8 Surprising Things You Can Do with Your Kindle
Amazon just announced that it would be offering its Kindle e-reader for a lower price. The catch: Users will have to endure on-screen ads.
But even with the lower price ($114, which is $25 less than the lowest-priced ad-free Kindle), you might balk at buying a dedicated e-book reader over a multipurpose tablet like the iPad. But the Kindle is more versatile than many people think. Below are some surprising ways you can use the Kindle for more than just reading books.
The Kindlebility service lets you beam Web pages to your e-reader. Let's say you're surfing the Internet on your computer and come across an article you want to read while on the train. Once you've set up Kindlebility, you just need to click an icon and the pages will be automatically sent to your Kindle device.
The setup for Kindlebility is simple. Follow this link and watch a short video with instructions.
Surf the Web
The Kindle actually has a Web browser, which is based on WebKit, the same engine that powers the iPhone’s Safari app. The Kindle browser is hidden in the device's Menu bar under the Experimental option. Having a Web browser turns your e-reader into a tablet of sorts, allowing you to surf the Web and follow links. For example, you might soon be able to access hyperlinks in e-books as you’re reading.
Another rarely advertised feature of the Kindle is that it can play MP3 files, so you can plug in headphones to the built-in jack and listen to music as you read. To get music onto the Kindle, simply plug it into your computer and drag the music files onto the device.
Music isn’t the only thing you can listen to on the Kindle. You can use it to listen to audiobooks as well. Go to Amazon's online store, Audible.com, to download audiobooks, radio shows, podcasts and speeches. Some of the available audio products include The New Yorker ($69.95 for 12-month subscription) and The Wall Street Journal ($7.49 for one month).
Yahoo! Instant Message
While you’re reading a book, you can now stay in touch with friends and co-workers through instant messaging. To access this feature, go to Yahoo Messenger using the Yahoo mobile service.
You can browse RSS feeds from your favorite publications on the Kindle. This can be done directly through the e-reader’s Web browser (or through kindlefeeder.com, according to RSS4Lib). This tool is similar to Google Reader in that it automates the process by sending emails of previously selected feeds.
It's certainly can't play games such as Angry Birds like a smartphone, but the Kindle does offer two games built into the device: Minesweeper and GoMoku. To access Minesweeper, hold down the Shift-Alt-M keys. (The control keys for Minsweeper can be found on TechniPages). GoMuku is then accessed through Minesweeper by pressing the G key.
Your Kindle can also double as a photo viewer (minus the color of course), according to Geek.com. The website gives the following directions for using this feature: Plug the Kindle into your computer, create a photo folder, and then drag jpeg files into this folder. Once you’ve disconnected your Kindle, you can access the files by clicking on the newly created photo folder, which will launch the Image Viewer.