Amazon is introducing a fancy new feature to the Kindle this week: the ability to display the cover of your current read when the screen is locked. Yes, the Display Cover feature has arrived at long last. But you’ll need a recent Kindle — the kind without ads — to make it work. Amazon released the feature quietly; various Reddit posts show that users found out about it as the update hit their devices.
Display Cover is rolling out globally for the following Kindle devices: the 8th and 10th generation generic Kindle, the 7th and 10th generation Paperwhite, the 8th, 9th, and 10th generation Oasis, and the 7th generation Voyage. It’s unclear why Amazon is only enabling the new feature on these devices. The exclusion of the 9th generation of devices is particularly strange.
The feature is 100 percent aesthetic, allowing the Kindle to feel more like a book than a piece of hardware. Still, it’s a very simple software update, and one that we would’ve expected Amazon to hop on ages ago. And by ages ago we mean at launch in 2007.
Just a quick toggle — If your Kindle device supports the Display Cover feature, you’ll find the option to enable it in the general “Device Options” menu. Turn the toggle on if you want your current cover to display on the lock screen; turn it off if you don’t. That’s all. Reddit users say updating your firmware and restarting your WiFi can force the update.
Amazon’s lowest tier of Kindles, which are less expensive because they display ads on the screen when your device is locked, will not be able to utilize the new feature. You can, however, remove the ads at any time by paying $20 to Amazon.
Amazon is lagging — Kindle fans have been clamoring for this feature for more than a decade. Users wanted the feature so much, in fact, that it birthed an entire jailbreaking ecosystem for the Kindle.
Some of Amazon’s biggest e-reader competition, most notably Kobo, has included lock screen covers in its software for years now. Amazon still very much dominates the e-reader market in the United States, but its software is at times frustratingly slow to adapt.
Displaying the cover of your current read on the lock screen is something of a no-brainer, especially when your customers spend more than a decade asking for the feature. Enjoy, Kindle fans. Just make sure you’re not reading anything too embarrassing when you turn the new feature on.