Address Book

Address Book is a good little tool for Kindle to store and retrieve the addresses of people you interact with often.

The user interface is quite simple.  Use the Kindle’s 5-way toggle button to select the correct tab: New Contact or Favorites.  In New Contacts you can navigate to the New Contact text input box.  Fields include the standard name, address, email, phone number, etc.

Underneath the New Contacts and Favorites, you’ll also see a search box.  I like that 7 Dragons took the time to include “type here to search” because that simple phrase explains exactly what you need to do.

So, the navigation is mostly done through the 5-way toggle button and the Kindle’s keyboard.  The user interface is simple, clear, and easy to read.  I hope that there will be a Kindle 4 version out soon.

There is another comparable Kindle address book app available that is worth a try.  Contacts is a more elaborate address book, and was developed by A Gamz.  It has great reviews, but is a dollar more than Address Book.  It just depends on how much you want in an address book.

I think one of the biggest advantages to an electronic address book like Address Book is that you don’t have to worry about constantly erasing addresses for people who move all the time.  I have moved about every year the past few years, so it is nice to just reenter my address without wearing down the paper.  A couple of other perks: it gets stored on your Kindle’s account.  So even when you switch Kindle’s you’ll still have the app.  Since it is on your specific account, it has a greater layer of security.  The other is portability.  Paper address books can get clunky.

Ed Pegg

“Use is simple. All major Email services (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail) will let you store your contact list (built from emails) in VCF or vCard format. Save that to your computer, then upload to your Kindle. Both programs give detailed instructions.”

DMR48

“This address book is VERY FLEXIBLE in adding information . Just have to play around with it a bit. You can add more than one phone number/ email address for each person. Easy to look up a persons information, by first or last name, friend , family or co-worker. Just what I was looking for. Even can add birthdays ! Great to have when you are away from your home, and you can have someones email addresses, phone numbers and addresses right at your finger tips. (A wish I have had for along time when I am away from my home or out of state)”

Tic Tac Toe

With a little strategy, Tic Tac Toe by 7 Dragons can be one of the easiest games out there.  The Kindle version is well done, and does its best in simulating the pencil and paper versions.  It includes three difficulty levels, large, easy to read graphics, and includes a good instruction manual.

You can play either the Kindle, or another player.  There are three difficulty level settings: easy, medium, and hard.  I beat them all pretty quickly using a good strategy that I found.

Tic Tac Toe is a good kid’s game because it teaches them how to play strategically.  In the “old” days you could find kids playing it when bored in class, or even on playground sets.  The Kindle player setting can help them get introduced to the game and work their way up in skill level.

For adults, I highly recommend playing in two player mode.  No matter how good and “human like” the Kindle gets as a player, it can never replace the real thing.  I also think that playing against another human being would be more interesting and challenging than playing even the hard Kindle player levels.

Tic Tac Toe is pretty intuitive as long as you know your way around the Kindle’s keys and the 5-way toggle.  I immediately just jumped in and started playing   You can choose whether you want to be “X” or “O” at the beginning of each game.

If you’re new to Kindle games, feel free to press the Menu button and click on the Help option.  You also can access the different difficulty levels from the Menu, which saves the hassle of returning to the Main Menu each time.

If you get tired of this particular version of Tic Tac Toe, you can always try out the other Tic Tac Toe and Tic Tac Toe 2 Player Kindle game that was designed by Jon Larimer.  In terms of quality and reviews, the 7 Dragons version is much better.

Samuel J. Perry

First of all, this is Tic Tac Toe, not ChessMaster Chess. It is a simple game that anyone with a reasonably good IQ will be able to beat or draw every single game, regardless of the difficulty level selected. It is good brain food for the children as they learn the algorithm themselves and reach the level of win/draw every game. I find it an excellent choice for my little daughter as she rides in the car, or just a nice distraction from time to time. It makes her feel good to do battle with a game that she can beat. I recommend this game, but dear me, remember it is Tic Tac Toe, nothing more, nothing less.

Tic Tac Toe is now compatible with the latest generation keyboardless Kindle.

Flip It!

Flip It! is a Rubix cube type game.  You have to flip tiles in a series of moves to turn them all white.  When you flip the tiles, different ones will turn black or white.  It gets tough really quickly.

Review the “help’ section before you begin.  There are good instructions, and they include some important hints that you can keep in mind while playing.

The graphics are decent.  They could be better, but they work for the purposes of the game.  The game gets your brain working that’s for sure.  New Kindle owners will have to chime in on this one, but I did get kind of tired of looking at the lag as the blocks flipped.  It is just the way the e-ink works.

