OPINION: Amazon announced this week that it will introduce an all-new user interface for its excellent range of Kindle e-readers.
This is great news, especially since the software update looks like it takes away the slightly unintuitive interface that has been on the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Oasis for a few years now.
The new user interface, which will begin rolling out “soon,” aims to make it easier for you to access books and audiobooks. There’s a hefty search bar at the top, a tab that lets you switch between Home and Library, and an updated quick settings menu.
While the update hasn’t made it to my beloved Kindle Oasis yet, the images released by Amazon certainly show a much more modern interface. It is much more rounded and a bit more like a smartphone OS.
The software is good, the hardware is better
While I appreciate this update, I really need a new version of the Kindle. Both the current Kindle Oasis and the budget Kindle were introduced in 2019, while the Paperwhite received its last update back in 2018.
2019 may not seem like a long time ago, but it’s important to note that the latest Kindle Oasis was nothing more than a very minor update to the 2017 model. All that has been added is a warmer display; no design updates or feature improvements.
The Kindle range doesn’t have to be updated by Amazon every year, as it does with its Echo devices, but there really should be enough innovation for at least some models to update faster than they do now.
The Kindle Oasis, for example, feels dated with its micro USB port when USB-C can be found on just about every other device. It’s also pretty slow, especially when you factor in the £ 229.99 price tag.
The Kindle Paperwhite may benefit from the warm light feature introduced in Oasis 2019 and thinner bezels, while the budget Kindle is hard to recommend for everyone as it lacks backlighting.
But I really want Amazon to bring the Kindle Voyage back. It was like a combination of Oasis and Paperwhite, with a better design and real buttons to turn pages.
The tempting update will be a modern iteration of Voyage, which is similar in size to the Paperwhite, with features like Audible support, a warmer display, and USB-C. Especially if it is sold at a lower price than Oasis.
Since two years have passed since the last round of Kindle updates (three for the Paperwhite), there is every chance that we will be able to see new devices announced by the end of 2021. Rumors and leaks about new Kindles remain weak, however there is talk of 6.8-inch displays going into mass production. it could have been for Paperwhite 5.
The Kindle remains one of my favorite tech gadgets, but all current models can indeed be updated. Hopefully it’s Black Friday and Christmas shopping season, I will grant my wish.