Amazon often pushes out firmware updates and activates new features at a later date. Various Kindle models such as the Paperwhite, Oasis and the entry level Kindle are now able to display ebook cover art on the lock screen, when the e-reader is sleeping. This is the type of feature that people have been asking for over a decade and one of the main reasons people end up jailbreaking their Kindle.
Any Kindle that is running the 5.13.5 firmware will be eligible to display book covers on their e-reader. What covers will it display? From early reports it will show the ebook you are currently reading. It works with content purchased from Amazon, but also sideloaded ebooks too.
You can check to see if the feature is activated on your Kindle by going to the settings menu and clicking on device options and there should be a new field that says “display cover,” make sure it is checkmarked. If you have 5.13.5 and aren’t seeing the option yet, try restarting your Kindle and it should appear once the reboot sequence is over.
Will ebook cover art work with people who own the Special Offers Edition of the Kindle? This is a program where you can buy a new e-reader and save money, and Amazon displays adverts on the home screen and lock screen. It remains to be seen if cover art on the sleep screen will work on these models or if you have to pay the $20 to remove Special Offers.
Amazon is apparently slowing pushing the cover art update to international markets first, at the time of publication people in India, Mexico and other countries have verified it is working. It is only a matter of time before the feature is available in Canada, United States and United Kingdom. I would recommend to keep checking your e-reader every day and drop a comment below, if you have book covers functionality enabled and what country you live in.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten 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.