More features will be added later this year.
The latest software upgrade for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader includes a big interface change. The update modifies the home screen, library view, and settings to make it easier to access certain features. More interface improvements are on the way later this year.
The update (version 5.13.7) is for eighth-generation Kindles or above and seventh-generation or newer Kindle Paperwhite models. That includes most Kindles released over the last few years. Amazon says the update is rolling out over the coming weeks.
Amazon touts the new ability to access the brightness, airplane mode, and settings menus more quickly by just swiping down from the top of the screen. You can also switch between the home screen, library, and a book through a navigation feature at the bottom of the screen.
According to Ars Technica’s analysis, a search bar now replaces the top row of buttons. The home screen and library are incorporated into a two-tab design. Menus throughout the Kindle operating system are smaller now. Going to “Device Info” will now tell you exactly which model your Kindle device is. The update is the first modification of Kindle’s interface since 2016.
Amazon said it will update the library with additional filters, sorting menus, a collections view, and an interactive scroll bar later this year. Users will also be able to more easily access their 20 most recently read books from the home screen.
Amazon informed consumers earlier this year that some older Kindle models that rely on 2G and 3G wireless will lose internet access when those technologies are phased out. It might happen as soon as later this year. Following that, those older Kindles will only be able to transmit information over wired connections. Depending on which model of older Kindle you own, Amazon is offering either a free 10th generation Kindle Oasis or a discount on many of the other recent models.