It’s time for another round of Kindle updates! Right on cue, Amazon has been releasing Kindle updates every two or three months lately.
The last update released in March was seemingly pointless. Nothing was included in the release notes except the usual “performance improvements, bug fixes, and other general enhancements.”
This time around it’s the same story. They haven’t included any release notes again so it’s hard-telling what this update actually does or if it’s even worth the time to install it.
I thought maybe installing the 5.13.6 update on my Kindle Oasis would finally trigger the new lockscreen book cover feature to appear, but alas that didn’t work either. None of my Kindles have it yet.
However, my Kindle Paperwhite has started doing a different thing with Special Offers. Now it shows a random lockscreen image (not an ad) and then after turning it on it shows a “More by Author” page with a book cover and a link to “Learn More”. The really weird thing is my PW4 has been in airplane mode all year and is still on firmware 5.13.4 so how did it even know to change to the new ad format?
That’s the kind of thing to expect from Kindle updates lately. Install an update and nothing changes until six months later when they finally decide to remotely activate some new feature that has been sitting dormant all along.
The new 5.13.6 software update is available for all Kindle models dating back to the Kindle Voyage, expect the Kindle Paperwhite 3 still shows 5.13.5 (they’ve been updating it later lately so just wait a week or two and it will show up eventually).
Like usual you can wait for the new software to download over Wi-Fi and install automatically on your Kindle in the coming weeks (more like months), 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.
Have you tried downloading a “new” book… Not just the update. Even from your own library?
I think that’s what did it for me… Like it needs to piggy back on a book download.
Yeah, I just downloaded a new book the other day, but still nothing has changed.
That’s crazy… My PW3 and Oasis 3 has the cover update.
Charles Cox says
Just manually updated my PW4, and DL’ed a new book – Still no cover update… :'(
For me (Voyage in Germany) booting the Kindle with enabling WiFi beforehand (my Reader also is in airplane mode all the time otherwise) triggered the new feature/setting (on firmware 5.13.5) : https://twitter.com/nullniveau/status/1393270602572652546
All covers I tested so far worked. (Which are mostly books bought _not_ on Amazon, since I try to support other stores nowadays. But the Kindle hardware is still unbeaten. Had a Tolino Vision 5 for a few weeks, but it’s almost unbearably slow, even compared to the 5 year older Voyage.)
Does your voyage got 5.13.7?
Hello everyone:. The newest update, which is the current update, us 5.13.6 for Amazon Paperwhite, Oasis and Kindle. You have to have your device connected to Wifi in order to receive the update. According to Amazon, the updates take about 2 months to get to your device via Wi-Fi connection. You can also download the update manually on Amazon’s website. Just search for software updates for Kindle on the internet, not on Amazon’s website.
After you have gotten the 5.13.6 update downloaded and installed on your device, for the “current book cover” feature:
Go to Settings — Device Info — Display Cover to turn On
Did you try changing your language to something else?
My native language is Dutch, I switched my Kindle to English, I think I needed to reboot at that time, the book cover feature appeared, I enabled it, and set it back to Dutch.
I think this might trigger it, of course choose another language you know enough to set it back to English.
Herbert Buetow says
My Kindle Voyage does display the cover of the last book however not until I paid the 20 dollars and removed special offers.
That’s one of my biggest peeves from software/app companies… no release notes other than a general statement of “fixed some bugs and performance enhancements”. I’m a geek who likes to read what was added or fixed. (I’m also a tech writer who rights this stuff for my company’s software.) 😉
My Kindle has never automatically downloaded the updates. I have to do them manually.
These updates clearly aren’t much of a priority for Amazon because it takes several months to get auto-updates sometimes, even with Wi-Fi turned on all the time.
Bob Merlin says
Same here! I have to manually update mine too. It’s a pain since I had 6 to do!
“The last update released in March was seemingly pointless. Nothing was included in the release notes except the usual “performance improvements, bug fixes, and other general enhancements.””
No firmware update release is pointless. Every time unit of software development costs money to a given company, so it can never be pointless.
The fact that they jus state “performance improvements, bug fixes, and other general enhancements.” doesn’t change that is has a financial cost in research, programming and testing.
More, that statement doesn’t mean it is pointless or unimportant. It can contain fixes to importante security holes and can even contain features to be activated later.
Also, it means the platform is alive.
If you’d like to have the clear description of exactly what has changed is another matter.
Sorry but if an update doesn’t add any useful new features it is pointless to me and I’m not going to waste time installing it on the half dozen different Kindles I own. Kindles with software from ten years ago still work perfectly fine. They list “performance improvements, bug fixes, and other general enhancements” with every single update that gets released. Saying it doesn’t make it true; it means nothing.
Better code with less user features is better than tons of features built on a buggy and unsafe software base.
Software development costs real money. So, it can never be pointless. It HAS to have importance, even if they don’t state what changed which, of course, they should.
The value of an update cannot reside only in new features. Security, stability and speed are very important as well.
Anyway, the Kindle is just a book reader. Not a general purpose tablet. Sure, there are some features we are asking Amazon since ages, but too many features to make everybody happy and the platform becomes a mess. Look at iTunes.
But this is just one opinion, you are pretty much entitled to have your own, of course, which I respect.
