Menu map: Kindle Paperwhite 5.3.4

Menu map: Kindle Paperwhite 5.3.4

In the Menu Maps series of posts, I take you through the menu options on a specific Kindle device. That will make it easier for you to find things, and may make you aware of things you didn’t know your Kindle could do.

This time, I’m going to run through the menus on the home screen on a Kindle Paperwhite 3G + wi-fi (with Special Offers). This is based on firmware version 5.3.4.

I’ll add comments where I think that’s appropriate. Do feel free to comment on this post if you have more questions.

What is a menu?

It gives you options, just like a menu in a restaurant. You select a menu (you might be tapping, clicking, arrowing and hitting enter…depends on the device), and see a series of choices. You pick one (if you want), and that “launches” (starts) something on your device.

You “wake” a Paperwhite by first hitting the power button (or by opening an “autowake” cover…something I find very convenient, especially with the new power buttons on Kindles which can be hard to locate), and then swiping (holding your fingertip or stylus on the screen and sliding it a couple of inches) it.

At the top of the screen, you’ll see what I call the “icon ribbon”, where there are a number of symbols

  • A house returns you to the homescreen
  • A left facing chevron “<” takes you back to your last activity
  • A light bulb (although I find this one a bit abstract looking) lets you control brightness
  • A shopping cart takes you to Amazon to shop
  • A magnifying glass lets you search
  • * My Items (just on your device)
  • * Kindle Store
  • * Dictionary (I wonder how many people realize this is there? It does work pretty well…finding the word, not just any word that has that sequence of letters)
  • * Wikipedia
  • A menu (horizontal lines…we see this symbol a lot on Kindles, sometimes in a box, sometimes not)

Within the menu, we get

  • Shop Kindle Store
  • View Special Offers (if you are subscribed to Special Offers)
  • Cover View (switches the display of your books on the homescreen…it will say “List View” if you are already viewing the covers)
  • Create New Collection (I believe your Kindle has to be registered for this to be active)
  • Sync and Check for Items (if you’ve purchased something and can’t find it on your Kindle, try this)
  • Settings (I’ll address this separately below)
  • Experimental Browser

Within the Settings menu

  • Airplane Mode (turning this on turns off wi-fi and 3G connectivity…on  a device with other forms of activity, Airplane Mode also disables those…Bluetooth, GPS. I think that’s why they use the term, for compatibility with other devices. Many people have both a tablet and this sort of Kindle)
  • Wi-Fi Networks (you can tap this to scan and to manually enter a network)
  • Registration (it shows you who the current registrant is even before you tap it…that might help you get your Kindle back, and might be useful if you chose to purchase a Kindle from an individual)
  • Device Options
  • * Device Passcode
  • * Parental Controls (note that when these are on, you can’t deregister or reset the device)
  • ** Web Browser (require a password to use)
  • ** Kindle Store
  • ** Cloud (this is how you can have, for example, books of adult interest on the account without your child who has a Paperwhite seeing them)
  • * Device Time (you can set the time manually and switch between setting automatically or manually)
  • * Personalize Your Kindle
  • ** Device Name
  • ** Personal Info (you can add a free text note here…you might put contact information in case someone finds your Kindle, and offer a reward, if you wanted)
  • ** Send-to-Kindle E-mail (you can’t edit it here, but it is displayed…this is the address you use to send personal documents to this device
  • * Language and Dictionaries
  • Reading Options
  • * Annotations Backup (this is on by default…it’s what allows you to share your notes, your last “page” read, and to import your Collections between devices on the same account)
  • * Popular Highlights (on or off…when this is on, you see underlines in your books that other people have made in theirs…I think it takes at least three people having underlined it before it appears)
  • * Public Notes
  • * Page Refresh (you can force a screen refresh every page turn…which will take more battery charge)
  • * Social Networks (you need to be connected to wireless for this…you can link your Twitter and Facebook accounts to the device, so you can share the fact that you read a book, notes, and that sort of thing…it doesn’t allow you to share the entire book)

