Email Documents to Your iPad’s Kindle Reader

| How-To

There are many ways to move documents onto your iPad. This technique uses a Kindle.com email address to send a document to your iPad’s Kindle app. The definitive documentation is at Amazon, “Kindle Personal Documents Service.

We’re assuming here that you’re an Amazon customer and have an account. Then, when you install the Kindle reader app on your iPad or other iOS device, it is assigned a unique email address. That address is shown in the “Settings.”

For example, if your Amazon account name is jsmith@comcast.net, and you install the Kindle app on your new iPad, it will be automatically tied to an email account of the form:

jsmith_xx@free.kindle.com, where xx = two digit number

Kindle email

Every Kindle reader, on any supported device, has a unique e-mail address. (See text.)

This is not an email account that you have on your iPad. Rather it’s a mailbox at Amazon tied to your cloud of books, magazines, and, in this case, documents. Documents sent to that email address go into your personal cloud, and are then transferred to the corresponding iPad’s Kindle reader in the “docs” tab. If you do this over Wi-Fi, it’s free.

Practical Use

Let’s say you’ve been working on a Microsoft Word document on your iMac. Now, you’re in a rush to go to a meeting where you’ll have only your iPad to access it. Just email that document to the Kindle email address for that iPad, and soon it’ll show up the the “docs” tab of the Kindle reader.

Similarly, if you subscribe to a digital magazine that’s not available in Apple or Amazon’s Newsstand (or in an app), you can email the (most likely) PDF file to your Kindle reader on the iPad.

Docs tab

Use the “Docs” tab, upper right.

If the file is small, it will only take a few minutes to show up. Be patient. Of course, as I said above, there are lots of ways to transfer a document to an iPad, and this is just one.

Set up

There is one thing you have to do before your Kindle reader on your iOS device can receive the document. You must go to: Your Account -> Manage Your Kindle -> Personal Document Settings and authorize the email address of the sender. That’s to avoid Spam. Again, this is explained in the Amazon documentation. If you use an email alias, stick to the official, long version of the address.

Manage Account

Use the “Approved Personal Document Email List” found in

“Personal Document Settings”

File types that can be sent are as follows:

  • PDF (.PDF)
  • Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX)
  • HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
  • RTF (.RTF)
  • JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
  • Kindle Format (.MOBI, .AZW)
  • GIF (.GIF)
  • PNG (.PNG)
  • BMP (.BMP)

There are some other rules and limitation on this service that are described in Amazon’s documentation for the Personal Documents Service. These limits shouldn’t affect you in casual, personal use. But you should read the documentation to see when you might get charged a modest fee.

Recap

In summary, here are the steps to send a PDF to an iPad whose Kindle.com e-mail address is was set to be <jsmith_20@free.kindle.com>:

  1. From a Mac or PC, drag the document, in one of the formats listed above to your mailer. (From another iOS device, use the appropriate method and app for emailing a document in one of the permissible formats.)
  2. Fill in the Kindle.com email address for the destination device.
  3. Label the doc in Subject line. Send it.
  4. Launch the Kindle reader on your idevice. Select the “Docs” tab on the upper right.
  5. In a few minutes, your document will show up there. Touch it to read.

 

 Mailer

There are some other things you can do with this service, such as edit the email name associated with each device and do file format conversions, but they’re outside the scope of a simple how-to.

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