by Jason Snell
New Kindle software update revises home screen
The E-Ink Kindle screen interface is largely unchanged since the first-generation Kindle was released in late 2007. At least until today, when Amazon released a software update for the Kindle Paperwhite, Voyage, and Kindle (2014) models.
A bunch of the new features aren’t at all interesting to me, since they involve recommendations—essentially, the space on your Kindle home screen that Amazon uses to try to sell you more books. A large amount of the redesigned screen is devoted to recommendations and your own wishes for future book purchases. It really enhances the feeling that Amazon is constantly trying to get you to buy more Kindle books.
Fortunately, you can turn off recommendations, which I did. The fancy graphics disappear when you do this, but the entire interface has still been overhauled. There’s a new typeface that’s absolutely gorgeous on the high-resolution screen of my Kindle Voyage. There’s a new toolbar at the top of the screen, which gives you direct access to common commands—toggling Airplane Mode, forcing a content sync, and adjusting the lighting—with a single tap. There’s also an updated sharing feature that shares a highlighted quote, with a web preview of the book. (All the better, again, for Amazon to sell more Kindle books.)
Still, it’s great to see Amazon updating the Kindle software, and on a more regular basis.