Hack Your Kindle: 100+ Tips, Resources, and Tutorials to Read Better and Learn Faster

By Megan Jones

Although many users of the Kindle will use it as a book reader and nothing else, the device is so jam-packed with possibilities that you’d be a fool not to take advantage of them. The Kindle can be used for GPS, wireless connectivity, playing music, and so much more. Read on to find out how you can be a better student or person with these Amazon Kindle hacks, tips, and resources.

Tips

Follow these tips to make Kindle a better, more convenient reader, or to push the limits of what the device will do.

  1. Subscribe to magazines and newspapers for early delivery: If you sign up to receive subscriptions to print products on your Kindle, you’ll often get access to them before they hit the newsstands.
  2. Print screen: Make a screenshot by pressing Alt-Shift-G.
  3. Activate Kindle’s picture viewer: Create a "pictures" folder and "book," and you’ll be able to view images on your device.
  4. Turn off your wireless when the signal isn’t great: If you’re in an area where you’re not getting a good wireless signal, be sure to turn the function off or you’ll drain your battery quickly.
  5. Kindle supports multiple formats: You can read .mobi, .prc, .txt, .jpg, .gif, HTML and Word files on the Kindle.
  6. Preserve your book collection: Keep a digital copy of your literature in case of fire, flood, or theft.
  7. Skip more than one page: You can fast forward though pages by pressing and holding Alt plus the Next or Previous page keys.
  8. When in doubt, reset: If you get an "Unexpected error" or other troubles, try giving your Kindle a quick reset to see if it will solve the trouble.
  9. Find the web browser: You can find the Kindle’s web browser under the "Experimental" banner.
  10. Check out Wikipedia: If you’ve read about something and would like more information on it, simply hit Kindle’s Wikipedia search for an answer.
  11. Send IMs: You can use Yahoo! Messenger on the Kindle.
  12. Use it for reference material: Load reference books that you Use Kindle NowNow: With this human-powered search system, you can get information on the go.
  13. Turn off your wireless anytime: Although a bad connection will drain your battery, just turning wireless off any time you’re not using it will help your battery charge last much longer.
  14. Use the calendar: You can download a calendar for the Kindle at a minimal price.
  15. Access your readings on Amazon: Amazon keeps a copy of your subscriptions and books online, so if you accidentally wipe everything out in an upgrade, you can get it back again with relative ease.
  16. Select between sizes: The Kindle offers six different font sizes.
  17. Avoid hitting the "Next Page" button: Try pressing a key on the keyboard to keep your crip, or slide a rubber band into the slit behind the page turning bar.
  18. Take advantage of the search function: Easily find the information you’re looking for by searching electronically on the Kindle.
  19. Read RSS feeds using Bloglines: Instead of paying to download subscriptions, set up your RSS feeds on Javascript-free Bloglines for free.
  20. GPS: You can use the Kindle’s CDMA mobile coverage to find your location on Google Maps.
  21. Use it as an MP3 player: Did you know that the Kindle doubles as an MP3 player? Put this functionality to use with its headphone jack and speakers.
  22. Make reading accessible: Try resizing text to make reading easier for the elderly or other visually impaired persons.
  23. Minesweeper: By pressing Alt-M, you can access Kindle’s Minesweeper game.
  24. Get free conversions: If you send attachments to "name"@free.kindle.com, you can have files converted and emailed to you, and then transfer the document to your Kindle.
  25. Use the dictionary: The Kindle comes pre-loaded with the New Oxford American dictionary.

Tutorials & Guides

Follow these documents for step-by-step instructions on Kindle hacking.