I understand your point. It’s just from a user perspective these updates seem pointless lately because they aren’t giving any release notes and seemingly nothing is changing on the user side, aside from adding more ways to try and sell us stuff. Some Kindles on software 5.13.4 that was released 6 months ago have the new book cover feature and now my Oasis is on 5.13.6 and it still doesn’t have it. These updates make no sense lately. Why make some people wait months to get new features while others get them now. It was the same thing with the dark mode toggle last year. Either active the new features via updates or don’t. The selective remote activation strategy they’ve started using the past few years is rubbish.
My PW doesn’t have the book cover feature either.
I can’t think of any update they could make that I’d bother taking. My wifi has been turned off for years!
I keep thinking about getting a new kindle, but my 1st Gen paperwhite works fine. I LOVED my Voyage, but the charging port died. So, no updates. I guess I don’t miss them. Should this conk, I’ll read on a Fire or iPad until I get a paperwhite.
I love waiting 3 months for pointless Kindle updates. Can’t wait for more.
Another garbage update. I would literally pay $50 for subscriber advanced features Like more font sizes, better line spacing and margin options, better fine tuning of boldness control. Of course these aren’t really advanced features but more like extremely basic. But yes I would pay extra. Just like Amazon charges you $20 to get rid of ads they should charge extra for more features and customization options. For niche subscribers. Surprised someone hasn’t thought of this at Amazon. But then again nothing they have done lately makes any sense.
Ingo Lembcke says
There is a little info on the update with the “whats new page”,
Just installed it on my Kindle for USA (I live in Germany), which is set to English.
Home – Three-Dots Menu, upper right corner under the time – Settings – again Three-Dots Menu – Device Info – Whats New.
Also the cover-sleep-feature is working for me, mostly.
Home – Three-Dots Menu, upper right corner under the time – Settings – Display Cover “on” (set to off by default).
Suggest reboot before and after the update.
Some side-loaded and/or converted books from Calibre do not show a cover, although they have one in Calibre, have not investigated.
If the feature is active, there is a faint line of text under the shown image (Amazon Screensaver) about choosing a book to show a cover, so you may have to try a few books.
Gilbert RIGOT says
1) Update to Calibre 4.17.or higher. Connect your Kindle to Calibre as usual and send your books to the device.
2) Eject your Kindle, then wait for the covers to disappear.
3) Then, re-connect your Kindle to Calibre.
4) Then eject your Kindle again.
5) The covers will appear on your books.
Pradit P. says
“Book cover lock screen” works with kindle without ads only. You have to request amazon support to remove ads first.
Gilbert RIGOT says
By the way, I never see ads ! How do I know if my kindle has ads ?
I know I have always paid for the ads supported (they call it “special offers’ ! devices.
But 1 of my 3 kindles displays the book cover as a sleep screen.
Please note that I live in Europe (Belgium)
Jayant Sharma says
Has anyone tried Experimental Browser, it just doesn’t work anymore
I was heavily depended on the browser for reading articles but now it says website cannot be accessed.
I know there are multiple third party apps that sends article but it just too slow process.
Is there anyone way to revert back to older version, many sites claim its impossible but there should be some way…???
According to Amazon, you cannot go back to old software versions. There is no way to do that in the device.
Hope you have a great day.
Suddenly I can no longer “x” out of an app – everything stays open – the x option has totally disappeared.
I hate this update.
It looks like you need to close everything at once. When you go to the screen you used to X closed individual apps, brush the open app screens to the right (in U.S.) and you should see “Clear All”, this seems to close all the apps at once. I usually do not want to close everything, so I do not like this method.
Thank you for this tip, Deborah! It works for me. What I do now is just “x” out of an individual app by swiping right. (The “x” was sooo much easier, though)
My wife’s Kindle has asked her twice to register since the latest update. What a pain!
You need to contact Kindle Support for that.
My Kindle won’t connect to the store. When I click on the store icon, it keeps flashing that it is updating and will take less than a minute. It does this for a while but never finishes an update. I manually tried to install the update.I checked and it does have the newest system update.
I tried downloading a sample from the internet on my computer and sending it to my Kindle but that isn’t showing up so the internet is somehow not working. The wifi connection says it’s strong and I don’t think that is the issue anyway because I tried connecting it to my phone’s hotspot and that had the same issue. I’m at a lost to what the issue might be.
Have you tried rebooting your Kindle??
Caitlin Currie says
Multiple times. Now it seems to be getting further each time I reboot, but it’s being weird.
—>First few times did nothing;
—>then I tried downloading a sample via the website and it showed up on my Kindle following another reboot;
—>another reboot and it finally opened the store when I searched for a book in the search window but did not download a sample when I tried
—> rebooted again and was able to download a different sample but it wasn’t showing up
—>did another reboot and the other sample finally showed up.
I’m not sure why I’ve needed to reboot it so many times for each step, but it seems to be working very slowly. 🤷♀️
Sounds like your Kindle might be defective. I’d contact Amazon about it, especially if it’s still under warranty.
> the new lockscreen book cover feature
Did you pay to remove ads? They’re not going to stop showing ads for free
They remove ads for free all the time. You just have to ask customer service.
According to Amazon, they don’t remove ads for Free, like Nathan said. You have to pay $15-20 to get them removed by Amazon Customer Service.