The Kindle e-Reader is not just for downloading and reading e-books. Various Kindle models are incredibly versatile, with a host of tasks that you can perform in addition to buying and reading e-books from Amazon and other sites that offer books for download.
Most of these tasks are completed by using the e-Reader’s ability to wirelessly connect to the Internet in combination with accessing the unit’s built-in web browser through the Experimental function key.
The additional tasks that you can complete with your Kindle, depend on whether or not you have the original Kindle or one of the later versions of the e-Reader, such as the Kindle Fire. There are currently nine different models of Kindle, each with its own features and capabilities, and they are priced accordingly.
The nine models of Kindle e-Reader are the original Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Paperwhite 3G, Kindle Keyboard 3G, Kindle DX, Kindle Fire Tablet, Kindle Fire HD Tablet, Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Tablet, and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G Tablet.
Kindle units did not include internal speakers until the Kindle Keyboard 3G, and resolution was only 167 to 221 PPI and in greyscale until the Kindle Fire models which have resolutions between 720 and 1080P and color LCD and HD LCD displays. These features affect what you can and can not do with Kindle e-Readers.
Tasks Available with Basic Kindle e-Reader Models
In addition to reading books, you can complete the following tasks with the basic and original versions of the Kindle e-reader.
You can pay to subscribe to and read blogs from your Kindle, but you can also surf directly to any blog or other website using the built-in web browser.
Take Your Documents With You
Have some documents that you need for an upcoming trip stored in your DropBox on your computer or laptop at home, but don’t feel like lugging either one around? You don’t have to, as there is an app that can convert the documents in your DropBox and send them to your e-Reader.
Find and Define Words
The Kindle e-Reader also comes with the New Oxford American Dictionary pre-installed. This can come in handy if you aren’t certain of the correct spelling, definition or part of speech of a word.
Kindle Keyboard 3G and Kindle DX
You can use the Kindle Keyboard 3G and Kindle DX to complete all the tasks that the earlier models can perform, as well as the following additional activities:
Listen to MP3s
You can stream live music from the e-Reader’s web browser, or you can join Audible or other paid subscription sites to listen to music, audiobooks and more.
Have a Story Read Out Loud to You
Using the e-Reader’s text to speech application, you can have the device read a story or other written material out loud to you. This is great if you need some extra help reading to the kids at bedtime.
Share passages from your favorite books with your friends and family on Twitter and Facebook.
Kindle Fire and Later Models
Later Kindle e-Readers, such as the Kindle Fire, have full color displays and sharp resolution, which enable you to peform tasks that the earlier models could as well as the following activities:
Watch Movies and Other Videos
If you have a Netflix subscription, you can surf to their site using the built-in web browser and stream live movies and other programming. You can also stream some of your favorite shows and programming for free from sites such as Hulu, or even directly from network websites, such as CBS and FOX.
Additional programming can be purchased and downloaded via Amazon Prime or other sites with streaming videos. The unit can also provide educational programming. If you are enrolled in an online class, go to your course’s website and watch the course’s online videos.
Need to check your balance, or pay a bill through your bank’s bill-pay feature? Use the e-Reader’s web browser and an internet connection to keep up with your bank accounts and credit cards, wherever you are located. If you use an online site to create budgets and track your spending, you can even use the e-Reader’s web browser to connect with the site and manage all of your finances in one convenient place.
Ditch that Expensive Cellphone Data Plan
Tired of spending money to send and receive text messages on your cellphone? Since the e-Reader connects to any available Internet connection wirelessly and has a web browser, you can use it to send and receive free messages much as you would on your cellphone. Stop paying around $20 or more for a data plan and just use your Kindle e-Reader to do this task.
Connect to the web using the e-Reader’s web browser and any available Internet or Wi-Fi connection and get directions from Google Maps. You can also visit other Google+ sites, such as Google Communities and Hangouts and video chat with friends or access your favorite fitness and other apps from their site.
Check Email and Send and Receive Notifications
Use the e-Reader’s built-in web browser to check your email or social media sites, such as Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Pinterest, to send and receive messages.
Create Customized Pages for Children via Kindle FreeTime“>Kindle FreeTime
FreeTime is a new Kindle app that works with many Kindle e-Readers, so that users can create profiles for each of their children that will provide a centralized access point that contains thousands of titles in games, books, movies, TV shows, and educational apps that parents can pre-select for their children.
Got some time to kill and want to play your favorite web browser game? You can certainly surf over to your favorite online game sites and play in the browser, or download free or low cost games to play on your e-Reader such as these game titles from Amazon Games.
Photo credit: thekellyscope