Kindle Tips – Top 25 Kindle Hacks

May 13th, 2013 – Please Subscribe for Free Daily Emails that list 30 to 50 free kindle books every day. Hand-curated.

This post is inspired by Igor’s post on Kindle Hacks and the Kindle Tips list at college degrees. The focus is on covering the top 25 tips and hacks that will help you get the most out of your Kindle.

If you own a Kindle 2, please first see this post for Kindle 2 Tips – a lot of the shortcuts below don’t work for K2.

Kindle Tip #1 – Kindle Hacks from Igor
Igor’s Kindle hacks and the shortcuts he found are at the Reversing Everything Blog – Kindle Hacks.  This post is the source of most kindle tips and i’d recommend bookmarking it. A few of the best tips are -

  1. Sleep Mode – press Alt + the text key (aA) as though you were waking it from sleep. Putting Kindle into sleep mode also conserves battery life.
  2. Display the time while reading a book by using Alt-T. You can also press the search button on any screen and enter @time to get the time and the date.

Kindle Tip #2 – Free Books on the Kindle via PC
The best source for Free Books is at http://www.manybooks.net/ The Kindle compatible url is http://mnybks.net. I also have a post listing free book sources that is arguably the best list for Free Kindle books.

Kindle Tip #3 – Free Books directly onto your Kindle.
You can download free books straight to kindle from a number of sources -

  1. ManyBooks mobile site (Kindle Compatible).
  2. FeedBooks – you have to download http://www.feedbooks.com/kindleguide and can then downloads books directly. There is a help article, or you can use the mobile version of feedbooks (which is not as easy as using the book).
  3. Munsey’s mobile site.

Kindle Tip #4 – View PDF files on your Kindle.
Rather than using the amazon experimental conversion which can be sketchy, Convert PDF files to Kindle format using MobiPocket Creator on PC (choose the publisher edition), or using Stanza on Mac. Full details at my article on converting PDF files for the Kindle.
You can also try PDF Hammer’s tool for editing PDF files in your browser.

Kindle Tip #5 – View blogs for free on the Kindle.
Please do note that blogs have a subscription fee to cover Amazon’s costs for the WhisperNet service. If a lot of people start circumventing the paid route, there is a chance that the methods used might get blocked and/or charges apply to WhisperNet. So if you must use free blog downloads, please use them in moderation :) -

  1. BlogLines – Read RSS feeds using Bloglines.
  2. FeedJournal – there is a nice article on getting blogs to your kindle for free using feed journal.
  3. Kindle Feeder – please note that this is almost certainly illegal according to amazon’s tos. So i’d recommend using one of the other options.
  4. FeedBooks -  you can create your own newspaper (multiple feeds) or feed (single feed).
  5. MobiPocket Desktop – There are over 34k newsfeeds available through Mobipocket Desktop. The process is simple to set up; you select the feeds, and set them to be downloaded onto your device. Downloading the feeds to your Kindle is automatic. Although automatic downloads are specifically disallowed under Kindle terms. You probably have to use MobiPocket Desktop 6.0.

Kindle Tip #6 – Google Maps and GPS
This is covered under Tip #1 – however it’s so good I have to list out details. You can get Google Maps and a GPS on the Kindle using Alt-1 when in browser mode. The Kindle seems to have location-awareness in the CDMA module and plots your current location on Google Maps.
Basic Options:
Alt-2 find gas station nearby
Alt-3 find restaurants nearby
Alt-5 find custom keyword nearby

Kindle Tip #7 – Official Help on the Kindle

Firstly, In case you are in trouble with the software or hardware of your Kindle, you may want to contact Amazon directly via e-mail or phone. E-Mail: kindle-cs-support@amazon.com. Phone numbers -
* 1-866-321-8851 (if you are calling from within the US)
* 1-206-266-0927 (if you are calling from outside the US)

Secondly, using Kindle NowNow you can get direct human answers.

