Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kindle Tips: SendtoReader (for any Kindle-compatible device) has a terrific new feature. UPDATE


UPDATE - 7/13/12.  I tested sending web articles to my Kindles and Kindle apps WHILE reading on the Kindle Fire and on my Kindle Touch.

  Adding the 7 characters, described below, in front of a web-link or URL worked with any mobile browser on my Kindle Fire as well. Not only does no other e-reader have the web-articles-send feature but it surprised me that it works when I'm browsing the web on my Kindle Fire  That is quite a boon.  I haven't tried to send an article from an e-Ink Kindle though.  
I was less successful when doing this on my smartphone.  No problems when using in a URL from my Kindle Fire browsing though.

  One thing I forgot earlier:  Besides needing to register with SendToReader, of course, for the free service, you need to sign-in to SendToReader the first time you use the '' with a given browser.   I haven't had to sign-in again on the same browser (except when I want to look at my list of articles sent in case I want to re-send something later).
  When using it with a different browser the first time for that browser, I had to do the initial sign-in.

SENDtoREADER was very well received by Kindle users, in the many comments written to the original article on it here on March 29, 2011 when I asked readers to try it out.

 I noted in an update that "The feedback was extremely positive, with images coming through well, good general layout, and "a great feature: history of your sent articles (linked) in your account at with an option to resend. Thanks to phelcq and Elmo [for the mentioned features]."

After that, the author of the program, Sergey Pozhilov, notified us of a "Web to Kindle" browser add-on called "DroidToReader," which allows SendToReader's features to be used on a Kindle Fire.  He explained it in his comments to the blog entry of March 11, 2012.  It seems this addon, though, is no longer needed.  I'd love feedback on how the new feature described below works for you.

  Sergey's newest improvement is which is a "very simple" addon to a link, he says, which allows you to just enter "" in FRONT of the URL or link to an article you want sent to your Kindle as a personal document.

  It would look like:[whateverlonglink]

  Of course you have to be registered at first, for this to work.  Be sure to read the original article about SendToReader and comments to it by author Sergey and readers of the blog (the article is linked above in the opening).

  Pesonal documents you choose to have sent to your Kindle (rather than file-copied from your computer to your Kindle) go through Amazon servers, where they are kept in the Personal Documents area -- and the access to and reading of these personal docs are sync'd across all your Kindle devices, in the same way that your Kindle books are.

  Example: I saw an interesting story from a press release by The Education World on the Kindle Fire for the Classroom, and I put "" in front of the URL or link on that page and, because I'm registered with a Kindle address at SendToReader, this small addition to the link sent that article to the Amazon servers, which placed a copy in my Personal Documents area and then sent me an email to let me know it was there (the email notification took about 5 minutes to arrive).

  I opened my Kindle Fire and my Kindle Touch, as well as my Kindle Keyboard.  The document was available on all three devices.  On the Kindle Fire, it showed up on the Carousel without my doing anything, ready to be downloaded if I want.  But if you don't see it, you can click on the 'Docs' category in the top menu.

  I never did install the 'DroidtoReader' add-on for Kindle Fire, and yet this new feature worked fine because it's treated by Amazon as a personal document that you want to read on any of your devices, so Amazon makes sure it's available on devices being sync'd.  It also arrived on my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone Kindle books archive  when I ran the Kindle for Android app to see my books and personal docs, and when I clicked on the title, it downloaded it.

 Here's the article on the Kindle Fire in classroom use.  If you click on the link, you'll be at the article of course.  IF you are already a SendToReader member, just put  in front of the URL for the article (in the location field at the top of the web browser) and this will let SendToReader know you want that article sent to 'me'...

  While normally a URL or link has an "http://" to start the link, web browsers put that part in for you these days, so you can just start it with "" in front of the URL.
  HOWEVER, if the web browser URL already shows an 'http://' on the address line, then put the AFTER the prefacing 'http://' and right in front of the URL/link.

  For me, this is a great new feature and I hope others of you will enjoy it too.

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links
Kindle Fire  7" tablet - $199
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $79/$109
Kindle Touch, WiFi
- $99/$139
Kindle Touch, 3G/WiFi - $149/$189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189, Free, slow web
Kindle DX - $379, Free, slow web
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £89
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £109
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi, UK - £169
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
OTHER International
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $109
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi - $189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button 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.

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  1. sendtoreader: haven't tried it, but I am curious: does the '' trick work on mobile browsers? for example with mobile Safari on iOS? or the Kindle browser? If so I could definitely see a use for it.

