The New Kindle Homescreen Sucks, It’s Just One Big Ad


New Kindle Homescreen

The new homescreen layout that was introduced with the latest Kindle software update sucks, and it sucks bad. It’s the worst homescreen I have ever seen on any device ever. Sorry to be blunt folks, but that’s how I feel.

I’m surprised there aren’t more people complaining about how bad the new homescreen layout is. All it is is one big advertisement that unsubtly tries to sell you more stuff from Amazon every single time you look at it.

You get one little corner that shows the content that’s actually on your Kindle, three measly titles that occupy about 1/3 of the homescreen.

The remaining 2/3 of the homescreen isn’t “your” homescreen at all. It’s Amazon’s big giant ad designed to get you to buy more stuff from Amazon.

Could you imagine if 2/3 of the homescreen on your tablet or computer was dedicated to selling you products from Microsoft or Apple? No one would stand for that for 2 seconds, but somehow Amazon can get away with it on a Kindle. It makes no logical sense. People are becoming way too accepting of ads on Kindles.

The pure shamelessness of it all is sickening. If I want to buy a new book I’ll decide what I want to choose on my own time; I don’t need Amazon or Goodreads telling me what to read and when to read it.

What really galls me is Amazon calls it a “personalized” homescreen. To me that means being able to customize your homescreen to your personal preference. But what it really means is a homescreen with your personalized shopping habits taking up more space than on-device content.

The homescreen is now more of an advertisement than it is an actual functional homescreen. It shows three books that you actually own and like eight that you don’t. It’s ridiculous.

Luckily the new homescreen layout can be turned off from the settings menu, but the option is buried like five layers deep.

To turn off the new adscreen homescreen layout, go to Settings > Device Options > Personalize Your Kindle > Advanced Options > Home screen View > Off.

You can still switch from cover view to list view as well but the location has changed. The option to use list view is now under the All Items sorting tab on the homescreen.

49 Responses to “The New Kindle Homescreen Sucks, It’s Just One Big Ad”

  1. Yeah I disabled it immediately. What’s ironic is I paid $20 more to remove special offers from my Paperwhite, yet now this home screen exists.

    So I guess special-offers Kindles with the new update basically have 2 layers of ads? I know this is how Amazon makes money and sells more ebooks, but that’s ridiculous. What’s next, banners and popups every 5th page turn or something?

  2. Sad to see & sadder still to comment that the same major step backwards applies to the new “advanced” search screen from Overdrive that the Pasadena, CA library system has adopted. I would guess it was “designed” by an ex-Amazon employee ūüôĀ

  3. I actually like the new homescreen.

  4. I don’t really mind it. Most of my Kindle’s life is focused on the current book anyway.

  5. Amen to that! I was waiting for quite awhile Amazon to bring some nice home screen but that’s just bullish! Not to mention that if you are outside Amazon market, the content on the screen is not even remotely related to you and even if it was I don’t want advertise on “MY HOMESCREEN” this is just ridiculous.

  6. While I find the new home screen an annoyance, I figure that is the price I pay for an inexpensive Kindle.

    Amazon sells the Kindle as a way to sell e-books and other Amazon merchandise. Thus we are “blessed” with the “Amazon is sure you want to buy something today” home screen.

    If I am not going to to a book on the home screen, I go to My Library.

    What I would like would be more font options, especially the option to make fonts bolder.

    • You call a $200 Voyage ‘inexpensive’? I get that this homescreen comes in a $70 Kindle 7, but not in a premium model.

      • I purchased a Kindle Touch for $30 after a Staples rebate. That IS inexpensive.

        • Again, read my previous answer. This homescreen is for all Kindles, including a $200 Voyage or a 4 year old Kindle Touch. Someone who pays for a Voyage shouldn’t have to put with a home screen that is 75% ads.

  7. I have gotten use to it and I like the new home screen.

  8. Thanks for letting us know it can be turned off. I don’t seem to have gotten the update on my Voyage yet, but if that screen had greeted me one day and I didn’t know it was optional, I would have been very unhappy with my “premium” reader.

    There are a lot of things I don’t miss about my original Nook Color, especially the weight, but I really do miss the home screen (where you could drag and drop whatever books you wanted), and file management. It’s a shame that we seem to be moving backwards in that regard.

  9. Anyone else seeing the most recent books is not working when you turn off this new homescreen? The book I am currently reading is not listed at the top when I exit out to the homescreen.

  10. One more reason I’m glad I own a Kobo instead.

    • Kobo does have something similar on the home screen with the Recommended tile but it is not as obtrusive. You can also dismiss the tile but it seems to reappear each time you sync to Kobo Desktop and has to be dismissed again.

  11. I agree with those who have turned off the screen and have kept the former version. It took me all of 2 seconds to decide it wasn’t for me. I didn’t want the Kindle with ads and I really don’t see much difference between the two. In this home screen
    the focus is limited to books. I can find enough to purchase on my own without the prompts. I do like
    having easier access to some of the controls
    like turning the wireless on and off.

  12. My voyage is up to date but I don’t see a homescreen. All I ever have is a list of my books. Maybe it’s because I don’t shop on my voyage? I shop from my phone.

    • I think this just means your Kindle hasn’t received the update yet. My Voyage has the wifi turned on all the time and hasn’t received it yet. (I check it often.) I suppose I could just download it. ūüôā

  13. I understand Nate’s problem with the home screen. However, I like the quick access to your latest read (a feature of Nook e-readers for some time). I just wish I could keep that and turn off the bottom recommendations; unfortunately there is no way to do that and keeping the latest read means keeping the recommendations.