Kindle Tip #8 – Unofficial Help on the Kindle.
Forums at Amazon - If you don’t want to scroll through them all, this post on amazon kindle forum posts has a list of all forum posts in Nov 2007, Dec 2007, Jan 2008.
You can also check out the Forums at BookSummit – i’m on it most waking hours and will get back to you immediately if i have a solution.

Kindle Tip #9 – Guide Books for the Kindle
Personally reviewed and recommended – Kindle Tips and Tricks Guide by Brent Newhall. The Free PDF version of the Kindle Fan Guide on your computer and see if you think the Kindle version is worth 5$ (I think it definitely is). Then head over to the Amazon Kindle Store if you like and buy the Kindle version of the Kindle Fan Guide.
The Kindle store has two other kindle guide books – Decoding the Kindle, and Stephen Windwalker’s Kindle Guide.

Kindle Tip #10 – Audiobooks and Free AudioBooks
Listen to Librivox Audiobooks on the Kindle – LibriVox has over 1000 full audio books. A nice writeup on how to Listen to audiobooks at reelsmart.

Kindle Tip #11 – Extend the Kindle’s capabilities with Gmail, Yahoo, and IM.
You can really benefit from the Kindle and WhisperNet by using the mobile versions of various mail and im services -

  1. Use Yahoo Messenger at http://us.m.yahoo.com/p/messenger/.
  2. Use Gmail at http://m.gmail.com - Help at reelsmarts article and Gmail etc article.
  3. Use YMail at http://m.yahoo.com.
  4. Use google reader at http://www.google.com/reader/m.
  5. Use google calendar mobile version at www.google.com/calendar/m.

Kindle Tip #12 – Kindle Supported Formats and Converting Documents.

What formats does kindle support? A: 4 text formats – .azw (Kindle-specific), .txt, .mobi; and .prc. You can also convert files in certain formats for use on the kindle – PDF support is experimental. Conversions are supported for Word , HTML, and 4 image formats - .jpeg, gif, .png, and .bmp.

Free Conversions to kindle format – If you send attachments to “name”@free.kindle.com, you can have files converted and emailed to you, and then transfer the document to your Kindle. Formats that amazon will convert are Word DOC, HTML, JPEG, TXT , GIF , PNG , BMP , PDF (experimental, results vary).
You can also (for $0.10 each) get Paid conversions sent straight to the kindle by emailing documents to youraddr@kindle.com (attach the documents you want converted to your mail).

Kindle Tip #13 – Kindle WhisperNet Coverage Map.
Will you have WhisperNet on your travels? Here is the Amazon Kindle Coverage Map.

Kindle Tip #14 – Find a Kindle blog you like

If you’d like more coverage of a certain type on this blog, let me know. There are a wide variety of Kindle blogs listed at the kindle wiki’s blog list.

Kindle Tip #15 – Give Back to the Kindle Community and Fellow Kindle Owners

Spread the word by showing off your kindle to prospective Kindle owners at See a Kindle in Your City section of the Kindle Forums.

Kindle Tip #16 – Add to the Kindle’s storage capacity.
The kindle does support upto 200 books – however a simple 4GB or 8 GB SDHC lets you carry around a ton of music and books and documents. You can use a SD or SDHC card and amazon support/forums say 4GB SD card is tested. Users on the amazon forum say they have successfully used PQI 8 GB SDHC card and 8GB SD cards.

Kindle Tip #17 – Buying Books in Mobi format from non Amazon retailers.
Buying books in Kindle format from other retailers (although i’d recommend buying from amazon and helping them to contine with free WhisperNet) -

  1. Ebookmall
  2. Fictionwise
  3. ebooks.com – An update courtesy Dennis – Ebooks.com is DRM protected and technically while it is possible to do it there are legal issues doing so. See http://www.teleread.org/blog/2007/12/12/kindle-swindle-tag-campaign-from-defectivebydesignorg/ for more info.

