The paper vs. digital argument about ebooks will continue for some time. But there’s no arguing that Amazon’s Kindle is the best ebook reader around. And if you have a Kindle, then do yourself a favor by getting acquainted with these apps and sites.
It doesn’t matter which Kindle is right for you, as long as you have one, these apps will help. From collecting all your highlights in one neat place to using the Kindle to consume news regularly, you’ll get it all here.
And of course, what such round-up would be complete without a way to find some free ebooks to read on your Kindle?
1. Zenreads (Web, Kindle): Kindle-Friendly Daily News Digest
The Kindle is better for your eyes than reading on a phone, tablet, or computer. If you’re in the habit of consuming your morning news on screens, do your eyes a favor and switch to a Kindle. Zenreads is here to make sure you don’t miss anything.
The site, made specifically for Kindle, delivers an ebook digest of the news you want to read, every day. During setup (which is a slightly long process), you are asked to choose the sources you want to read. Choose from the likes of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Verge, Mashable, New Yorker, Ask Reddit, Wikipedia On This Day, and much more. The ebook will be updated daily at midnight your time, which Zenreads figures out automatically.
It’s a wonderful reading experience, and you can even add articles to “favorites” to check them out later. Plus, since it’s a digest, it’s all downloaded on your Kindle and you don’t need an active internet connection.
2. Reabble (Web): RSS Reader Made for Kindle’s Browser
If you’d like to customize the sources you read, then an RSS news reader is your best bet. With Kindle’s built-in experimental browser, you can access the only made-for-Kindle RSS reader, Reabble.
Reabble works like any of the best minimalist RSS readers in terms of how you access content on it. Add the feeds of your favorite sites and it will pull in their latest updates. What makes it “made for Kindle” is that it’s completely black-and-white. It also has a custom full-screen reading mode, which divides areas of the screen for easier tapping on the Kindle. It feels natural and intuitive.
Unlike Zenreader, Reabble needs an active internet connection to work. I’d also recommend that you set up Reabble on a regular browser, since setting it up on a Kindle is cumbersome.
3. Clippings.io (Web, Chrome): Collect and Sort All Your Highlights
One of the best features of the Kindle is Highlights. It’s the easiest way to mark interesting or important passages, and check them at a later time. But Amazon doesn’t provide an easy place to collect and review them all. That’s where Clippings comes in.
Clippings.io has been around for some time now. Getting it to import your clippings isn’t simple. Ideally, install the Clippings extension for Chrome so that it can extract Highlights from Amazon. It costs $1 per month, but it’s worth it.
Once you’re set up, the app is brilliant. You can edit, tag, search, and annotate all your Highlights. You can sort them by book or date. And you can export them as PDF or Word, which is extremely useful if you’re using a Kindle to study.
Download — Clippings.io for Chrome ($1 per month)
4. Send to Kindle (Chrome, Firefox, and More): Send Articles, Blogs, Pocket Saves, and More to Kindle
The internet loves bookmarks and read-it-later services. Similarly, a Kindle can be the perfect read-it-later device. All you need to do is instead of bookmarking an article or web page, just send it to Kindle instead.
Amazon has built extensions for the Chrome and Firefox web browsers. With one click, you can send any page you’re reading to your Kindle, perfectly formatted for that device.
That’s not all though. There are a few other apps who follow the same idea, but implement it differently. Here are a few worth checking.
Pocket to Kindle (Web) — If you love saving articles, then we recommend Pocket, our favorite digital bookmarking system. And with this, you can send your Pocket reads straight to Kindle.
Reddit2Kindle (Web) — Don’t miss out on the most interesting sub-Reddits on the internet’s largest community forum.
5. /r/KindleFreebies (Web): Free Kindle eBooks
Speaking of Reddit, like with most things someone should keep an eye out for, the community excels at finding free ebooks on Kindle. The /r/KindleFreebies subreddit is dedicated exclusively to this cause.
This includes ebooks that are free for a limited time, or ebooks that have had their prices slashed permanently. The reason I recommend /r/KindleFreebies is because of its tagging system. At the top of the page, you’ll see flairs for different genres, like fiction, non-fiction, mystery, sci-fi, horror, comics, and so on. Click what you like to filter the entire forum.
Which Kindle Do You Have?
There’s a wide range of Kindle ebooks now, and everyone has their favorites. Sure, the Kindle Oasis (read our review) is probably the best of the lot, but it’s not cheap either. Being the best doesn’t mean it’s the most value for money, after all.
So we’d like to know, which Kindle did you buy? Why do you think it’s the best deal among all the different e-readers from Amazon?