Kindle Tips App – Tips for Kindle

We’re very happy to ship our latest app for you:

Tips for Kindle – 133 Kindle Tips

It’s just $1 and here’s what you get for your $1 –

  1. 133 Kindle Tips. These are the best Kindle Tips I’ve found over the course of 3.5 years of blogging about the Kindle and searching through tips Kindle owners have shared. You will definitely find some real gems – regardless of your experience level with your Kindle.
  2. The Ability to add your own Kindle Tips. It’s a living breathing collection of Kindle Tips and you can add whatever great Kindle tips you find from other sources to have one handy reference.
  3. The Option to Select and Export Favorites. Choose your favorite Kindle Tips out of the ones included and the ones you add. Then view only those or export them in text format and read them on your computer or print them out.
  4. Slideshow Mode. You can watch a slideshow of the included tips, of your added tips, or of your favorites. There are three speeds and icons to indicate the speed and which section you are in.
  5. Usability enhancements – Two font sizes, lots of shortcuts, in-app help, downloadable help files at the Kindle Tips App Help Page. Open the Kindle Tips App and every time you get a different Featured Tip.

It’s basically a Kindle Tip & Tricks living list that you can carry on your Kindle and which will help you get the most out of your Kindle. The best Kindle Tips from us are included – and whatever you find yourself or on the Internet you can add in yourself.

What Kindle Tips is Not

  1. It’s not a Journal or a Notepad or a Flash Cards App.
  2. It’s not focused on free kindle books. Simply refer to the Free Kindle Books section of my blog if you want daily updates on offers and deals in the Kindle store.
  3. It only has 133 Kindle Tips that are stable and tested and secure. There’s nothing here that’s about hacking or removing DRM.
  4. It is not a User Guide. Please refer to the excellent Kindle User Guide.
  5. It is not a book. It only works on Kindles and not on Reading Apps.
  6. It is not a wireless email app or wireless syncing app. You cannot wirelessly sync with other Kindles. You can copy over the particular file that stores your tips (more on that later) but there is not wireless syncing.
  7. There’s no emailing because developers have to cover the cost of wireless usage and if we add email then it means that the price can’t be $1.

It’s also not free because it took a lot of effort to code all the features and find all the Kindle tips and we can’t sell it for less than it cost to make. We think $1 is a steal for 133 of the best Kindle Tips in an app that you can add your own tips to. Not to mention you get a slideshow mode which is very handy.

Where to get Help for Tips for Kindle

Please feel free to leave a comment here or email me at booksummit@ymail.com. For both suggestions and help these are the two best places.

Our Kindle App Blog has help including Downloable Kindle Tips App Help files in PDF and Word and Kindle format. It will get more help posts soon.

If you like the app please leave a review at Amazon and tell your friends. That would be a big help as a $1 price doesn’t leave much room for marketing costs.

Tips for Kindle – Credits

Andriy Kanyuka (Developer) – Tips for Kindle is a light, elegant app with some very useful features thanks mainly to Andriy’s coding skills. It’s really impressive to get a pretty app with 133 Kindle Tips, slideshow mode, and favorites in a light 150 kb package. Plus, everything is quick and intuitive.

Maurine Lee (Quality) – Maurine is responsible for the app being high quality and usable and out. She’s also done the excellent help documentation which you can download and read on your PC or Kindle.

Sergey Reva (Test) – Lots of testing and finding bugs so we don’t have to stumble through the app. Lots of useful suggestions too.

Digant Bhatt and Sergey Shevchenko (Design) – We really like the design and hope you like it too. And the icons and the fact that it’s still fast to load.

Jennifer Merkley – For suggesting the Slideshow Feature. It adds a lot to the app.

Amazon Kindle App Team and Andrea – For pushing us to make more than just a simple list of Tips. Which led to the feature of being able to add your own tips and select favorites and added motivation to implement Jennifer’s idea of a Slideshow Feature. Also for making sure all 133 tips were tested and safe and actually valuable (which is why ‘Use your Kindle as a Butter Knife’ didn’t make it in).

