Amazon redesigns the Manage Your Kindle page

Amazon redesigns the Manage Your Kindle page

Amazon says you don’t need a computer to use your Kindle, and while that’s technically true, it’s like saying you don’t need ketchup when you eat french fries.  ;)

Or…um…mayonnaise if you are from Holland…or…drat, well, you know what I mean.

I tend to shop from my computer: I don’t think I have bought something directly from my Kindle in a year, certainly.

I use

http://kindle.amazon.com

fairly frequently.  That’s where I’ll copy and paste notes I’ve made and highlighting I’ve done.

However, the big Amazon computer destination for your Kindle is

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

which is also

http://www.amazon.com/myk

You can do all kinds of important things there: register your Kindle; change your country; manage synchronization; and so on.

I think in the future you may be able to do a lot more there, but more on that later in this post.

It’s always been kind of a pedestrian page, in terms of its design.  No navigation, for example…you had to scroll through it.

Blaiz, one of the frequent (and most helpful) posters in the Amazon Kindle community noted a change in the way the MYK page looked last night in this:

Amazon Kindle community thread

I didn’t have the change last night, but I did this morning…and you may have it by now.

I’ll start out with a negative, even though it seems generally positive to me.  It took much longer to load…and even failed to load in one of the three browsers I use regularly.  However, that’s the price you often pay for increased functionality: decreased performance.  The browser that failed is an old one, by the way…you probably won’t run into that problem.

The first thing you’ll probably notice in the navigation bar on your left, letting you jump to different parts of your library.  For example, with one click, you can see all of your Active Content.  The sections are

  • All items
  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Blogs
  • Audible Audiobooks
  • Active Content
  • Pending deliveries (with a count)
The last one is particularly improved.  We used to have to use a dropdown to switch between devices to see pending deliveries…now you can see them all at once.
Pending also now shows you pending orders…but also pre-orders (allowing you to cancel them) and Gift Orders which have not yet been redeemed.
Magazines now have a choice to “Deliver past issue to…”.  For a long time, we could only have a magazine go to one device.  Since December, we were able to get them from an eligible device through the archives.  Now, we can get them from MYK…that’s a nice improvement!
Hey, looks like blogs are the same way now…you can send past issues to a different eligible device.  Not surprisingly, they only have one date available…the way blogs work is that every time it is downloaded, it is a package of issues (I think it’s ten for this one).  You don’t download each post/day separately.
Following the Your Kindle Library section, there is one for Your Kindle Account.
Those sections are:
  • Register a Kindle
  • Manage Your Devices
  • Subscription Settings
  • Kindle Payment Settings
  • Personal Document Settings
  • Country Settings
The Manage Your Devices has a really big plus: you can see the serial numbers right there.  That’s helpful for insurance purposes, and if you have to report one lost or stolen.
If you have Kindle with Special Offers, you can indicate your “screensaver” preferences here.  I’m still not quite sure how that is going to affect things, though.
Whispersync is much more obvious…we used to have to go to a different page, which never made much sense to me.
Blaiz noted that it now says that Whispersync is on or off for a specific person’s name (mine says “OFF for Bufo Calvin”, for example).
Does that suggest that we’ll have multiple people’s names on there, and allow us to have different settings?
I don’t think so, although it is possible.
One of the biggest improvements in Amazon’s future, in my (purely speculative) opinion, is device specific archives.  I’d be surprised if it was “person specific”.  Amazon doesn’t know at this point anybody else’s name who is using our account.  I’m happy with that, by the way, although it might make things easier in a divorce situation if you owned different books.
What I would like to see, though, is device specific settings.  I’d love to be able to say, “This book appears in the archives of this device”.  That would solve the parental controls problem.  It would let people share accounts…and still keep those embarrassing books hidden.  If we could say, “This iPhone syncs to that Kindle, but not to that other Kindle,” that would be great.  You could also do, “This device can buy books” or “This device can go on the Whispernet”, and so on.
That would encourage multiple Kindle households, which I think is something Amazon really wants.  Of course, it would enhance other aggregations (such as coworkers) as well, but I don’t know how much of a negative that would be…it could also be a positive.
The last section is Kindle Support
  • Kindle Help Home
  • Getting Started Guide
Those actually took you to a different window…I would have liked to have known that first, but it’s still helpful.
The Getting Started Guide has a few videos…a lot of people like those.  :)
Overall, this is a nice upgrade…and might be hinting at things to come.  As I’ve said before, Amazon never stands still, just like the river…and that’s one of the reasons I like them.  :)
Have you checked out the new MYK page?  What do you think?  Do you not have it?  Feel free to comment and let me know.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

