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Amazon Kindle gets its first interface update in at least 5 years

The e-reader's visual overhaul comes courtesy of its latest OS update.

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Amazon's Kindles are undergoing their first major user interface redesign in at least five years, a change rolled out as part of the e-reader's latest operating system update. First spotted by Ars Technica, the refresh is available on most Kindles released in 2015 or later, and has been appearing for users since August as Kindles automatically install updates during charging and Wi-Fi connection.  

In a recent site update, Amazon said the Kindle's home and library screens will also get a new look in the coming weeks. The new home screen will let users access up to 20 recently read books with a left swipe, while the library screen will include new filter and sort menus along with a scroll bar and a new view of their collections.

Other changes to the interface include new locations for user options in a top-screen tray, letting users swipe down to access brightness adjustments, airplane mode and other settings. In previews of the new interface, most drop-down menus appear to have the same contents, but more information will appear on the device info screen while top-screen text labels will now be icons.  

Notably, Amazon labels Kindle product groups as Generations, not to be confused with the actual definition of the word or the number of a particular product's iteration. Kindle products eligible for the update include standard Kindles labeled 8th Generation or later, Kindle Paperwhites labeled 7th Generation or later, and all Kindle Oasis devices.