Official Kindle Forum and the Contributors – Excellent Tips and just a great spirit. People like Happy Reader Joyce and Emily Bronte and Bufo Calvin and Andrys and the ones contributing at the Discounted Books Thread and the Tips Thread help make the Kindle ecosystem better and happier. A ton of credit to all of them for finding and sharing such great Kindle tips.

Kindle Superstar Bloggers – Andrys at Kindle World and Bufo at I Love My Kindle. They keep writing about the Kindle and spreading Tips. Special thanks to Andrys as quite a few really good tips were first found via her blog.

Happy Reader Joyce – For her daily Free Kindle Books posts.

Me (Abhi) – Program Manager. I still don’t know what that really means. Perhaps just to make sure other people aren’t blocked by random things.

Google – For putting sites that steal this blog’s posts above this blog in the Search Rankings and forcing us to find other ways to reach and help Kindle owners.

Please let us know your suggestions and any tips you might find. The Tips would be especially appreciated. We’re looking forward to making the app better but no promises on when an update will come out.

Thanks to Nate the Great at The Digital Reader for mentioning the app already.

Switch your Kindle dictionary, Kindle Thesaurus options

Your Kindle’s default Kindle Dictionary can be replaced by another Dictionary, a Kindle Thesaurus + Dictionary combo, or a language translation dictionary.

Your Kindle ships with The New Oxford American Dictionary as the default. If you have a Kindle 3 or Kindle WiFi then it probably also includes the Oxford Dictionary of English. However, these two aren’t your only options.

How you can switch Your Default Kindle Dictionary

There are 24 ‘Kindle Default Dictionaries’ available in the Kindle Store. The link will take you to a page that shows the best-selling ones – However, the section at the top has a link called ‘compatible dictionary’ which will show the 24 ones that can replace the default Kindle dictionary.

You can buy one or more of these and then set them as your default dictionary. 

Switching Your Default Kindle Dictionary 

  1. Buy and download the new ‘default kindle dictionary’ option to your Kindle. It must be on your Kindle (physically on the Kindle) for the switch to work.
  2. Go to your Kindle’s Home Page and press the Menu button.
  3. In the Menu choose settings and on the Settings Page again press the Menu button.
  4. In the Menu on the Settings Page press ‘Change Primary Dictionary’. It’ll be the third link and just below ‘Shop in Kindle Store’.
  5. You will be shown a list of options – Only the two dictionaries mentioned above (Oxford, New Oxford American) and those out of the 24 additional default dictionaires that you have bought will be shown.
  6. Click on whichever dictionary you would like to set as the default.
  7. That’s it.

You’re limited to these 26 options so let’s take a look at what’s available.

Kindle Dictionary Options

Your options are (all are available at the link listed above) –

  1. The two dictionaries that ship with the Kindle 3.  
  2. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.  
  3. Easton’s Bible Dictionary.
  4. Dean’s Law Dictionary. 
  5. Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s Dictionary and Pocket Dictionary.
  6. Merriam-Webster’s Medical Desk Dictionary.
  7. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
  8. Translation Dictionaries from Merriam-Webster including Spanish-English, English-Spanish, English-French, and French-English.
  9. Translation Dictionaries from Barron’s including German-English, English-German, Italian-English, English-Italian, English-Spanish, French-English, Spanish-English, and English-French. 
  10. Oxford Dictionary of Idioms.
  11. Mobile Reference’s Encyclopedia of Politics and Big Polish Encyclopedia.
  12. Perhaps most interestingly there are two Dictionary+Thesaurus options – WordNet 3 and Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus.

Nearly all of these have negative reviews. Where the reviews are good overall the Kindle edition reviews are terrible. It seems that most dictionary publishers haven’t really put much effort into making these suitable for Kindle use.

