Bare-bones Kindle Scribe gets much-needed update, new brushes

A grocery list note on the Amazon Kindle Scribe
(Image credit: Michael Hicks/ Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Amazon plans to release "regular, free software updates" to the Kindle Scribe throughout 2023.
  • The first update arrives 2/27 with three new brushes and easier page navigation for notebooks.
  • It also adds the ability to create subfolders or move those folders for the first time. 

In our Amazon Kindle Scribe review, we explained how the device's software — especially the note-taking tools — felt surprisingly simplistic and overly limited. It appears Amazon took that kind of criticism to heart, because the company plans to roll out improvements and new features to the Kindle Scribe across 2023, starting this week with new brush styles. 

Up until now, Scribe owners could only use a pen or highlighter, each with five thickness options. After installing the 2/27 update, you'll get a fountain pen, marker, and pencil as well, each of which have "enhanced pressure and tilt" detection. 

The calligraphy option should help you take more dignified notes, while the marker will make broad strokes and bigger drawings easier. We're most excited about the pencil, though, since it'll help the Scribe prove a more versatile option as a drawing tablet as well as a note-taking tablet. 

The next significant change with this update is subfolders. Up to this point, you could only create one organization level, making it harder to group a single note-topic together neatly or better rank your notebooks by importance. Now, you can better organize everything or move one folder out of or into another.

The last update is to page navigation. You can already create multi-page notebooks, but could only move sequentially from one page to the next — a hassle if the note is especially long. Now you can simply use the "Go to page" option and type in the number. 

We're excited to see what future software updates Amazon has in store. Our wishlist includes OCR support, third-party app support for favorites like OneDrive, and a better note-taking experience for e-books. However, it's unclear whether or not such major changes will be saved for a future Kindle Scribe 2. 

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.