Kindle 3 Browser Photos, Video

The Kindle 3 is shipping already and the major reviews are out but one of the features the generally effusive reviews have neglected to cover is the Kindle 3’s new WebKit Browser.

It’s surprising because the new Kindle 3 Browser and its Article Mode are amazing. This post covers the Kindle 3 browser and has loads of photos.

2 sentence summary –  The Kindle 3 Browser is great for reading things, especially news sites and blogs. It’s not usable as a full browser and can’t handle Flash and Java and, as far as my experience goes, Ajax doesn’t work either.  

Kindle 3 Browser – What Sites Work

The new Kindle 3 Browser can handle complex websites easily. You don’t have to use the mobile sites – the actual sites load up fine.

Here are the websites that work fine 90% to 100% of the time -

  1. Gutenberg.org, ManyBooks.net, and Archive.org all work fine and you can download books straight from them. Choose Kindle or .Mobi format files.
  2. ESPN.com.  
  3. BBC and New York Times. 
  4. Hotmail works fine. Update: Yahoo Mail works most of the time. Be sure to choose ‘Classic Mail’ option when it fails to load the new version.
  5. Unsurprisingly, Amazon.com works great. The entire structure and all the links and menus including scroll over menus.   
  6. The Bookseller and Teleread.  
  7. Most WordPress Blogs.
  8. Most of the websites tried worked.
  9. Don’t have a Facebook account but touch.facebook.com is supposed to work (courtesy Joe).

Nearly every website tried worked just fine. Even things like signing up for accounts work fine (Hotmail, GMail).

Kindle 3 Browser – Sites that don’t work

Update: The main versions of some Google sites don’t work but the mobile versions work -

  1. Gmail – http://mail.google.com/mail/x/
  2. Google Reader – http://www.google.com/reader/m/view/ works. The main Google Reader site also works if you give it a few tries.
  3. Google Maps – doesn’t seem to be working.

Thanks to Joe for the update.

Interestingly enough you can go through and sign up for a GMail account from the main site but not use the main GMail site. The mobile version works fine.

Updated: Yahoo Mail breaks down when you try to log-in and offers you Classic Mode – that works fine and is quite easy to use though moving around is a bit of a pain.  

Let me know if you have a particular site you want tried out on the Kindle 3 Browser.

Kindle 3 Browser – Article Mode

On nearly every article or blog post page, and on most other pages, you can go into ‘Article Mode’. If it’s not an article page you get a warning message but you can still go ahead – it works most of the time.

In Article Mode all the banners and extrinsics like drop down menus and non-article graphics are stripped out. All you get is the text and occasionally the main image. Basically it works like Readability (a desktop browser plug-in that strips away everything except the main Article) and converts web articles and blog posts into little book chapters.

It’s a killer feature all by itself.

Kindle 3 Browser – Zooming in, Other Features 

Whenever a page loads the Kindle 3 Browser recommends a default zoom level – It does this by showing a box outline with a magnifying glass icon in it. In fact you can’t click on anything until you zoom in.

Once you zoom in you can move around and use the cursor to get to whatever you want to click on. The experience varies from being easy on some sites to incredibly painful on other sites.

You get lots of zoom options – Fit to Screen, Actual Size, 150%, 200%, and 300%. You’ll usually be using the Kindle 3 Browser’s recommended zoom level or 300%.

There are some other useful features -

  1. You can disable JavaScript if you like.  
  2. Browse through your History and delete it if you like.
  3. Delete cookies.
  4. Bookmark Websites.  

Overall, the Kindle 3 Browser is a big improvement over the older Kindle 2 browser and the Article Mode makes it better than the Nook’s impressive browser.

However, it’s nothing like a real browser. There are some important sites that don’t work (Google Maps) or work sporadically (Yahoo Mail).

Moving on …

After the jump – Lots of Kindle 3 Browser Photos and a Kindle 3 Video (more soon).

