I can’t help but notice that the software development of regular Kindle ereaders has slowed to a crawl ever since the Kindle Scribe came along.
Amazon’s Kindle developers have added several new features to the Kindle Scribe since it was released with the last two updates, but regular Kindles are no longer getting updates and new features at the same pace as they used to—all the focus is on the Kindle Scribe now.
In fact it’s been nearly 8 months since regular Kindles last received an update that added anything new. That’s when they added cover images for EPUBs sent to Kindles using Send-to-Kindle, which was a pretty big deal at the time, but they didn’t even bother to mention it in the release notes.
Most Kindle updates released over the past year were simple bug fixes that didn’t really add any new features or improve things.
During 2021 and early 2022, most Kindle updates revolved around changing the user interface where they removed just as many features as they added (like removing the back button, which still annoys me immensely), while butchering how collections work and enraging many customers in the process.
I have little doubt changing the interface was done in large part to accommodate the development of the Kindle Scribe. They were undoubtedly working on the Kindle Scribe long before it was released, and were working on ways to unify the interface between it and other Kindles.
Now that the user interface changes are done, improvements and new features are getting released at a much slower pace than in years past. There are still a lot of things Amazon could do to make the reading experience better on Kindles, like adding the ability to adjust the frontlight level without having to open the menu, or adding more layout options and font sizes that have been needed for a long time, and there are several things they could do to improve navigation and organization.
Hopefully someday the Kindle Scribe will stop hogging all the attention and other Kindles will start getting software updates that add new features and improvements again.
Steve H. says
Unfortunately, there seems to be a mandate to: Make Kindle Simple, instead of, Make Kindle Great.
Disappointed in how little improvement in Kindle software. The consumers deserve so much more. My Kindle Paperwhite died and I am thinking of switching to a competitor’s device. The Pocketbook Inkpad 4 looks intriguing and it even has page turn buttons!
For me, page turn buttons are the only improvement any regular symmetric Kindle needs. Although I suppose I’d be happy with a vertical scroll. I don’t “hate” a touch screen but I feel like it doesn’t let me fully immerse in my book because I have to “think” about tapping the screen. My PW (10th gen) that I use for reading outside locked up over lunch and I had to reboot the darn thing to get the touchscreen to work properly. It just seems like buttons wouldn’t lock up. (Although I think my Oasis would occasionally fast forward a few pages.)
I don’t need buttons for my bedroom PW because I use a remote page-turner. 😀 I love that thing… reading with my hands under the covers is really nice. My husband just laughs at me… but the jokes on him because he doesn’t even read books unless it’s a parts manual. (I can’t imagine NOT reading every day.)
I wonder if the recent cuts in staff have affected the Kindle division. I can see how it would take more time for them now as they have a lot more work. The idea is to keep the experience relatively the same across all platforms and devices! they have how many now? And also to make sure they are bug free and work together as much as possible? It’s a lot. I can see why it takes them so much time now. Each model has slightly different hardware, so they have to program each one individually. I’m also glad they are focusing a lot on the Scribe for the moment. They need to give that device all the features possible and clean up the bugs they have. I look forward to getting one, but certainly want it to be as bug free and with as many features as possible. I don’t have one yet as they are not on sale in Mexico yet. I hope that by the time it does arrive, they will have fixed the problems nd added more features.
Is anyone developing standalone Kindle tools in the same way as Patrick Gaskin does for Kobo? I really can’t be bothered with calibre and its need to build a library, and would like to see simple tools for things like fixing broken sideloaded covers.
Kindles are too closed off for any kind of outside development unless they’re jailbroken.
I’d really just like the tools like an ‘AZW3ify’ or ‘KFXify’ type app that can give me the CLEANEST conversion possible and spit out a dummy covers folder for me to drop and drag onto the device.
I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to get a quality side load of books (and covers) today. Calibre’s output defaulted to a sans-serif font even though Bookerly is already selected. Epubor was all correct except the font was tiny. If I enlarged it on side loads, my regular Kindle book font size was huge.
A Google search for an AZW3 converter brings up a list of questionable looking websites that I wouldn’t trust.
Why wouldn’t you just use Send to Kindle. The formatting comes out perfect and covers work with no problems, and syncing works across multiple devices and apps. Speaking of questionable websites, Epubor falls into that category. They use open source software that you can get for free online and sell it for profit.
Yes, Send To Kindle is light years ahead of where it was two years ago. Send it a clean epub and you’ll get a clean Amazon library copy of the book. Also, use the website https://www.amazon.com/sendtokindle and not the email, so you get real-time acknowledgement of your file.
JOSEPH C KATZ says
The feature that shocks me that Kindle doesn’t have is you can’t use the Amazon chapter at a time service I forget what it’s called they keep sending me emails telling me to try it and I keep telling them I will if I could use my Kindle paperwhite. But I’m not going to start reading on my phone just so I could spend money on a chapter time.
Kindle Vella is what it’s called, and yeah, it’s really weird Kindles still don’t support them, especially considering Kindle is in the name.
Hektor Rottweiler says