Kindle 2 Video User Guide

These are the top 100 things about the Kindle 2 worth knowing (to be precise they’re probably 100 of the top 150 things to know).

The addition of the video is to let you actually see what things look like, and you can try it out on your Kindle 2 as you watch and read this guide.

Kindle 2 Guide – The Basics

Here’s a video walking you through Kindle 2 basics –

There are some of the basic things to know -

  1. You can charge via USB or the power adapter. Orange = Charging. Green = Fully charged.
  2. The bar at the very top always shows the name you gave your Kindle on the left, and the Wireless Signal and Battery Life on the right.
  3. When you press the Menu button the top bar also shows remaining memory capacity on the left, Time in the centre and type of wireless signal next to signal strength and battery life.
  4. The Kindle loses its battery charge very rapidly if whispernet/wireless is left on. This happens even if Kindle is in sleep mode. So do turn off the wireless whenever you’re not using the Internet.
  5. Be very careful when handling your Kindle 2. Dropping it could break the screen which is rather delicate.
  6. Customer Help -

    Kindle Help Customer Numbers – 1-866-321-8851 in the US, and 1-206-266-0927 from outside the US.

Kindle 2 Guide – Kindle 2 Shortcuts

Here’s the video –

And here are the shortcuts discussed (in all cases you have to hold down the first key and then press the second key) -

  1. Alt + Aa – Brings up the Font Size and Text To Speech Menu.
  2. Shift + Sym – Starts Read To Me, the Text to Speech feature. Its disabled in some books and won’t work for them. 
  3. SpaceBar (when TTS is on) – pause and restart Text To Speech. 
  4. Alt+SpaceBar – Start and Stop Background Music.  
  5. Alt+F – Next Music Track.
  6. Alt+G – Refresh the screen and Remove Ghosting (faded outlines of previous page). 
  7. Alt+B – Bookmark.
  8. Alt+Shift +1/2/3/etc. – Change Line Spacing.   
  9. Dictionary definitions – Move Cursor to any word. Press Enter to see more details.
  10. Menu button on any page – Time and Memory.  
  11. Alt+T on Home Screen – Time and Date. 
  12. Left on Home Screen when an item is underlined - delete the item.
  13. Right on Home Screen when an item is underlined – see item details, and links for last page read, etc.
  14. Type in @help on home page – see help options.
  15. Alt+Shift+M on Home Page – Bring up Minesweeper.
  16. Jump to any page – Press a number (say 2) and then 5-way controller to go to that page (page 2). Note: You can also jump to page 22 by quicly pressing ’2′ twice and then hitting the enter key.

Additional Kindle 2 Shortcuts:

  1. Alt + Delete – Clear what you’ve typed in a note or in the search field.
  2. Alt+Shift+G - Take a screenshot.
  3. Alt+Z – Refresh Home Screen to show photo albums (see section below on how to add photo albums). 
  4. Search options (@dict, @home, @store, @web, @wikipedia/@wiki).
  5. Browser Bookmarks List – Left on 5-way to delete a bookmark, right on 5-way to edit a bookmark.
  6. Kindle Help Customer Numbers – 1-866-321-8851 in the US, and 1-206-266-0927 from outside the US.
  7. Power Switch – Slide it to go to Sleep Mode or to wake up Kindle. Slide and hold for 4-5 seconds to turn off Kindle.
  8. Sending Kindle into sleep mode is better than turning it off.
  9. Slide and hold Power Switch for 15 seconds to reset the Kindle. Use reset sparingly.
  10. In Settings enter 411 and press enter to get diagnostics.
  11. In settings enter 611 and press enter to get even more diagnostics.

 If you have found any additional shortcuts, please leave a comment.

Kindle 2 Video Guide – Reading a Book

Here’s a video walk-through –

This is a straightforward section. Will add notes if there’s any confusion – leave a comment if you’d like steps and details.

Kindle 2 Video Guide – Getting Paid and Free Books

The best options for free books are -

  1. The link on the upper part of the right side of this page for 40 free new kindle books in the kindle store. 
  2. The link on the left side of this page for Free Kindle Books and Sites (its under ‘Popular Posts’).
  3. Manybooks and Gutenberg are the two best choices for free public domain books. At Gutenberg remember to download the Mobipocket format. At Manybooks choose the Kindle format (.azw).
  4. Mnybks.net works from the Kindle’s browser.
  5. For Google Books, choose the link on the right next to the 40 Free Kindle Books list link.

As far as buying from the Kindle Store -

  1. If you buy from the Kindle itself the purchase confirmation page will have a link at the very bottom to return the book i.e. cancel your purchase.
  2. If you buy from Amazon and want a refund, you’ll have to email customer service or call them up.
  3. When browsing Kindle Store via the Kindle you have to click through to a book’s page to see the price. The bestseller lists have no prices shown (on Amazon.com they do).  
  4. Remember that any books you download have to be placed in the documents folder of the kindle. Any audiobooks have to be placed in the Audible folder.

Kindle 2 Guide - AudioBooks and Photo Albums

Here’s a video showing how to get audiobooks and photo albums on to the Kindle and how to access them –

.

