This month we continue to look at Amazons book reader, the Kindle, last month we looked at how you might use additional software to get the best out of the Kindle, and this month we continue in the same vein, covering some of the less well-known features of this great little device.
One thing that Kindle users complain about is that it comes without any companion software. There is, however some third party software that fills this gap. The best appears to be ‘Calibre’ which is marketed as the ‘one stop solution to all your ebook needs’ and it provides the Kindle with a feature-rich and more importantly FREE ebook management application.
Not only does Calibre allow you to search through and create a library of your books (for example it’s easy to see all of the books you have by a specific author), it enables you to automatically fetch news from websites or RSS feeds (these are automatically downloaded information feeds – the BBC has one for example). Calibre also lets you format the news into an ebook and upload it to your Kindle – so for example, it would enable you to download a daily copy of the Guardian onto your Kindle.
If you would like to know more then there are loads of tutorial videos on the Calibre website at http://calibre-ebook.com Another thing that many people are unaware of is that you can take screen shots with your Kindle. A screen shot is simply a photograph of whatever you have on the screen at the time you take it. To do this just press ALT + Shift + G together, the screen will flash momentarily and a copy of the screen will be saved to your Kindle’s memory. To retrieve the screen shots, browse the Kindle’s ‘documents’ folder where you will find all of your books together with the screen shots.
There are some games that you can play on your Kindle! The game that it comes with is called Minesweeper and you activate it by holding down ALT + Shift + M. The controls are shown at the start of the game, but the idea is to guess where all the mines are. Whilst in Minesweeper you can launch another game called GoMoku, which is a version of tick-tak-toe. If you want to launch this game, then just press the letter G whilst in Minesweeper. There are a few other games that you can download for free from Amazon, – ‘Shuffled’ and ‘Every Word’ are both word games but highly addictive according to my customers!
There is a growing community of Kindle users on the Internet so if you want to find out any more information about what you can do with yours, just Google it. I found a lot of useful information at the website http://maketecheasier.com/tips-and-tricksfor- your-shiney-new-Kindle/2010/09/16 and another good site for more information is http://kindlestuff.wordpress.com
This is a great resource for Kindle users! It describes how to do things like, how to play background audio whilst reading a book, and how to lend other people the books you have bought for your own Kindle. Finally for those of you that have not yet bought a Kindle but are thinking about it, – it may be worth holding off for a bit.
The new Kindle Fire was launched in the USA in November and, although we are still waiting for a launch date here in Europe, it is expected to be soon. It is said to be a great piece of kit – the screen is in full colour for a start, vastly improving the experience of reading magazines, and if that isn´t enough, it will also allow you to play films and TV shows, download music and gives you access to Amazon´s massive list of over 18 million films!