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Old 05-01-2011, 12:25 PM   #1
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Kindle - 3G only for shopping Amazon?

Hello,

Can someone please clarify Amazon's free 3G service for me? Is that only for shopping Amazon, or does it have a web browser I can use to surf the web and view other web pages?

I think I have read that the browser is not very good, but I am interested in having that capability in the event of a power outage like the one in Alabama right now. It sucks to be without power and also cut off from the internet. If Kindle 3G gives the ability to access the internet and keep up with news during a power outage, I think that would be a big plus for me. I could also use web based email, right?

The 3G can be turned on and off to conserve battery life also, correct? Turn it on, load a news report and then turn it off to save the battery?

Thanks in advance for any clarification!
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:33 PM   #2
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The free 3G is for the browser and shopping. You can turn the wifi and 3G on and off. If you are in a WiFi area it will go for the WiFi connection first. Otherwise it uses the 3G. I have no idea if the webpage would stay up if you turned the Wireless off.

I have read that the battery lasts about a week if you leave the Wireless on continually.

I was surprised at how well the browser worked when I played around with it this week on travel. I used the WiFi which works faster then the 3G and the pages loaded reasonably quickly and were fairly easy to work with. I played with it for a whooping 15 minutes but was impressed.
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:16 PM   #3
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The free 3G is for the browser and shopping. You can turn the wifi and 3G on and off. If you are in a WiFi area it will go for the WiFi connection first. Otherwise it uses the 3G. I have no idea if the webpage would stay up if you turned the Wireless off.

I have read that the battery lasts about a week if you leave the Wireless on continually.

I was surprised at how well the browser worked when I played around with it this week on travel. I used the WiFi which works faster then the 3G and the pages loaded reasonably quickly and were fairly easy to work with. I played with it for a whooping 15 minutes but was impressed.
Thank you for your response. I'm glad to read the browser worked well for you. So I guess that means I would be able to use it to send and receive email if I use web mail. That would be great in a power outage situation. My friend has a smart phone and was able to pull up some web pages, but the screen is so tiny, it seemed pretty worthless to me.

I had thought I would wait for a tablet with a Mirasol screen and longer battery life, so I could have an ereader and web capabilities... but the Kindle may do well for me instead.

Does anyone have any idea about the next generation of Kindle? If it will only be a few months, I may end up waiting for that.
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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Yes you would. I know at least one person here used it to contact a family member who had forgotten to pick her up in Mexico. Her cell phone service did not work but the Kindle 3G did.

No one knows when the next generation of Kindle will be released. the K3 is not even a year old and they just launched the AdvertKindle at $114. I would be surprised if the K4 is announced in the next 6 months but I have been known to be wrong.

Personally, I made it through the K2 with my K1 and ended up buying the DXG when they were announced because the price dropped and it had the new screen. I just recently bought a K3 for travel. My point? There are many folks out there with K1's nd K2's that are working very nicely and have no real problems with them. If you get a K3 and the K4 is announced you are likely to be just fine.
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:42 PM   #5
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You need to be aware that not all sites will work with the browser. Mostly, it works best on sites designed for mobile devices, without Flash, etc. Some popup windows and excessive Javascript seem to be too much for it.
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
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If I were going to place a bet, I'd venture that Amazon's next big release will be a tablet of some sort to compete with the nook color and also to optimize their new Android App store.

Nobody without insider information really knows though, we all just make our guesses. Last year there was much speculation about "color eInk" and mirasol and all kinds of stuff and from what I can tell all that conjecture has really died down to almost nothing. I don't get the feeling that they are close.
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:39 PM   #7
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Yes you would. I know at least one person here used it to contact a family member who had forgotten to pick her up in Mexico. Her cell phone service did not work but the Kindle 3G did.
That is really good to know. I almost bought the Wi-fi version a few months ago, but now I think the 3G is a better choice for me just for the ability to have web access in an emergency situation.

Susan, thanks for the information about the Kindle's web browsing limitations. I don't expect to use it for browsing on a regular basis, so I think it will be fine for what I need... but that is very good to know.

Abookreader, thank you for your input about the next version. I think I will go ahead and order soon.

I may have to take a look at the larger Kindle. I never even considered that one, but perhaps I should check that out before I order.

