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Kindle has GPS Built In – Everything You Need to Know About It

Written by Kindle Tank on January 10, 2008 5 Comments


So you have a brand new Kindle, now what? Read books? Ok, you can do that too, but wouldn’t you much rather have fun driving around with your Kindle on your lap and Google Maps loaded up? That’s a big YES!

Let’s Learn about the GPS functions of a Kindle

Why didn’t Amazon tell us about the GPS functions of the Kindle?

My theory is that because the GPS functions of the Kindle are powered by Amazon’s proprietary Whispernet service, in essence, Amazon is paying for the airtime associated with using GPS functions such as Google Maps.

Why are GPS functions built into the Kindle?

In reality, these are not "true" GPS systems. The Kindle is able to receive and send information through Amazon’s Whispernet service, which is needed for delivery of books, newspapers, blogs, etc. to the Kindle. Since the Kindle has a CDMA chipset interface for these functions, Google Maps is able to triangulate the location of the Kindle anywhere the Kindle is connected to the Whispernet signal.

Therefore, the GPS functions of the Kindle are due to it’s wireless chipset, not because of any connection to a GPS satellite.

How to use the GPS functions of the Kindle

Google Maps are actually pre-loaded onto the Kindle, which is a very effective online application that serves many functions. These functions include:

  • Finding your current location in relation to your surroundings (streets, businesses, landmarks, etc.)
  • Finding your destination and receiving directions on how to get there from your current location
  • Locating specific businesses, there address, and directions to that address
  • Locating general businesses, such as a search for "book store"

To open up Google Maps: Press Alt + 1 while in the browser

Once in Google Maps:

  • Find a Gas Station nearby – Alt + 2
  • Find a Restaurant nearby – Alt + 3
  • Find a Custom Keyword nearby - Alt + 4
  • Toggle Zone Drawing and Show Log – Alt + Z

There you go, have fun and let me know if you find any other way to use these functions.

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  • Ranid says:

    I was looking to purchase a gps for geo cacheing. I have really been wanting a kindle fire. does anyone know if it would work for geo cacheing.

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