Kindle Firmware Update Adds Audible Support, and Lets You Disable the Touchscreen on the Kindle Oasis 2

Amazon rolled out a new update today for its Kindle ereaders today. Most models won’t be getting any new features (or so the change logs suggest) but owners of the latest generation basic Kindle, as well as Oasis owners, will be getting a special treat today.

According to the changelogs, Kindle firmware adds a new software feature to the three Kindle models mentioned above.

The basic Kindle and the first-gen Kindle Oasis both gain Audible support with the new firmware. You’ll need a Bluetooth accessory to use this feature, but once you pair it with your Kindle:

Listen to Audible on this Kindle. Play audiobooks directly from your library or explore the Audible store to discover new ones. Easily switch between reading on your Kindle and listening to your story on your favorite Bluetooth device – like speakers or headphones.

Amazon had first started teasing a couple months back that the basic Kindle would play Audible audiobooks, so that comes as no surprise. (Amazon is also teasing that the basic Kindle will get a 32GB storage option. This detail has been in the product listing on for a month and a half, but we still don’t know if it is an error or not.)

But no one had expected that the new Kindle Oasis would also gain a feature in this update. – one that almost everyone will appreciate.

Update the firmware of your new Kindle Oasis and you will be can disable the touchscreen:

Choose this setting to temporarily disable the touchscreen. You can turn the page using the physical buttons on your Kindle. To enable the touchscreen again, press the power button once to put your Kindle in sleep mode and once more to wake it back up – or simply let your Kindle go to sleep on its own.

That is such a good idea it almost makes you wonder why the Oasis didn’t ship with the option last year.

Amazon will roll out the update in the coming weeks. You can also download it from, and install it manually.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Tom S11 December, 2017

    What is fascinating (to me anyway) is that the .bin files for Paperwhite (7th gen) and Kindle (8th gen) are about the same size, the latter is larger by only about 6.3KB. Yet the latter has both Bluetooth and Audible. Wonder if Audible is ‘latent’ on the Paperwhite (via audio dongle)?

    1. Nate Hoffelder11 December, 2017


      I just checked my Paperwhite, and it doesn’t support Audible.

      But that feature might be hidden in there somewhere.

      1. Tom S13 December, 2017

        Yes, nether does my Voyage. But I was not expecting it to.

    2. Frank12 December, 2017

      The Paperwhite has no way to send out signal since it doesn’t have a working bluetooth connection like the Kindle 8. Likely the code base is the quite similar even though the PW will never have Audible.

      1. Tom S13 December, 2017

        Paperwhite (7th gen) has a USB port that supports audio out. It was the first device to support VoiceView (screen reader for those with visual impairment). So in theory it could support Audible as well. Same with Voyage.

  2. Cynthia11 December, 2017

    Well, I don’t own an Oasis yet, but one feature I would never, EVER want and have little appreciation for would be disabling the touch screen. Buttons, yes, those I’d want to be able to disable, since it would be unlikely I’d ever use them.

    1. Mary12 December, 2017

      Cynthia, it is a feature I would never use either. But when we had the Kindle forums, people constantly whined about wanting to turn off the touch screen. Since I use either the buttons or touch screen to turn pages, whichever works at the time, I have no interest in doing this. The buttons are extremely handy (no pun intended) when reading one-handed.

    2. Will Entrekin12 December, 2017

      After a few weeks with the new Oasis, I think it’ll be fairly useful; with the flush screen, as opposed to the raised bezel, I’ve accidentally turned a page a time or two when my finger has slipped off the turning button, which I find terrific. Though I go back and forth changing which one goes forward and which one goes backward.

    3. Tom S13 December, 2017

      I agree, it does seem like a weird feature, but some people seem to be excited about it. To me it is turning an Oasis into the non-touchscreen Kindle of a few years ago (the one without a keyboard), except there’s no Home or cursor keys to work with. Maybe if it just disabled page turns with touch gestures while still allowing you to look up words, highlight etc. But that is not what they have done.

  3. Cynthia12 December, 2017

    For me, button pressing aggravates an old repetitive injury. I have had no particular trouble with accidental page turns on my Voyage or my Kobo Aura ONE, both of which are flush screens. I have page press disabled on the Voyage. The kind of upgrade that would interest me more would be being able to have my book cover as a screen saver.

  4. Shawn15 January, 2018

    The key reason for this being on the Oasis 2 and not the original is that it solves a direct problem with the Oasis 2 that doesn’t exist on the 1 – the touchscreen freaking out and thinking it is being pressed when water splashes on it, making it impossible to read. Since the Oasis 2 is waterproof, and designed to be around water, this was a major usability issue for those using it as designed until the touchscreen could be disabled, whereas on the 1, it’s a “nice to have.”

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