You have 40 puzzles that increase in difficulty with each passing level.  So, it should keep you busy for awhile.  In order to unlock the next level, you have to complete the one before it.  There are also minimum moves that give you an idea of how many moves you should be able to solve the puzzle with if you’re savvy at the game.

I of course take forever to complete the puzzles.  But, the good news is, if you take a lot of moves to complete a level, you can always go back and try to complete it in fewer moves, and with a better time.

I think it’d be cool to add new shapes, or even create a game for the Kindle that uses the actual Rubix cube.  But, since that relies on color, we might just have to wait until a Kindle color edition comes out.

Gina

“I agree with another poster, this reminds me of the rubiks cube.
I have made it to level 26, and to tell the truth most of the time when I get it, I don’t even know how the heck I did. I love this game, it’s the one I play the most out of the 13 games I have on my kindle. It can get kinda frustrating sometimes, so I just leave it for a while then go back to it later. It becomes addicting, and it drains the battery on my kindle so now I only play it while it’s plugged in.”

bettybounce’em

“This game is fun and does get really challenging. It is a little repetitive with the same thing on every level but still fun and entertaining to play! For less than a buck I recommend everyone getting it.”

So, overall, not a bad game for a buck.  There is room for improvement, but Flip It! is off to a good start.

 

 

 

Calendar

If you use Google Calendar, you’ll recognize the interface in the Calendar Kindle app. You can set appointments in day, or month view. You can even set the frequency of the events, and set them to recur each week.

There is a rather in depth help manual included. It is a great reference guide if you need it.

Calendar includes backgrounds and headings. On special days such as holidays or birthdays, they’re marked with an “H” or a balloon. They looked kind of dark to me. They make a nice touch, but considering the greyscale Kindle platform, I’m not sure how much flair they really add to the calendar.

Press Menu to get where you need to go or review the help section. The 5-way toggle button is your primary mode of navigation, but the Help guide provides keyboard shortcuts.

The other calendar app for Kindle worth considering is Calendar Pro. It is simpler than Calendar, and a lot cleaner graphics wise. If you prefer cute little add ons and such, go with Calendar. If you want pure functionality and simplicity, go with Calendar Pro.

Calendar Pro’s Help section is a quick reference guide, and includes all of the keyboard shortcuts that you need.

As for the calendar itself, it is similar in set up to Calendar in that it has day, month, and year view. The biggest edge that Calendar has over Calendar Pro is recurring events. Many reviewers have mentioned this, and hopefully it recurring events will be integrated into the next version of Calendar Pro.  Keep an eye out for updates!

Another good suggestion, is syncing with Outlook or Google Calendar.  I’m really not sure how this would work with the Kindle setup, but it is a good suggestion, especially since so many people use either of those programs.

Calendar Pro’s day view is kind of small. It was hard for me to see the hour slots. However, the month view is awesome. It is big, and has a huge marker to help you navigate it.

Both apps also have an agenda section where you can make notes. You can set Calendar to remind you of your appointments. As crazy as my schedule is, that is a must have feature for me.

Marilyn Bouldin

“I just got the program today and it’s the best one I’ve tried so far and I’ve tried several. My only suggestion is that I wish I could update on my laptop as well, better keyboard and I could do it faster. I know I will get faster at it and I mainly bought it to help consolidate by college books, notes and calendar. It helps with the books, even though the book list is limited. I save my notes on my laptop and download to my kindle to study”

Converter

In addition to serving as an e-reader and game platform, the Kindle also can serve as a useful tool for everyday needs such as unit conversions.  The conversion tool is called Converter.

I was impressed with the types of conversions it includes.  It even has Pressure conversions: paschal, bar, etc.  The average person probably never uses these, but I think they’re good to have if you are a scientist and need to work with them.

It always takes me a few minutes to remember how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, or how many ounces are in a cup.  I like to bake goodies often, so this will be a quick and handy tool for me to use if I need it.

The complete units of measure list can be found from Converter’s Amazon page.  Some of them took me back to my high school chemistry days.

I think the interface needs a little work.  You have to use the Kindle’s 5-way toggle to maneuver around each section, and that can get cumbersome.  When you first open the application, it provides a list of keyboard shortcuts to use as an alternative.  They’re helpful, but I think they should be accessible somehow once you get into the conversions.  Maybe a menu option, or at the bottom of the page perhaps?

