The Ultimate Guide to Kindle 2.0: 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources

Feb 25th, 2009

By Laura Milligan

Amazon’s Kindle aimed to convert even reading purists to the convenience of e-book readers, and the 2.0 version, slated to release in late February 2009, boasts new features and plenty of hype. Read on for 100 hacks, support resources, tips and news stories about Kindle 2.

New Features

Check out Kindle 2′s new and improved features here.

  1. Lightweight design: Amazon maintains that its new Kindle is only 10.2 ounces, lighter than a paperback.
  2. Battery life: Kindle 2.0 has a 25% longer battery life, so you don’t have to get up to charge nearly as often, interrupting your reading.
  3. Charged: Kindle 2 can be charged in four hours, from your computer or the Kindle power adapter.
  4. Page turning buttons: Page turning buttons are located on each side of the device, "flex[ing] inward to prevent any accidental page turns when picking up or handling Kindle."
  5. Nationwide coverage: Kindle 2′s nationwide coverage extends to all 50 states. Large cities receive high-speed EVDO, while smaller towns get lower-speed 1X connection.
  6. No hidden costs: Your only costs come from your downloads; there are no wireless bills.
  7. Holds 1,500 books: Kindle 2 has the capability to store 1,500 books.
  8. High resolution screen display: Readers will notice that Kindle 2 boasts 16 shades of gray for high-res reading.
  9. Text-to-Speech: When you’re tired or just want someone else to read you a good story, turn on the Text-to-Speech feature, which saves your spot whenever you switch back to reading.
  10. Automatic backup: The automatic library backup feature stores a copy of each of your books at Amazon.com, in case you need to re-download them. Re-downloading is free.
  11. Personal Documents: Send, store and read personal documents in PDF, HTML, TXT, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and more with Kindle when you set up your own e-mail address. It costs just 10 cents per document.
  12. No glare: Kindle 2′s no glare feature reflects light, so you don’t need to adjust your position when the sun hits your device.
  13. Built-in dictionary: Use the built-in New Oxford American Dictionary to look up words while you read. The dictionary holds over 250,000 entries.
  14. Newspaper friendly: Kindle 2 boasts a five-way controller, making it easier to flip between articles and clip your favorite stories.
  15. QWERTY: Add your own notes to Kindle with the QWERTY keyboard.

How to Use

Better understand how to use your Kindle 2 here.

  1. Whispernet: Use Whispernet to take advantage of Sprint’s 3G high-speed network, allowing you to retrieve books, magazines and newspapers in under 60 seconds.
  2. Cheaper downloads: Downloading a New York Times bestseller or newly released book onto Kindle 2 is usually just $9.99, much cheaper than full-price hard-copy books.

Availability

Learn about Kindle 2 availability and content availability here.

  1. Kindle 2: The new device will be available for sale February 24, 2009, but can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com now.
  2. New York Times bestsellers: Currently, Kindle 2 users can download 105 of 112 books on the NYT bestseller list.
  3. Total books: Kindle 2 can download from a listing of over 230,000 books.

Resources

These resources will direct you to the Kindle Store, show you how to make the most of your Kindle 2, and more.

  1. Kindle Store: Here you can browse books and other reading material for your Kindle or Kindle 2.
  2. Amazon Kindle 2: 10 Things You Should Know: PCMag.com’s Lance Ulanoff explains why Kindle 2 is too expensive, too narrowly focused and doesn’t offer anything new.
  3. CNET News: Amazon Kindle 2 Launch: Watch a video of the Kindle 2 launch and get commentary from CNET reporters.
  4. Kindle Buzz: This site tracks the evolution, release and reviews of Kindle and Kindle 2.
  5. ZDNet Definition for: Kindle: Read about the history of Kindle here.

Customer Service and Support

Connect to customer service and support with these guides.

  1. Amazon Kindle Support: Find out how to use your Kindle and get customer support from this site, which is sure to update once Kindle 2 is out.
  2. Customer service and support for Kindle: GetSatisfaction.com has a page devoted to Kindle, letting you ask questions, share ideas and report problems.
  3. askville by Amazon: Find answers to questions related to Kindle 2, warranties and more on this site.
  4. Amazon Customer Service Phone Number: This blogger shares tips and experiences regarding Amazon customer service. Latest posts focus on the Kindle.
  5. Kindle Helpdesk: This website is devoted to "Kindle help and news."

Reviews

Read reviews of Kindle 2 before shelling out the few hundred dollars it’ll cost you in the beginning.

