Amazon Kindle Scribe just got a huge update but it might not be all we want

Amazon Kindle Scribe
(Image credit: Future)

Amazon is rolling yet another major update to its Kindle Scribe e-reader – making this the third one since the device’s launch back in November 2022.

Users will be getting four new features with this patch. Chief among them is the long-awaited support for “direct on-page writing”. Unfortunately, you may be disappointed with the feature as it’s not as extensive as some would have preferred. It only works with certain content such as “guided journals and word games” like crossword puzzles.

Amazon has a section on its online marketplace highlighting which ebooks support the write-on feature. Or you can visit the Kindle Store on the Scribe to see the same thing. For the latter, be sure to keep an eye out for content that has either “Write-on Books” or “On-page writing” listed as a feature.

Kindle Scribe Lasso

Kindle Scribe new lasso tool. (Image credit: Amazon)

Brand new tools

Moving down the list, Amazon is introducing a lasso tool for selecting written notes or pen strokes on the device. Unlike on-page writing, the lasso isn’t restricted to just a few apps. You can use it to cut, move, copy, paste, or resize selected content “across your notebooks, sticky notes, and PDFs.” Speaking of which, PDFs will now be easier to read as users will be able to “switch between portrait- and landscape-view mode”. Margins can also be cropped “to increase font size”. Plus, text in PDFs can be highlighted so you can look up a word’s dictionary definition or a translation in another language.

The final inclusion is the ability to convert your Scribe notebook into a .txt file so you can share it via email. There are two ways to do this, according to Amazon. To quickly send out your notes, you select “Convert to text and quick send” in the on-device Share menu. If you want ample time to make a few edits, you choose “Convert to text and email” – also in the Share menu.

In a better state

Kindle Scribe convert

Kindle Scribe's new convert-to-text feature. (Image credit: Amazon)

Together with the previous two updates, Amazon has now introduced 10 new features to its e-reader.

Keep an eye out for the patch as it makes its way to a Kindle Scribe near you. If you prefer, you can force install by going to the Kindle E-Reader Software Updates webpage and downloading the package from there. But this isn’t the end as the tech giant promises more “free software updates” later this year.

It is good to see Amazon paying so much attention to this new device. When the Kindle Scribe was first released last year, it fell somewhat short of expectations. The Scribe wasn’t awful at launch – far from it. However, it faced stiff competition from better E Ink tablets at the time like the Kobo Elipsa and the Onyx Boox Note Air2. This steady stream of updates is bringing it more in line with the competition.

Needless to say, we’re looking forward to Amazon's future plans for the Scribe and would love to see notes syncing between the e-reader and the Kindle mobile app get a significant upgrade.

Be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best Kindle for 2023 if you’re stuck on which one to buy or our guide to the best ereaders if you'd like more choices.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.