Instapaper + Kindle Problems Find A (Free) Solution

Kindle plus instapaper usb sync solution with mobi filesInstapaper lets you bookmark online content through a handy little bookmarklet that sits in your browser. Then you can log on to their website later or use their iPhone App to read the full articles in one place.

Their connection with the Kindle is simple — they have a service by which your recent articles are emailed to your Kindle or Kindle DX. You get charged $0.15 by Amazon for each email but in the end it is worth it to be able to read it on your favorite e-text reading device.

But there is a problem with this service, the emails do not reach the Kindle users every time they are sent. This is in all likelihood a technical problem between the Instapaper’s service and Amazon but it is taking its time getting fixed. So the Instapaper developer thought up an alternative solution.

Instapaper now allows you to download your 10 most recent articles to a .mobi file that can be transferred to your Kindle. You cannot go more than 10 articles per file for now but you can probably save multiple such files. Syncing is via USB, so it is not completely hassle free but it has three distinct advantages for now.

One is that you get to use this service for free. You will not be paying for the emails that Amazon relays from Instapaper to your Kindle. The second advantage is that you are guaranteed that the sync feature will work all the time. The third is that it works for International users as well. The email feature was only for US users. It is still in beta, so you might run into problems but those who use the Kindle with Instapaper know that it is a fantastic service to have. It adds to our already great Kindle experience.

Kindle 2 Features I would love to see

Although I’m extremely happy with my Kindle 2 there are several features I would really like to have (even if only in Kindle 3) ordered by descending importance:

  • Full Unicode character support (Cyrillic, Asian, etc). Currently all you see instead of these characters are plain boxes. I realize that this is not high on Amazon’s priority list because there few if any books in the Kindle Store that use these… Still there are books downloadable from the Internet, personal converted documents, web-pages etc. It would be nice not to be limited to English here.
  • Ability to email clippings and highlights (even if only to myself)…. What makes Kindle great is that it’s not tethered to your computer and the only cord you need to plug in once in a while is the power cord. Yet this is not the case with clippings. Imagine, you are reading an article or a book and see a passage that would be very interesting to a friend of yours. Why not add a menu item that would allow you to email it right away using the WhisperNet connection?
  • Ability to cut and paste…. Real-life story: I’m in my car listening to “Book Notes” on NPR. They are running a piece about book by Daniyal Mueenuddin that really interests me so I try to look it up in Kindle Store – no matches… OK, I google for it using basic web and find the article on NPR website. I actually had to find a piece of paper and scribble the name on it so I could then type it in Kindle Store search-box because of my extremely poor memory for names and average spelling skills :) Wouldn’t it be nice I were able to just select the text on the web-page and then copy-paste it into search box. Same would go for book browsing – you can select a single word and it’s automatically put in the search-box but not entire phrase.
  • Better power management. There is no reason why my Kindle 2 should sustain more than 2 weeks of intensive reading on a single charge with wireless turned off and fully drain it in 4 days of hardly any reading at all with wireless turned on given that I only bought 2 or 3 books during this days and have one magazine subscription. I realize that it’s impossible for the device to know if it has something to download (book, magazine or update) without connecting to Amazon servers once in a while but right now it’s doing it way too often. It would be nice to have single menu item that would connect to WhisperNet, check for updates and download them and then turn off wireless automatically. As for magazine subscriptions, they come out on a regular schedule to it should be easy to turn the radio on just once a day and turn it off afterwards.
  • Password protection. It may be a minor thing but still… Kindle can be used to read personal documents that may be sensitive and browse the web (possibly storing authentication cookies). And of course there is a possibility that your 3-year-old would start pressing buttons and order one the $6,000+ books. Or someone may do it as an evil prank…
  • Hack-free custom screen-saver. I can imagine that I’m not the only one who would like to customize my Kindle 2 not only by the means of skins.

What I’m going to do now is email this list to [email protected]. If you feel that these or other features are important to you, you can do the same. From my past experience of working in large corporations I know that massive customer feedback does work sometimes.

What about you? What features would you like to see in your eBook readers?

Gmail on Kindle

It is perfectly possible to access your Gmail account using Amazon Kindle browser. All you need to do is visit the mobile version at rather than full version. Loading full version will cause some kind of error after you enter your login and password. I don’t think it would render well anyway.

So here you go: you can now send and receive emails using your Amazon Kindle anywhere there is WhisperNet (read Sprint) coverage absolutely free of charge courtesy of Amazon :)

Yahoo Mail On Kindle Is Back

yahoo email on amazon kindle

When the Kindle first launched you could log into your Yahoo Mail account using Yahoo’s mobile email service through the Kindle web browser, but then for some mysterious reason it stopped working. Now after many weeks of waiting, you can once again log into your Yahoo Mail account through the Kindle web browser.

Log into Yahoo Mail through this link:

Thanks to woody_woodward @ kindlekorner