Online “save now, read later” options just got more interesting for Kindle owners.
Yesterday Amazon announced its Send to Kindle website button, which lets users click to push online articles directly to their Kindles or Kindle apps. Only a few content providers, including The Washington Post and Time magazine, have added the button to their articles at this point. And the buttons can be found next to the usual Facebook share and Twitter tweet buttons.
Here’s how it works: After loading an article in your browser, you click the Send to Kindle button, which, when first used, prompts you to sign into your Amazon account. Next you pick a default delivery setting: Wi-Fi (free) or Whispernet, which works over cellular networks (charges may apply). Then you choose which Kindle device or app you want to send the articles to. You can also opt to have articles automatically archived in your Kindle library, and you can change these settings at any time when you send another article to your Kindle.
Lastly, you see a preview of the article. Hitting the “Send” button sends articles to your Kindle within a few minutes. In my tests, the articles looked good on my Kindle Paperwhite. They still contained the article’s images, but without the pesky surrounding ads.
Amazon’s Send to Kindle button isn’t the first option to let you save online articles for reading later, of course. Plenty of apps, such as Instapaper and Pocket (formerly Read It Later), already do that. You can use Instapaper to automatically send saved articles to your Kindle e-reader, too, though it requires some setup.
Also, last summer Amazon released plug-ins for Firefox and Chrome that let you send articles from any site to your Kindle. But I suspect a lot of people don’t even know about the Send to Kindle browser plug-ins. And that makes the Send to Kindle button, if widely deployed, all the more valuable, because it’s right in your face. (Amazon offers guidance for adding the button to your own site, and the company released a WordPress plug-in for adding the button, too.)
I think I’ll use the Send to Kindle button and browser plug-in a lot. I don’t have much time to read non-work related articles during the day. But I love to read on my Kindle in the evening. And I’ve already read articles saved to my Kindle while using the treadmill at the gym. Frequent travelers who don’t always have reliable Internet connections will also appreciate a Kindle preloaded with current articles.
James A. Martin is a seasoned tech journalist and blogger based in San Francisco and winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold award for his CIO.com blog. He writes CIO.com's Living the Tech Life blog and is also a content marketing consultant.