Kindle 3 Browser – Photos

Let’s start off with a couple of photos that’ll give you a good idea of what the Kindle 3 Browser is capable of.

Wikipedia in the Kindle 3 Browser -

Kindle 3 with Wikipedia

Kindle 3 WebKit Browser

Article Mode strips out ads and menus and lets you focus on the text -

Kindle 3 in Article Mode

Article Mode in Kindle 3 Browser

New York Times in the Kindle 3 Browser

NY Times in the Kindle browser -

NY Times on the Kindle 3

NY Times main Page on Kindle 3

Zoomed into the NY Times website -

Kindle Browser when zoomed in

NY Times in Kindle 3 Browser

 An individual article in the Kindle 3 browser -

NY Times ARticle opened in Kindle 3 Browser

An article in the Kindle 3 Browser

 Macro Mode shot of the NY Times on Kindle 3 (after zooming in once) -

navigation bar of the new york times

Close-up of the navigation bar - macro, not zoom

Email Sites on Kindle 3 Browser

First, we have Yahoo Mail -

Yahoo Mail on Kindle 3 browser

Yahoo Mail works occasionally

It works some of the time. You have to choose Classic Mode. Here’s a shot -

Zoomed in view of Yahoo Mail

Classic Mode works sometimes

Next, we have Hotmail which works great every time (though it has the most painful sign up process ever – it’s as if they’re trying to get you to choose Yahoo or Google instead) -

Hotmail works on the new Kindle 3 browser

Hotmail working on Kindle 3 browser

It’s a pity they make it so tough to sign-up because it’s the only one that works fine on Kindle 3 -

a macro view of Hotmail on Kindle 3

Macro Mode view of Hotmail on Kindle 3

Various Websites in the Kindle 3 Browser

Let’s start with ESPN -

ESPN website on the new Kindle 3 browser

ESPN.com on Kindle 3. Not Zoomed in.

Being able to handle that monstrosity of a website is impressive. Once you zoom in you see much better detail. Here’s a macro mode shot illustrating the quality -

Kindle 3 Browser - ESPN up close.

Zoom + Then Macro Mode of Camera

Next, we have the BBC website which looks fine most of the time. This is a particularly good shot -

BBC website on Kindle 3 browser

BBC Website on Kindle 3 browser. This is after zooming once.

Finally, our last Kindle 3 browser photo – a close-up of the Amazon.com website after zooming in once.

Up-close shot of Amazon.com on Kindle 3 browser

Macro Mode shot of Kindle 3 browser with 1 level of Zoom

Overall, the new Kindle 3 Browser is a big jump from the older ‘super experimental’ Kindle 2 browser. However, it’s not a full-fledged web browser by any stretch of the imagination. Fundamentally, it’s a ‘great for reading articles on websites’ browser.

New: Kindle 3 Browser with foreign language websites

First, we have ynet.co.il which shows up fine -

Full shot of the Hebrew Site in the Kindle 3 Browser

Full shot of front page of ynet.co.il

Here’s a shot after zooming in that clearly shows the writing -

Zoomed Hebrew website displaying fine

Hebrew Website ynet.co.il in Kindle 3 Browser

Then, we have books.com.tw which shows up fine. This is a photo after zooming into the page.

Another shot of Books Taiwan site on Kindle 3

A shot of Books.com.tw

This is the product page at Books.com.tw without zooming in -

A Taiwanese site on the Kindle 3 Browser

Books.com.tw on Kindle 3 Browser

Note that upn.com shows up fine but isn’t clickable so doesn’t work.

Kindle 3 Browser Video

Here’s a video that ought to help illustrate how the Kindle 3’s web browser works. It shows how ESPN.com looks on the new Kindle 3 Browser and includes some close-ups –

Hopefully, the Kindle 3 Browser photos and video helped you decide whether the Kindle 3 (Kindle 3 UK link) meets your needs. Please keep in mind that the browser is good but nothing like a full-fledged web browser.