    • Actually you can. Just set the sort by tab to recent and it will show the 6 most recently-read titles in cover view or 7 with list view (probably one more without the banner ad at the bottom).

      • Thanks – I think you mean that you can set your Kindle to your more recent items, after turning off the new home screen. However, doing that just mixes collections and single items in accordance to recent activity. I like to keep collections separate from uncategorised items, so it is not an option. The home screen, in my opinion, even with the recommendations, still offers the option to just select the last item you are reading and this keeps things simplified. Also, I don’t have special offers, so there is more screen estate. Further, I like Goodreads integration and recommend Kindle users give the website a try.

        • I do the same, LOVE Goodreads and just sort collections first with the new home page so I still have recent books. This solves the problem of having to open a collection to get the book you are currently reading.

  14. Thanks for letting us know there’s a way to turn it off. I never, ever shop on my e-ink devices so it’s a complete waste.

  15. I haven’t received the update as of yet on mine, but good to know theirs a way to disable It once It hits my Kindle.

  16. Nathan, I totally agree with your opinion on this home screen, and, what’s more, it looks almost exactly like the Nook Simple Touch home screen!!!! Blech! I am not updating my Voyage.

  17. Things like this are my reason to opt for an open Android eReader instead. The Kindle app still works without giving me much of a hassle, and the added effort opens up so many other possibilities.

  18. Thanks for your comments! I’ve just changed my homescreen to avoid the new ads.

    Even when I do enjoy Goodreads and usually buy e-books from Amazon, I don’t like the ads nor the new crowded layout.

    I find them distracting from the reading process.

  19. I like the new homescreen. The ads don’t bother me and I have found a few good reads I wouldn’t have known about that way.

  20. Thank You for telling us how to turn it off. I haven’t updated yet and I was scared that I’d be stuck with this crap. Amazon usually recommends books I already own a physical copy of, even books I bought directly from Amazon itself and not a third party seller. I periodically go through the list on the website to click the “I own it” checkbox, but it still rarely shows me anything new. I bought a Paperwhite (an Amazon product) and paid the extra $20 to get rid of ads. I shouldn’t have to drown in more ads because “they aren’t making enough money off of me.”

  21. Personally, I am a big fan of Amazon’s goodreads suggested books program and like that the new home screen gives it a new place to be. The suggestions are mutually helpful because it automatically asks to send samples and if you like the book, you buy it and they make money! Like other commenters have mentioned, The three books that I am reading are most important ant having them on the home screen is awesome because I always sort by collection. The new system allows me to have my recent reads and collections in front. Nice work Amazon! (although this home page is very, very similar to the nook glow-light!)

  22. I don’t like it AT ALL and I don’t even have the option to turn it off – I looked everywhere and there is no option for me.

  23. Luckily the new homescreen on brazilian Kindle devices (Paperwhite and Voyage) does not show ads. Actually I like this update.

  24. I actually don’t mind the home screen change. the reading list is fitting and a selection of my own books. the suggestions at the bottom are relevant (although I’m not sure if I’ll hop on recommendations that quickly) and overall it’s not a bad service that you can disable with a few taps if you don’t want it for whatever reason.

    One thing they SHOULD do and still haven’t which is what’s driving me away more than this home screen is allow people to use their own lock/poweroff images instead of these silly and drab stock photos of.. fountain pens and printer’s letters… Talk about not being able to have your device be yours? that’s an example. I’d love to see Apple or Microsoft deciding what people can have as their lockscreen image. Nope.

  25. No No!
    They aren’t advertisements for books they want to sell you, they are ‘recommendations’ for you!
    Amazon loves us, and wants us to be happy!

    I already amended my review at Amazon to reflect their latest scam to sneak advertisements back in after paying not to have them.
    Amazon is getting worse every day.
    Why do the idiotic geeks keep adding more and more garbage?
    Keep It Simple Stupid!!!

  26. I don’t like the homepage, but my main problem is with the list: It used to be that I just saw my collections and the few books or magazines that I’d bought or side-loaded.

    Now the list has EVERYTHING on the kindle. Blech — 57 screens of stuff to find what I want, ignoring all my work with collections. Does anyone know a way to get back to the old list style, or not show things that are in collections?

  27. Thanks for the article! I actually did complain. I also sent it to jeff@amazon.com, did get a reply from some executive, useless of course. So if you complain make sure to include Jeff Bezos. I turned the home page off, I could have lived with that, my problem was that you are left with a washed out home screen. You can even list only the books on device by choosing “downloads” I believe, but still, it is so bad that I returned it. I got it as a present for Christmas and I loved it, but with this software upgrade it’s useless. The menu bar is a disgrace and adjusting the brightness without reading glasses almost impossible. Amazon.de where I got mine from agreed with me and issued me a full refund. I’m back to my old Kindle 6″ which didn’t have the UI changed after the upgrade. I am not missing the touch screen or the integrated light.

  28. Thanks for the directions, I just disabled the offending adscreen which I hated from day one it popped up on my Kindle. I’ve been a consistent, almost compulsive Kindle e-book shopper for 5 years, only because I buy as I please. The new Kindle homescreen is so intruding and shameless in its attempt to make you keep shopping that it has had the adverse effect – I disregard whatever it puts my way and I’m actually buying less e-books rather than more. Amazon should analyse whether this “strategy” won’t backfire.

  29. Thank you. Thank you. I love my paperwhite but did not like the cover page.

  30. Thank you so much for saying how to turn it off!! What an infuriating home screen. I get mad every time I turned my Kindle on. I had begun searching for a different device to purchase.

  31. Just turned it off with your instructions. I’m so happy!

  32. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

  33. Thankyou very much for explaining how to turn it off, I missed that option in the menus.

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