Friday 24 October 2014

Top 12 hidden Kindle and Kindle Fire features

Daniel Johnson

Published 12/11/2013 | 12:50

The Kindle and Kindle Fire's top 12 hidden features

Amazon's e-reader has transformed the world of publishing, and its tablet arguably prompted Apple to launch the iPad Mini - but what are some of its best hidden features? Here's a list of 12 top tips

1) Games

Ever tired of reading and just want to play games on your Kindle?

The regular Kindle has two hidden games: the ever-popular Minesweeper and GoMoku.

To access Minesweeper, press Alt+Shift+M on the home screen.

To access GoMoku, or five in a row, press the G key on the Minesweeper screen.

2) Free 3G browsing

Regular Kindles include a web browser, but if you have a 3G Kindle Keyboard, you can browse from anywhere over the 3G network for free.

Amazon has put in place a 50MB monthly limit, but you can carry on using Wikipedia and the Amazon Kindle store even after hitting the limit.

To launch the Kindle’s browser, press the Menu button on the home screen, select Experimental, and select Launch Browser.

3) Music player

Although your Kindle includes a headphone jack and speakers for listening to audio books as well as using text-to-text speech with eBooks, it can also be used as an MP3 player.

To do this simply copy MP3 files to your Kindle by connecting it to your computer using the USB cable, and then place the files in the music folder.

After ejecting your Kindle, press the Menu button on the home screen and chose Experimental. There should be a Play Music option next to Play MP3 on the Experimental page.

Press Alt+Space to pause or resume playback, and to skip to the next song press Alt+F.

4) Picture galleries

In black and white the Kindle can support images in JPEG, GIF and PNG formats.

Connect your Kindle to your computer and in the root directory create a new folder named “pictures”. Inside this folder, create one or more image gallery folders and place your images into the relevant subfolders.

Once you have disconnected your Kindle from the computer, press Alt+Z to rescan the files on the Kindle’s storage and a new option for each image gallery you created should appear in your library.

Toggle through the images using the following shortcuts:

f – Toggle Full-Screen Mode

q – Zoom In

w – Zoom Out

e – Default Zoom

c – Actual Image Size

r – Rotate Image

5) Screenshots

Simply press Alt+Shift+G to take a screenshot of your Kindle’s screen, with the Shift key being the up arrow on your keyboard.

The screen should then flash, and the screenshots will be saved in GIF format and should appear in the documents folder.

6) Hidden camera

All Kindle Fire HDs have a built-in camera, but this is meant solely for use as a web-cam with the Skype app, not for taking photos.

However, you can get around this and unlock the camera by installing an app such as Photo Editor, which can be downloaded from the Amazon Appstore.

Although the camera is front-facing which can make using it quite difficult, Photo Editor lets you take photos then edit and share them afterwards.

7) Quick bookmark

On the Kindle Touch, you can save yourself going through the several steps of making bookmarks simply by tapping in the top right corner.

You should see a “dog-ear” style bookmark, which can be added or removed.

8) View images full screen

If you want to view an image without the text around it, tap on the image to select it and a magnifying glass should appear over it.

Tapping the image again will display it in full screen. If you have lots of images you want to view try using the landscape mode.

9) Highlighting

Most Kindle users know how to highlight passages in eBooks to share or access the dictionary.

But by selecting “More” you will be presented with another range of options.

You can search the word or phrase on Wikipedia, translate the word into a whole range of different languages or share it on Facebook on Twitter.

10) Follow your favourite blogs

By using RSS feeds you can turn you Kindle Fire into an automatically updating list of your favourite blogs or websites, so that they are all in one place.

To do this, download an RSS reader such as EasyRSS and set up an account.

Once you have an account, all you have to do is visit the website or blog you want to follow and click on the RSS button.

Then click on the button for your Kindle and add it to your RSS feed.

11) Access Google Android Apps

If you are disappointed by the size of the Amazon App store, then you can access the Google Android Market on your Kindle Fire to download other applications.

Go the settings on your Kindle Fire, and select Device. Where it says “Allow Installation of Application”, change I from the default setting Off to On.

Then using your browser on the Kindle Fire, search for 4share.com. Search for an app you would like, but make sure you add “.apk” to your search in order to find the relevant Android application.

Finally, download the application and install it.

12) Turn off special offers and recommendations

Annoyed by the recommendations displayed on the home screen of your Kindle Fire?

When in vertical mode, you can turn off the feature by swiping down from the top of the screen to access the Settings menu.

Select More, Applications, Amazon Home Recommendations and then select Hide.

It is also possible to stop special offers appearing on your Kindle Fire, but it will cost £10. Go to Amazon’s ‘Special Offers for Kindle’ page, click ‘contacting Customers Servive’ and then sign in to your account.

Click the Kindle option at the top of the page and complete the online form.

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