  1. Hands on with Kindle 2: what a difference a screen makes: Ars Technica writer John Timmer reviews Kindle 2, noting its wide margins, faster flip times and keyboard.
  2. Amazon’s Kindle 2: No iPod for Books: Doublas MacMillan of BusinessWeek explains why the Kindle should not be compared to the iPod, and wonders if the price will ever go down.
  3. Amazon Unveils Kindle 2: Thinner, Better Battery: HispanicBusiness.com reviews Kindle 2 here, praising its text-to-speech feature.
  4. Should you buy Kindle 2.0?: This review neatly lists high points and low points of Kindle 2.
  5. Amazon Kindle 2: PC Mag offers a short review and reader input for the Kindle 2 here.
  6. Kindle 2 First Hands On: View photos of Gizmodo’s experimental usage of the new Kindle 2 to see how it performs.
  7. 2 Kindle 2.0 Polls: Take these polls to share what you think of the whole Kindle 2 hoopla and to find out what others are feeling.
  8. Review round-up: Amazon Kindle 2: The Christian Science Monitor reviews Kindle 2′s upgraded e-ink screen, Whispersync, the read-to-me feature and more.
  9. Amazon Kindle Real-Life Review: This review of the original Kindle tests out the device in bed, on an airplane and on the toilet.
  10. E-reader Battle Royale: Kindle 2 vs. all the rest: Here, the Kindle 2 is compared to the Sony Reader PRS-700, Astak EZ Reader, iRex Digital Reader, Plastic Logic, and other e-readers.

Accessories

Protect your Kindle with these covers and bags.

  1. GelaSkins: Get a protective GelaSkins protective skin for your Kindle 2 for $19.99.
  2. 2-Year Extended Warranty: The two-year extended warranty is currently $65 and is available for U.S. customers.
  3. M-edge Platform Jacket: This sleek platform jacket is made especially for Kindle 2 and comes in a variety of colors.
  4. Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 Clip-On Light: This reading light clips onto your Kindle 2.
  5. Kindle 2 not too young for new accessories: Check out some of the colorful new accessories waiting to be snatched up as soon as Kindle 2 is officially out.
  6. Jauntify your Kindle 2 with jaunty jackets: Check out the M-Edge jackets and booklights here.
  7. Colorful Kindle 2 accessories announced: Read more about the pretty Kindle 2 jackets here.
  8. Protect Your Amazon Kindle 2: Learn how to keep your Kindle 2 protected and stylish.
  9. Amazon Kindle tradition leather case: This Noreve case signifies "haute couture for" your Kindle.
  10. First official Kindle 2 Accessories: View Cole Haan cases and other sleek Kindle 2 accessories here.

News and Guides

Keep up with the latest news stories and user guides for Kindle 2.

  1. Kindle 2 Might Have Applications in Our Classroom: Find out how Kindle 2 may be able to help special needs students and learners.
  2. Kindle 2 details leaked: BlogKindle.com gives an overview of the new features of Kindle 2.
  3. The Kindle Chronicles: This weekly podcast features tips, news about the Kindle 2 release, and more.
  4. EduKindle: Will DeLameter is a former English major and high school English teacher who shares tips and insight for using the Kindle in the classroom, as well as for personal use.
  5. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos on Kindle 2.0, its cost, touch, business and more: Brier Dudley’s Seattle Times blog covers an interview with Jeff Bezos during the Kindle 2 launch.
  6. Amazon Kindle 2 e-books its way to BGR: View photos of the Kindle 2 at the Boy Genius Report.
  7. New Kindle Audio Feature Causes a Stir: Read all about the controversial, and possibly illegal, read-to-me issue at the Wall Street Journal.
  8. Feedbooks Kindle Download Guide: Learn about downloading Feedbooks for the Kindle here.
  9. Kindle 2 user guide and vista: Amazon’s forum helps users learn more about their device.
  10. User’s Guide: Amazon Kindle: Watch this video to better understand the basic features of the Kindle.

Hacks

Below are insider tips for making your Kindle 2 work even faster.

  1. Adjust text size: Choose from six different font sizes on Kindle 2 for optimum reading.
  2. Audible: Download audio books and radio shows from Audible.com onto your Kindle.
  3. Download blogs: PC World recommends downloading blogs and surfing the Internet from your Kindle 2 via the built-in Sprint network.
  4. The Kindle Reader: Let this blogger show you how to conduct better book searches and get the most out of your Kindle or Kindle 2.
  5. Feedbooks: Learn how to download Feedbooks directly to your Kindle here.
  6. Amazon Kindle 2 Review: Watch this video to find out exactly how you’ll be able to use the Kindle 2. Filmed by CNET from the Kindle 2 launch.
  7. The Amazon Kindle 2: A Good Tool for Business?: Find out if the Kindle 2 is actually a good business hack.
  8. Kindle hacks: Rick Klau shows original Kindle users how to make using their device easier and more convenient.
  9. Reading PDFs on Kindle and Converting documents for free: Learn how to read PDFs on your Kindle here.
  10. Reading feeds on the Kindle for free: This post teaches you how to access free feeds on your Kindle.