88 Responses

  1. I am SO BUMMED that Gmail won’t work?!?!? That is a major disappointment as being able to take a quick look at my mail is one of the major benefits of having a Kindle with me at all times (no smartphone here).

    Can anyone think of a workaround?

    • Can you forward all your gmail into a hotmail account which will work so you can at least read your emails there?

    • Andrea, mobile version of Google Mail works. Thanks to Joe for the url.

    • The weird thing is that I *could* use Gmail on my Kindle 2… hmm… this is very odd. If you set Gmail itself to run in the standard HTML version (not the “nice” one that everyone normally uses) perhaps it would work better?

      I found that using http://m.gmail.com (I believe) worked fine… perhaps it’s an issue with just the regular browser version.

      Normally I had no problems at all with the Kindle 2 (especially later in the Spring it sped up) as long as I used mobile optimized sites.

      Looking forward to experimenting starting on Friday and through the weekend!

  2. I also wish Gmail worked. You said Google Reader won’t work either. Are you aware of another web-based RSS reader that will work?

  3. Re: Google stuff..

    1) You sure about Google Reader? I could use it on my Kindle 1 browser. It wasn’t optimal mind you, but I could get it to work. Try this: http://www.google.com/reader/m/view/

    2) Same with Gmail. I could get it to work. Tell it to go to to here, this should work: http://mail.google.com/mail/x/

    • Thanks a ton – mail.google.com didn’t work and m.gmail.com didn’t work but the link you sent works.

    • Are there any suggestions for a map site that does work? I am often checking locations while reading on Google Maps but wouldn’t mind using another site if need be.

      • i think its because google gmail uses java and any sites that uses java will have difficulty working on the kindle 3 browser (hope it gets updated). As long as a website is html basic mode, all the site should work

    • Joe, I can’t get your link to work, typing it into my Kindle 3…any suggestions?

  4. That’s so odd about gmail. It works for me on the Kindle 2 w/o problems these days. Both m.gmail.com and normal gmail.com …

    Both modes don’t work, I guess? Another reviewer had the same problem.

    Yahoo mail has never worked consistently for me on any Kindle.

    hotmail worked immediately on the Kindle 1. My first web experience was sending an email to someone while in a taxi crossing the Bay Bridge on the way to the airport, so it’s ironic that it’s not working w/ a more capable browser.

    But Gmail – that is just bizarre (and bad news as that’s how I do Kindle mail when I need to — wouldn’t do it otherwise).

    I love Readability, so this is a big feature. Thanks for all the details.

  5. Ah, I just saw the alternate google mail one — yes have tried it from the google page when they give links to ‘mail’ and gotten something like that — glad we have a workaround.

    I’ve generally had better luck with Basic Mode for some sites when they don’t require logins that are done with javascript which then needs Advanced or Desktop mode, since Basic text size and gray translations are more readable to me, and faster too..

    An oddity with gmail (and not super secure of course) is that I never have to re-sign-in to gmail anymore, even after resetting the Kindle. I used to have to.

    While I can read m.twitter.com I usually cannot get recommended tweet-links to take me anywhere, w/ the Kindle 2.

    Facebook is possible – I imagine that’s better with Kindle 3? Have been able to post to people’s walls (w/ Kindle 2).

  6. Try this for Facebook, see if it works:

    http://touch.facebook.com

    • Although, realistically if I’m going to use these things, I’ll use my iPad or my iPhone. I hold no illusions as to what the browser in a Kindle is. :)

    • Will do, Joe.
      I was able to do Facebook on K2 but have not even tried it on K3. m.twitter.com is being stubborn too, compared to K2.

      With your URL for gmail – it gets me in and I can start to reply. I have not figured out how to do a new line.

      Must I continue typing w/o paragraph breaks? If I type anything but a character it takes me suddenly to another page.

      It’s ironic that K3 gives me, on my favorite everyday K2 pages, messages about the Kindle not being able to load this or that, but it does complex pages better..

  7. Some very nicely done pics, by the way. It’s sometimes hard to take photos of the eink screen and get them to show proper contrast.