While you are in the Settings Menu, you can tap Menu again to get another set of choices:

  • Shop Kindle Store
  • Update Your Kindle (this will only be active if an update has been downloaded to your Kindle, either by you or by the device, and it hasn’t been applied yet)
  • Restart (if your Kindle is acting oddly, this is a good choice…unplug it from power sources first. This is a “soft restart” ((using the menus…the software)) as opposed to holding in the power button for thirty seconds, which is a “hard restart” ((using the hardware))…Amazon says this is better)
  • Reset Device (this is a radical move, and should be used rarely. It wipes everything off your Kindle except for Kindle software updates that wasn’t on your Kindle when you got it…you’ll have to redownload books afterwards, you’ll lose personal documents, wi-fi networks, and so on)
  • Device Info (this includes your serial number, firmware version, and the amount of space you have free)
  • Legal (274 pages of text that can’t be enlarged or use with text-to-speech…you would think the latter might be a problem for Amazon)
  • Sync and Check for Items

Hm…I’ve got enough room here. I’ll go through the basic menu in a book. Tap towards the top middle of the book to get the menu to appear.

Beneath the icon ribbon we saw on the homescreen, you get

  • Aa (you can choose font size, font, line spacing, and margins)
  • Go To (the beginning, a page or location, a chapter, the end…I think this varies a bit with different e-books)
  • X-Ray (background about the book)
  • Share (you can, for example, tweet about a book and a llink will be included to the book at Amazon)

The menu (horizontal lines in your top right corner):

  • Shop Kindle Store
  • Book Description
  • About the Author
  • Landscape (or Portrait) Mode
  • Sync to Furthest Page Read
  • Add Bookmark
  • View Notes & Marks
  • Reading Progress (you can choose what is displayed by default…location left in book, Time left in chapter, Time left in book…when the menu is displayed, you see all three. If a book has “real page numbers”, I think you see that choice as well)
  • Settings (that’s the Settings menu above)

There you go!

Bonus note:

I found this just recently:

Kindle Features By Country

It’s a nice table! It’s interesting to me that Japan, for example, doesn’t have Popular Highlights or Public Notes…is that technical, societal, or due to regulations?

They list “Sina Weibo” on the table under Social Media and Device Features…but don’t show that any current device has it! That’s a Chinese microblogging website…this seems like a clear indicator of more Amazon/Kindle involvement in China in the future. That might be a bit of a scoop here. 🙂 I did a Google search, and while there were matches for “Kindle Sina Weibo”, I don’t think it was about this as a legitimate future feature.

Hope this post helps! I include the Features By Country partially for those who don’t have a Paperwhite…I know some people think I may cover the Fire too much, so this post provides a bit of balance to that. 😉

If you have questions or comments, feel free to comment on this post.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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6 Responses to “Menu map: Kindle Paperwhite 5.3.4”

  1. Western Reader Says:

    Thank you for an excellent menu map article. I received my Paperwhite last week. I’ve had an interesting time, learning the ins and outs. Your article has helped clarify a few questions I couldn’t seem to find answers for in the Kindle documentation. This is my third Kindle; for reading, it’s the best Kindle to date, IMHO.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Western!

      Great! If you have any questions, feel free to let me know.

      I do find the Paperwhite the most comfortable reading experience I’ve had, including paper books.

  2. Maddie Cochere Says:

    Bufo, thank you so much for a thorough walkthrough. My Kindle Paperwhite is my first Kindle, and I’ve pretty much used it for straight reading only. I had no idea I could shop at Amazon. Duh! I’ve been shopping online and sending my books to the Paperwhite. Appreciate your help with several things today!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Maddie!

      I’m glad that was helpful for you! I try to keep in mind both that I’ve had readers for years who have heard some of these things before, and that I have people who aren’t as familiar with the Kindle and the Kindle service. I also sometimes find things out when I go back with fresh eyes. 🙂

  3. oldiesuz Says:

    Thanks for another keeper!

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