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Tips to use Kindle better

Ashish Bhatia     March 26, 2012
There's no denying that an iPad or an Android slate are like Swiss Army knives when it comes to mobile computing with their multiple abilities. Yet, even a single-minded gadget like a Kindle e-book reader offers distinct advantages over a multipurpose tablet.

First and most obviously, e-ink is much, much easier on the eyes due to its nonbacklit nature. Secondly, devices like the Amazon Kindle or the Sony Nook offer brilliant battery life-4-5 weeks on a single charge, even if you use them every day. Then, e-readers are far easier to hold, lug around and pocket due to their size and weight advantages.

Most importantly, however, an e-reader provides a distraction-free reading experience. Just like a book. Unlike on a tablet, you are not tempted to dive into your mail every time you hear a ping or to check and see what's happening on Twitter or Facebook, or answer the pinging on your chat. Which is also why a Kindle or Nook app on your iPad is not quite the same thing. There are way too many seductive attractions and diversion happening on a tablet to let you concentrate for long hours.

1// FROM YOUR PC
"Send to Kindle for PC" is a neat free application that allows you to send your personal documents to your Kindle devices-and even Kindle reading applications on other devices-from your PC. You can download this from www.amazon.com/sendtokindle. While this is only available for Windows PCs as of now, support for Mac is in the works.

2// FEEDING ON NEWS
If you own a 3G Kindle, you can deploy it to fetch up-to-date newsfeeds. First and foremost, there's Kindlefeeder, an Amazon service that lets you aggregate your favourite feeds and have them delivered to your Kindle in an easy-to-navigate eBook. Or try Klip.me RSS to Kindle for automatic delivery of articles from your Google Reader to your Kindle. You can also check out the G:RSS-Web (www.nowsci.com/grss-web) service for ebook readers. And do download and install Klip.me Calendar to Kindle (www.klip.me/googlecalendar). This will sync all the events of your Google Calendar to your Kindle.

3// TOMES, TEA AND MORE…
If you think that a Kindle is meant for just reading books that you've bought, you're very wrong. Maybe you know this or maybe you don't- you can not only push articles from the Web to read on your Kindle later at leisure, but you can also mail any documents to it anytime. Apart from Kindle (.AZW, .AZW1), text (.TXT), Mobipocket (.MOBI, .PRC), Audible (.AA, .AAX) and MP3 music files, a Kindle is compatible with Microsoft Word(.DOC, .DOCX), .RTF, .JPG, .GIF, .PNG, .BMP and .PDF file formats. There are several ways of getting these files on to your Kindle.

4// YOU'VE GOT MAIL!
Once you've opened a Kindle account at www.kindle.com (or via the Kindle app on your iOS, Android, Windows app) and registered you Kindle device, you need to set up your Send-to-Kindle E-mail Address. This can be achieved by making the necessary changes in Manage Your Kindle page. Once this is in place, you-or your approved contacts-can send personal documents to your Kindle as well as supported Kindle reading applications.

5// OFF YOUR BROWSER
The Klip.me "Send to Kindle" (http://www.klip.me/sendtokindle/) is an excellent browser extension for Kindle owners who wish to read Web stories (especially longer ones) on a Kindle. Available for Chrome and Safari browsers, it offers a quick way of pushing web content to Kindle. A bookmarket version of Klip.me is also available for Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, IE9 browsers. Google Chrome too has a Send to Kindle extension for web articles. The extension have been optimised for Google Reader, Wikipedia, Quora, Hacker News, and Stack Exchange network of Q&A websites, and Metafilter.

The Firefox "Kindle It" extension mails the web article to your xyz@kindle.com account. Or it allows conversion of the story into EPUB, MODI or PDF formats for manual file transfer. All these extensions install in a snap and. of course. are entirely gratis. If you're an Instapaper user, despair not. "Instapaper to Kindle" (www.instapaper.com/extras) automatically delivers unread Instapaper articles to your Kindle. ReaditLater users will have to wait until the service supports eReaders directly. Meanwhile, they can can resort to Calibre, JoliPrint (www.joliprint.com) or Crofflr (www.crofflr.com). Crofflr, in fact, is an interesting service that specialises in automated ebook deliveries from your Pinboard, Longform.org, Longreads, Give Me Something To Read, and Read It Later accounts.

6// CONVERTING AND ANAGING FILES
Arguably the best file conversion and management ute for the Kindle across Windows, Macs and even Linux is Calibre (www.calibre-ebook.com). This suite of tools encompasses everything from conversion from almost any document format under the sun into a Kindle-friendly format, an eBook reader for any format, and tagging/downloading metadata to your eBook files, plus organising your ebook files on your PC, Mac and reader. Apart from virtually all eBook reading devices-which includes the Kindle, of course-it syncs with iOs and Android devices as well.

Other conversion tools include the Hamster Free eBook Converter (www.ebook.hamstersoft.com). The Auto Kindle eBook Converter (http://sourceforge. net/projects/autokindle) is also capable of taking all the PDF, Lit, and HTML files you throw at it and converts them to MOBI files for the Kindle. For complex and complicated PDF files, try out K2pdfopt (www.willus.com/k2pdfopt).

If you have the older version of Kindle-the 2 or 3-you can use Koll3ctions (http://sourceforge.net/projects/koll3ctions/files/) to create and manage your ebook collections on your Kindle. The platform-independent program needs Java to run. Support for the Kindle 4 and the Kindle Touch is yet to come.

7// OR DROPBOXING IT
If you want some (or all) of what you are uploading to your Dropbox account to also be available to you on your Kindle, you can deploy Dropbox Automator (http://wappwolf.com/dropboxautomator). This powerful web app automates the process of converting text, PDFs, images and other files that you store in your Dropbox to a compatible format and making it available to you on your Kindle. So once you've set it up, you can simply dump a whole folder of documents into the Dropbox and expect it to turn up on your Kindle without bothering with such the monotony of such irksome and time-consuming tasks for each individual file.

Courtesy: Gadgets and Gizmos


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