Navigating the Kindle's Basic Web Browser

10 of 11 in Series: The Essentials of Using a Kindle

The Kindle 2 and Kindle DX come with an application called Basic Web. As the name implies, Basic Web is a type of Web browser, but not a full-featured Web browser, so it doesn’t do a lot of the sophisticated things that a “real” Web browser will do. The controls for navigating the Internet with Web Basic are pretty intuitive, though.

Basic Web supports JavaScript, the browser-based programming language, so if you connect to a page that uses JavaScript, it will display correctly. It also uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. If you enter a username and password to a site that protects such information with SSL, your information will be protected when it's sent from the Kindle. Basic Web also supports cookies — bits of digital information stored on your device by many Web sites (including Amazon.com) so that they “recognize” you on future visits.

  • To follow a link on a Web page, use the controller. When you are on top of a link, the link text or image is highlighted. Click the controller to go to the link’s destination. If you’re used to surfing the Web quickly, moving from one link to another as fast as pages appear, you’ll find this way of browsing a s-l-o-w process. As you’re waiting for pages to appear, just keep telling yourself: It’s free; I’m on the Web for free.

  • To enter the URL for a Web page, use the five-way controller to move to the address bar at the top. Or, while the browser is open, click Menu and then click Enter URL. Next, enter the URL in the dialog box shown in the following figure. You don’t have to enter the prefix http://; the Kindle enters it for you.

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  • Searching Google is always an option. Do so by clicking the Google button at the far right.

  • Stop a page from loading or reload the current page by selecting the button to the right of the current page’s URL in the menu bar. You might want to stop loading if a page’s contents are taking too long to appear, for example.

When you’re browsing with Basic Web, you move back one page by clicking the left arrow at the top of the menu bar, and forward one page by clicking the right arrow. The Back button just beneath the five-way controller also becomes extra important. Click it when you want to return to the previous page you viewed. The Next Page and Prev Page buttons allow you to navigate within the currently loaded Web page.

Just above the URL, your Kindle displays your browsing mode, which is either Basic Mode (the default) or Advanced Mode. You can change your browse mode by pressing the Menu button, moving the controller, and clicking to select Use Advanced Mode or Use Basic Mode on the menu that appears.

Stay in Basic Mode unless you want to view some content on a Web page that requires JavaScript. Advanced Mode works slowly and doesn’t display some pages in their entirety anyway. Advanced Mode preserves the layout of complex pages that use tables or other layout techniques. But in doing so, it squeezes the contents, which can make the images and text on the Web page small and hard to read.

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The Essentials of Using a Kindle

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