Moving documents and other files to a Kindle is often an arduous affair. Or at least that’s my experience so far.
So when I heard about Send to Kindle, I was quite eager to try it out. Is it worth your time? Let’s find out!
My Troubles With My Kindle and Reading Documents
I love to read. In fact, the most common decoration in my house is a bookcase. So I was an early adopter of Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader.
I enjoy being able to take several books with me while traveling without the bulk of carrying around that much paper. But I also found an additional benefit to the reader. Not only could I take full books I’d purchased with me, I could also send papers, documents, and other electronic files I wanted or needed to read and place them on my Kindle. Instead of being tied to my PC, I could then read these at my leisure while waiting for a friend at a coffee shop or while enjoying a day at a park.
It worked great, but the process was a bit tedious. I had to send the document to Amazon, let them convert it, and then copy the document over to my Kindle though the USB cable. The process was just inconvenient enough that I didn’t take advantage of it as often as I could have. Later Amazon allowed me to email the document to my device, but it still seemed a bit too much trouble to remember the right email address to email the document to.
Send to Kindle for PC
Enter Amazon’s Sent to Kindle for PC. This program adds two features to Windows that let you quickly send any supported file from your computer to your Kindle device. This can be an actual Kindle device such as the Kindle Touch or Kindle Fire along with the Kindle apps for the iPad, iPhone, or Android devices. It does not allow you to send documents to other Kindle Reader applications such as for Windows or Mac OS.
The installer adds a right click menu option to Windows Explorer that makes sending a file to your Kindle quick and easy. It also adds a new virtual printer you can print to from any Windows application which sends the resulting file to your Kindle.
Installing Send to Kindle for PC
First download Send to Kindle for PC from Amazon’s web site. It’s a little over 5 MB in size. Once downloaded, run the installer.
After the installer finishes you’ll see a window letting you know the two new features that the program has installed. First you can now right click on any file and send the file to your Kindle.
You also will now find a newly installed printer that will let you print from any program and create a document you can read on your Kindle. The program will then ask you to register Send to Kindle. Enter the username and password your Kindle is registered to and click Register.
Sending Files to Your Kindle
The right click option Send to Kindle supports plain text, rich text documents, and the common JPG, GIF, PNG, and BMP image formats. In addition you can also send Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat documents.
Though not officially listed, I’ve also found you can send .mobi files using the program too. This is a very handy way to send books you’ve purchased directly from publishers to your Kindle. The documents will all be converted to the native Kindle format except for PDFs which will be delivered as PDFs to your device.
The recently released Mac version of Send to Kindle includes an option to convert PDFs to native Kindle format and hopefully that option will appear on the Windows version soon.
In Windows Explorer find the file or files that you wish to send. Here you can see a Word and PDF document that I’m going to send to my Kindle Fire for later reading. If I select a single file, then I next see the Send to Kindle screen. This lets me set the title and author for the document, choose the device or devices I want to send the document to, and also select the delivery method.
I can choose free delivery which requires a device that supports wireless connections. If my Kindle does not support wireless or wireless isn’t available, I can deliver the document to my device over Whispernet, Amazon’s 3G service, but will usually incur a charge.
Printing to the Kindle
The print option works similar to the Windows Explorer option. After installing Send to Kindle, you’ll find a new printer under Devices and Printers in Windows 7. You can print to this printer from any application.
You will again be presented with the options you saw when sending from Windows Explorer. The once difference is the file will always be converted to PDF file before being sent to your Kindle.
Storing in the Cloud
If needed, I can select to store the document in Amazon’s cloud. This allows you to download the document to your Kindle device at a later time without having to send it from your PC again.
In addition if your document was converted to a Kindle format when sent you also gain Whispersync on your document. This synchronizes your notes, highlights, bookmarks, and the last page you read among all your devices with the document.
For anyone with a Kindle, Send to Kindle for PC is a valuable program. It automates a process that used to require several steps and makes the process of sending a file to your Kindle for later reading quick and easy.
The printer option also gives you the ability to send files you’d otherwise not be able to read on your Kindle to the device as easily as any other file. While it’s still the first version, I expect updates will increase the number of supported files and bring in better conversion options.