The language translation dictionaries are news to me as are the Thesaurus+Dictionary combinations.

The Thesaurus options are really interesting so let’s take a closer look. 

Kindle Thesaurus Options

If you’d like a thesaurus on your Kindle there are two paths to choose from.

Replace your Dictionary with a Dictionary+Thesaurus

You can choose one of the two Dictionary+Thesaurus options – WordNet 3 from Princeton, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus.

The benefits are that these can be your default Kindle dictionary and save you a lot of time. They are also reasonably priced. The negatives are that both are considered rather limited and the Kindle edition reviews are poor.

Here’s more on WordNet 3 –

WordNet is a lexical database of the English language containing about 150,000 words organized in over 115,000 synsets for a total of 207,000 word-sense pairs. It groups English nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs into sets of cognitive synonyms called synsets each expressing a distinct concept.

WordNet provides short, general definitions, and records conceptual-semantic and lexical relations between these synonym sets. The resulting network of meaningfully related words and concepts is a combination of dictionary and thesaurus that is more intuitively usable than traditional dictionaries.

This Kindle edition is a fully functional dictionary and thesaurus and can be installed as a default dictionary on the Kindle.

This has a lot of negative reviews for the Kindle version as does the other one.

Pick a Dedicated Thesaurus that is basically a separate Kindle Book

Your other option is to pick something like Roget’s Super Thesaurus which you would use as a separate reference book. You would leave the book you are reading, open this Thesaurus separately, and search for the word you want. It’s obviously not as good as being able to use a Dictionary+Thesaurus as your default Kindle dictionary but a dedicated Thesaurus does have better word coverage.

The description for the Super Thesaurus says –

Easy to use and comprehensive in content, Roget’s Super Thesaurus includes these unique features:

· reverse dictionary
· sample sentences
· enlightening quotes
· more that 400,000 synonyms and antonyms

However, the reviews for the Kindle edition are brutal. It’s described by Kindle owners as a ‘waste of money’ and a ‘Kindle disaster’.

We also have other Thesaurus options like The Doubleday Roget’s Thesaurus in Dictionary Form but they too have terrible reviews from Kindle owners.

None of the Kindle Thesaurus and Dictionary options have good reviews

It’s pretty interesting that each of the 24 additional default dictionaries and every Thesaurus available as a standard Kindle book has terrible reviews. Perhaps Kindle owners expect more functionality, perhaps they are all just implemented terribly. The most common complaints were a lack of word coverage, difficult navigation, and poor search.

There seems to be a big opportunity to release a thesaurus or dictionary that is built specifically for the Kindle.

Kindle 3 – Kindle 3 Insights

It’s clear that the Kindle 3 still has some tricks up its sleeve – We now know there’s a Kindle 3 microphone and that the Kindle 3 supports CJK and Cyrillic fonts. 

Let’s go through these and other Kindle 3 Insights from the official kindle forum, Kindle 3 help pages, and the Kindle 3 User Guide. Instead of taking 5 hours to read through all of those get all the top Kindle 3 insights from this post in 15 minutes.

