When I tried out the Kindle Fire, the first thought that occurred to me was How do I easily get documents onto it?
Of course, any book, song, or movie I purchase from Amazon is automatically downloaded to the Kindle — and made available to my Kindle app on my iPad and Mac.
But what about PDF files or Kindle books that I’ve downloaded or made elsewhere, like Gutenberg.org?
I still use my (now ancient) second-generation Kindle, which shipped with a USB cable that allowed me to drag files over. That’s the old way of doing things.
The Kindle Fire doesn’t even ship with a USB cable.
These days, we have the cloud — that disk drive on the Internet somewhere that will hold all of your documents, songs, and other digital detritus.
But the cloud doesn’t always make things easier. If anything, I find that people are really confused about managing all these Kindle devices, apps, and clouds.
So Amazon wisely created a simple application, simply named Send to Kindle, that allows you to virtually drag files to your Kindle. There is a PC version here.
Here’s what it looks like when you open it:
Pretty simple — you just drag a file onto it and it then displays a window like the following:
I just used a test document. What’s interesting is that it gives you a choice of Wi-Fi transfer (which means your device is on the same network as your Mac) or Amazon’s “Whispernet” network — which Amazon charges for. I’m cheap, so I opt for Wi-Fi. And as you can see here, the app has discovered my iPad (which has the Kindle app installed on it). If I had multiple devices and Kindles on this network, you would see those as well.
In this example, I’m transferring a PDF file, but I could also transfer a Word document, raw text document, or another .Mobi (Kindle) book.
The file is also automatically saved in my Kindle library — which lives up in Kindle’s cloud. If I were to click the “Manage your Kindle” link I would be taken to my Kindle library web page, where I can see everything in the library.
So far, I’ve used the app several times, and it works as advertised.