Kindle Tip #18 – Use Kindle as a journal and as a calendar (v. rough and basic functionality)
These are rough – To use an empty book as a journal (courtesy OlManRiveh at the Amazon Forums) simply create a .txt file (with the name of your project). Have it converted and placed on your Kindle. Then add notes to the text file as you wish. These notes can be edited as you wish.
There is a free Kindle calendar and a free weekly planner available at the Kindle 3 Labs page.

Kindle Tip #19 – Send Text Messages for Free from Your Kindle

Courtesy Woody Woodward at Kindle Korner (and via Kindle Chronicles) here’s a pretty cool tip -

Our Kindles have the ability to send SMS “TEXT” messages to cell
phones by using e-mail gateways. Any Web-based e-mail that works with
Kindle may be used for this. Simply address the e-mail to the 10-digit
cell phone number at the appropriate gateway.
e.g. for ATT cell customers 1234567890@txt.att.net
This is a (unverified) list of gateways for various cell services.
AT&T: @txt.att.net
Alltel: @message.alltel.com
Cingular: @cingularme.com
Nextel: @messaging.nextel.com
Powertel: @ptel.net
Sprint: @messaging.sprintpcs.com
SunCom: @tms.suncom.com
T-Mobile: @tmomail.net
US Cellular: @email.uscc.net
Verizon: @vtext.com
Virgin Mobile: @vmobl.com

52 Responses

  1. Great list! I just wanted to let you know that there is another unofficial guide to the Kindle: The Amazon Kindle FAQ (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001F7AGHE/). While it is not as extensive as the other two, it is a collection of over 200 commonly asked questions about the Kindle.

    - Joshua

  2. You might want to be careful telling people that they can buy books from eBooks.com in Mobireader format. Ebooks.com is DRM protected and technically while it is possible to do it there are legal issues doing so. See http://www.teleread.org/blog/2007/12/12/kindle-swindle-tag-campaign-from-defectivebydesignorg/ for more info.

    Also for tip #12 you might want to add that file conversions can be done for free instead of $0.10 if you email the document to youraddr@free.kindle.com. Amazon will email the converted doc back to your registered email account and you can just copy it over to your Kindle via USB.

    Another tip you might want to add is how to access websites that Kindle may not work with nicely (such as a site with lots of frames). A way around this is to go through a mobile proxy site. I use one at http://mowser.com/ and it works well for the Kindle.

    And yet another tip is how to change the screen saver images on your Kindle. I have replaced all the Kindle screen saver images with ones of my own. Directions to do so are here http://kindlerama.com/how-to/how-to-add-new-screensaver-images-to-your-kindle/

    I did know most of these tips you mentioned but a couple of them I was unaware of (Yahoo messenger site and the mobile version of ManyBooks).

    Thanks!

  3. Hey, thanks! I appreciate the mention of the paperback version of The Complete User’s Guide to the Amazing Amazon Kindle. I would be remiss not to add that it is also available in a Kindle edition (B0011XW1E8) that has (to my total astonishment) been downloaded by 30,000 Kindle owners! I also enjoyed another fun little book on all things Kindle by three of my colleagues, and I believe the title is “Amazon Kindle FAQ.”

    Happy Kindling!

    • bought your book when I first started exploring the kindle…a great start and book…the kindle is amazing, aint it!

  4. Thanks for the kind words about the Kindle Fan Guide! I’m always looking for ways to improve it; just drop me an email at brent@brentnewhall.com

  5. Thanks for the great tips! FYI, The link to “See a Kindle in Your City” in #15 didn’t work for me; I found it here. Also the cheap Kindle calendar in #18 is also an old Kindle calendar, since the year is almost over. Hope they do a 2009 soon!

  6. I’ve just published another user’s guide for the Kindle, The Kindle Cookbook. If you would like to review the book, please contact me at dre@kindlecookbook.com. I can always use reader feedback and new tips!

