New Kindle update makes it much easier to switch to an Amazon ereader

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021
An Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Recently news broke that Amazon Kindle ereaders will now support the popular EPUB file format for books, as well as Kindle, PDF and many more types of documents - we covered the story when it broke.

If you're thinking "well, that's good news" then you're right - EPUB is a very popular file format for digital books, and many publishing trade groups consider it the format of choice for sending ebooks. On top of that many websites and libraries use it, meaning you can now use a greater range of books on your Kindle.

But there's actually another great reason that EPUB support is big news for Kindles - and it all comes down to Amazon's ereaders and their place in the market.

A standard format

Not only do lots of digital book repositories online use EPUB files, but so too do plenty of other ereader companies.

Google Play Books uses EPUB files, as do Kobo and Onyx devices and their respective smartphone apps. It's very much the standard for this kind of digital file.

Notes app on the Kobo Sage

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Now that Amazon Kindles take the format, every single device on our list of the best ereader can now read and understand the format - and that's great for switching devices.

Switching devices

The main thing that'll put people off from switching tech ecosystems, is the data they could lose. If you switch from an iPhone to an Android device, none of your App Store purchases will carry over - you'll need to pay again for the same apps.

That would previously have been the case for ereaders - if you have a Kindle, with all its proprietary files, you wouldn't consider moving over, or vice versa. But that's changed.

Now, if you've got a Kobo but want to buy a Kindle, you've got a much easier job of transferring your entire library over. You don't need to individually convert each file - you could easily get a 'Send to Kindle app' as well as the Kobo app, and use them to easily send your entire collection of books to the new device.

This update really does help Amazon in that regard, removing one hurdle it has in convincing ereader fans to pick up one of its devices.

Saying that, the benefit for the users can't be overstated either, and support for EPUB files means there are far more digital books ready to be used on Kindles. So this is good news for everyone - well, unless you have a Kobo or Onyx device.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.