    • Thanks – you won’t believe how many photos went into getting these final ones.

      • I do believe it. I took tons that I haven’t chosen any from yet, so that’s why I appreciate the ones you did put up.

        Thanks for all that work.

  8. Hi:
    Using the browser can you download books from manybooks.net or archive.org? Or do we have to download to the pc and upload to kindle?

  9. Thanks for all the tips everyone. Any idea if someone tried to check email on earthlink and if it worked?
    Thanks again!

    • Don’t have an account with them – can anyone sign up or is it based on having a cable account or something?

      • It’s based on having a cable account with them. Oh well, I’ll figure it out when I receive it. Can’t wait to see my order status update from “shipping soon” to “shipped”!

      • The webpage loaded up fine. Don’t know whether that means email will work or not though.

  10. I have a question — do you know if foreign websites/language/font display properly on Kindle3? For example, Asian languages?

    • Haven’t tested it. Kindle 3 is supposed to support CJK fonts and Cyrillic fonts. Embedded fonts in PDF do show up – that I’ve checked.

      • do you mind testing a site? i think this might be a deal breaker for me. Something general like http://www.udn.com or http://www.books.com.tw

      • Sure.
        udn.com – Loads, but then doesn’t work as zoom doesn’t work.
        books.com.tw – you have to type it in as books.com.tw. typing http://www.books.com.tw gives an error for some reason. After that this site works fine. The design is very evocative of Amazon and sub-sections and product pages all work.

      • So does this mean that Chinese characters are automatically encoded correctly on websites? Or that it’s possible to change the manually encoding in the browser? Sorry if this is redundant, and thanks!

      • Have no idea. Tried out two sites – upn.com and books.com.tw and both showed characters fine. upn.com didn’t zoom so it didn’t work but the other one worked perfectly.

      • Hi, great review. Been looking for something like this concerning the new browser. I think the new kindle supports Asian fonts (some of them, anyway), but does the browser load sites using fonts for other languages? Could you check, let’s say, ynet co il and see if it shows Hebrew or gibrish?

      • Yossi, it shows hebrew The title beyond ynet is gibberish but the site itself loads fine. You can go into articles too. Adding some photos to the post.

      • Thanks a lot! Looks like the site works fine, shows right to left and everything. The fonts look different than other browsers, with that underlining, but that’s a minor thing. Thanks for checking this up and posting the images.
        Wish the kindle had support for non-latin language books as well, but I guess that will come in time….

      • Kindle 3 is supposed to support CJK and Cyrillic. Not sure about Hebrew.

      • I think no RTL language. like Hebrew or Arabic, is supported. Anyway, I didn’t find any books in these languages in the Amazon stock. I guess books in PDF format could be read. EPub books in Hebrew could be converted to PDF or mobi using software like Calibre, but I have no idea if the device will be able to display them (the mobi I mean).
        Would you mind checking if I sent you a file?

      • Go ahead and send it at [email redacted]. Mobi is supported if it’s not the password protected Mobi. Books from Gutenberg in Mobi format work fine.

  11. I am glad there are people like me out there :)! When I get a new gadget and while it is in shipment or I am saving up for it, I tend to look it up on google and look at articles, videos, news, photos, etc about it. This a great blog! Bought a kindle 3 on august 4th and awaiting it’s arrival. So I tend to check this blog everyday :)

  12. can you try Google Reader for iPod: http://www.google.com/reader/i/ ?

  13. Just to let you know, http://m.gutenberg.org/ could be more enjoyable to browse in kindle than the normal gutenberg site. It should work without any problem.

  14. Google maps has alternative urls:

    http://maps.google.com/m/directions

    http://maps.google.com/m/

    have you tried them?

