Why Kindles Black & White? (Color Options, Screens Go Dark)

With an ereader like Kindle, you can access thousands of books at a click of a button, hence convenient for any book lover. You will also have several titles and authors to pick from in the comfort of your home. The style and features in ereaders, unlike physical books, matter, and it is no wonder readers are concerned as to why Kindles are black and white.

So, why are Kindles black and white? Kindles are black and white to minimize eye strains and dry and tired eyes resulting from prolonged reading. The black and white feature, available in the Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite, adjusts as the display senses a change in the lighting conditions.

The pictures on this app are also available in black and white on magazines, books, and other content. While black and white visibility benefits some users, it is a turn-off in comics and children’s books that are more fun with color.

Ebooks are taking over the future of publications, hence the need for ereaders. However, most ereaders, such as the Kindle, are available in black and white, with display makers trying to bring color in recent years. Read on to find out why Kindles are in black and white.

Kindles are available in black and white to save the eyes from straining and drying. This feature is available on Kindle Paperwhite tenth generation, Kindle Oasis 3, and later versions. The pictures in the ebooks, magazines and other content on this app are also available in black and white. While this feature saves your eyes, it can turn off readers who judge books by their covers.

Kindle Oasis

The Kindle Oasis, produced by Amazon, is a modern, sleek ereader featuring intuitive features. Most users consider it despite its black and white features for its benefits, including a premium charging cover, front lighting, Bluetooth capabilities, and page up and down buttons.

The Bluetooth capability, a recent update on the Kindle Oasis, enables readers to pair their headphones with Kindle Oasis and listen to audiobooks and other content. Kindle Oasis also provides readers with different screen options making the reading experience easy on their eyes.

Despite the above benefits, the Kindle Oasis has limitations in terms of the cost factor, non-waterproof, no color, and screen updates. Initially, readers had hoped for a waterproof or water-resistant ereader to enable bathtub, beach, or pool reading.

This feature was left out, discouraging users as the price increment did not match their expectations. Also, with most ereaders using the books on their children, the Kindle Oasis is a disadvantage as it removes the color feature, which is effective in child development.

Kindle Paperwhite

Still, the Kindle Oasis is a good ereader for any user needing an auto-brightness intuitive feature and cellular capabilities for book access. The Kindle Paperwhite uses a transparent lighting system that illuminates its e-ink display.

The LEDs’ light guide on Kindle Paperwhite enters the edges, undergoes an internal reflection, and then exits through optical features. The display of the Kindle Paperwhite features millions of spheres between electrodes.

In each sphere are positively charged white ink and black negatively charged particles. If you apply a negative at the bottom electrode, the black spheres at the top will repel, making your screen appear black at that pixel. On the other hand, a positive charge will move the white particles on top, making your screen appear white.

Dark Mode

While reading in black and white on Kindle screens is possible, most readers find the white background harsh to their eyes. The Dark mode feature resolves this issue and makes reading much more enjoyable by reducing eye strain.

The Dark Mode, also called Night Mode, is a feature in Kindle that enables you to invert the monochrome color such that the white background becomes black and the text white. Switching to Dark Mode reduces the light reflected when you turn on the built-in front light.

The Dark Mode feature has been a Kindle feature for years, but it is until recently that it has become popular among users. It is available on Kindle ereaders from 2018 onwards, namely the Kindle Oasis 3 and Kindle Paperwhite generation 2018. You can enable this feature with the drop-down menu and while doing this, ensure your Kindle is up to date and running on the latest software.

If you are using the Kindle Paperwhite, you can enable Dark Mode in two ways. The first method entails the use of the drop-down menu. To do this, navigate the Home Screen, and tap the drop-down at the top of the screen.

You will see a Dark Mode icon which, upon tapping, will invert the background. The second alternative is through the main menu. To do this, tap the drop-down and select All Settings. Next, tap Accessibility, then Invert Black and White to enable the Dark Mode feature. To go back to the original white background, tap the Dark Mode.

Dark Mode is also available on the Kindle app, and customers can enable this feature with a few steps. To activate Dark Mode on the Kindle app, tap on the page you are reading to populate the Reading Menu, then tap the Aa icon. Next, select the Layout tab, then tap Black Page Color to effect Dark Mode. If you even want more ease in reading, you can adjust the warm light, which tones down the blue light.

Where you cannot find Dark Mode on your device, your device may not support this feature, or the system software could be up to date. Hence, update your Kindle software by navigating your Settings, Device Options, Advanced Options, then Update Your Kindle and repeat the above.

Can Kindle Have Color?

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis are easy on the eyes and have greater battery life. However, its greatest shortcoming is its black and white output capability. According to readers, a colored Kindle could offer a better way to read eBooks, but Amazon is yet to release one, and users continue to hope for this release in the future.