Kindle 3 – Top 22 Kindle 3 Insights

Here are the things about the Kindle 3 that really stood out –

  1. There’s a microphone on the Kindle 3 that’s currently not being used. It could be used down the line for speech to text, voice commands, and hands free reading. Here’s a full post on Kindle 3 speech to text and other microphone possibilities.
  2. Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi support CJK fonts and Cyrillic fonts. It means that Amazon is getting ready to make a big push in non-English languages.
  3. There’s now an Audible section in the Kindle Store. Audible audiobooks can only be downloaded when you’re using WiFi – else you can download to your PC and transfer to Kindle.
  4. Connecting to WiFi – On Home press Menu and choose Settings. Select ‘View’ next to ‘WiFi Settings’ and you get a list of detected WiFi networks. You can connect to one of these networks, rescan, or enter another WiFi network to connect to. For the last option you can also choose ‘set up network’ from the ‘failed to connect’ message dialog and enter network information.
  5. When entering network information you can choose DHCP or Static connections (for Static connections you need to enter IP Address, Subnet Mask, Router, and DNS). You also choose from WEP, WPA, WPA2, and None for security type. Then enter the network password.
  6. With WiFi you get – faster downloads, free delivery of personal documents, delivery of Audible audiobook purchases. US customers get free downloads of books, periodicals, and personal documents outside the US if they connect via WiFi.
  7. Pressing Alt + any character in the top row gives you a number (Alt+Q = 1 and so on). Numbers are also accessible via the SYM key. Removing the numbers row is a terrible decision.
  8. Auto-disappearing Top Bar. When you open a book there will be a bar at the top with Book Title, network type, whispernet status, and battery status. As soon as you move to the next or previous page the Bar disappears. Press Menu to get it back temporarily (until you press Menu again and it disappears).
  9. The speakers are now on the top left and the top right of the back of your Kindle 3.
  10. The back is now texturized rubber for a better grip.
  11. There’s a new WiFi symbol to indicate when your Kindle 3 is connected to WhisperNet using WiFi. You have to press the Menu button to see type of connection.
  12. There’s a ‘View Downloading Items’ option in the Menu of your Kindle 3 Home Page that will display what items are being downloaded and their download progress. This is pretty cool.
  13. Kindle 3 automatically turns 3G off if you connect using WiFi. If you disconnect or move out of range the 3G is automatically switched on. It’s a little strange that the only way to disable 3G is to turn WhisperNet off.
  14. The Kindle 3 guide talks about an easy way to add multiple items to a Collection. Navigate to a collection, press right to see the options, and choose ‘Add/Remove Items’. You then get a list of all items on your Kindle and can add whatever items you want to the Collection. Items added to the Collection have a checkmark next to them.
  15. You can adjust contrast in PDFs – The options are lightest, lighter, default, darker, and darkest. This is an interesting addition. See the shortcuts section below for how to ‘nudge’ the chosen view when you are zoomed.
  16. Password protected PDFs are now supported. For PDFs white margins of PDFs are automatically cropped – perhaps this was present in Kindle 2.5.
  17. To convert PDF files use the conversion service and include the word ‘convert’ in your email subject line. After conversion you can use Text to Speech with converted PDFs (which are no longer PDFs).
  18. The Kindle 3 Experimental Web Browser supports JavaScript, SSL, and cookies but not Flash or Java Applets. In the guide it shows the Kindle 3 browser displaying ESPN’s home page and Amazon’s home page perfectly. That would be impressive it if works – find it hard to believe.
  19. There’s a new Article Mode in Kindle 3’s web browser – Article Mode shows only the main text on a webpage.
  20. The browser lets you download Kindle format files (.azw, .azw1), unprotected Mobipocket files (.mobi, .prc), and text files.
  21. There’s an option on the Settings Page to set your Kindle’s time. There’s also an option on the Settings Page to turn on the Voice Guide (accessible menus).
  22. Finally, there’s a menu option on the Settings page to ‘Change Primary Dictionary’. Think this is available on Kindle 2.5 too.

That’s quite a few Kindle 3 insights that haven’t been discussed so far.

One useful tip is to name your Kindle 3 something that includes your contact email or phone number. That way, if it gets lost, whoever finds your Kindle 3 will know how to contact you. Thanks to someone at the official kindle forum for this brilliant idea.

It’s quite amusing to see that 75% of the Troubleshooting Questions have the same simple solution – Restart your Kindle 3. Try Again.

Kindle Customer Support

Here are the Kindle 3 support numbers –

For U.S. and other countries, Kindle Support can be reached via –

E-mail at kindle-cs-support@amazon.com.
Phone at 1-206-266-0927 (charges will apply).

U.S. customers can reach Kindle Support by phone at 1-866-321-8851 (toll free).