Free or Almost Free Books and Periodicals

Fill up your Kindle 2 with free or seriously cheap content.

  1. Feedbooks: Here you can search for and download free e-books for your Kindle.
  2. RSS Feeds and Newspapers: Feedbooks also turns RSS feeds of your favorite sites and newspaper blogs into files that work on your Kindle.
  3. Munsey’s: Browse categories like horror, liberal arts, classic, science fiction and more.
  4. FreeKindleBooks.org: This site has thousands of Kindle-compatible books.
  5. Project Gutenberg: Students on a budget can access free e-books from Project Gutenberg here.
  6. Fictionwise: Fictionwise helps Kindle users download books, set up direct e-mail to their Kindle accounts, and more.
  7. Podiobooks: Use this site to find audio books.
  8. Free Amazon titles: Here you can find free titles at Amazon.com.
  9. Kindle eBook Library: A subscription cost of $8.95 per year grants you access to over 500,000 books in PDF.
  10. eBook Searchr: Use this resource to find eBooks on over 340 sites.

Controversy and Issues

Learn about the negative issues, legal debates and controversies surrounding Kindle 2.

  1. Kindle fans upset that Kindle 2 drops SD slot, replaceable battery: Find out why Kindle users are missing these two features.
  2. Kindle Forum Kindle 2.0 Social Network: Vent or share praise for Kindle 2 on the forums.
  3. Kindle: Amazon’s Wireless Reading Device forum: This forum is sponsored by Amazon and lets readers connect about customer service, book prices and more.
  4. Kindle 2.0′s "Read to Me" Text to Speech feature under attack + video: Find out why The Author’s Guild and Association of American Publishers are unhappy about the Text to Speech feature on Kindle 2.
  5. Kindle 2: Should you stop buying all those iPhone eBooks?: VentureBeat’s MG Siegler wonders about Kindle 2′s high price in a bad economy, the convenience of the iPhone eBook reader and more.
  6. Amazon’s Kindle 2 leaked: CNET’s David Carnoy considers whether or not Amazon will develop a European Kindle 2 and examines the new American version.
  7. Legal ruckus over Kindle 2′s text-to-speech feature: Yahoo! Tech further explores The Authors Guild’s claim that Kindle 2′s text-to-speech feature is illegal.
  8. Kindle 2 tops Amazon’s bestseller list despite complaints: This article reveals that users are unhappy with the Kindle 2 because battery replacement is expensive and inconvenient.
  9. Amazon’s Kindle 2 a Disappointment to eBook Industry: BooksOnBoard CEO Bob LiVolsi calls Kindle 2 "a disappointment" because of its technological shortcomings.
  10. Kindle 2: Still Expensive: Portfolio.com laments the still too-high cost of Kindle 2.

Miscellaneous

These Kindle 2 links and resources will continue to acclimate you to your new e-book reader.

  1. Stephen King to launch Kindle exclusive: Stephen King plans to launch a novella called UR exclusively for the Kindle 2.
  2. Sony Reader: The Sony Reader is one of Kindle’s biggest competitors. Learn about the different features here.
  3. Used Kindles: If you’re not ready to spend over $350 on your new Kindle 2, consider buying a used, slightly cheaper version of the original Kindle here.
  4. Kindle 2 vs Oprah Effect – Comparing Kindle Buzz: Consider the legitimacy of all the Kindle 2 hype here.
  5. Kindle 2 – Good Gift?: Before buying Kindle 2 for someone else, consider whether or not it’s worth it.
  6. Sharing Two Kindles, How does it work?: Mick West aims to hack one of the pitfalls of Kindles: the inability to swap and share books with friends.
  7. What’s new with the Kindle 2: TechCrunch compares the old and new versions of Kindle.
  8. Why Amazon Kindle 2.0 won’t suck like 1.0: Scobleizer has higher hopes for Kindle 2.
  9. Amazon’s Kindle 2.0 could have better screen, longer battery life, sleeker design: The LA Times Technology blog isn’t as enthusiastic about Kindle 2.0.
  10. Why Amazon needs Kindle 2.0: ZDNet laments Amazon’s near monopoly on e-readers, at least for the moment.
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