7 Responses to “Amazon redesigns the Manage Your Kindle page”

  1. YasminS Says:

    I first noticed the new MYK page on Friday (Jun 3), though it didn’t stay around long (they must’ve been testing it then). I really like the organization – the way you can go to a specific category (blogs, books etc). And I like how they included the release dates for the pre-orders; before, you had to go to the book’s page for this.

    Though it takes a bit longer to load, I think, overall, it’s a great improvement🙂

  2. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I do have the new layout, and you’re right it’s much improved; more usable. I go to the kindle.amazon.com page sporadically to update the read/not read status of my kindle books. This is a bit of a pain — for me it would be better if they could sync/display my books on this page-set with the collections on my kindle. Two of my biggest collections are TBR (to be read) and Already Read. If kindle.amazon.com could reflect this, then I wouldn’t have to update this separately from the collection operations I already do on my kindle as I read books.

    I agree that attempting to do things from the kindle only without a PC is clumsy. When I’m buying books, I tend to do that on one of my PCs with the kindle tethered, and wireless on. Once a purchasing session is done, I immediately move the newly bought items from my main kindle page into an appropriate collection. I only keep a maximum of 20 items on my main page (collections, and any non-collection items — like subscribed blogs). Once everything is in the correct collection, I turn wireless off (I run mostly with wireless off). I use this behavior pattern whether I’m using whispernet or side loading.

    The Amazon web sites are a far better/more pleasing way to search/evaluate/purchase kindle books than doing it from the kindle. That said there are still quite a number of changes I wish they would make to their online bookstore. For example: I wish they would show the original copyright date of a title in addition to the kindle publication date; I wish they would automatically update my wishlist when I buy a wishlist title (currently I have to do this manually)

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      We have some similarities in our patterns. I actually don’t tether my Kindle very much…I do shop with the computer, but tend to send it wirelessly. I turn the wireless on for a couple of minutes a day, usually, just to pick up my subscription items and purchases. I used to use it more before I had a SmartPhone (for elementary web browsing), but not any more.

      You can’t do the Collections on the website, effectively, until you have device-specific archives. Otherwise, the same book could be multiple Collections on the Manage Your Kindle page. That’s one of the things we could get with device-specific archives.

      Oh, there are a lot of changes I want on the product pages. Knowing the clipping limit would be nice. 🙂 I’d really like word counts.

      However, the copyright date would be tricky…I just commented on this recently in a thread in the Amazon Kindle Community. It hasn’t been necessary for copyright holders to put the copyright date in books since February 28, 1989. That potentially means Amazon searching copyright records for the information…and Amazon employees would have to be paid to do that, presumably.

  3. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Well, I do a lot of non-Amazon purchasing/side loading — so I tether in case that comes into play. I probably only turn my wireless on once a week or so. My subscribed blogs have a lot of repetition, so I don’t miss much and mostly these are tech following blogs where only the most recent posts are of interest (yours comes to me every day via email at 1 minute past midnight — it’s arrival is the signal to me that I ought to think about going to bed🙂 — if you write a “pithy” one, however, it might keep me up to 3 or 4 :-)).