Here are the written instructions -

Using the Image Viewer (Photo Albums)

Creating photo albums on your Kindle 2 -

  1. Connect Kindle 2 to your PC via the USB cable.
  2. Your Kindle 2 will show up as a external drive. Create a “pictures” folder on it.
  3. Create sub-folders in the pictures folder with the name that you’d like to give your photo albums. 
  4. For each folder put in the photos that you would like in that photo album.
  5. Remove your Kindle 2 from your PC/Mac and on the home page press Alt+Z to refresh and bring up the photo albums.
  6. The names of the photo albums will be the folder names you selected for sub-folders in your pictures folder.
  7. Click on one of the photo albums, and the Image Viewer on the Kindle 2 starts up.

Shortcuts in the Kindle 2′s Image Viewer -

  1. Zoom In – Q key.
  2. Zoom Out – W key.
  3. Reset Zoom – E key.
  4. Toggle to Actual Size – C key.
  5. Toggle Full Screen Mode – F key.
  6. Pan Photo – With 5-way controller. This only works for large pictures
  7. Rotate – R key

As far as audiobooks, this post on Kindle AudioBooks has details on how to get Audible books to work. The audio book player details in the post are a bit outdated as in Kindle 2 all the controls are together at the bottom of the screen.

Kindle 2 Guide – Newspapers and Search

 Here’s the video guide –

And the notes -

  1. All newspapers have 14 day free trials so do take advantage of that.  
  2. Some newspapers do not include all the content and pictures. Read the reviews in the Kindle Store for details. 
  3. Its useful to use the ‘View Sections’ option.
  4. Its also rather helpful that the number next to the section name (in the View Sections page) gives you a list of articles in the section. 
  5. You can clip an entire article from a newspaper.
  6. You can keep an issue of the newspaper.
  7. You can add notes and highlights in an article.

For Search -

  1. When searching you can choose to search just the current book (if in a book), or all your items, or the web, or wikipedia, or the kindle store, or google, or the dictionary.
  2. When searching, you can use search shortcuts i.e. @store, @web, @wiki/@wikipedia, @dict etc. You can also use @author when searching the kindle store to narrow a search to a particular author.
  3. You can use a combination of ‘tags/notes’ and search to create a Folders workaround for the Kindle.

Kindle 2 Guide – Browser and Kindle Store

To Be Updated. The lack of whispernet in Canada makes this rather difficult. Will figure out a workaround and update this section.

Kindle 2 Conversions

For Conversion please see the Kindle 2 PDF conversion guide. The post focuses on pdf conversions.

The emailing to Amazon methods (both free and paid) discussed in the post also work for the other formats that Amazon converts i.e. HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP.

Closing Thoughts

Will update this Kindle 2 Video Guide with new tips and guidelines as they’re found. Do leave comments and the best tips and helpful things you’ve found about the Kindle 2. Let me know if you have questions.

Manage My Kindle, Kindle 2 Section at Amazon

Amazon has quite a helpful Manage My Kindle Section. You’ll probably get access to it before your Kindle 2 actually arrives, and here’s a short guide to what you can do -

Your Kindles + Your Kindle Approved Email List

The first two sections on the Manage Your Kindle page -

  1. Sections 1 is for you to Register Your Kindle 2, Kindle 1, and give each of them a nickname. 
  2. Also in Section 1, you can specify the email address for each of your Kindles. This is the email address to which you can send attachments.
  3. In Section 2, you have to specify the list of emails that are authorized to send your Kindle 2/Kindle documents. Its a good idea to avoid spam.
  4. You can also deregister a Kindle, delete email addresses, and change your Kindle email address or nickname.
Manage Your Kindle 2 + Approved Emails List

Manage Your Kindle 2 + Approved Emails List

1 Click Payment Method + Kindle Subscriptions
The next 2 sections of the Manage Your Kindle page let you -

  1. Specify your 1 Click Payment method in Section 3. Obviously, 1 click works well since it lends itself to more impetuous purchases and much easier purchases.
  2. Section 4 shows your Kindle 2/Kindle 1 subscriptions. You can choose which of your Kindle 2s/Kindle 1s the subscriptions get delivered to.
  3. Next to each of your subscriptions is a + button that you can click to open up options that let you download current or past editions of your subscription to your PC or to your Kindle (via wireless WhisperNet).
  4. You can also cancel your subscriptions from here.
Manage Your Kindle 1 Click Payment + Subscriptions

Manage Your Kindle 1 Click Payment + Subscriptions

Kindle Open Orders, Kindle Orders + Individual Charges
The last 2 sections of the Manage Your Kindle section let you -

  1. See what Open Orders you have in Section 5.
  2. Look at all your orders and charges ($0.10 for converting documents) in Section 6, and download any of these to your PC or transfer it to any of your Kindle 2s or Kindle 1s.
 

There are two other smaller sections - 

A simple Manage Synchronization between Your Devices link right after Section 6 (Kindle Orders) that takes you to a page that lets you turn on WhisperSync.
And on the right side column of the page a section that shows you the delivery status of your latest orders (in terms of them being transferred to your Kindle/ Kindle 2 or pending).

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

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