topic:
Complaints range from anger at the change, tales of features not working to stories of children coming to their parents in tears because they can’t figure out what happened.
Personally, I can understand the frustration. The night before the update, I was reading a book on my Scribd app. The next day, it was like a totally different device. That’s one thing that doesn’t happen with a physical book.! It wasn;t that big of a shock for me because had already used the Bellini OS on the $49 Fire 7. If you are used to the older OS, it is quite different. I hate the fact that I have to be more careful abut swiping the lock screen now. The new OS is much more sensitive to where you swipe than the older version was.
In an unusual move for Amazon, they are allowing customers who own certain models to downgrade the OS back to the old version, OS 4. Check your Manage Your Content and Devices page to see if your model is eligible for the downgrade. (See photo.)
There are a couple of caveats, however. Downgrading involves a factory reset, meaning that you will lose everything on your Fire. Everything will have to be reinstalled from the cloud, so make sure you have synced and backed up all your personal documents. All your apps and anything sideloaded will have to be reinstalled.
Also be aware that your downgrade may not happen right away. You initiate the downgrade from the Manage Your Content and Devices page and it can take up to 72 hours. You must leave you device turned on with wi-fi enable and make sure your battery is charged at least 50%.
Amazon has a help page with instructions specifically for downgrading here. Even if you downgrade, you will still have the option to upgrade at a later time.
So, how do you feel about the update? Love it or hate it? Are you downgrading or deciding to live with it?