Kindle is still available in black and white, but users hope for the release of a colored version of this ereader. This comes with e-ink’s announcement of the e-ink Gallery 3 color panels using magenta, cyan, white and yellow ink like a printer in creating its monochrome images.

Unfortunately, the monochrome ink artwork is not as amazing, and the tablet screens are not as interesting to read from; hence, the need for a colored Kindle. Another convincing reason for Kindle to have color soon is Amazon’s purchase and integration with ComiXology.

With users setting their hopes high on developing a colored Kindle, many speculate that the Kindle Oasis will be the first to get a color screen. Probably, this launch will come in 2023 with users setting different expectations.

Features users want to see on Kindles

One of the standards users want to see in the amazon kindle color is wireless charging. This feature is no longer a premium for the best smartphones, which is why users expect it on the Kindle. With this feature, you will easily read with your device on its charging pad rather than working around a charging cable.

Fast page turns is another upgrade users would love to see. The Kindle Paperwhite Signature edition was a little slower at turning pages, and while this has improved recently, the Kindle still does not feel modern with its page-turning speed.

The first e-ink Gallery display took up to two seconds to refresh a black and white content page and ten seconds for a color page. If you are using this gallery for signage, this timing is acceptable.

However, if you are reading a graphic novel or magazine, this is inconvenient. It is no wonder that Gallery 3 assures readers of shorter refresh times of 0.5 for low-quality color mode and 1.5 seconds for high quality.

Also, users have high expectations of Gallery 3’s text and image quality. The Gallery 3 features 300 PPI, and its texts and images are expected to be sharper than the former 150 PPI screen generation. Also, the screen is expected to support pen input, allowing readers to mark their documents.

Another outstanding benefit users anticipate in Gallery 3 is its Advanced Color ePaper (ACeP) technology compared with the e-ink Kaleido. The latter does not use a color filter in its color displays, eliminating the odd color on Kaleido-based displays. In this new tech, the display pixel will utilize cyan, yellow, magenta, and white to display the alternative colors.

Unfortunately, the Amazon ereader can only connect to the 2.4GHz internet bandwidth, which is slow compared to the 5GHz. As this app becomes widespread among users, it will mean that over time, it will be more challenging to connect Kindle to the web. Hence, users hope for a Kindle supporting the 5GHz to ensure easy book downloading and reading.

With the above improvements, users also hope for a better library design. This will include comic and graphic books available in different colors. With a range of books available, Amazon will have to improve the library layout, which at the moment appears messy, comprising a collection of all the items you download from the Kindle Store.

Also, the options available to filter results are not as intuitive. For instance, you can filter your books as read or unread, but it is somehow challenging to get those you have read in part as they will all go to the unread section. Hence, with Kindle color, users can only hope that it will be much easier to find the books they want to read.

In addition to the above features, the colored Kindle also promises to come in curved and foldable displays of different sizes. However, we still have to wait for the manufacturers to launch the products to confirm whether the above Gallery 3 features will be in consumer devices.

Why Does the Kindle Screen Go Dark?

Several users online highlight that the kindle screen goes dark as they turn pages or navigate using the menus and the likes. I will help you understand why this happens and how you can resolve this issue.

The kindle page will go dark as part of the e-ink screen functionality. This display comprises tiny e-ink black capsules with white and black particles that rearrange with every screen change. However, over the years, this effect reduced, and you can now turn many pages without the entire screen flashing.

While you can scroll through several pages without your Kindle screen going dark, the text clarity will degrade with time, necessitating a full-screen refresh. You can turn on or off the page refresh option by navigating the Settings, Reading Options, and then Page Refresh.

With these settings off, the Kindle will still occasionally refresh, especially as you start a new chapter. Still, this setting will not eliminate flashing as you navigate the menus. Also, other content such as comics and PDFs will flash with each page turn, even with the page refresh setting turned off. The complex images will require the full-page refresh for the best appearance and to reduce ghosting.

Lastly, since lighting is a challenge in Kindle models, the models in the Kindle fire feature backlighting. The backlighting feature is a great product that enhances reading without harming your eyes. Its e-ink technology makes it easy for you to read in the dark. Hence, you do not need to turn the lights on at night and disturb others in the room to read your eBook.

You can manage the backlight settings by navigating to the settings and turning the brightness to 0. As you move down the numbers on the bar, the black marks will disappear, and the light will go off.

Wrap Up

The Kindle ereader is available in black and white, saving the user from eye strain and dry eyes. This feature is available in Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite. While this feature protects your eyes from straining, they turn off some readers who highlight the need for color on Kindle. While it is still uncertain, the next Kindle release may feature color courtesy of the e-ink Gallery 3 announcement on monochrome image creation.

Amazon’s integration with ComiXology is another reason to believe Kindle will have color soon for better image and content, especially in children’s and comic books. Finally, your Kindle page will go dark given its e-ink screen functionality, but this effect is reducing with the release of newer versions, enabling users to turn more pages before the screen flashes.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

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