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Kindle Touch touchup: Here's the landscape mode you wanted

Software update version 5.1 for Amazon's Kindle Touch includes a landscape reading option, support for more languages, and a new instant translation feature.

Amazon has updated the firmware on the Kindle Touch to version 5.1.

Amazon has updated the firmware for the Kindle Touch to version 5.1 and it actually has a few significant feature enhancements, including one that a lot of folks have been clamoring for: a landscape reading mode.

When Amazon first released the Kindle Touch, some people were upset you couldn't turn the device horizontally and read with more words on a line (for people who read with larger font sizes, landscape reading makes a lot of sense). Landscape mode was available in the $79 non-touch Kindle but not the touch-screen step-up model, which starts at $99.

Also onboard is more language support and an instant translation feature that allows you to tap on a word and translate it to and from various languages. When you tap on a word, you first get its dictionary definition, then you have to click on the More button to access the translation option.

It seems to work fairly well, though it did stumble on a few words when I was using it. For instance, when I tried to translate "alive" into French I simply got "Alive" thrown back at me as the translation.

Click on image of feature list to enlarge. Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Your Kindle will eventually be updated automatically with the new firmware when you log onto a Wi-Fi network, but if you want to get it now, you can manually update the firmware by following the instructions on the Kindle software update page.