Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Using MAPQUEST Maps text page for From-To Driving Directions with Kindle - UPDATED 9/26/12

UPDATE 9/26/12 - The Google-Maps text-based driving-directions feature via WEB rather than via a mobile app was eliminated by Google, unfortunately.

I'm substituting for it, as we can't put an app on an e-Ink Kindle.

This guide is for Kindle 3's (Kindle Keyboard) and also for Kindle 2's as well as for Kindle DX's.

  Kindle 3 users, once presented with step-by-step directions, can also press Menu button and select "Article mode" to see only the directions and in larger fonts.  When finished, press Menu again and select "Web Mode" to see full pags.  Kindle 2 text is larger and more readable for some text pages.

UPDATE June 13, 2010 - I was a passenger in a car Monday night and we actually could not find the street where the concert building was and went round and round the one-way streets of San Francisco until I realized I had blogged how to get driving directions the night before.
  The illustration at the top is how Google text directions looked on the Kindle 2 (somewhat smaller on Kindle 3).

(The Mapquest directions page is similar but has more info on it,
and also uses a very simple map image, which will work better on an e-Ink device than the dense Google map.)

  You can click on any image on this page to get the larger one.
  (The image enlargement works with the Kindle-edition blog now too, in Advanced Mode Menu Setting only, though you can plug the charger in to avoid draining the battery at all.  After viewing, press BACK button to return to the Kindle Edition blog.)
  Now, back to the blog article originally dated June 11.

The Kindle Basic Web browser:  Some Kindle owners take advantage of the free, included, 24/7 cellular wireless when in the car, without a GPS unit or suitable map, and wanting to find out how to get somewhere.  The information below also includes options for walking, using local transit, and bicyling.

  Since these are text navigation directions rather than maps, they load quickly and you can enlarge the font for those.

  A shortcut to get to the Directions website is at the bottom.

  When you've been busy using the Kindle for a number of things, sometimes the first attempt at web-browsing will cause the Kindle to reboot to clear memory for a clean start.  After that, it should be fine.

  Here is the traditional way to get to the web browser (non-shortcut)
1. Press the Menu button and select "Experimental" option at the bottom.

2. Click on "Basic Web."

3. At the Web browser page (although it may take you to bookmarks page instead),

the screen may show "Advanced" or "Desktop" at top center as your browsing mode.  However, "Basic mode" will work with these text-only directions and is generally faster than "Advanced" or "Desktop" mode" when you don't need to use the non-Basic mode. (The 'Desktop' word is used by DX's)  You can press Menu/Settings to choose "Basic" if you want, but it's ok either way.

  TIP 1.  If you've been busy on the Kindle, it might be good to press MENU botton, select Settings option here and click on "Clear Cache" to have more memory available for the web-browsing session.  Not necessary though.

Press MENU button to choose "Go to Top" or "Enter URL"

These get you to the top line to type a link or URL

4. TYPE: [Mapquest replaces Google Maps text directions here, 9/26/12)

5. Five-way to the right until you get "GoTo" and then press down on that.

That should fetch the Mapquest text directions page for you.

(A SHORTCUT for Steps 1-5 is at the bottom of the page.)

6. Press the Menu button to BOOKMARK this page the first time so that you don't have to type this URL again.

7. Then you can use your 5-way button/cursor to get, slowly, to the input boxes to enter, into the Start: and End: boxes, street addresses and, if needed, city, 2-character state (or zip) for step-by-step directions to your destination. (Commas are often not needed, as Mapquest is quite smart that way.)

8. 5-way DOWN click (down) on "Route Options GO"

  (Unless you do Step 8, to choose Route Options, your input will be wiped out.)

The Kindle browser will get you the step-by-step directions pretty quickly.

  Sometimes, the directions take you the long way but it's better than being lost.

  It's also possible to use the Aa text-key at the bottom of the keyboard to increase or decrease the size of the fonts for this.  But I've found that the default '3' works best for normal spacing planned for the webpage..

  When the font-size change is requested, the web-page has to re-draw the page from the Net, so it takes longer than when you do this on a book.

TIP 2.  Normally, when you're shown results that are one-page long, you can't "go back" to where you were without pressing the "BACK" button, which always takes you back to the last place from which you "jumped" (almost always by clicking on a link: a jump to another area).

  Amazon has added two small, black left and right arrows at the top left.

These are like normal computer web browser back/fwd buttons, and they work here in the way you'd expect.

If you want to go back and forth without losing the information on the search results page, you can go up to the left arrow and click on it to bring you to the page that shows you what your search input was.
  After checking that, you can then click on the right-arrow above this time and check again your search results.

The 'BACK' button would have taken you back with no way to get back to the search results.

Let me know if you have any problems with this.

ADDENDUM for KINDLE 2 and KINDLE DX USERS: (first added 7/25/09 in the previous guide)
There is a shortcut for getting to a URL from the Home Screen.

  The traditional way was shown above.

INSTEAD of 1 through 5 above:
1. Start typing a URL.

  This will bring up the tubular text-input 'box' at the bottom.

2. TYPE in: [ Mapquest is being used to replace no-longer-existing Google text page]

3. Five-way to the right until you get "GoTo" and then press down on that.

  You'll be placed right on the text-directions page.

Then go to Step 6 (or to Step 7 if you've already bookmarked it previously).

You can type in the URL while reading a book or article, with one added step.
    IF your cursor is NOT on the screen.
      Then start typing a character, such as 'a' -- that brings up the search box, while just pressing 'Enter' key doesn't in this case.
  Delete that one character from the resulting Searchbar and type
    @url or whatever website url (use NO "http://") and then
      5-way to the right just once, to "my items" and click on that.

  After finishing with the website, press 'Back' key to return to the book page you were on.

Am hoping that the above wasn't one alternative too many!

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links
Updated Kindle Fire Basic  7" tablet - $159
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB - $199/$249
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16/32GB - $299/$369
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G 32/64GB - $499/$599
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $69/$89
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $99/$139
Kindle Paperwhite, 3G/WiFi - $179/$199
Kindle Keybd 3G - $139/$159, Free but slow web
Kindle DX - $379, Free, slow web
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £69
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £109
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
OTHER International
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $89
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button

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  1. Hi, mapquest mobile directions works very well on my kindle 2, except I can not figure how to get public transit as an option. I have a normal GPS for directions, but it doesn't show public transit, and I was hoping the Kindle 2 would give me that functionality. The routing options only show
    Shortest Driving Time
    Shortest Driving Distance
    Walking Directions
    Is there a way to display public transit directions?

    1. Clayton,
      I can look it up more thoroughly later but if you want to get a start on it, this google search may help:

      If you find what you're looking for (and it's doable on the e-Ink, meaning no huge maps etc) before I get to it, could you let us know? Thanks.


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