Kindle browser
July 17, 2014 7:24 AM   Subscribe

Has the "experimental" browser on newer models of Amazon Kiindle gotten any better? Gmail keeps threatening that soon it will no longer support the native browser on my Kindle 3 (keyboard), but upgrading to Chrome as is suggested is not an option. The Kindle 5 looks like it has a browser, is it just the same, or has it improved over time? Does anyone offer a better browser for Kindle as an app?
posted by ackptui to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have the most recent Kindle Fire (HD, not HDX) and the browser is much better than on my husband's older model, but it's still not ideal.

My friend with the same model as mine did manage to get Chrome installed on her Kindle, but she said it took some googling to figure it out.
posted by something something at 7:28 AM on July 17, 2014

I assume you're talking about the e-ink Kindles?

I think that as they've developed tablet Kindles like the Fire, the assumption is that if you want it to work for things besides reading, you'll get that. I don't think they're concerned very much about the browsing/email capabilities of the ones that are pretty much marketed as single-use readers.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 7:49 AM on July 17, 2014

I have a Paperwhite and while it did get a system update earlier this year, the browser is still not very good. I just tried logging into Gmail and I did not get a message about the browser being unsupported, though, so that's one data point for you regarding newer models.

One option might be to jailbreak your Kindle and install an alternate browser like Midori (although I'm not sure if there is a version for your particular model; you can dig through this Kindle 3 specific listing) or even an email client. I gave up on jailbreaking my Paperwhite as the forum instructions were confusing and hostile, but you might have more time/patience.

The Kindle Fire is a completely different beast than the Kindle 3/5 and they don't run the same applications at all. There is no version of Chrome for the black & white Kindles.
posted by bcwinters at 7:51 AM on July 17, 2014

I don't know how much better/worse the browser might be at rendering, since I quit using it entirely on my Paperwhite due to the utterly inconsistent scrolling with the touch screen.

I had a Kindle keyboard for a couple of years, and actually used the browser quite a lot, mostly on very text-heavy sites (like ... Metafilter! Livejournal, fiction archive sites, etc.). It worked great for those, but they were generally very simple sites without much in the way of javascript or anything else. And I was mostly just reading/scrolling down one very long page, not browsing. The hardware buttons on the Kindle Keyboard were perfect for scrolling through.

The Paperwhite, on the other hand - I get onto a long page, and swipe down the length of the page: sometimes it will scroll one page-length, sometimes half a page, or a quarter of a page, sometimes more than a page and I have to go back. Infuriatingly inconsistent. Unusable for my purposes.

As for Gmail - can you bookmark the HTML view? Actually, that's probably what you're already seeing. There's also the old mobile URL. Whether those will continue to be supported I don't know. But they work now.
posted by timepiece at 10:02 AM on July 18, 2014

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