Friday, July 24, 2009

Getting Google directions with the Kindle on a trip - Update4

N O T E :   JULY 10, 2010 -- GOOGLE CHANGED SOMETHING AND THE PREVIOUS DIRECTIONS (BELOW) DON'T WORK ANYMORE -- See the NEWER VERSION dated July 11, 2010 -- this one is just part of the archives now and maybe in the future might work again.

UPDATE 7/25/09:  Shortcut for both Kindle 2 and DX, to go to a website, has been added at the bottom.

Web-browser tip.  Some Kindle owners take advantage of the free, included, 24/7 Sprint cellular wireless when in the car, without a GPS unit or suitable map, and wanting to find out how to get somewhere.

  This works for Kindle 2's and Kindle DX's, although any map that appears, while quite readable in the DX, is not particularly readable on the Kindle 2.  However, the text navigation directions are very readable on both, and you can enlarge the font for those.

  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.
1.   Press the Menu button to get the "Experimental" option.

2. Click on "Experimental" to choose/accept the "Basic Web."

You'll need to use the SYM key at bottom right of keyboard to get any unusual characters such as '@" sign as well as the question-mark symbol.  While slow and an irritation, it's still useful in a car if you don't have phone access to the web.

3. At the Web browser page (though it may take you to bookmarks page instead),
press Menu to choose "Go to Top"

That gets you to the top line to type a link or URL

4. TYPE:

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

That should fetch the Google map/directions page for you.

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

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

Also, the screen should show "Advanced" or "Desktop" at top center as your browsing mode.  "Basic mode" won't work with this.  This is normally done automatically, but if not, then press Menu/Settings to choose "Advanced."

7. Then you can use your 5-way button/cursor to get, slowly, to the input boxes to enter city, state (or zip) for a Map of the area.

  If you want "Directions" - then add an address before city

8. If you check "Directions," you'll see the START-address input box and most of a small map.

9. TYPE the From: address that you want.

10. 5-way down slowly :-)

11. Then the screen shifts and gives you the rest of the map and the END-address input box.

12. TYPE in the To: address there.

Again, the text directions from Google are very readable on either Kindle screen, and you can increase the font size of that text with the Aa font-key.

You'll need to play around with this to get used to it.  On the DX, zooming-in on a map will make the street names clearer of course.

Let me know if you have any problems with this.

ADDENDUM for KINDLE 2 and KINDLE DX USERS: (added 7/25/09 at 2:59 AM)
There is a shortcut (Kindle 2/DX) for getting to a URL from the Home Screen.

  The traditional way was shown above.

INSTEAD of 1 through 5 above:
1. Press Enter key (below the DEL key)

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

2. TYPE in:

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

  You'll be placed right on the Google map/directions page.

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

1. Press Enter key (below the DEL key)

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

2. TYPE in:

3. Press merely Enter-key (below DEL key) to choose default "Search my items"

  You'll be placed right on the Google map/directions page.

The last alternative forces you to use the SYM key use for the "@" sign, which is a slowdown.

  But it also lets you just press Enter key instead of 5-waying several times to the right.

UPDATED 7/25/09
  You can type in the URL while reading a book or article
    IF your cursor is NOT on the screen.
      Then start typing in the website url (no http://) and then
      5-way to "my items" and press down.

  After finishing with website, press 'Back' key to return to book page.
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  1. To Batman, Jr. who wrote

    " Andrys,

    Hope I'm not becoming a metaphorical rock in your shoe, but just thought I'd let you know that your title line reads "Goodle" instead
    of "Google". Thanks for the search tip, though (I do read for more than "frustrated editor" purposes ;-0). "

    Batman, please continue being a welcome rock!

    I can't change underlying URLS that google would use for the title, so I've deleted the original and reposted this, with the original date and time + one minute :-)

    Thanks very much for those eyes of yours.

    - Andrys

  2. No joy. On my DX, it reports that my web browser is not supported by Google Maps. I'm in Desktop mode, with java enabled and tried it both with and without the ?output=html with the same results.

    I assume it works for you?

  3. After more playing around, I guess it actually does work if you just ignore the "Your broswer is not fully supported" warning. Just be sure to put your *destination* in the initial Search line, or you'll end up having to enter it all over again later - it defaults to the 'end-address' box on the Directions page.

  4. Elmo, do you have "/?output=html" ?
    with the "/" slash also?

    The normal alone won't work as it tries to do something more complex.

    The "/?output=html" is supposed to make it go to get the simple html version.

    I did this on both my Kindle 2 and DX numerous times without an error message. I also did these from both the Home page and from the book pages w/ slightly different choices for book page operation.

    Maybe reset the Kindle because something in the caching may be disturbing ability to access?

    Or, while in browser mode, Menu to Settings
    and clear the cache and url history.
    Past URLs can get in the way too...

    A Kindle reset will automatically clear both of those.


    I understand that a software update in the WAN card's firmware is being received by people, but the firmware version they end up with has the same number that's on my Kindle DX received around June 28th.
    That's version "2.1 (337560062)"

    Here's the info on it from MobileRead forums. I've not posted it until more is clarified.
    MobileRead forums

    Let me know if that helps.

    There should't have to be contortions with this. I suspect cache confusion or the WAN firmware version.

    Thanks for trying this out. Sorry it was problematical.

    - Andrys

  5. Also, from the Home screen you have to choose
    1) "GOTO" if not using the @url shortcut
    2) "Search my items" if -using- the @url shortcut

    - Andrys

  6. OKAY - I should reword the last note above.

    I put it more clearly in the Shortcuts guide

    The difference? @url [website] uses the option at right: "search my items"

    And the URL-only (no "@url") uses the option: "goto"


    I think this might be it. ?

    - Andrys


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