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 –
- 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.
- 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 –
- ManyBooks mobile site (Kindle Compatible).
- 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).
- 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 –
- BlogLines – Read RSS feeds using Bloglines.
- FeedJournal – there is a nice article on getting blogs to your kindle for free using feed journal.
- 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.
- FeedBooks – you can create your own newspaper (multiple feeds) or feed (single feed).
- 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.
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: email@example.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 #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 –
- Use Yahoo Messenger at http://us.m.yahoo.com/p/messenger/.
- Use Gmail at http://m.gmail.com – Help at reelsmarts article and Gmail etc article.
- Use YMail at http://m.yahoo.com.
- Use google reader at http://www.google.com/reader/m.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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) –
- 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 email@example.com
This is a (unverified) list of gateways for various cell services.
US Cellular: @email.uscc.net
Virgin Mobile: @vmobl.com