What Can A Kindle Do?

By Branko Miletic

Technology can drive consumers up the wall, especially if they are not switched on to how it all works. What are the best operating systems for computers/smartphnes? How much storage do I need on my laptop/smartphone/desktop? What programs can a device run? Do I accept updates or will it crash my computer? Is it eco-friendly? What’s best in televisions – LED/Plasma? What kind of security software is best? What Telco offers the best plans? Wifi or ADSL2? And on it goes.

However when it comes it e-readers, the choices are a little more clearer- as long as people don't make the mistake of thinking they are tablets.

That brings me to the Kindle, Amazon's little e-reader that has taken the world by storm. While most tablets can be used as e-readers (along with much more), e-readers are not tablets and have a limited function. If you want a tablet-like device to read books, do your emailing plus a few other basic things, Amazon's Kindle- now in its their rendition- may be down your alley.

Here are our top 10 Kindle applications:

  1. Read books – there are nearly 800,000 books you can download via the Kindle. However, if you are a lover of Australian literature, you may be a bit disappointed as there are limited titles by local authors available.
  2. Read Blogs – since it is a wifi enabled device, the Kindle will allow you to go to just about any blog that tickles your fancy.
  3. Check Emails – yes, you are able to check your emails.
  4. Listen to MP3s– and I said MP3s and not iTunes. But if you have your music in MP3 format, whack on your headphones and listen away.
  5. Listen to a story – why read when you can be read to?
  6. Read your files– as long as they are in standard Microsoft formats like Word or Excel. The Kindle doesn't like exotic extensions such as ODT.
  7. Get directions from the Internet vai Google Maps.
  8. Use an online dictionary – need to know what a 'backronym' is or what 'pandiculation' means? Your Kindle can handle the request.
  9. Get free books – you can download a fair number of books that have had their copyright expire..
  10. Use your browser – as of a couple of weeks ago, you could use Chrome or Safari browsers on your Kindle and surf the web until your interest (or battery) runs out.

The Kindle is not exactly an iPad but if you don't need an iPad and its (potential) 200,000 Apps and would rather spend  $200 that say $600, then the Kindle could do the trick.