U.K. customers can contact Kindle Support at kindle-support-uk@amazon.co.uk or by phone at: 0800-496-2449 (toll free) or outside the U.K.: +44 (0)800-496-2449 (charges will apply).

Kindle 3 – Shortcuts

These are the shortcuts listed for the Kindle 3. There may be some overlap with the other two sections –

  1. Alt+Top Row of Alphabets to get numbers. 
  2. In most books – Press left or right on 5-way to go to the beginning of the next or previous chapter. This is an interesting one.
  3. Alt+Del to delete everything you’ve typed.  
  4. On Home Page if books are sorted by Title or Author – Press a letter key and then the 5-way to go to the first item starting with that letter. 
  5. Add/remove bookmark – Alt+B. Also, you can press the 5-way twice to bookmark a page.
  6. Press Alt+Enter on a note or highlight to share it via Facebook or Twitter.
  7. PDFs – Nudge the chosen view area by pressing down Shift (Up Arrow key) and then using 5-way controller. Nudge = Pan in small increments.
  8. Shift + SYM to start Text to Speech and Spacebar to pause/resume. Note: You can put your Kindle to sleep when using Text to Speech and it keeps working.
  9. Alt+Spacebar to stop or play music. Alt+F to skip to next track.

Have left out some of the very obvious ones carried over from Kindle 2.

Kindle 3 – Additional Kindle 3 Insights

Here are some more interesting Kindle 3 facts –

  1. Progress Bar now shows you the location at which you started current reading session and the location of various notes and bookmarks.
  2. Kindle WiFi uses 802.11 b and 802.11 g. It automatically remembers and connects to hotspots you have used in the past. It doesn’t connect to enterprise or ad-hoc networks.
  3. There’s something new called International Subscription Service for delivery of periodicals when you are outside the US.
  4. The Volume Control and Power Switch have been moved to the bottom of the Kindle 3. There’s also the headphone jack, a microphone, and a micro-USB power port.
  5. This cryptic phrase – All latest generation Kindle devices have Wi-Fi connectivity built-in. Really? Guess they meant all except the Kindle DX 2.
  6. There are 3 font types – regular, condensed, and sans-serif.  
  7. There are now Line Spacing options – Small, Medium, and Large. No idea if Alt+Shift+Number still works – Well, that’s probably impossible now.
  8. There are now two Kindle 3 dictionaries – The New Oxford American Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionary of English. Guess this is done for the Kindle UK push.
  9. With the Kindle 3 you have to slide and hold the power switch for 7 seconds to turn it off. It’s a bit much. Resetting now requires sliding and holding the switch for 15 seconds.
  10. The charge indicator light is now around/under the power switch.  
  11. To check whether you have Kindle WiFi or Kindle 3 3G+WiFi – On the Home Page press Menu, then choose Settings, and on the Settings Page look under Device Info at the ‘Network Capability’ line.
  12. Apparently, annotations created for any personal documents, blog items, or subscription items older than 7 days are not saved when they are deleted. They will be in the My Clippings File. However, if you re-load the deleted item the annotations won’t be there. Not sure if it was always this way or whether this is a Kindle 3 change.
  13. The music player is still strange – ‘songs will be played in the order they were added to your kindle’ and there’s still no ‘previous track’ button.
  14. To Turn Off the Popular Highlights Feature – On the Home screen press Menu, then choose Settings, and then on the Settings Page click on ‘turn off’ next to Popular Highlights.
  15. When on a Popular Highlight press Enter to show or hide the number of people who highlighted this particular passage.
  16. It was interesting to find out that you can view a list of Popular Highlights for a book and sort them by popularity.
  17. There’s experimental .docx conversion through Amazon’s document conversion service. Zip files sent to Amazon are automatically opened up and any convertible files are converted. 

You can check for additional Kindle 3 tips and insights at the Kindle 3 Help Pages.