Cool Kindle Tricks

KindleIf you have a Kindle and the most recent software update—2.5—you can do some pretty cool things.

Most Kindle owners probably know that you can highlight and annotate passages in the Kindle. You probably also know that you can download Kindle on your PC or Mac and iPhone and read books on all of your devices.

What you may not know is that you can access all your highlights and notes from your Kindle account. Simply visit the Kindle account page and log in. Really handy for creating blog posts. I used it when I quoted passages from Medieval Lives in my recent review. If you want to turn this feature off, from the main menu screen, press the Menu button, go to Settings, and move your cursor to Annotations Backup and turn the feature off. I think it is on by default. You can also delete notes from your Kindle account page, which is handy if you heavily marked a book, such as a textbook, and you no longer want to access those annotations.

With the 2.5 update, highlighting can be social. The update has a feature that allows you to see the most frequently highlighted passages in Kindle books. No notes or identifying information are shared, so you need not worry about privacy, but it might be interesting to see what other readers thought worthy of highlighting. To toggle this feature on or off, from your main menu, press the Menu button, select Settings, move your cursor to Popular Highlights, and turn the feature off. It is on by default.

Another interesting addition in the software update is the ability to link your Kindle to social networks. You can currently link your Kindle to either your Twitter or your Facebook account if you want to share highlights or notes with followers or friends. Once again, you can toggle this feature by pressing the Menu button from the main menu, selecting Settings, and moving your cursor to Social Networks. You have to activate this feature by linking it to your Twitter or Facebook account; it is not on by default.

Another new feature that I am really excited about is Collections. You can create collections for your books based on whatever organization scheme you want. I don’t have too many books on my Kindle right now, so Fiction and Nonfiction are appropriate, but if you have a big collection, filing your books by genre or even author might be helpful for organization. To make a new collection, press Menu from the main menu and select Create New Collection. You can change the titles of your collections later, and you can add books to multiple collections if you like. If you accidentally delete a collection, the books will just return to the main screen, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally deleting books.

Other new features include password protection and PDF zoom. I had the unpleasant experience of putting a PDF on my Kindle, only to find it hard to read because the PDF was displayed at the size saved, and it was impossible to zoom. The only way I could read it was to change the orientation, which was awkward for me.

Kindle 1 owners won’t be able to download 2.5 software. If for some reason your Kindle hasn’t downloaded the new software, you can follow Amazon’s instructions for downloading it manually.

Know of a trick for the Kindle you want to share? Sound off in the comments.

photo credit: goXunuReviews

Note: I have decided to create a posting schedule for this blog so that it is updated at least three times a week. Sometimes almost a month goes by with no updates! To that end, Tuesdays will be dedicated to book news, Kindle news, reflections on reading and books, and the like. Thursdays will be dedicated to Booking Through Thursday.  Sundays will be dedicated to reading updates and will be tagged with my “in-progress” tag. It will give me a chance to talk about books I abandon and my initial impressions, reflections, or other thoughts about what I’m currently reading. I will still post book reviews whenever I finish books, regardless of the schedule.