I read in bed a lot and it seems it might be a bit too heavy to hold, although I would probably prop it up against a pillow. I'm sure web pages would be easier to read with that one. Any other considerations that would make the larger kindle a better choice?
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:40 PM   #8
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"Mobile" designed pages work best for the Kindle browser. You can usually find a mobile page by putting an m. at the beginning of the address -- m.yahoo.com, m.google.com -- such pages are likely to have no flash and will also load more quickly. Almost any major site has a mobile version these days -- if you can't find it's address by guessing, google for it.
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:40 PM   #9
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My internet was shut down for a couple of months.
The kindle was my lifeline to the outside world.
The browser really isn't as bad as some make it out to be, as long as you know what you're looking for and don't want to just poke around on the web.
I tend to read long-form journalism, so it works for me.
Also, you can subscribe to news sources and have them auto-magically delivered everyday.
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I read in bed a lot and it seems it might be a bit too heavy to hold, although I would probably prop it up against a pillow. I'm sure web pages would be easier to read with that one. Any other considerations that would make the larger kindle a better choice?
I read in bed too. I prefer the DXG. It's not really that heavy compared to something like the ipad (which I refuse to read books on btw)
Other considerations: PDF's are actually readable (sometimes )
that fantastic huge screen means less page turns too.
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:49 PM   #11
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If you own a smart phone with 3G access, the Kindle's browser probably won't have much appeal for you. My phone doesn't do much else besides making phone calls (and sometimes it doesn't even do that!), so I use the Kindle's browser all the time. I've been able to use almost everything offered via m.google.com: gmail, talk, docs, igoogle, etc. Google maps can be accessed via a website called Kindle maps. Free books can be read via the mobile sites' "Books Search" (but the "Books Reader" won't load). From the full, non-mobile site, you can access Google Books... so if google offers a book for a better price than amazon, you'll still be able to read it!
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:51 PM   #12
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"Mobile" designed pages work best for the Kindle browser. You can usually find a mobile page by putting an m. at the beginning of the address -- m.yahoo.com, m.google.com -- such pages are likely to have no flash and will also load more quickly. Almost any major site has a mobile version these days -- if you can't find it's address by guessing, google for it.
That is very good to know Whitearrow! Thank you for posting that.

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My internet was shut down for a couple of months.
The kindle was my lifeline to the outside world.
The browser really isn't as bad as some make it out to be, as long as you know what you're looking for and don't want to just poke around on the web.
That is wonderful to know it worked well for you in that situation. I was in North Alabama last week where the power plant and 90 main lines were taken out by a tornado. Power will likely be out for at least a week, and my cell phone discharged incredibly fast, probably because the nearby towers were out.

It was stressful not being able to access the outside world. I hate not having internet access, especially in an emergency situation. I ended up driving up north, but may have stuck it out if I at least had some reliable form of communications.

I noticed that Amazon also sells a solar/crank powered radio that can charge sell phones and also charges Kindles, which would be awesome in that kind of situation.

Thanks again for all the replies.

bZkindle, I do have some PDFs, so that may be a better option.

I also have some old books in .txt form. Will the kindle read those or will I have to convert them?

Is there any way to write notes in .txt or something similar, or is it only in conjunction with a particular book?
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:57 PM   #13
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If you own a smart phone with 3G access, the Kindle's browser probably won't have much appeal for you. My phone doesn't do much else besides making phone calls (and sometimes it doesn't even do that!), so I use the Kindle's browser all the time. I've been able to use almost everything offered via m.google.com: gmail, talk, docs, igoogle, etc. Google maps can be accessed via a website called Kindle maps. Free books can be read via the mobile sites' "Books Search" (but the "Books Reader" won't load). From the full, non-mobile site, you can access Google Books... so if google offers a book for a better price than amazon, you'll still be able to read it!
That is great to know Stickybuns! I do not have a smart phone and really have no interest in one. My only cell phone is a very old one that I used to just keep in the car for emergencies or for the rare occasion that my internet and therefore VOIP phone went down.

I used it so rarely that I didn't even bother to get a car charger for it since I always made sure it was fully charged. That was a mistake, because with the electricity knocked out, the cell phone drained much faster than I ever imagined, and I couldn't use my car to charge it. (I have one now though.)

Now I just need to decide which Kindle to buy.

I really appreciate all of the replies and advice here!
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:01 PM   #14
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I also have some old books in .txt form. Will the kindle read those or will I have to convert them?

Is there any way to write notes in .txt or something similar, or is it only in conjunction with a particular book?
It will read .txt fine. It's also simple to convert to mobi using Calibre. (well, most formats. PDF is a big exception. sometimes it works okay, other times meh..)
You can make notes separately from a book, yes.
IIRC you can get what is basically a blank book and take notes with that.
It's pretty cumbersome on that keyboard to make them very long.
I don't know that it will save it in .txt format though..
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:12 PM   #15
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It will read .txt fine. It's also simple to convert to mobi using Calibre. (well, most formats. PDF is a big exception. sometimes it works okay, other times meh..)
You can make notes separately from a book, yes.
IIRC you can get what is basically a blank book and take notes with that.
It's pretty cumbersome on that keyboard to make them very long.
I don't know that it will save it in .txt format though..
But I could save various text files from my computer with various information that I may need to access?

If I wanted to type notes to myself on the Kindle, they would all go in the same blank "book"?
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