How to manually update the Kindle Fire without a PC

Amazon’s(s amzn) promised software update for its Kindle Fire is now live and rolling out to devices over the air. I decided not to wait for the update, but wanted a totally mobile method to get the software installed. It’s actually fairly easy and requires just three things: a Kindle Fire(s amzn) (surprise!), a Wi-Fi connection, and a file manager application.

The software update, version 6.2.1, is available for download directly from Amazon here. Using the Kindle Fire’s web browser to navigate there, you’ll see a Download link. Tap the link to download the 182 MB file to your Fire, which will place it in the Downloads folder. Unfortunately, the update file needs to be in the KindleUpdates folder on the device; that’s where a file explorer application comes in handy.

Using Amazon’s AppStore on the Kindle, search for “file explorer” to see what third-party apps might help in this situation. I chose AndroXplorer, which was free, and installed it. With this app, or any other comparable file explorer software, it’s simply a matter of copying the update file from the Downloads folder to the KindleUpdates folder on the Fire. Note that both of these are actually sub-folders of the sdcard folder.

Once you’ve copied the downloaded update file to the appropriate folder, go into the Settings of your Kindle Fire. Tap the Device option, and you should now see the “Update your Kindle” button lit up. Tap it to update your Kindle Fire software, which should only take a few minutes. After the device reboots, you’re all set!

As far as the update itself, it addresses several of issues found in the Kindle Fire. For starters, the device is┬ánoticeably┬ámore responsive and easier to use with the carousel interface: icons snap into place much faster. You can also customize which icons appear in the carousel. And there’s a new password lock function that secures the device so kids and others can’t easily purchase items from your Kindle Fire. I’ve only just begun using the new software update, but so far, I think most Kindle Fire owners will see this update as an early holiday present.