Amazon tends to release Kindle software updates every two or three months, and it’s that time once again.
A new round of software updates are now being pushed to all Kindles dating back to the Kindle Voyage from 2014, except it appears that Amazon is no longer updating the Kindle Paperwhite 3, which has not received the past few updates (it’s still stuck on 5.12.3 but it briefly had access to 5.12.4 before that update was pulled, but it never got the 5.12.5 update).
The new software version is 5.13.1. It adds some new Amazon FreeTime features for kids, including a revised layout and Audible support for audiobooks.
They also acknowledge the new Dark Mode toggle in the quick settings menu, but that was added a couple of firmware versions ago for some people.
In line with other recent Kindle firmware updates, this new update also comes with a couple of features that will be added “Over the next few weeks”. These include new Search and Page Flip features, which they’ve been tweaking with recent updates.
You can wait for the new update to automatically download over WiFi and install on your Kindle over the coming weeks, or you can install it manually whenever you’d like. The update files are available to download for each model on Amazon’s official Kindle Software Updates Page.
Here are the release notes for the Kindle 5.13.1 software update:
Version 5.13.1 – June 2020
Here’s what’s new:
New features for kids in Amazon FreeTime: Kids are getting more out of Amazon FreeTime with new features that include: a new layout, improved search, book details, and Audible support. For customers in supported marketplaces who are Amazon FreeTime Unlimited subscribers, your kids will see rows of recommended eBook and Audible content that are age-appropriate and included in your subscription. Just access Amazon FreeTime from the menu to get started.
Search: Over the next few weeks, you will see a new search experience that makes it easier to navigate through your search results in the book without losing the page you were reading. To get started, simply search for a term in your book and tap on a search result.
Dark Mode: We have made it easier for you to turn on Dark Mode. You can easily turn it on/off in Quick Actions.
Updated Page Flip Navigation: Over the next few weeks, you will see an updated Page Flip experience that makes it easier to navigate to the right page in your book. The new experience shows recently read pages as dots on the progress bar, including your most recent page read from another device. To get started, tap the top of the screen while reading to display the Reading Navigation toolbar, then tap the left Page Flip icon (single page view) at the bottom of the screen.
Performance improvements, bug fixes, and other general enhancements.
Keith Chen says
Can I safely assume that this update is not for kindle Paperwhite (7th generation) which I think is Kindle Paperwhite 2 or 3?
Can I safely assume that you didn’t read the article?
No the update isn’t available for the Kindle Paperwhite (7th Generation). Amazon really need to let their customers know what’s happening with the Kindle Paperwhite (7th Generation).
It appeared there were problems with 5.12.4, which is why Amazon pulled that update a couple of times, before eventually permanently going back to 5.12.3 for the Kindle Paperwhite (7th Generation).
When 5.12.5 wasn’t released for Kindle Paperwhite (7th Generation), many thought that they were still trying to sort out the problems they were having with 5.12.4. However, now 5.13.1 has been released and it still isn’t available, it seems that Amazon have just abandoned the Kindle Paperwhite (7th Generation).
There was a reason why they pulled 5.12.4; therefore if Amazon aren’t going to update Kindles that are stuck on version 5.12.4 to a later version, then they really need to keep their customers informed of what is happening and if necessary provide an official way go back to 5.12.3. Just abandoning them with no information it a pretty scummy thing to do.
That’s exactly where I am. 5.12.4. did update on my Paperwhite before they pulled it back. Troubles ever since and they don’t seem to care
Keith Chen says
Thanks, Anna. I am on 5.12.4. On my Paperwhite 3.
Would you like to help me with a change.Org petition to remedy this problem?
For Paperwhite 3 (7th gen): either my eyes are messed up, or the article is incorrectly saying the firmware is “stuck” at 5.12.3 – I do see this at the Software Page (as of 9/4/2020):
Kindle Paperwhite (7th Generation)
So there is an update, it is just not 5.13.5 or whatever…my reader shows 5.9.7 so I am quite behind seems like – anyone know a place where one could find *all* firmware release notes?
I had the same issue. Manually update the Kindle by connecting to your computer via USB. Go to the amazon kindle downloads and select the update for your kindle. Then drop the file into your kindle files. You will need to then restart your Kindle and it should automatically start to install the update.
Shannon Wesson says
Will these updates be automatically downloaded to my kindle paperwhite 7
The 7th gen Kindle Paperwhite, as Amazon calls it, is the Kindle Paperwhite 3, so no.
Keith Chen says
Thanks, Nathan. I was hoping that they could do something about the Paperwhite 3. I was really hoping for the dark mode.
In the last update I saw in the changelog the ability to show the book cover as a screen saver. But where is this feature? I can’t see it on my paperwhite 2018 🙁
That was never listed in the changelog. It was something someone noticed buried in the code, and it looks like it’s still something they’re working on, but there’s no guarantee it’s ever going to be a real feature.
Would absolutely love it…
But… seems not sooo difficult to implement, since a lot of the competitors do propose this for years…
I believe there is a kind of copyright constraint… (which would be quite surprising, it’s so logical, why did they not think about it at the beginning…)
Update paper white 3 please
Why does it matter? None of the new features they’ve been adding in the last couple of updates are very interesting. It was never going to get the dark mode feature anyway.
“Dark Mode: We have made it easier for you to turn on Dark Mode. You can easily turn it on/off in Quick Actions.”
Where is this Quick Actions? I still find dark mode under Accessibility.
Okay, I got Dark Mode to appear under Quick Actions. I usually keep my kindle in Airplane mode to conserve battery. So even though I manually flashed the firmware, I still needed to connect to WiFi in order for that Dark Mode icon to appear under Quick Actions. So does this mean the Quick Actions icons don’t come with the firmware, but are sent via Amazon through the internet?
That’s how they are adding a lot of new features lately. Sometimes it requires a restart too.
Gilbert RIGOT says
This sound very confusing to me !
A firmware update/upgrade is a one shot operation, isnt it ?
Wel it is not ! Those latest update are mentioning ‘Over the next few weeks….’ meaning for me the the update is going to trigger some changes to my e-book reader (be it from the sotware updte itself or through WiFi)
Not sure my analysis is clear though ! Let me know.
I have been hoping to get dark mode on either of my Kindles for weeks, one is a kindle voyage and I manually updated to version 5.13.1. Worked like a charm and still no dark mode. I looked at the release notes and dark mode is not included or the kindle voyage. Seriously bummed. (The other kindle is 7th gen, so no go).
This hasn’t come across my Oasis, either, which is still at 5.12.5?
Hey everyone I was wondering if I’m the only one having issues with my kindle 8th Generation after updating it to the latest and even earlier update versions.
I tend to use a lot the accessibility voice reader feature. I noticed it’s messed up. The two finger swipe down start reading command it’s not working and basically you can’t control it. Once you stop it for some reason you have to get out of the book so that it starts reading again automatically. If you happen to have the display of the time on the top of the page, that’s all it will read.
It leaves you with such a feeling of frustration. Is there any way we can push this to be corrected in the updates to come. It’s clearly a bug…
I also would like to say it’s nothing about the device or because it’s an 8th Generation. I checked it with the latest kindle Paperwhite and yes, the two finger swipe down doesn’t work either…
Sandra R Pankratz says
I have been unable to download books since the upgrade. How can I fix this?