    I only have the one device (and a couple of instances of K4PC) so I wasn’t very sensitive to the collections/device issue. But that does bring up the question of collections for all the non-kindle reader apps?

    I hadn’t realized about the copyright rules — in any event it’s not the copyright per se that I’m interested in — date of first publication would do as well. I just want some indication of when the author wrote the darn thing — it’s getting to be really hard to tell if I’ve read something already. The kindle pub date is useless. I can often get a useful date by looking at the dates on the print versions in the Amazon store, and I guess I’d like them to include all the print publication dates (which they already have) on their kindle bookstore pages as well.

    I could write a book on the changes I’d like on their search engine (and not just Amazon’s, but every etailers’). I recently got a couple of emails about funny customer reviews on Amazon (“Tuscan milk”; and also the most expensive book in the kindle store
    http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Nuclear-Materials-Engineering-ebook/dp/B001QTVXAK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1307648015&sr=1-1)
    That got me to wanting to be able to sort search results by number of customers reviews (those with abnormally high review counts are often the funniest).

    And apropos your post of few days ago on indexing, there is something decidedly kinky about the Amazon search engine🙂. A search on any one of the “funnies” (like Tuscan milk or “Lego toys you shouldn’t build”) will come back with hits on many of the rest (items with funny customer reviews) even though there’s nothing else tying the items together.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      I think those weird results may come from customers tagging things. That logic behind the tagging isn’t always clear to me…

  4. Paul Says:

    Bufo,

    I had some trouble with 3 events colliding in time that nobody else is likely to experience or notice. (Remember me, the strange guy who takes too many Kindle Notes). The three events:

    1. Moving data from an old K3 to a replacement K3 (cracked case on old).
    2. MYK webpage update.
    3. No updates to my favorite (and only) Kindle blog subscription – ILMK since 4 June 2011! Withdrawals were setting in.

    I thought you might have taken a day or two off at first. Then, after several days, I thought you might be ill or have some other emergency since I was not getting any updates.

    Today I decided I needed to get to the bottom of it so I went to MYK and saw that cool new thing about Pending Deliveries with 1 item by it. Sure enough it was your blog. I had not used my old K3 since getting my content moved and the pending delivery was to that device, not my replacement K3. I did not have the option to send it to my newest device on MYK or from my new K3.

    I had to delete your blog from my new K3 (scary moment) since it had not updated since the first time I had taken it from the old MYK interface which allowed me to download that days blog, but did not transfer my subscription.

    I was surprised that my new K3 allowed a new 14-day trial of your blog without knowing I had already used that on my old K3. I guess blog subscriptions and trails are keyed to particular hardware. I pulled out my old K3 and sure enough it loaded your blog as expected and gave me relief that you had been just fine and I had to catch up on my ILMK reading. I do have to wonder if I will pay double for your blog after 14 days are up and I have not de-registered my old K3 yet. I still owe you since I got turned on to In Her Name and Michael Hicks by you.

    I agree with your point that I need more tools on MYK to manage all of my Kindle related devices more uniquely.

    I have fully recovered. ILMK withdrawals ahve passed. I still may need to work with Amazon’s wonderful (not kidding) customer service folks to get MYK upgraded though.

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Paul!

      Yow!

      I’m glad you got caught up! Blogs work differently than magazines in newspapers. Each time you download a blog, you get what I call a “blog blob”…several issues in one (ten, in the case of ILMK). That gives people a little time to work out problems.

      I’ve never had a problem reassigning a blog subscription, so that seems a bit odd to me. I can see why it wouldn’t be available if the new Kindle was

      * not yet registered

      * registered to a different account

      I know you say you’ve moved your content…if you hadn’t, I would have guessed you’d been on a different account, since it didn’t have a record of the previous subscription.

      I’m sure Kindle Customer Service will be able to help you figure it out.

      I want to also thank you for your kind words! I really appreciate that, and I appreciate you subscribing…twice. 🙂

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