Wednesday, September 7, 2011

TNW on "10 different ways to use your Kindle"


TNW's Quinton O'Reilly points out that the Kindle can do quite a bit more than read ebooks and articles.

  He mentions the old built-in games of Minesweeper and GoMoku, and that for those in the U.S. especially, there are now plenty of game apps in the Kindle Store.

Reading [b&w] Comics and Manga
There are good illustrations there, so you should just go on over to his article to see them in connection with such things as Reading comics and Manga, with his find of a free app called Mangle by FooSoft.

Personal Note Taker
He also recommends the "Personal Note Taker" Notepad by 7 Dragons (the group makes excellent tools), but go there to read why.   Kindle-Edition subscribers: you can click on the link (on the Kindle) for his article (then zoom it or use Menu/Article Mode)... OR instead use your computer to type "" ("http://" doesn't have to be typed on any web browser these days nor even on the Kindle.)
 And you can type the URL (link) "" to get the 99c Notepad.

Image Viewer
He describes how to add and view images on the Kindle, reminding people that the images used shouldn't be bigger than 600x800 pixels, to save loading time.

Presentations and Flash Cards
O'Reilly mentions converting PDFs and Word files.  Word documents can be sent to your private Kindle-device address, and Amazon servers convert these to Kindle format.

  See my blog article on How to send WORD doc files to your Kindle. ( ) .   However, PDFs can be read as-is on the Kindle, although sending them for conversion gets you a 2nd often more readable copy while it ignores original layout.

  He points out you can keep your notes together this way and then mentions saving flash cards onto the Kindle and viewing them sideways and tells us about  FlashCardExchange ( ).

Navigation (Step-by-step directions from here to there)
In connection with the Kindle's Navigation help (a favorite of mine),  in getting step-to-step driving/biking/bus/walking directions.   The link he shows for typing on the Kindle (and then bookmarking) is good --
( ) -- but the article's link for that doesn't work.

  Here's my tutorial/guide on how this is done though.  (Link: )  My guide uses that directions-link.  That was actually probably found on my blog.

MP3 player & Text to Speech
He also mentions the mp3 player and Text to Speech Reader and shows you how to start those.

Language Translator
AND, I'd forgotten about Kindlefish, which is a form of Google Translation that's optimized for the Kindle.  O'Reilly recommends the Kindlefish, and if you'd like to read more about it, see my blog article on Kindlefish ( Link: ) as well as the follow-up fix for it Kindlefish-fix ( ).

ALSO, he's found a way to use the Kindle as a Dictaphone and gives a link to the instructions given at mobileread forums ( )

I see 9 different headings to use the Kindle, but I imagine READING was counted first :-).  Nice selection of tips in one article.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's)   K3 Special ($114)   K3-3G Special ($139)   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. Unfortunately, to say that a Kindle can be made to do something doesn't mean it can do it well. In many cases, it's a bit like a dog walking on two legs.

    One illustration: You can take notes on a Kindle, but the keyboard makes it very tedious. The touch screen on an iPhone or any other smartphone is far better. Despite the absence of rumors, I'm still hoping the upcoming Kindles ship with Bluetooth keyboard support. The Kindle won't be a decent research tool or a replacement for school textbooks, until it works with a decent keyboard.

    Many of Amazon's ebook moves are impressive. Print Replica is brilliant. In the ebook arena, they seem to be innovating faster than all their competitors combined.

    But when it comes to apps, in-house or third-party, they're coming up sadly lacking. When I'd owned an iPod touch as long as I have owned my Kindle 3, I'd downloaded about a hundred apps, some of them marvelously useful. I've yet to find any apps appealing enough to download for my Kindle 3. And it's not just the limitations of the screen. I can think of all sorts of useful apps that could work with that limitation.

  2. Michael, I'm just letting people know they CAN do something, and highlighting words or a phrase in order to copy/past them is not typing anyway.

    It's far better than having to type it in. That was the whole point.

    I'll usually highlight a paragraph and then add a half a sentence -- words to jog my memory, but one can also just highlight and then make a note.

    I cannot do a highlight/copy/paste with my NookColor and that bugs me.

    I do often highlight and google or Wiki though from a book.

    As for looking on the downside of things, an iPhone or other smartphone is in no way anything I want to use for *reading* a book. :-)

    So, there we are. Two downsides.

    Like you, I do want Blueetooth keyboard support, for my Kindle and for my NC also. I was actually looking at some and liked the Targus when in Staples today.

    But haven't looked much yet in this area since I have nothing which will take advantage of a small, even folding keyboard. Eventually.

    LOVE my little 10" Samsung netbook, which I took everywhere with me on a 3-week trip. Light and extremely capable, with a great keyboard. Went to a conference and it worked
    for 7 hours of constantly typing into it, which was very ice.

    The Kindle is no research tool for me, but it allows me to highlight and keep notes to myself that way and then it presents them on the webpage we each are given for the annotations we've made, to print or copy for editing etc.

    I've not seen that done by anyone else. At any rate, that particular blog entry was to SPARE people having to type in a search word even.

    As for Kindle apps, you really don't find Notepad (7 Dragons) worthwhile? I agree that the keyboard makes notes difficult for most people.

    Truth? I prefer typing on the Kindle to my NC because I know what I key in will be what I'm trying to do.

    With the virtual NC keyboard and its tendency to activate the wrong key because I HOVERED above it, it is ultra slow because I have to keep correcting it. I look forward to a good tablet someday.

    I used the Notepad tool in 3 stores today, both for making sure I had everything and to add a few SHORT notes.

    E-Ink and a small keyboard with tiny keys = clunky for apps, for sure. But if you don't like 7 Dragons' Notepad for Kindle use, you must be really picky :-)

    Again, I am with you on the frustration with the keyboard.

    Thanks for taking the time to give your take on all this though!

  3. Michael!

    To clarify, I thought your note was in response to today's blog entry on highlight-copy-paste!

    My reply must have confused -- however, Notepad was a Plus mentioned by this writer who mentioned the 10 different things one can do with the Kindle.

    Here's the thing. He's writing about e-readers. In no other e-reader can you do these things *if wanted* and I always like the abiity to do something even if it is not near perfection... Just a sometimes-useful feature if nothing else is available.

    People mention that the 3g Kindle browser is slow. Yes it certainly is, although on pure text news, it's often surprisingly a decent speed (to me) but SLOW beats a Speed of Zero. :-) when the feature isn't there at all.

    Perceived value has a lot to do with actual cost and of course expectations.

    Looked at the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 today. Nice machine! Can't justify $500 though.


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