    Kind regards,

    David Emberson
    http://www.kindlecookbook.com

  7. [...] I thought it could only read Amazon downloaded books and Amazon provided periodicals, but this Top 19 Amazon Kindle Tips article has me seriously considering one of [...]

  8. Is there a way to get contacts on the kindle, just a name and phone number would help.

    Thanks

  9. [...] money is tight, read blogs for free, rather than paying for them. Tip #5 in this list of Kindle Reader Tips & Tricks gives you a variety of options to get blogs for free on the [...]

  10. Converting complicated pdf file to kindle format which mainly consists of tables and images is quite tough as Amazon is still in experimental stage to make it perfect, but very recently the site “ebookconversion” I came across which provides ebook conversion service along with kindle ebook conversion at very affordable rates, mostly for the PDF ebook which consists of tables and images which are quite tough to convert them to ebook format such as mobipocket, kindle or MS reader, but I have found that the above ebook conversion company converts these type of ebooks in more profession and efficient way at very reasonable rate.

  11. [...] I am not a real Kindle expert; I don’t read the blogs or anything.  There’s a great deal more information available at Amazon and many web sites.  One good one is “Top 25 Kindle Tips“. [...]

  12. [...] for the Kindle. There are arguments to be made for just reading the blogs free on the internet or reading blogs for free on the kindle (see Kindle Tip #5) using one of various options available. There are also arguments to the contrary i.e. helping [...]

  13. [...] for the Kindle. There are arguments to be made for just reading the blogs free on the internet or reading blogs for free on the kindle (see Kindle Tip #5) using one of various options available. There are also arguments to the contrary i.e. helping [...]

  14. [...] I’ll add in that you could read these kindle edition blogs for free – just go to my kindle tips post and read kindle tip #5. There’s a lot of overlap between Arts + Entertainment category top blogs [...]

  15. [...] your normal email program on the Kindle. You can learn how to use email on the Kindle at the Kindle Top Tips post. (hack# 11 on the [...]

  16. [...] Kindle Tips – Top 25 Kindle Hacks [...]

  17. [...] email and have access to the content on the internet that he’ll actually use. There are a lot of  hacks to the Kindle that I will explore for about a month before giving the device to my Dad and then teach the ones to [...]

  18. Thanks for this list – no idea about the gps and such – makes the Kindle even more awesome!

  19. As far as I can tell, the GPS functionality is gone on K2. :(

  20. [...] you could also check out the Kindle Tips – Top 25 listthat I had created for Kindle 1 for tips like reading blogs for free on Kindle [...]

  21. [...] you could also check out the Kindle Tips – Top 25 list that I had created for Kindle 1 for tips like reading blogs for free on Kindle [...]

  22. [...] addition, iReview has a list of the top 25 Kindle hacks. The most intriguing might Tip #4, for conversion and free viewing of PDF files on your Kindle. [...]

  23. MAC users: Calibre is a great, free tool for converting PDF and other formats to MOBI for the Kindle. It’s also a library organizer, and there are versions for Linux and Windows. website: calibre.kovidgoyal.net

    As with all PDF converters, it has trouble wth PDFs that are primarily graphics, but it does a great job with “normal” PDFs.

  24. tried several of the hacks on the kindle2 with no luck at all. GPS, time specifically. is it me or do some of these only work on the old model?

  25. [...] of the tips in the Kindle Top Tips list and in the Kindle 2 Top Tipslist also apply to the DX – so do take a look at those [...]

  26. [...] of the tips in the Kindle Top Tips list and in the Kindle 2 Top Tips list also apply to the DX – so do take a look at those [...]

