It hasn’t been all that long since we first saw the release of the Send-to-Kindle program for the PC, but it has already proven to be a huge improvement to the Kindle’s functionality for many users. Not only does it make things like exporting DRM-free eBooks from Calibre that much easier (nobody likes having to find their USB cable, assuming they even have one), the ability to print from practically any window directly into a Kindle document makes life a lot easier. Now Mac users will get to experience the same benefits, thanks to Amazon’s newest software release.
If you are a Mac user and have an interest in taking advantage of this new feature, head over to this page on the Amazon.com site and download the application. The installation is simple and will result in having a “Send to Kindle” icon sitting in your dock. Any time you want to send something to your Kindle, you can simply drag and drop the document into the dock icon. Multiple simultaneous documents are acceptable as well, of course.
If you want to send something active to the Kindle, perhaps a web page or working document from Word, the Send to Kindle application also includes the same sort of “printer drivers” that the PC version makes available. Simply print as you normally would, choosing “Send to Kindle” as your device of choice. The same window will appear that you see when dragging document icons into the dock.
This window offers a few useful options. Most importantly, you get to tag your document with both Title and Author metadata. This means that it is not important to worry about file naming prior to transfer. One less hassle. You also get to decide on delivery options. You can choose to have your documents sent via Wi-Fi or Whispernet. If you choose Whispernet, the usual charges will apply and as such it is usually preferable to avoid it. You also get to decide which Kindle or Kindles get access to the document being sent. This can be everything on your account, just your smartphone’s Kindle for iOS app, or any combination in between.
You also get the option of archiving your document in your account’s Kindle Library. This is particularly handy and may get used more often than you expect. While each account only gets 5GB of free storage space, this does not generally fill up quickly when it is used primarily for document storage. This means that anything you think might be handy to have available can be stored in the cloud even when it is not worth the trouble of keeping on your Kindle itself at any given time. I find myself frequently using this function even when I have no reason to need an immediate transfer to the Kindle.
So far we lack any information about a possible “Send to Kindle for Linux” option. That would seem to be the next big step if another were to be take. Given Amazon’s enthusiasm for Linux as a platform, it might be a fairly long wait. It is definitely nice to see Kindle eReader and Kindle Fire functionality continuing to be expanded and made available to the largest possible audiences, however, and we can only anticipate the trend continuing as Kindle eBook prices drop in the near future.