Kindle Users Can Finally Set Their Book’s Cover as Their Lock Screen

Users have been asking for this function for a decade.
Adam Rowe

Some tech advancements seem so useful and simple that it's weird they weren't invented sooner. Famously, wheels weren't added to suitcases until 1970, despite the fact that wheels and suitcases had existed for a lot longer.

The Kindle has just rolled out one such update — Kindle readers can now toggle a switch in their settings to make the cover of the book they're currently reading turn into the device's lock screen.

Simple, easy, and something users have been demanding for years, the Display Cover feature makes reading your Kindle even more like picking up the physical version.

Turning on Display Cover

Users will need to update their device to the latest firmware — that's version 5.13.5. If your device is updated and you don't see it yet, try restarting it. Don't know how to update the firmware? Follow these steps:

Settings > Device Options > Advanced Options > Update your Kindle

Then, you can flip on the cover-as-lock-screen functionality by navigating through your Settings page by opening a few other menus:

Settings > Device Options > Show Cover

Users will also need a supported device. The Display Cover feature is not available on Kindles with ads, but these devices do offer the feature:

  • Kindle — 8th, 10th gen
  • Kindle Paperwhite — 7th, 10th gen
  • Kindle Oasis — 8th, 9th, 10th gen
  • Kindle Voyage — 7th gen

If you did it right, you'll be able to see the cover of whichever book you have open on the Kindle when your screen is locked. Here's what that looks like in practice:

Amazon might have only gotten around to adding the much-requested feature because so many people were jailbreaking their devices specifically to add it.

Furthermore, competitor e-readers like Nook and Kobo have already had this feature for a while — about a decade, in Kobo's case — making this update the definition of the bare minimum.

Is Kindle worth getting?

While the Kindle might not have rushed to add this feature, they do offer a solid device that's at the top of the e-reader heap.

We've ranked the Kindle Paperwhite as the best Kindle devices overall, thanks to the combination of good pricing ($129.99) and high performance, with standout features including a backlight, high-res screen, and waterproofing.

There's also the Kindle Oasis, which comes with “adjustable warm light.” It's also larger than the Paperwhite, and includes page-turn buttons and automatic page orientation.

Either way, both devices now show you the cover of the book you're reading. Truly, we may be witnessing the pinnacle of Kindle technology.

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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for the last decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry (and Digital Book World 2018 award finalist) and has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect. When not glued to TechMeme, he loves obsessing over 1970s sci-fi art.

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