New Manage Your Kindle page
Amazon’s Manage Your Kindle page has some wonderful features to it.
It has been one of the features that shows what Amazon does best when it connects with its customers…although it has certainly had challenges and people have wanted it to do more.
Some of the great things we could do there:
- “Return” a Kindle book for a refund within seven days of purchase
- Reset the last page read
- Send items to different devices on the account
- Manage whether a device was subscribed to Special Offers
- Change the display name of a device
I’ve written about changes to it several times…they rolled out a change that allowed mass actions not too long ago, then rolled it back in again. ;)
Right now, I have a new version available to me…in Silk on my Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile: support a non-profit of your choice by shopping*).
It’s not available to me in Maxthon on my desktop or Google Chrome on my desktop.
My guess is that they are testing it out (again). You might have it, you might not. It’s possible that clearing cookies and/or signing in and out of your account might help. If you want to see it, I’d try different browsers and devices if you have them.
I’d say one big stand out is that there appears to be a single scrolling page, rather than fifteen items at a time. Many people complain when they take an action on an item, and then it takes them back to the beginning of the list. That won’t happen here, since you can do mass actions.
By mass actions, I mean that you tap or click a checkbox next to each item, and then you can choose to deliver or delete all of those at once.
That “deliver” option is something that people really want. When they get a new device (app or hardware Kindle), they could send a bunch of the books on the account to it at the same time.
I’d be a bit careful, though, particularly with a non-Fire Kindle. If you send 500 books at once, you could “overwhelm” the device…unless they’ve figured out how to deliver it in “buckets” rather than as a firehose.
With whatever device you put it on, there will be indexing** which has to take place. If you put, oh, 100 books on your device, I’d leave it plugged and not turned off (asleep is fine) so the device can finish all that up.
It now has three tabs: Your Content, Your Devices, Settings
I like that better than the old side navigation: it seems clearer.
“Your Content” defaulted to Books, and then I could choose
- Instant Video
- Active Content
- Dictionaries & User Guides
- Pending Deliveries
Hm…I see that “Loans” is gone. Oh, I see! There is a dropdown next to the one that I listed above. In that one, you can choose
Selecting “Borrows” did not show my any of my Kindle Owners’ Lending Library borrows, except for the current one. It did show me public library borrows.
This does mean that people won’t see the foreign language dictionaries Amazon provides so that the Kindle can do look-up in different languages, unless they switch something: we get questions about those pretty much every day in the Kindle forums.
I checked “Pending Deliveries”. It appears to me that I should be able to cancel the pending delivery, although it isn’t actually letting me select the checkbox.
If we can do that, it would be great! I have accidentally ordered a book to be sent to a device we no longer have, for example…in the past, that has just kept sitting there under Pending Deliveries…forever, as far as I can tell.
It also tells me for which device it is pending, and when it was ordered.
If the checkbox worked, this would be a feature I would definitely use.
Choosing “Music”, by the way, takes you somewhere else…haven’t checked that yet.
I went back to displaying books, and checked the actions. That one was:
- Download & transfer via USB
- Clear furthest page read…
- Loan this title
There were also links for the Order Details and Manage Kindle FreeTime Content.
The sort options for the items were
- Title: A-Z
- Titles: Z-A
- Author: A-Z
- Author: Z-A
- Purchase Date: Oldest-Newest
- Purchase Date: Newest-Oldest (default)
Going to “Your Devices”, it looks pretty much like it does now (a ribbon across the top), but we do have more actions!
On my Kindle Fire HDX, I now do have:
- Remote Alarm
- Find My Device
- Remote Factory Reset
In the old version on Maxthon, I don’t have any of the last three.
In the old version on Chrome, I only Deregister and Remote Alarm.
I just tested the “Find My Device”: it did show within a couple of blocks were it is. I could tell, for example, if it was at home or at work.
It didn’t find my exact address…but neither does my SmartPhone.
The fact that we can remote a factory reset will mean that more companies will allow the use of Kindle Fires, since it helps protect company data.
Obviously, I had to have my Fire connected to the wireless (this is not a 4G model), and you have to have allowed this. For more on this, see my post
from a couple of weeks ago.
Yes, this could mean that one family member could “spy” on another family member (by locating them, not listening to them or seeing them), if things were set up that way. It doesn’t have to be family members, of course: it could be bosses checking up on employees.
Under Settings, we have…whoops, it failed to load! I got a message suggesting I refresh the page, and if that doesn’t work to call customer service (they actually gave a phone number for that). I don’t recommend calling “cold”…start at
http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport (at AmazonSmile)
and what devices you have.
Refreshing the page did it. Then I had:
- Kindle Payment Settings
- Country Settings
- Subscription Settings
- Kindle FreeTime Settings
- Device Synchronization
- Automatic Book Update
- Language Optimized Storefront
- Personal Document Settings
- Send-to-Kindle E-Mail Settings
- Personal Document Archiving
- Whispernet Delivery Options
- Approved Personal Document E-Mail List
- Personal Document Service Charges
- Manage Whispercast Membership
- Your AmazonLocal Vouchers
Overall, I think this version is a massive improvement! Assuming it works reasonably well, this is the kind of thing I like Amazon to do. :)
It would be nice, as a future improvement, if we could manage Cloud Collections here, but that doesn’t dim the brightness of this one for me.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
** I recently answered a question for somebody in an Amazon Kindle forum who wanted to know (in a non-technical manner) what indexing and syncing were. I thought it would be useful to post it here as well:
…indexing is somewhat similar to what is done when an index is created for a paperbook.
The Kindle “reads” the book, noting the location of specific words. For example, it might create a file like this:
cat: location 5, location 17, location 35
dog: location 5, location 40, location 93
I’m using that format as an illustrator: it wouldn’t really look like that.
Then, when you look up a word, it can find it very quickly.
The initial indexing, as you can imagine, takes the device some work to do and takes some energy…again, just as it would with a paperbook.
Note: I’m not suggesting that the Kindle indexes as well as a human would…humans can create indices based on concepts, and the Kindle just does it based on words (although it does skip some words, like “the” and “and”).
“Sync” is short for “synchronize”, which basically means “to make the same”.
Your device (Kindle or app) displays some items which you have downloaded from a central storage area. The latter is called the “Cloud” or your “Archive”.
Let’s suppose you have a Kindle on the account, and your Significant Other has a SmartPhone on the same account.
Your Significant Other buys a book using the SmartPhone.
The SmartPhone knows about it, and so does the Cloud…but your Kindle doesn’t know about it until it “syncs” with the Cloud. That doesn’t mean it will automatically download the book, just that it will have knowledge of it being available on the account.
Another example of syncing is for reading progress. Let’s say you are reading a book both on your Kindle and on a SmartPhone.
You read to “page” 100 on your Kindle.
When you sync with Amazon, you tell the Cloud that you are on page 100.
When you open the book on your SmartPhone, it can sync with Amazon and open the book right to where you left off.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.