Amazon developed a new home screen for the Kindle last year, and were pushed out to most Western countries. The new changes removed the icons at the very top of the screen, linking to services such as Goodreads, the Kindle Store, the back button and search. The search bar is now at the very top of the screen and the store is right beside it. Goodreads is now in the settings menu. It now shows the last few books you have 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 devoted to ebook discovery, with a slider bar on the side. It recommends books, based on your purchase history. The bottom UI now has two elements; home and library, in the middle of that is an icon of an open book, clicking on that, will take you directly to the book you are currently reading. One of the best aspects of the revised home screen, is if you own a Special Offers Edition, advertisements no longer show, just on the lock screen. Today, Amazon has just pushed out a new firmware update that brings the new home screen global.
The new Kindle firmware update 5.14.2 is ready and is being pushed out to all users. It will take a couple of weeks for it to reach all countries. It will only download and install if your Kindle is in sleep mode. When the update is downloaded, you will normally have to do a reboot in order for the changes to take effect. If you simply can’t wait for Amazon to push out the update in your region, you can head over to the Kindle Software Page and download it to your MAC or PC. Plugin the Kindle via USB and copy the file to the root directory. Next, unplug the USB cable, go to the settings menu and click on update.
Amazon is the only company in the e-reader space that has dramatically changed the home screen and entire UI of their e-readers. This is good, because it provides a fresh and modern experience. They have the deep pockets to allocate lots of engineering teams and graphics designers to make this possible. On the downside, not everyone likes the new experience, there is no way to downgrade firmware and you are stuck with the new update.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.