The Amazon Kindle is a portable e-book reading device that links to the Amazon bookstore to provide easy purchase and management of e-book titles. The device has several hidden features beyond the standard e-book reading functions, which can be invoked with the correct commands. Thanks to the Kindle's ability to connect to the Internet, you can use the device to read email and browse the Web. Kindle also includes a few basic games, a photo viewing application and geolocation functionality that can be used to find nearby gas stations and restaurants, depending on your location.
The Kindle Web browser is not exactly a hidden feature, but many users are unaware of it despite its ease of access. From the Kindle main menu, select "Experimental" and then select "Web Browser." The software is relatively basic and may not work with all websites, but you can check email accounts, read news and perform searches using Google, Wikipedia, Amazon and Dictionary.com. To access browser functions like bookmarks, search field and address bar, press "Menu" after launching the Web browser.
You can play the classic game Minesweeper by pressing "Alt," "Shift" and "M" at the same time on the keyboard. You can navigate through the Minesweeper map using the Kindle joystick and reveal mines by pressing "M." You can also play the game Go Moku by pressing "G" once you have entered the Minesweeper application.
The Kindle has basic support for photo viewing once you set up the appropriate folders. Connect your Kindle to a computer with a USB cable, then create a folder on the Kindle called "Pictures." You can create photo albums by setting up additional folders in the "Pictures" folder. All pictures must be stored in those folders. Once you have loaded the pictures to your Kindle, disconnect it from the computer and press "Alt" and "Z" at the same time to access the photo viewer.
The Kindle features a basic MP3 player that can play audio files. Connect the Kindle to a computer and transfer MP3 files to the "Music" folder. Disconnect the Kindle from the computer, then navigate to the Experimental section by pressing "Menu" and selecting "Experimental." Select the "Play MP3" option, which will play the MP3 files from newest added to oldest. Pressing "Alt" and "F" at the same time allows you to skip forward a track. The MP3 player does not allow you to browse and select MP3 files so you will have to skip through tracks to find the song or podcast you want to hear.
Pressing "Alt" and "1" at the same time will load Google Maps and use the Kindle's wireless hardware to determine your location. Once the map is loaded, you can press "Alt" and "2" at the same time to find nearby gas stations or "Alt" and "3" at the same time to find nearby restaurants.
- Photo Credit PM Images/Photodisc/Getty Images
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