But, if you’re anything like other enterprising Kindle owners out there, you want just a little more functionality with your e-reader. Thankfully, the Kindle’s got a lot of extras “hidden” away behind its e-ink display, and we’ve uncovered a few of them that should help you get the most out of your Kindle experience.
- Play Minesweeper!
Your Kindle has Minesweeper built in, without the need to download anything. Simply press Alt + Shift + M from the Home screen, and voila! Start hunting away. (But while you’re at it, you might as well download the better free version of Minesweeper from the Kindle store.)
- Take screenshots
If you’ve got a blog, or simply want to share pictures of what’s on your Kindle screen, the built-in screenshot functionality makes doing so a breeze. Press Alt + Shift + G at any time, and a shot of your Kindle screen will be saved as a .GIF file on your Kindle, which you can then access by plugging it into your computer via USB.
- Access your favorite Google servicesDid you know that your Kindle has a Web browser built in? From the home screen, click the Menu button, then scroll down to Experimental. The browser is the first choice on the next screen, and it’s great for expanding your Kindle’s horizons beyond mere book-reading. Once you’ve got a hang of using the browser, it’s time to access your favorite Google services (such as Calendar and Gmail). Since browsing Google’s full site isn’t ideal on the Kindle’s screen, using the services’ mobile sites will save you time and frustration. Type the following URLs into your Kindle’s browser, save them to your bookmarks, and you’re good to go: http://google.com/reader/, http://google.com/calendar/m, and http://m.gmail.com.
- Get blogs and RSS feeds for free
It sucks that Amazon wants to make you pay to access popular blogs on your Kindle, and the mobile version of Google Reader isn’t as great as it might sound, so NowSci.com has created a Kindle-optimized RSS reader that gives you access to all of your Google Reader feeds for free, without the need to pay monthly fees for any content. Using your Kindle’s Web browser, make your way to http://nowsci.com/reader , and you’re a click away from RSS freedom!
- Type numbers with ease
Previous versions of the Kindle had dedicated keys for numbers 0-9, while the Kindle 3 makes use of a Symbol key to access numbers and special characters. Luckily, there’s a speedy way around this; just press Alt along with any of the top-row keys, and you can type all the numbers you need without wasting time on the Symbol key.