Monday, September 20, 2010

Use Kindle 3 as news reader

Here is an excellent trick to turn the normally painfully clumsy web browser on the Kindle into an excellent newsfeed (RSS) reader. It only works on Kindle three, though, not even on the Dx, I've tried.
Here's a bit of the article:
"First, log into your Google Reader account and use the awkward cursor control to navigate your feed list. Then hit the “right” cursor to enter the news articles themselves. Then comes the trick: just press “f” to enter full-screen mode, instantly turning your Kindle into a custom newspaper. You can scroll through the article with the Kindle’s page-turn buttons, and – using Google Reader’s keyboard commands – press “j” and “k” to page through articles."

It really is an excellent trick, it seems. Normally it is sloooow to navigate on web pages on the Kindle, because you have to move the cursor around one little step at a time with the four-way button. But this makes navigation way faster, and makes the pages much more readable too, especially if you zoom the text 150% or 200%.

The article says  "this works best with images turned off in the kindle browser”, but for me there doesn't seem to be much of a penalty to having them turned on, neither in speed nor screen estate.

I found this by accident, I was actually browsing for  photos of the Kindle, and got intrigued by a screenshot and the URL, and followed it.

I am not yet sure if the larger navigation (finding a particular site on your list) is as easy, but all in all, this makes the Kindle into a different beast, since it's the only speedy way I'm aware of which lets you read the web/RSS on the Kindle in real time as things happen, even on the road. Without this, it is pretty much only a reader for archived things which have to be transferred to it laboriously.

Update: eagles-view navigation is done pretty easily by pressing F again, coming out of full-screen mode. The browser works entirely differently in the two modes.
Also, alas, the usefulness seems a bit hampered by the Kindle browser not supporting multiple windows, since when it comes to a link coded as opening in a new window, it just throws in the towel, can't do it. I think it could at least offer to open it in the same window. 

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