Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kindle for PC Update ready. GiveKindleBooks report by Thomas Palmer

The Kindle for PC page has again been updated (see features of original, basic Kindle for PC) with the following new features:
* Use the built-in dictionary to seamlessly look up the definitions of
    English words without interrupting your reading.
* Read in the standard one-column mode or take advantage of a larger screen
    with a multi-column view, which will automatically adjust
    according to your screen size. [ Very slick. ]
* Choose whether you'd like to browse your library in a tile view or in a list view.

I don't know when the Kindle  (UK: K3) Search feature was added, but it's there now and very speedy.

Being a keyboard-shortcuts type (speedier for me and avoids repetitive mouse/arm movements), I especially like the keyboard shortcuts they made available in the prior update.

The general Kindle for PC Help webpage is easily reachable through the app's Help option, and the most helpful sections for day-to-day functions, can be found under the Using Kindle for PC page.

  The Navigation icons are explained under Using the Reading Tool Bar section which also details the three methods for turning pages.

  The highlighting and notes guide is at the Using Highlights and Notes section.

At the Future Improvements page for this app (easily reachable from the app's Help menu's Future Improvements choice), Amazon tells us what they are thinking of bringing to the app in the "near future."
* Library Management
    A new way to manage and organize your content

As before, the Kindle team says they'd like to hear from Kindle for PC users.
  "You can send them to the Kindle team at or via the feedback form available in the application - we'd love to hear what you think!"

While browsing the Amazon Kindle Community Forums, I saw a posting by Thomas Palmer describing what he experienced using the new feature to gift himself a Kindle book and letting us know what we should expect.  For those of you who don't do the forum scene, here is his write-up
' Thomas Palmer says:
OK folks, I just tested it.  I used one of the books in my Kindle Wishlist to test it out. (I already wanted it so what the heck, gifting it to myself. ;) )

When you buy it as a gift you are sent to a new type of shopping cart page where you can enter in the recipients email address, their name, your name and some text for the gift email that will be sent.
  You are asked to log in again if you have not already fully logged in (like when you normally use the shopping cart) If you went to the book through the person's Kindle Wishlist the email address is already filled in.

[ Note by Andrys: Gifters cannot see the recipient's email address though. ]

It looks like you can send it to anyone even if the book isn't available in their country as well.  The fine print on the gift order page says "Title availability may vary by country.  If this title isn't available for your gift recipient, we will exchange your gift for an equivalent value gift card."

Your order receipt will list it as "[Kindle Gift Purchased]" instead of "[Kindle Edition]".  The recipient will get an e-mail from Amazon with the subject " A Gift from Thomas Palmerþ", with your name instead of mine of course. ;)
  The body of the email is designed like a little gift box with the book you gifted them in it, your name and the message text you wrote down when you ordered it.  It includes a link that says "Get your Kindle Book Gift Now".

When the recipient clicks on that link they are sent to a new type of Kindle Book product page.  The main part of the page is the same as the book's normal product page, but now the top of the page says "Accept Your Kindle Book Gift", it again gives the senders name and message, and the buy box on the right side has an "Accept Kindle Gift" button instead of the "Buy Now" button.  It has the same drop down Kindle selection box as normal.

It also has the standard "Send Sample Now" box as well.  I guess so the recipient can check the book first to see if they want it.  While the buy box doesn't have a button to not accept the gift, the "How does this work?" link informs the recipient that they can exchange the gift for a gift card by contacting customer service and referencing the gift order number, which it also gives them.

The "How does this work?" link also gives them links to pages about the Kindle apps and the Kindle devices in case they are "new to Kindle".

Once you click on the "Accept Kindle Gift" you get a confirmation page and the book is sent to the Kindle you selected in the drop down box and it's added to your Kindle account, just like any other Kindle book you order. '

It's worth noting that you cannot gift any of the free Kindle books.  As someone else noted, if you really want someone to see or read a specific free Kindle book, just send them the link.

Also, for convenience, here again is the tiny FAQ at the givekindlebooks page posted yesterday:

Frequently Asked Questions about Giving Kindle eBooks

Do I have to own a Kindle to give or receive a Kindle ebook as a gift?
  No. Kindle ebooks can be given and received by anyone with an e-mail address.  Kindle ebooks can be read either on Kindle or on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, or Android Phone using one of our free reading apps.

What if the recipient doesn't like or want their gift?
  Kindle ebooks received as gifts can be exchanged for gift cards.

Are all Kindle ebooks eligible to be given as gifts? All ebooks available for purchase in the Kindle Store can be given as gifts. '

The Kindle forum discussion on this feature may be of interest to some of you, as there are people who'd rather not be getting Kindle books as gifts and there are more people who are building their public Wish Lists to make it easier for friends and family :-)

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle

(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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  1. I looked at my Kindle for PC installation and found that, despite auto update being enabled, no update had taken place since August 15th. Worse, no menu selection was apparent for checking for possible upgrades. I apparently succeeded in upgrading the program by downloading it from Amazon, but I would normally expect Amazon to to have things better organized.

    Regards, Don Lloyd

  2. Don,
    Same thing was true of my Kindle for PC app. I had both boxes checked for auto-updates but nothing happened until I downloaded the new version...


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