Amazon will now sync your reading position for personal documents
A somewhat innocuous update for the Kindle looks like it’s not even worth a press release, but a closer look reveals it to be a pretty big deal. Kindle Keyboard Software update v3.3 brings Whispersync and cloud storage to personal documents.
While some might frame this as an answer to Apple’s iCloud, it seems like an obvious move for Amazon. Right now, you can redownload any purchased content — like ebooks, music, movies — from Amazon any time you like. This update (already included in the new Kindle and Kindle Touch) does the same for any content you add yourself.
If you e-mail documents to your Kindle, or add them via USB, they’ll now show up on the personal documents section your Kindle management pages at Amazon. From there, you can delete them or send them to one of your devices. You get 5GB of space, which should be more than enough, even counting PDFs
What’s more, if the file is in “Kindle format” then your reading progress will be synced between devices. Thus you can read a converted ebook on the Kindle in bed, and switch to the Kindle app on your phone when you’re waiting in line at the store.
Or you will. The new services only work with the actual Kindles right now. Updates are coming soon for the various Kindle apps.
There are two more new features in this update. You now get local deals included in ads if you own a Special Offer Kindle, and the Voice Guide can now be started by pressing the shift and space keys together. I tried this last one and it seems buggy at best. I could only get it to work once.
The update is free, and don’t panic if your Kindle seems to go into an endless loop of restarts. It will end eventually. I promise.