Amazon updates Kindle Personal Documents

Amazon updates Kindle Personal Documents

In this

Amazon Kindle forum thread (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Amazon announced some significant changes to their Personal Documents service.

Previously, you had the ability to send documents to your Kindle. You could e-mail them to a special e-mail address your Kindle has, or use the “Send to Kindle” feature:

send to kindle (at AmazonSmile)

and they would be stored in your Cloud/archives. One place they were available was at

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle (at AmazonSmile)

You could also download them from your device.

For example, I keep the configuration information for my routers there. That way, I can access it from any of my devices. That means I have the information on my phone or tablet when I set up a new device.

As of today, though, they are also stored in your Amazon Cloud Drive, in a folder called “My Send-to-Kindle Docs”.

That does give you the advantage of the additional organizational capabilities of the Cloud drive (you can add folders, mass delete, move and copy, and so on).

Nice enough, I suppose, to have it in the same site as personal photos and documents you’ve uploaded directly to the Cloud drive.

By the way, I’ve seen a lot of complaints today. That seems to be the normal thing with any update…”Though Kindle updates, may bring the pain…”😉

Some people appear to have gotten tons of documents this way, and a few people mentioned .png files. Those are “Portable Network Graphics” files, and I’m guessing what happened there is they uploaded a file with pictures in it, and the Cloud drive broke each picture out into its own file. That didn’t happen with me, by the way: my new drive looks very much like what I would want it to do in this case, with the appropriate number of files.

The other big part of this announcement, though, is that files will stay in their native formats.

What that means is that, if you e-mail a Word document to your Kindle, it will be converted to a Kindle friendly document…and it will be available as a Word document in your Cloud Drive. I tested it, and that is what happened. That is an easy way to use your Cloud Drive somewhat like Dropbox (without some of the features of the latter).

If they were to incorporate this into the

Amazon Fire TV (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I would actually find that quite useful.

I do presentations. I could e-mail a presentation to my Kindle Fire, and on a Fire TV at work, I could display it on an HDTV. Of course, I could mirror from my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile: support a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

to the Fire TV, but that would commit the resources of my Kindle Fire to that task…and I might want to use it for something else. I wouldn’t even have to be where the Fire TV was, if someone else was using it.

It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s in the offing.

I also like the idea that I could carry a document on my Kindle (Fire or not), and easily access the same document in full-featured Office on my desktop/laptop/two-in-1.

I think this is one of those that may take a while before people really realize the benefits.

Feel free to let me and my readers know what your experience is with it!

* 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! :) 

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.

3 Responses to “Amazon updates Kindle Personal Documents”

  1. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I’ve played around with it a bit. One limitation of personal documents was that it allowed only for 5 GB worth of them with no option for expansion (even if you were willing to pay for more personal document storage, the option wasn’t available).

    With this change the free ACD storage quantum is listed as 10 GB (the 5 GB free from ACD and the 5 GB of Personal documents storage). When you go to buy increased storage, it lists two areas: personal documents (at 5 GB with the option to buy more greyed out), and the ACD area with the option to buy more active.

    It seems that they are still enforcing a 5 GB limitation on the size of the personal documents folder. However, it is now possible to move items in the personal documents folder to other parts of ACD — so you can free up space in the personal documents folder by moving item out of there into other ACD areas.

    I’m not sure what the creation of sub-folders in the personal documents folder will do to visibility when looking at “Docs” from a Kindle Fire — there may be no notion of folders for “Docs” on the kindles — that’ll have to be tested.

    The May issue of Scientific American hit my inbox today — I downloaded the PDF version, and used the Send to Kindle PC application to send it to my KF89 (as I do with several periodicals every month). When looking at my ACD web page on my PC, it shows all the personal document items in their folder as you would expect. However, when I sorted the the list by date added the Sciam item did not appear. Sorting by name found the item. Trying this again a couple of hours later the sort by date added did find the item — so I guess there are some lags in the system.

    I wonder why they are enforcing the 5GB limitation on the “My Send-to-Kindle Docs folder (note the name change from “Personal Docs”)? I wonder if the need to limit things to 5 GB could be a kindle device side issue?

    Up to now I have not used ACD at all (I’m a big user of Microsoft’s OneDrive where I have 450 GB of storage😀 ), but this will entice me to look at ACD more closely.

    One more thing they ought to do is integrate Amazon Cloud Player into ACD — they already have folders in ACD for music and videos — I don’t see the need for a separate player and its associated storage area🙂.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      Thanks for the thorough comment! 5GB doesn’t sound like a technical limitation to me, in part because it isn’t a binary number…and in part because non-Fire Kindles don’t have that much memory, and I think the limitation was in place before the Fires.

  2. Edward Boyhan Says:

    One item I forgot to mention is file upload size limitations. With the old personal document service there was a 50 MB limitation on items that could be emailed, , or sent to kindle. You could of course side load larger items onto your kindle, but that wouldn’t get them stored in your personal documents storage area on the web.

    I occasionally would have technical or professional tomes acquired from non-Amazon sources that would exceed this limit. With ACD when using the web page interface, the limit is 2 GB per item — save some Microsoft product ISO files (which I wouldn’t be putting on ACD anyway :grin) the 2 GB limit should be more than sufficient (well until I get heavily into downloaded videos🙂 ).

    The PC ACD app (which I haven’t installed yet) creates a folder locally on your PC, and files placed in this folder are synced to your Amazon Cloud Drive (but not in real time — so it’ll take a while). I don’t know whether this mechanism also enforces a 2 GB limit — another thing to tes (sigh)

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