Most people tend to think that Kindle is just an eBook reader, but it’s got other features too like an MP3 player, portable web browser (with free Wikipedia access over 3G), gaming device, and and image viewer.
However, some of these features only work on the Kindle Keyboard, which is also known as the Kindle 3G, while some also work on the Kindle Touch. But, free 3G browsing is restricted to specific websites on the Kindle Touch.
(1) Music Player
The Kindle has sound features, with a headphone jack and speakers, for listening to audiobooks and using text-to-speech with eBooks. But, the Kindle also includes an MP3 player and you can copy MP3 files to your Kindle and use your Kindle to play music or for podcasts. Music plays in the background while you read, so this feature can provide background music while reading.
To copy MP3 files to your Kindle, connect it to your computer with its included USB cable. Access the Kindle in Windows Explorer and place MP3 files in the music folder. After safely removing your Kindle from the computer, press the Menu button on your Kindle home screen and select Experimental.
Select the Play Music option next to Play MP3 on the Experimental page.
Press Alt+Space keys pause or resume MP3 playback. To skip to the next song, press Alt+F. On a Kindle Touch, a music player will appear at the bottom of your screen.
(2) Free 3G Browsing
Your Kindle includes a web browser, so you can browse the web without switching devices. Of course, the black-and-white E-Ink screen doesn’t provide the ideal experience for web pages.
If you have a 3G Kindle Keyboard, you can browse the web from anywhere over the 3G cellular network for free. Amazon has recently instituted a 50MB monthly limit, but you can continue to access Wikipedia and the Amazon Kindle store from everywhere after hitting this limit.
The Kindle Touch can access Wikipedia and the Kindle store from anywhere over 3G, but must be on Wi-Fi to browse other websites.
To launch the Kindle’s browser, press the Menu button on the home screen, select Experimental, and select Launch Browser.
You can also select the Search option in the menu to search Wikipedia, Google, or the Kindle store.
(3) Image Gallery
On a Kindle Keyboard, you can add image files to your Kindle’s storage and use your Kindle as an image viewer. The Kindle supports images in JPEG, GIF, and PNG formats. The images will be in black and white, so you can first convert them to black and white to shrink their file size, if you like.
The Kindle Touch doesn’t support this feature – on a Kindle Touch, image files you want to view must first be converted to eBook format.
Connect your Kindle to your computer and create a new folder named pictures in its root directory. Inside the pictures folder, create one or more image gallery folders. Place your image files into these subfolders.
After disconnecting your Kindle from your computer, press Alt+Z to rescan the files on your Kindle’s storage. You’ll see a new option in your library for each image gallery you created.
Open one of the image galleries and use these keyboard shortcuts:
- f – Toggle Fullscreen Mode
- q – Zoom In
- w – Zoom Out
- e – Default Zoom
- c – Actual Image Size
- r – Rotate Image
- 5-way Directional Pad – Pan
(4) Included Games
Kindle Keyboards include two hidden games: MineSweeper and GoMoku.
To access MineSweeper, press Alt+Shift+M on the home screen.
To access GoMoku, also known as Five in a Row, press the G key on the MineSweeper screen.
(5) Take Screenshots
Press Alt+Shift+G to take a screenshot of your Kindle’s screen. Note that the Shift key is the up arrow on your keyboard. The screen will flash.
On a Kindle Touch without a keyboard, press the Home button and hold it down, tap the screen once without releasing the home button, wait a few more seconds, and then release the home button.
The screenshots are saved in GIF format and appear in the documents folder on your Kindle.