The font size is really big, which I am grateful for.  You can adjust the font size through the menu.  Aside from the navigation flow, it works great.

Check out the Converter reviews.  They provide good insight on how the tool works and provide really good suggestions for future improvements.

Michael P. Gallagher

“It’s a pretty simple process – you start with the “From” unit of measurement, such as volume, and type in your base starting point. Then you change what you are trying to convert “to” and your Kindle immediately spits out the answer.

About the only drawback to me is you have to use the “A” or “J” keys to change the conversion type – such as length – and the S, K, D, or L keys to change the “from” or “to” parameters; I had to write those hints down until I had performed about two dozen calculations and didn’t have to refer to it again. That does not take away from the program, but is more an inherent limitation in the Kindle’s keyboard.”

B. Bordi

“I purchased this product today and it seems quite easy to use, however, one of the first things I attempted to do was convert a negative temperature fahrenheit to celsius. I could find no way to enter a negative number. I contacted the creator, 7 Dragons, and was told that negative numbers are not supported. No big deal, a minor limitation for what seems to be a well valued product (99cents).”

 

Calculator

There are two calculator apps on the Kindle that are good, and have their respective strengths and weaknesses.

For this post, I will focus on Calculator, by 7 Dragons. It is easy to see. The graphics are good, and large enough for someone who has vision loss. It took me a minute to figure out that there are keyboard shortcuts for the mathematical symbols such as add, subtract, sine, cosine, etc.

This app gives you more than the basic calculator because it includes the trigonometric functions: sine, cosine, tangent, etc. Not sure who uses these besides students and mathematicians, but they’re there for use for whoever needs it.

Comparing this app to Mobigloo’s Easy Calculator App, Calculator has an easier keyboard set up. The keys on the calculator are easier to see and are white with black letters. So they have better contrast than Easy Calculator’s grey, and smaller keys.

The thing I like better about Easy Calculator is that you can see the whole transaction like it is written on a piece of paper. So, when you do 5×5, it shows that, and puts a line underneath it to show the answer. This is good because that way, you can make sure you put in the right numbers.

Both apps include a history button. Hitting the enter key on the Kindle is the “equal” key on the calculator for both apps. That is an obvious choice.

Overall, Calculator is definitely not as fast as punching keys on a regular calculator, but compared to a computer version, it is much more portable. It is good to not have to carry so many little gadgets in my purse because I can just access it on my Kindle whenever I need it.

Brenda Fernandez

“It provides all kinds of operations of a normal calculator an even some of the more advances “scientific ones” like trigonometric functions, exponents, roots, 1/X, etc. It’s very user friendly and the redesigned keyboard layout for typing numbers works pretty well and lets the user input numbers much faster and more easily than with the standard Alt+Letter or Sym key.
It has memory functions very well implemented and supports seeing history of the last 10 operations and values stored in memory. I find that really useful. “

Notepad

Notepad is a great quite note taking tool for the Kindle. I use it for my “to do” list, but it can be a quick way to note interesting tidbits on the go, grocery lists, etc.

Another handy use for Notepad that would fit right into the Kindle’s purposes is creating a book list. I see books all the time that I would love to read, but I have a hard time keeping up with their titles and authors when it comes time to purchase them. I also have a tendency to lose paper.

When you first get started, you’ll find a welcome note that tells you the keyboard shortcuts to tasks such as saving the note, scrolling up and down, deleting the note, and more. I think it is a very helpful quick reference guide.

You will also find a note where you can provide contact information in case your Kindle gets lost. This is a really handy tool, but I’d be scared my Kindle might get into the wrong hands.

Notepad is pretty easy to navigate. I was able to move the 5-way cursor around to get in and out of the note. The Kindle’s keyboard can be awkward, but it works fine for short notes.

Kathleen B

“Before, when I had a brainstorm, I had to open the browser, pray Google Docs was wanting to work, and squint to read what I’d just wrote. Notepad makes things much, much easier. ”

One thing that took me a few minutes to figure out was how to move to the next line in my “to do” list note. But, then I found the “return” button on the bottom right hand side of the keyboard.

I like that the text in the notes are easy to read. The navigation buttons are not too bad either.

You can search your notes, back them up in case they get lost, and go to your most recent notes. To access these options, just press “Menu.”

One big improvement that I’d like to see is the ability to access Notepad while I’m reading a book. The Kindle does have annotation options, but if you’re out and see something you want to remember, but don’t want to have to get out of the book you’re reading, you can quickly make a note of it on Notepad.