A while ago I wrote about my personal experience as a non-US Kindle user.
Today Amazon released the Kindle firmware version 2.3, a significant update which amongst minor fixes brings extended battery life to the international version of the device.
With wireless sync switched on you can now read for a full week, switching it off allows you to use your Kindle for 14 days without recharging.
Version 2.3 adds native support for Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF).
The service did always allow you to email documents to your personal @kindle.com address created specifically for this purpose. This worked quite well with PDF documents, too. However, as these files got converted to the native Kindle format, more complex documents occasionally were not displayed correctly.
With the now built-in native PDF reader, these problems are solved.
Another addition: A new option in the “text” menu allows you to manually lock the screen rotation. This helps a lot when you’re reading books with lots of diagrams that might fit better into a landscape orientation than the default portrait one.
Unfortunately the pretty restrictive contracts with mobile carriers that provide the world-wide data connectivity for the Amazon’s sync services seem to not have changed. While the US version of the Kindle allows you to browse the Web, opening The Next Web in the German version still yields an error: “Due to local restrictions, web browsing is not available for all countries.”
Kindles are supposed to automatically check and update their firmware. In case your Kindle doesn’t show Version 2.3 in Settings, instructions to manually upgrade are available.