  15. you know, the thought of the new gmail voicecall with kindle3/mic makes my mouth water :) Kindle 3 becomes a mobile phone device which allow you to call anyone in canada/us for free and around the world like skype

  16. thanks for this new post. I’ve been searching around for a long time for someone to post a review on the kindle 3 browser with pictures of which sites can be accessed and what it looks like

  17. out of curiosity, how bad was the kindle 2 browser, any screenshots to compare and contrast

    • Well, sites like espn.com showed up as a list of links with no structure. Will try to get a photo comparison.

      • switch,
        I have a now old (Feb ’09) page of shots of Kindle2 and Kindle 1 showing ESPN and other websites and you can see how plain-jane thos were relative to your new shots using Kindle 3.

        http://bit.ly/k1andk2

        It was very fast though and it was simple to just go to a link you wanted. Likely still doable using that same link. But the new one you took a photo ofo looks great and is likely (like the NYTimes one) faster than it was with the mobile version of K2.

  18. are you a manga reader? A review of kindle 3 reading japanese comics would be sweet

  19. kind of specific request from a fantasy footyball nerd. is it possdible to log onto espn and use the webrowser for fantasy sports functions? thanks!

    • Well, I can login and get to a league page to join the league and then it crashed the browser. That happens on and off though – will update once i’ve tried again.

  20. thanks!
    this is what i was looking for…espn scores DO come up, and the NYT pages seem ok to me. they were truncated in an earlier youtube vid from england, which seemed to have had a problem with the zoom screen overlay box. but that vid did show the speed differential between k2 and k3.
    thanks again.
    PS — for those who might be confused, the photos of the nyt pages show two different dates — wed and sat. that’s why the zoom article doesn’t show up in the first photo.

  21. Thank you for the review, very good job!

  22. For some reason, even Joe’s link for gmail does not work when I type it into my Kindle 3 browser (it just arrived an hour ago!)

    Any suggestions anyone? This will be a deal breaker for me if I can’t get it to work.

  23. I would like to know how Kindle3 supports Arabic PDF file, websites, etc.

    Link for Arabic website: [Link Removed]
    Link for Arabic PDF: [Link Removed]
    Link for Arabic DOC: [Link Removed]

    I would appreciate if you could test Kinlde3 on above link and files.

    Thanks.

    • Arabic Website – works. after zooming in you have to scroll left to see text. The links that open up a new windows don’t work (they don’t work on any site). Other links work.

      Arabic PDF – worked fine on Kindle 2 so will work on Kindle 3 as same code base. It was very slow although PDFs are much faster with 2.5 upgrade so perhaps something’s wrong with the PDF.

      Arabic Doc – Kindle only supports doc after conversion. No idea whether conversion supports embedded fonts. Not really sure how to get around if conversion doesn’t help.

  24. So, excuse my ignorance, but does this mean if you get the 3G version, you’ll have free web access/email wherever you can pick up a 3G signal?

  25. [...] Posts 50 Free Books in the Kindle StoreFree Kindle Books, Amazon Kindle Book, Amazon.com BooksKindle 3 Browser Photos, VideoKindle PDF conversion – View PDF on KindleKindle 3 Review – Detailed Kindle 3 ReviewKindle vs Nook [...]

  26. Hi folks

    I’ve never used a Kindle, so how does this new version work with Instapaper?

    I’ve been wanting an iPad just for Instapaper, but if Kindle can do it for much cheaper, I’ll definitely get one.

    Thanks

    J

    • No idea how it works with Instapaper. How does Instapaper work? Is it just a url.

      I know instapaper has the option to send articles to the Kindle or something of that sort.

      • Yeah, I guess it’s just a url.

        The thing is, the best thing about Instapaper for the iPad or iPhone is that it downloads all your articles you’ve bookmarked, for offline reading. Wonder if that’s possible with the Kindle?

        I can’t find anywhere online that looks into this.

        J

      • Yes, it’s possible. Instapaper lets you email them to your Kindle or download them and load them yourself.

  27. Can someone with Kindle experience let me know: does amazon release software updates – say in the way Apple updates an ipod? i mean if the browser is experimental, will you get updates that improve on the ‘experimental’ aspect over time, or is it a one time thing. You get what you get and that’s that unless you buy a future Kindle release?

