Interesting news for Kindle device and Kindle App users arrived from Amazon via email this morning. Amazon is now making document syncing between devices using Amazon Cloud Drive easier. Users don’t have to do anything different but they will now see documents they have previously stored in Amazon’s cloud in a new Send-To-Kindle folder. In essence you can manage documents for your Kindle devices, from the web, or from the Amazon Cloud Drive App in much the same way you can with other Cloud storage and syncing services.
Another big plus with this change? Amazon is doubling the amount of free cloud storage for Kindle documents by adding the 5GB of storage users who take advantage of Kindle Personal Documents to that of the free 5GB of storage for using Amazon Cloud Drive. Easy math tells you that means a total of 10GB.
The welcome changes come as Amazon is positioning its current and perhaps future devices to offer users easier access to Amazon’s cloud to work with documents. The move also comes as Amazon is positioning its ecosystem to compete with the likes of OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, and other cloud storage and syncing solutions.
Here is the text of the email:
Dear Kindle Customer,
As a past user of personal documents on Kindle devices or reading apps, we are pleased to let you know about some improvements we’ve made to how personal documents work.
Personal documents are now in Amazon Cloud Drive: Starting today, all personal documents that you have archived in your Kindle Library will be available to access, delete, organize, and share from your Amazon Cloud Drive. You can see these documents in a new “My Send-to-Kindle Docs” folder alongside all of your saved content such as photos and personal videos.
There is no action required on your part. Your personal documents features will continue to work just as they have in the past. And as always, you can use Manage Your Kindle to see a list of your documents, re-deliver them to Kindle devices and free reading apps, delete them, or turn off auto-saving of documents to the cloud. Documents will be delivered just as they have in the past and you will continue to have 5 GB of free cloud storage for your personal documents. Just “Send Once, Read Everywhere.”
Documents stored in their native format: Also starting today, new documents that you save to the cloud with Send to Kindle will be stored in their native format (e.g. MS Word, TXT) so you can access them anywhere from Amazon Cloud Drive.
The Docs Team
To learn more about sending documents, news, blogs, and other web articles to your Kindle, please visit amazon.com/sendtokindle
To learn more about Amazon Cloud Drive features and apps, please visit amazon.com/clouddrive/
If users have Amazon Cloud Player installed on a laptop or desktop and open up the Amazon Cloud Drive folder there, or via a web browser, they will see a new directory called My Send-To-Kindle Docs.
There you will find any documents you have sent to Amazon via its designated “send-to-Kindle” email address. Each Kindle device is assigned a unique email address. If you’re unsure of what that email address is for your device you can find it in a couple of ways.
From your web browser go to Amazon’s Manage Your Devices section of the Manage Your Kindle webpage and look for your device.
Notice that if you have Kindle reader Apps on other non-Amazon devices they will show up there as well. Most of these devices have a separate email. In my case the Fire TV and the Microsoft Surface 2 do not. The Kindle App for the Surface 2 does not allow for viewing these kind of documents stored in Amazon’s Cloud.
You can also find the Send-to-My-Kindle email address by going to settings on your Kindle device or to the settings for the Kindle App on any other device.
Traditionally the only way to get documents sent to your Kindle was through this email method or, depending on your device, sync them over via a USB connection attached to a computer. Users have taken advantage of this method to send PDFs and other documents to Kindles for quite some time. If you already have documents archived this way they should show up automatically as Amazon did the heavy lifting behind the scenes.
Amazon previously converted all documents you uploaded to Kindle specific formats for reading, but now the original format (doc, txt, pdf, etc…) is retained in your Cloud Drive for access from other devices. That’s a positive thing for those considering Amazon’s Cloud Drive solution to manage their documents.
There has been some confusing reporting on these changes around the web this morning. Some reports are indicating that you still need to use the email method to get documents to your My-Send-to-Kindle-Docs directory. That’s not accurate. You can drop any documents you wish into that directory from a desktop or laptop and have them available on a Kindle Fire Tablet. I found that documents synced over very quickly and were almost instantly available for viewing or editing on a Kindle Fire HDX tablet.
For a Kindle Fire Tablet user who wanted to work with documents back and forth between a desktop and that Tablet, the process of saving a document to the directory created on your desktop by the Amazon Cloud App would enable you to go back and forth with relative ease.
The restrictions that have been in place for Kindle Apps on other devices are still there so you won’t be able to manage your Amazon Cloud documents from an iOS device within the Kindle App. For example, in testing on an iPad this morning with the Kindle App, I was able to see PDF files I had uploaded either via email or via moving the files from my laptop, but not Word or Excel documents.
Viewing your Cloud Drive folder from a desktop or via a webpage you’ll note, in some cases, you may already have a separate Documents folder. Users with a Kindle Fire Tablet will see the contents of these two folders in a merged view when they view documents on those devices.