  1. Getting the Console: This tutorial shows you how to access your Kindle’s console.
  2. How to fill your Kindle for FREE: Check out this guide to learn where you can find free content for the Kindle.
  3. Ideas for Hacking Kindle WiFi: In this guide, you’ll get a number of ideas and resources for hacking into WiFi on the Kindle.
  4. The Kindle Browser-Wireless Information Tool?: SamSpeak considers the use of the Kindle browser.
  5. Jump pages in the Kindle: Skip ahead to a new location in your Kindle using the instructions in this tutorial video.
  6. Gmail on the Kindle: This resource offers instruction and a few tips for reading Gmail on the Kindle.
  7. A Beginner’s Guide to Kindle Content: Read this resource to learn how to find content for your Kindle beyond the Amazon store.
  8. Adding your own pictures to the Kindle Screensaver: Check out this tutorial to learn how to put your own photos in the screensaver rotation.
  9. How hard is it to return an ebook?: Visit this guide to learn how to handle returns with Amazon.
  10. Amazon Kindle-A Value Investing Tool: Fat Pitch Financial considers how you can use the Kindle for investment.
  11. Feedbooks Kindle Hack: This tutorial shows you how to use the Feedbooks Kindle Download Guide as an on-demand library.
  12. Listening to Audio Books: Find out how to get audio books from Audible in this guide.
  13. Bootloader and firmware updates: Here you’ll learn how to get into the interactive shell and perform firmware updates.
  14. Amazon Kindle Disassembly and Take-Apart Guide: Check out this tutorial to see how you can get into the guts of the Kindle.
  15. Creating Folders on the Kindle’s SD Card: Check out this guide for tips on Kindle folder management.
  16. Wanna Read Manga on Your Kindle?: Use the Kindle’s photo function to flip through manga and other image-based books.
  17. Play music on a Kindle: Check out this video to see how you can play MP3s on your Kindle.
  18. Getting Free Books: Here you’ll learn a few resources for finding books and a number of different ways to get them on your Kindle device.
  19. How to transfer and convert lots of documents to the Kindle: This library expert discovered that emailing her Kindle address would result in perfectly converted and available files.
  20. The Amazon Kindle: As a RPG Resource: This reviewer explains how you can use the Kindle for role playing games.
  21. Root shell and runtime system: Get into the root shell and runtime system with this tutorial.
  22. How to view PDF files on the Kindle: Check out this tutorial to learn how to read PDF files using your Kindle.

Shortcuts

Use your Kindle with ultra quickness by learning these handy shortcuts.

  1. Keyboard shortcuts: This resource offers, among other gems, a number of keyboard shortcuts for the Kindle.
  2. Jump to the Beginning or End of Home Menu or for a Book: This resource explains a few navigational shortcuts.
  3. GPS shortcuts: This resource has a bunch of different shortcuts to use with Kindle’s GPS.
  4. Search commands: Find some secret and not-so-secret search commands in this resource.
  5. Home screen time: If you press Alt-T, you can show time on the home screen.
  6. Kindle Keyboard Reference: Check out this reference sheet for keyboard shortcuts and commands.

Tools

Make use of these tools in order to hack and otherwise use your Kindle for extraordinary purposes.

  1. MobiPocket: Format PDFs into .mobi files that you can read on your device using MobiPocket.
  2. Kindle Coverage Tool: Check out areas of coverage with this tool that graphically indicates wireless availability.
  3. eBookSearchr: Use this ebook search engine to find material to put on your kindle.
  4. Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 Light: This little light clips on to the back of your Kindle whenever you need a little extra light for reading.
  5. Gutenmark: This utility easily formats Gutenberg books to a format that looks nice on the Kindle.
  6. Tubby: Using Tubby, you can convert CHM to HTML.
  7. AudibleManager: With the AudibleManager, you can transfer Audible audiobooks to your Kindle.
  8. PDFCreator: This program installs a printer on your system, and you can use it to create Kindle-readable PDFs from any program with a print function.
  9. Mobi scripts: Use these scripts to be able to use mobi files on your Kindle.
  10. Book Designer: With this conversion tool, you can output files in a number of compatible formats.
  11. Project Gutenberg Conversion Template: Using this macro template, you can convert Project Gutenberg txt files into a more friendly format.
  12. Python interpreter: You’ll need to download a Python interpreter to read Mobipocket books.
  13. DailyLit: DailyLit will email you portions of books to read on your Kindle.
  14. Beam-ebooks Converter: With this web tool, you can copy and paste text into the form field and get a .prc or PDF file.
  15. ABC Amber LIT Converter: This free tool can convert the .lit format to a Kindle-readable .prc file.
  16. Use your Kindle as a EVDO WiFi Access Point?: This thread discusses one way to use your Kindle for WiFi.
  17. Google Book Search: With this Google function, you can read the classics online.
  18. ABC Ambe CHM Converter: Convert .chm format files to .prc using this tool.

