As you might remember, when Amazon released its first Kindle in 2007, the device looked a lot like a small computer, because it had a full keyboard on it. It took until 2011 when the Kindle Touch was launched, that the first Kindle came with a touchscreen, yet still had this one little home button on the bottom. But since the introduction of the Paperwhite about one year later in 2012 the Paperwhite has always been touchscreen-only. And over the years the technology has gotten better and better.
The Paperwhite 2020 is a device with an excellent touchscreen. You probably already know the basics of how to navigate on your e-reader. The main moves are “tapping”, “swiping”, and “pinching”. While reading any type of content and you want to open the toolbar you simply tap at the top of the screen to make it appear. To open any function you tap on the button or headline.
Moving back and forward you do with a swipe to the left or the right or a tap on the left or right margin.
The 3 Kindle Touchscreen Zones
Unlike your smartphone the Kindle Paperwhite is set up with three different zones: The top zone which covers the toolbars. The central zone – which is the largest zone and covers the middle of the Kindle touchscreen. A quick tap or swipe here moves you to the next page. And the left zone: which is quite long, but narrow. A tap here moves you to the previous page. As the zone is so small your tap has to be more precise.
Remembering this breakup of the screen will make navigation easier in general. And by the way – your swipes can be very short – so you don’t have to move your hands while reading.
There are two special forms of finger navigation that you should definitely know because it can improve your reading experience:
Depending on where you are at the moment, a long-tap or hold offers you a special action. When you long-tap within a book a menu is opened that allows you to view the definition of a word. In a list of books on the Home screen – when you long-tap one of the books, you can read its description or add it to a collection.
Also, on the Home screen – long-tapping on an e-book sample allows you to buy a book, read its description, or delete it from the reader.
2. Pinching and Unpinching
The other special finger trick is pinching and unpinching – it took me a while to learn about this one. The pinch motion allows you to increase or decrease the font size of the current text. This is great because you don’t have to go to the “Aa” menu to reset the size – it saves you a few steps through the menu. It is a bit tricky though, you have to move your fingers slowly, otherwise, you will experience a delay between your finger motions and the change of the text size.