Amazon developed a new home screen for the Kindle last year and launched it in most Western countries. The new changes removed the icons at the top of the screen that refer to services like Goodreads, the Kindle Store, the back button, and search. The search bar is now at the top of the screen and the store is right next to it. Goodreads is now in the settings menu. It now shows the last few books you’ve opened or bought from the Kindle Store, with a link that takes you to the library. The vast majority of the home screen is now dedicated to searching for ebooks, with a slider on the side. It recommends books based on your purchase history. The bottom UI now has two elements; Home and library, in the center is an icon of an open book. Clicking on it will take you straight to the book you are reading. One of the best aspects of the revamped home screen is that if you own a Special Offers Edition, ads will no longer appear, only on the lock screen. Today Amazon just released a new firmware update bringing the new home screen globally.
The new Kindle firmware update 5.14.2 is ready and distributed to all users. It will take a few weeks to reach all countries. It will only download and install when your Kindle is in sleep mode. When the update is downloaded, you usually have to reboot for the changes to take effect. If you just can’t wait for Amazon to roll out the update in your region, you can go to the Kindle Software Page and download it on your MAC or PC. Connect the Kindle via USB and copy the file to the root directory. Next, disconnect the USB cable, go to the Settings menu and click Update.
Amazon is the only company in the e-reader space that has dramatically changed the home screen and overall user interface of its e-readers. That’s good because it offers a fresh and modern experience. They have the deep pockets to provide many engineering teams and graphic designers to make this happen. On the other hand, not everyone likes the new experience, there is no way to downgrade the firmware and you are stuck on the new update.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audio books and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.