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How to Read Your Email on the Kindle

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Posted Aug 16 2010 10:00 PM

So you have a new Kindle and would like to check your email, well the browser that comes with it is partially limited. The following excerpt from Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual can help.
All right, email isn't exactly a new way to stay in touch, but it is the most popular way. Because setting up an email account is beyond the scope of this book, i's assumed that you already have an email address of your own. As long as you can read your email in a web browser, you can probably read it on your Kindle.

Note: If you read that last paragraph and asked, “Is there any other way to read email than in a web browser?” then just know that some people check their email with software made just for email, called an email client. If you always read your email using Internet Explorer or Firefox, or some other web browser, all that follows applies to you.

“Probably?” you say. Yes, there’s a catch. Because the web browser in the Kindle is, as Amazon painfully reminds you, for the “basic web”, some email service providers don’t play nicely in the Kindle browser. That’s because, well, they’re not basic enough.

Popular email services that work reasonably well in the Kindle browser include:

  • Google’s GMail
    This service overall works pretty well on your Kindle.

  • Microsoft’s Hotmail or Windows Live
    Another service that works well on the Kindle. In fact, this one looks the best among those mentioned in this list.

  • Yahoo! Mail
    This service is best viewed in Basic Mode. Also, Yahoo! will show you a page telling you that you’ll have to use Yahoo! Mail Classic. Finally, once the first web page loads, you’ll probably have to find and choose the Check Mail button.

Popular email services that don’t work well in the Kindle browser include:

  • Microsoft Exchange via Web Access.
    While the Kindle browser can log in to your account, show you emails, and even let you send emails, you won’t be able to actually read any emails. The Exchange service wants to show you your emails in a popup window, which the Kindle can’t do. Anytime you try to view an email by selecting it, you just go back to your email inbox.

  • Apple’s MobileMe.
    The Kindle browser runs out of memory when you try to load the MobileMe mail web page. You’ll never even make it to your inbox. (It’s unclear why this happens. Amazon doesn’t even tell you how much of memory the Kindle has for this kind of thing. Remember, this browser thing is experimental, as far as Amazon is concerned.)

Note: When the new Webkit-based web browser hits the Kindle-- announced but not yet available at this writing--hopefully MobileMe email will work better on the Kindle.”

If your email service wasn’t listed here, feel free to give it a go in the Kindle browser. If it loads up but looks terrible, try loading it in Basic Mode from the Menu.

Tip: If your email service doesn’t work in the Kindle browser, most service providers have a way to forward your mail from that address to another email account. For example, if you want to check your MobileMe email on your Kindle, you could go into your MobileMe settings and forward it all to a GMail address. Check with your email provider for forwarding options.

If you do this, just remember that it will affect the way you see your email when not using your Kindle. If this is messing things up for you, go back into your mail settings and turn off the mail forwarding.

Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual

Learn more about this topic from Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual.

So, you have your Kindle and are ready to start reading. Great! But did you know that you can play music on the Kindle while you are reading that new bestselling novel? How about sharing your thoughts about the book with friends via Facebook and Twitter? More than just an e-reader, Amazon's popular device lets you do those things and much more. You can create a custom calendar to help plan your day or remember your mom's birthday, calculate the tip at your favorite restaurant, and waste a little time and have fun playing games or surfing the web. Check out Kindle: The Mini Missing Manual to learn how to get the most out of your device.

See what you'll learn

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