    • Stewart, you get a lot of updates. An example is the Kindle 2.5 release which added support for Folders and support for pan and zoom for PDFs.
      However, there hasn’t been an update for the browser in any of the releases so not sure if the browser will be updated.

  28. [...] a long discussion, with many comments, over at http://ireaderreview.com/2010/08/25/kindle-3-browser-photos-video/ (thanks, Ed!) about the web browser. It’s true that the Gmail “mobile version” web app works. [...]

  29. [...] Posts Kindle 3 Browser Photos, Video50 Free Books in the Kindle StoreFree Kindle Books, Amazon Kindle Book, Amazon.com BooksKindle 3 [...]

  30. All very helpful. Probably will order. Does it work with the Virgin media webmail? The Guardian? Which network does Whispernet run on in the UK?

  31. I was also wondering if Gmail phone calls would work with the microphone…it’d be an extra free phone. :)
    Mind checking it out? Thanks!

  32. Any idea if I’ll be able to use the web browser for the K3 by 3g here in the Philippines? That’s the main reason i’m considering the 3g + wifi version, other than that I’ll be getting books through wifi at home. But if I can get internet access anywhere (according to amazon, there is 3g coverage) then that would seal the deal for me getting the 3g + wifi.

    I ask this, because in the kindle discussion area, some Spaniards said that when they try the web browser through 3g, it says that it is not available for all countries or something of that sort. So if the only function of the 3g would be to buy books, I’d rather get the wifi only version.

    Btw, great post. Glad the browser isn’t as bad as some people say it is. :)

    Thanks! :)

    • Arthur, wikipedia works via 3G. All other websites only work via WiFi. That’s what Amazon says on the Kindle product page – a link called ‘check your country’ in the Kindle at a Glance section has this information.

      • If that’s the case, it would be better for me to buy the wifi only version. I was looking forward to at least checking my emails using the 3g network. If I can’t do that, it wouldn’t be serving its purpose really.

        Thanks for the response switch! :)

      • Arthur, the point of 3G is not to have a web browser for you to check your email. The point is to download the books anywhere. That you can use the browser at all is not the point of it.

        I’ve had the ability to check all that stuff in my Kindle 1 browser since I first got it way back in the day. Almost never did that.

        To say it isn’t serving it’s purpose is wrong, IMO. That’s your expectation of the device, not it’s PURPOSE.

  33. I know Joe, I’m not saying that it isn’t worthwhile to have a K3 because of that. When I said, it isn’t serving its purpose, I meant that it will not be serving the purpose I need. Isn’t that all of us want to know when buying something new? It has to fill the purpose you need for it to fill. The K3 will fill my need for an e-reader, but the 3g+wifi version won’t fill my need to get my emails anywhere. So I’d get the wifi only version since I’ll be stocking up books anyways so I don’t need the function of being able to download anyplace, anytime.

  34. Thinking about this browser I couldn’t help but wonder about the possibility of streaming an online radio station through it (I know, I’m being greedy!). From a little Googling it doesn’t seem like this is possible. All the right ingredients feel like they’re there; WiFi, a browser, speakers, an MP3 player. I guess I’m overlooking some limitation in the device.

  35. Has anyone been able to use the Kindle browser to access a secure (https://) site? I have not been able to log on to one of these sites and was wondering if anyone else has had any luck accessing one.

  36. Btw, I’ve last posted here Sept. 2010 when I haven’t bought my K3 yet. Now that I have my K3, I was wildly surprised that the webkit browser works here in the Philippines even through 3g, EDGE or GPRS when wifi is not available.

    I know I said that I’d get the wifi only version, but I just couldn’t resist and gladly I was proven wrong. I can get my emails anywhere, anytime and access google maps if I’m in need for directions. :)

  37. So, I can red and download arabic books to this devise?

  38. [...] – I almost forgot to mention that the new Kindle has an “experimental” web browser. Stay [...]

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