Ten things to know about your new Kindle

Ten things to know about your new Kindle

A lot of people will get new Kindles today.  These are ten things to know about it, in no particular order.

* You don’t need to turn it off.  It’s better if it “sleeps”, usually.  You can put it to sleep with the power switch, or just leave it and it will go to sleep on its own.  When it is asleep, you’ll see a “sleep mode picture” on the screen.  If you turn it off, the screen will be blank

* You don’t need to be connected to the Whispernet (the Kindle’s internet connection) to read.  Download the books, and then you can read them anywhere

* Hit the Home button after you finish reading, and before it goes to sleep.  This will help it know where you stopped

* Leave the Whispernet connection off unless you need it.  If you go to do something with that needs the Whispernet, the Kindle will ask you if it is okay to turn it on.  You won’t get your blogs, newspapers, and magazines without it on, though.  Turn it on, pick up your subscription items, turn it off again.  Having it on takes a lot more battery, and you usually don’t need it

* Recharge the battery in “the middle half”.  That’s when it’s not in the first quarter and not in the last quarter

* There are lots of free books, and they are really free.  That’s how you are going to avoid spending too much money with the 1-click purchasing

* Don’t squish your Kindle.  They are pretty hardy, actually (they tend to survive drops, although I wouldn’t test that), but the screen can be damaged by too much pressure on it

* Don’t let your Kindle get super-hot or super cold.  Normal use is fine…if you are comfortable, your Kindle is comfortable.  I wouldn’t leave it in a hot car, though

* The books you get from the Kindle store are automatically backed up for you at Amazon.  You can get to them from any of the devices on your account by going to the archives

* If your Kindle is lost or stolen, go to

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

and deregister it.  Don’t wait.  Also, call Amazon and tell them.

A few other points:

If your Kindle is having trouble, restart it: Home-Menu-Settings-Menu-Restart.

Search this blog for help on other issues (http://ilmk.wordpress.com).

Kindle Customer Service is great!  You can reach them starting here:

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

There’s a button on the side that says Contact Us.

You can call them at

 1-866-321-8851 (inside the US)

 1-206-266-0927 (outside the US)

UK Kindleers, call 0800 496 2449.

One more big thing…for any questions or opinions (lots of opinions) ;) , try the

Amazon Kindle community

 You’ll typically get responses pretty quickly, and you’ll get all the news.  It can be a lot of fun…but it may be as addictive as your Kindle itself.  ;)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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7 Responses to “Ten things to know about your new Kindle”

  1. Andrew Says:

    I disagree with the suggestion to leave Whispernet turned off. Unless I’m going to be away from a power source for some time, I leave the wireless connection on all the time. Unless I do a LOT of power-hungry activities (using the speakers for TTS or music, heavy web slogging, or lots of active content games) the battery easily lasts a day or more between charges. The K3 is supposed to have even better battery life.

    I tried keeping the Whispernet off when I first got my Kindle, but besides being unnecessary, I found it very inconvenient. I’m a very heavy Whispernet user. I almost never get through a sitting reading without looking something up on Wikipedia or Google. When I was reading Amberville, a Swedish novel you mentioned in a Freebie Flash, I looked up the Volga car all the characters were driving to see what it looks like! I used to have a newspaper subscription on my Kindle, so I couldn’t turn the Whispernet off at night, either, if I wanted it to download automatically.

    Some people undoubtedly place a higher premium on battery life than I do, and most people probably don’t use the wireless connection as much as I do, but for anyone who charges their Kindle at night and uses Whispernet more than occasionally, I would suggest leaving the wireless on.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Andrew!

      That’s interesting! Our use patterns are very different. I am a heavy TTS (Text-To-Speech) user…hours a day, not uncommonly, while driving. Battery use may be more of a focus for me for that reason. I also figure (and I admit this may be anachronistic) that the more often you charge the battery, the shorter the total battery life. That may not be true, of course. :) As to the Whispernet use, mine is sporadic at best, although that may change with the K3. When I do want to check something, I don’t mind waiting a few seconds for the connection.

      As to the newspaper: I do subscribe to this blog (as a means of quality control) along with a couple of others. I turn my Whispernet on in the morning and pick them up…doesn’t take long at all for me. I don’t have to specifically retrieve each one, of course, so it’s not too hard.

      I appreciate the different perspective! I think a lot of people think they have to have the Whispernet on to read the books, based on questions I’ve seen, and I’ve seen other people express concerns about the battery not lasting as long as they expected…I think the Whispernet is a likely cause of it.

  2. FSkornia Says:

    “* Hit the Home button after you finish reading, and before it goes to sleep. This will help it know where you stopped”

    I’m curious about the reasoning behind this. Is this supposed to aid Whispersync so that you can read across various devices more easily? I’ll admit, I’m a first generation Kindle user and as far as I’ve been able to tell, I put it to sleep (using the old combo Alt+Aaa) and when I wake it, it’s at exactly the same place I left it.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, FSkornia!

      Yes, that’s right…but I don’t think that’s the only use, necessarily. I wanted to keep that post fairly simple, but here’s how I understand it.

      1. Your Kindle will typically still be on the last thing it was on when you wake it up. For example, if you have multiple pages on your homescreen and you go to the second page and sleep it, it will still be on the second page when you awaken it

      2. When you go to home, the Kindle store the “last page read” information. This would affect you in two situations. One is that Whispersync issue. The other situation is if you have to restart the Kindle. If it hasn’t been able to store the accurate “last page read” information, then after the restart, it may not start where you were when you reopen the book

      If you don’t Whispersync and you haven’t had to restart in the middle of a book, you may not have noticed it.

  3. Danielle (eReader1) Says:

    Hi Bufo, I have a quick question for you regarding restart – I generally do and recommend the same as you Menu-Settings-Menu-Restart, but I see other bloggers recommend the power-slide for 20 or so seconds. I only do the latter when my Kindle freezes completely, but for general issues, I wasn’t sure which was better.
    Do you happen to know is the menu option generally better, or doesn’t it really matter? Do they do pretty much the same thing? They appear to but I might be missing something.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing again, Danielle!

      Amazon has said that it is better to use the menu option (the “soft restart”) when you can. That make sense: it’s probably a more elegant exit than just cutting off the power.

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