Firmware is the software that runs your Kindle device, and Amazon periodically updates this firmware wirelessly with fixes and new features.
If you keep the wireless turned on in your Kindle device, you most likely have the current firmware already. Here's how to tell which firmware version you have. (The instructions are for Kindle Touch; the steps are similar for other Kindle versions.)
- From the home screen, press Menu, then Settings.
- From the Settings page, press Menu again.
- Under Device Info, you'll see your firmware version. My firmware version is Kindle 5.1.2 (16795300004).
How do I know if this is the most up-to-date firmware?
The easiest way is to go to Amazon's Kindle software update page: http://www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates.
From there, click on your model of Kindle, and a page will appear with current firmware versions. For Kindle Touch, the latest version listed in 5.1.2... so I know my Kindle Touch is up to date, through the magic of Amazon's WhisperNet!
If you're not connected wirelessly, you can also download the firmware and install it to your Kindle from your PC. The page linked above has instructions on doing so.
Thanks to KindleBoards moderators Ann in Arlington and Linjeakel for the useful tips in our Tips, Tricks and Troubleshooting board!