Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kindle Tip: The Free 24/7 3G Access to Wikipedia on all 3G e-Ink Kindles (not generally known), plus Article Mode for that

After reading a couple of Internet news articles this weekend that stated that the 3G E-Ink Kindles of the last two years are restricted, in their 3G cellular network access, to the Amazon store (and having talked to many who don't know that the 3G e-Ink Kindles ALL have free 3G encyclopedia access 24/7 through Wikipedia globally), I thought it was a good time for a reminder.
  In fact, it's probably the first most will have heard of it.

 This includes the first two e-Ink Kindles, Kindle 1 and 2, which had and have only 3G access, and which both have ultra slow access to web look-ups in general (these are both still being used by Kindle stalwarts, since they can read their Kindle books on it, and many see no reason to buy later models) and the Kindle Keyboard ("Kindle 3"), Kindle Touch and Kindle Paperwhite (UK model here) models that have 3G.
  Clicking on the images take you to their respective U.S. Amazon pages.

  In fact, the very first article posted by this blog on March 19, 2009, was a photo comparison of the Kindle 1 vs Kindle 2 accessing the web in their black & white fashion and showing the differences in texture of output in graphics.  At this point, it's a bit of history on models still being used.

  The differences seen between those early models, 2 years apart (2007 and 2009) reflect the number of "shades of gray" used in each.  And that led to the article March 30 that year "Are the Kindle 2's 16 shades of gray a big deal?," which is an interesting look at the differences, and the source was an excellent linked tutorial on what happens when 4, 8, or 16 shades of gray are used.
  Well, a bit of nostalgia.  A lot has happened in 4 years.

  But, MAIN POINT - ALL of the 3G models pictured and still used, including the new 3G Paperwhite, allow FREE 3G access to Wikipedia, 24/7, meaning that if you happen to be on a bus, at the beach, or at the dentist's office and reading, and are curious about an event or fact, you can just look it up on those e-Ink 3G Kindles.  They allow you to SEARCH (while reading a book), or access directly, that Internet encyclopedia at no added cost.  (I'm pretty sure it's only the English version that's accessed even in the rest of the world).   This is in over 100+ countries/areas of the world.

  If you're not reading a book and just want to go look something up at Wikipedia using what's still called the e-Ink Kindle's "experimental web browser" you can just select Menu/Bookmarks -- which takes you to the mobile version of Encyclopedia, which delivers the content at a very decent speed on the 3G models of Kindle Touch and Paperwhite and is not that slow on the 3G Kindle 3 Keyboard.

I consider this a terrific feature, for those who don't have data plans on smartphones, and of course the battery lasts longer if you use the e-Ink eReaders for that, with their larger screens.

ARTICLE MODE - Don't forget that you can use this menu feature on single web page articles.  If you're reading a specific Wikipedia article and you find the fonts too small (usually the case with web articles on a 6" screen), tap at the TOP row of the display to get the Menu.  Press Menu and choose "Article Mode" and the article will be a lot easier to read.
  Hope people find this helpful.

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.

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  1. The Kindle Keyboard has 3G access to everything. It's not just restricted to the Amazon store and Wikipedia. It's the main reason I returned my Touch and ordered the keyboard model. I don't use it all that often, honestly the text is a bit small when trying to do my e-mail or google reader, but it's a whole lot easier to read at the park or the beach than on my glossy iPhone/iPad screen.


    1. Gary, thanks for making that point for me, as I wanted to stay away from complications on this one and keep it simple. As you may remember, I've had a focus on the free KK's 3G web-look capability worldwide, even if it's slow. The right reference column still shows the special Page made for the details on country eligibility and use of 3G web lookups for the Kindle KK (and it still works for existing Int'l versions of Kindle 2 and DX as well).

      Re text being small, catch my add-on paragraph on Article Mode for web pages. It works pretty well.

  2. Hello, I am Meritxell (Spain)

    My kindle DX (International) doesn't work fine with this feature. When I go to search the meaning of a word at the wikipedia, via the experimental browser, the device returns the next message: "Basic web cannot download this kind of file. Only files with the extension .AZW, .AZW1, .PRC, .MOBI, or .TXT can be downloaded to your kindle".

    1. Meritxell, what link are you using? Try the mobile version of Wikipedia in your Kindle's web browser Bookmarks menu if you haven't done it that way. What's odd is that Amazon used to give the non-mobile version and then Wikipedia would redirect us to the mobile web site pages.

      Also, in the blog article above, I had this paragraph back in March 2013:
      "If you're not reading a book and just want to go look something up at Wikipedia using what's still called the e-Ink Kindle's "experimental web browser" you can just select Menu/Bookmarks -- which takes you to the mobile version of Encyclopedia, which delivers the content at a very decent speed on the 3G models of Kindle Touch and Paperwhite and is not that slow on the 3G Kindle 3 Keyboard."

      True for the DX's too. You can't download a PDF though. But Wikipedia text should come through.

      *** The best URL or link to use on your DX is ***

      I also have a downloadable booklet of mobile links for the old keyboard Kindles, and that's downloadable via

      It's explained (along with tips on best Kindle Web Browser Settings) at http://kwmobileweb.

      Hope something from that helps...

    2. wiki went https* and the DX has no certificate for wiki - you will not be able to go to. even with a 3.1 software hack :(

    3. I can't find my DX right now, but on my Paperwhite 1, the bookmark for wikipedia is, and when I click on it, it changes to I can go into the URL field and change it to http:// without the 's' and it works. But if you click for another link, the https:// comes back, though you can change it to be without the 's' and it works. Have you tried that on your DX? Also,
      . . . in the Menu at top right, you can choose 'Article mode' and maybe that might get the page to show?

      After you're done reading, you can go into article mode and change it back to 'web mode' ...

      When did this https:// change occur for you? It's the first time I've heard of it.


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