February 3, 2016

Amazon Updates Kindle Software

While we wait to see what the next Kindle Voyage might look like, Amazon has been hard at work on the software, releasing version 5.7.2.

Hot on the heels of the recent typography engine revamp, a new homepage experience is rolling out to the existing Kindle Voyage, latest two Paperwhites, and latest Kindle.

While it’s focused on bolstering the GoodReader integration and transforming the homepage experience into a better platform for content recommendations (it’s now very similar to the Kobo layout), there are a few other improvements worth mentioning.

For one thing, it’s now possible to share your favourite passages (via the highlight system) to Facebook, Twitter, and via email, which neatly leapfrogs Kobo’s Facebook-only social reach.

On the speed front, I can’t say I’ve noticed too much improvement in things like page turns and interface transitions, but then the 2015 Paperwhite has always been very quick. What has changed is the general design of the interface, which now features thinner lines and better information density that takes proper advantage of the higher resolution screens.

Amazon also adjusted the typography and reading display options, adding the OpenDyslexic font as well as a brand new ability to change the orientation of the screen from portrait to landscape. This last bit is a fascinating and, for me, unexpected addition that makes me wonder if we’ll be seeing different screen configurations on future e-ink Kindles.

Unfortunately, there’s still no option to display the cover image of your book when the Kindle is asleep. Maybe next time?

The update is rolling out over the air to eligible Kindles over the next few weeks, but if you’re impatient you can download and install it manually from the Amazon website.

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