  27. Link to a useful Kindle app for saving and syncing blog posts, articles, other text to your Kindle:

    http://www.bit-101.com/blog/?p=2192

  28. [...] Amazon Kindle Book, Amazon.com BooksKindle PDF conversion – View PDF on KindleKindle Electronic PenKindle Tips – Top 25 Kindle HacksKindle DX ReviewKindle Store – 7K+ free booksKindle DX PDF FAQKindle 2 Tips + Kindle 2 Hack List – [...]

  29. [...] Amazon Kindle Book, Amazon.com BooksKindle PDF conversion – View PDF on KindleKindle Electronic PenKindle Tips – Top 25 Kindle HacksKindle DX ReviewKindle Store – 7K+ free booksKindle 2 Tips + Kindle 2 Hack List – Top 25Kindle 2 PDF [...]

  30. I was wondering if anyone tried downloading books off of Google Books… they offer full view of some of the older books but I was wondering if Kindle is able to download those as well??

    • download the pdf and send it to amazon for conversion. that works. Or rather used to a few months back. Let me know if you run into problems.

  31. [...] – View PDF on KindleAmazon Kindle Vs Sony – Review of Sony's StrategyKindle, Free Google Books GuideKindle Tips – Top 25 Kindle HacksKindle Vs Sony Reader Touch [...]

  32. How do I access an email from my Kindle 2. After hours of searching I give up. I have added addresses on my account.

    • Don’t understand your question.

      Are you writing an email using the mobile version of an email site on the Kindle’s browser?
      Or are you sending documents to the Kindle?
      Or do you just want to check your email on the Kindle?

  33. Just want to check email..thanks for the help

  34. Do you know if there are any computer viruses directed at Kindle?

    • Good question. Not so far. It’s only a matter of time though. People have various hacks that add functionality to the Kindle and the Kindle App Store is going to open at some point of time. It’s not inconceivable that people who start using hacks to run apps illegally will open themselves to viruses.
      There’s also a very slight chance someone sneaks one into the App Store when it opens. Amazon would be able to eliminate that quickly.

  35. [...] 27, 2010 Top 25 Kindle Hacks Posted by Namjin Chung under Uncategorized Leave a Comment  Top 25 Kindle Hacks from Kindle Review blog, which also reviews other eBook readers including iPad. [...]

  36. Hey everyone. I’ve actually created a Kindle friendly Google Reader that uses the Keyboard for shortcuts just like the desktop version, and formats all the entries for the Kindle’s screen. If you’re a member at mobiread you can see it there, or find the link/info/screenshots here: http://nowsci.com/grss-web

  37. [...] 1. Though I insisted I’d just use my Kindle for books, these might prove too tempting. Top 25 Kindle hacks. [...]

  38. I wonder if you could help me with something I can’t find an answer to: I have a Kindle 3G+WiFi. My partner has a Kindle without 3G but would like the capabilities of the 3G which I really don’t need. So we would like to swap Kindles AND swap accounts. Is this possible? Can we simply register and de-register each others Kindle?

    • In theory that should work. Please call up customer service and confirm – you’d have to re-download all the books, because once you de-register and re-register you can’t read the other person’s books any more – unless they are already on the Kindle.

      There might be other side-effects so please call up customer service to check.

  39. Great tips! I’m new with the Kindle 3, and now if I can only figure out how to enter an “Alt-T” or “Alt-1″ from the keypad, I’ll be all set.

    • Mike, either works -

      1) Press the Alt button, then press T.

      2) Keep the Alt button pressed and then press T.

      There are no number keys on Kindle 3. So Alt+1 would be impossible.

  40. thanks for the tips. One thing I find confusing is that the different kindles have very different capabilities.

    I have a kindle touch. I can read pdf, no need to convert as you suggest.

    Before figuring out I could read pdf natively I converted an ebook and the bottomline is it doesn’t work unless your pdf is hardly any more than a text file.

    One tip that should be high up your list is that you can update firmware. You don’t need to be registered for that. It’s very easy. On my kindle touch it gave me a landscape capability for pdf that wasn’t there with the older firmware.

    Thanks for sharing.

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