Book Sources

Students and bookworms can use these sources to find free or cheap ebooks and audiobooks for use on the Kindle.

  1. Fictionwise: Fictionwise offers thousands of different ebooks, from romance to science fiction.
  2. Online Books Page: UPenn hosts more than 30,000 different books that you can read online.
  3. Audible: Check out this site to download audio books. You can use them to listen as you read along in print.
  4. Flazx: On this site, you’ll find computer and IT books to read on your Kindle.
  5. Diesel eBooks: Diesel has more than 750 free ebooks from authors like Jane Austen and Lewis Carroll.
  6. Mobipocket free books: This resource offers a number of different Kindle-compatible ebooks for free.
  7. Free Kindle eBook: This blog offers the occasional link to downloads of wonderful Kindle books.
  8. ManyBooks: Here you’ll find a large collection of ebooks.
  9. FreeTechBooks: This site offers free computer science and programming books.
  10. Well Told Tales: Listen to short, free audio books on Well Told Tales.
  11. Project Gutenberg: Download books in the public domain from Project Gutenberg.
  12. MobileRead E-Book Uploads: This community shares a number of ebooks that you can download.
  13. PinkMonkey: Pink Monkey offers free access to study materials and book notes.
  14. LibriVox: Visit this publisher to find more than 1,000 full length audio books recorded by volunteers.
  15. FreeComputerBooks: Get access to loads of technical information on your Kindle using this resource.
  16. Baen Free Library: This publisher puts out a selected collection of no-strings-attached titles for download.
  17. Wowio: Wowio is home to a large collection of free ebooks, comics, and graphic novels.
  18. WebScriptions: This site’s ebooks are compatible with the Kindle.

Publishing

Don’t just read other works, get your books and other publications available on the Kindle.

  1. Digital Text Platform: With this platform, you can publish your books to be read on the Kindle.
  2. Scribd: On Scribd, you can upload documents, publish, and more.
  3. Use hyperlinks: Share links to interesting resources and further reading in Kindle-published works.

Resources

For even more information on Kindle hacking, be sure to check out these resources.

  1. Kindle Hacking: Charlie Tritschler, director of Kindle, discusses the possibility of hacking the Kindle.
  2. Tips and Tricks of Kindle: Amazon offers a few different tricks for their device.
  3. Amazon Customer Discussions: Learn about tricks and tips from other Kindle owners here.
  4. eNews Content Available on Kindle: This list offers a collection of full feeds you can read on the Kindle.
  5. Amazon Kindle Hints and Tips: Mobility Today discusses a number of tips and hints for the Kindle.
  6. The Kindle Site List: KindleChat maintains a list of Kindle resource sites.
  7. Contact Amazon in an emergency: Here you’ll find useful contact information for Kindle owners.
  8. Share Kindle Tips: Check out this Amazon forum thread to find a list of useful tips for the Kindle.
  9. Yahoo! KindleKorner: Visit this community for ongoing tips and tricks from other Kindle owners.
  10. Tips, Tricks, and Hints: Visit this thread to learn about all of the different tricks Kindle users have come up with.
  11. A Million or so Kindle books available now: where to get them and how: Check out this resource for loads of information on where you can find titles for download.
  12. 30 Benefits of Ebooks: This resource takes a look at a number of different ways you can use ebooks.

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