When it comes to e-book readers, Amazon’s Kindle rules the roost, with its excellent e-ink display and massive library of titles. However, there is more to the e-book writer than merely the ability to download and read books. There are a number of features in the Kindle that can add to your reading experience. So if you have a Kindle, go right ahead and try the following:
Use the inbuilt dictionary
The Kindle comes with an inbuilt dictionary that lets you check the meanings of different words. To get the meaning of a word all you have to do is long press on it. This will highlight it and will also show its meaning just below it, generally from the Oxford Dictionary. It does not even need an Internet connection to work.
Long pressing a word can not only show you its dictionary meaning, but swipe to the left and you will also see a a Wikipedia entry that is relevant to it. So for instance, if you were to press on the name of an important historical figure (say John F Kennedy), the Kindle would also show you an excerpt of the Wikipedia entry about him. There is a catch, though – you need a working Internet connection for the Wikipedia feature to work.
That Dictionary tab that pops up whenever you highlight a term is very handy. One swipe to the left will take you to a Wikipedia article about the word. Another swipe to the left will let you translate it into a number of languages (including Hindi). The Kindle can auto detect the language of the text itself and then will give you the option to translate it into more than a dozen languages including Russian, German, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Korean and yes, even Hindi. Once again you would need an Internet connection for this feature to work.
Send Web articles to the Kindle
Like an article you have seen on a website but want to read it later? Well, you can use the Kindle browser extensions in the Chrome browser to send those web pages to your Kindle for reading later. The page will be sent to your Kindle the next time you connect it to the Internet. What’s more, it will be specially formatted for the e-book reader as well, which means fewer ads and intrusions, and a much cleaner reading experience.
Highlight, note and share
The Kindle is not a passive reading device. Yes, the e-ink display means that typing is a little slow sometimes but you can also make notes and place them in books whenever you wish to read them, highlight passages, and even share passages you like on social networks. Once again, all you need to do is select some text in a book – among the options that will pop up when you do so (apart from Dictionary, Wikipedia and Translate) as discussed before are also the option to highlight, note and share. You will, of course, have to log into your social network accounts to be able to share text on them. And in many cases, you will also be able to see passages highlighted by other readers of the same book – how cool is that?
If you buy a 3G or 4G edition of the Kindle, you get Internet free of cost for as long as you use the device. We kid you not — you will not get a bill for using the inbuilt 3G or 4G on the Kindle. There is a catch though — there are no changes only as long as you use the Internet to browse the Kindle store and download books and samples. Well, that’s what you bought the Kindle for, right? And by the way, that free Internet applies irrespective of where you are geographically — no national or international roaming or anything.
This is one feature of the Kindle that many people tend to miss out. Yes, there are free books (mostly those out of copyright) on the Kindle, but for us, the best part is that you can also download free samples of just about EVERY book out there. In essence, this is a bit like being allowed to read about twenty pages from a book without being charged a penny. We think this is an awesome feature especially when someone wants to try out a new author or a title one is unsure of!