    I use Chrome+SendToKindle. Very simple, I like being able to preview what it is sending (because sometimes it cannot scrape a given web page).

    I wish someone would figure out how to bypass storage in Personal Documents (like Send To Kindle app has an option for). I don't generally care to store stuff I'm only going to read one time. But I guess S2K uses a proprietary web service rather than SMTP.

    1. Tom, I just tried it on my Samsung Galaxy 2 phone, using Opera Mobile (though normally I use desktop access because I can double-click and get big text anyway).

      It worked fine. Got a notice from Amazon that the doc was ready. Opened Kindle Fire and there it was in the Carousel. I sent myself a CNN story in a page full of stuff on it and the resulting doc looks great.

      Be sure to read the user comments at the original blog story on SendToReader for the reasons people liked it so much for the eInk ones. Handles everything very well, photos, layout.

      I don't send myself much except for longer pieces and reference type things, which I like to keep. If I don't want it I go to manageyourkindle and remove it/them...

      It takes about 3 minutes, to get the doc to the Kindles, and you soon enough w/o the preview. I like the record kept and that you can send it again later if you want, but especially that layout is so good.

      I had just tons of trouble with readability failing a lot.

      On my desktop I don't use the chrome version because I prefer to stay in Firefox though I use chrome and ie for testing when things don't seem right.

      I'll be curious what you think if you decide to try this. The initial setup is probably the hump for most people.

      Oh, when you FIRST do it in a session, something to the Kindles, you have to sign in to but then not after that.

    2. This is to add, Tom, that I just tried it with Kindle Fire's silk browser, getting an article from The Atlantic, and it worked.

      Takes 3-5 minutes after sending the URL. I didn't have to sign-in again. It takes you to the site and then tells you that the sending is done. Very useful for mobile-device readers with 3 browsers I've used so far...

    3. Tom, in the very beginning, was planned as a service for those who would like to send web pages from eInk Kindle's experimental browser to the same Kindle in its native format. So it should work on any mobile device, including older versions of Kindle.

      As for your second question, about bypassing storage in Personal Documents, unfortunately I don't see a way to do so. Most likely Amazon's SendToKindle application interact somehow with the personal storage backend and therefore can force it to bypass storage. Of course no 3rd-party application can do that, at least right now. But I hope Amazon will eventually release a Personal Documents SDK or something alike.

  2. I was pleased with S2R and gave them a paragraph in a write-up about Kindle feature of that nature. Later, I dug in deeper and gave them quite a bit more coverage, including screen shots. When I saw "" here, I had to try it. These people are very clever, and very innovative. I'm very impressed.

    1. Me too, Stormbringer :-) Thanks for the further feedback.

  3. It's worth mentioning that the use of the "" prefix does not require installation of the bookmarklet. Although I have to say, my first attempt to use this facility didn't work; neither the bookmarklet nor the URL prefix. I pointed it to a "longish" (perhaps 10 screens) article and it only sent a title to my kindle, with a camera graphic with an exclamation point. I then highlighted the entire article text in the page and used the bookmarklet and that worked.

    1. Yes, I was about to email the developer to say that the instructions should now be simplified as a result. The bookmarklet was a bit difficult for me to install at first, and now it's not needed.

      Did you try highlighting the entire article text and then using with it? Thanks for the fast, good feedback on this.

    2. I did not try highlighting and using the URL prefix. In my mind that wouldn't make sense since I figured the prefix "hijacks" the URL, and the new destination reads the full URL, grabs the site, and renders it. In other words, it wouldn't know what you've highlighted. But I suppose it's possible the new URL executes some Java to take a look. If that works, I can't see a reason to use the bookmarklet.

    3. have to say sending highlighted text is bookmarklet-only ability. And since I'm continually trying to improve my backend, feel free to email me every single url which was not processed correctly. I'll add a "report url" form somewhen on the site, but for now please email or twit me.

    4. Blackbeard and Sergey, thanks for the added, clarifying information.

      I'll do another update to have people look at Comments area etc. and maybe highlight some of the good information by commenters here (as ever).

  4. More good news: this can be done from the Kindle keyboard as well. Since it's a different browser from the Kindle Touch that Andrys used, it was worth testing. I used the experimental browser to go to the s2r web site, logged in and selected the option to keep me logged in, then went to wikipedia, pulled up a page, and added the prefix. Sure enough, I had a local copy on the Kindle. Why would you want to send a copy to the Kindle when you're already reading the page on the Kindle? Here are some use cases: You're reading a page and need to move out of a hotspot, so you send a local copy so you can continue reading; you have several pages to read, and want to pull them down to the Kindle so you can turn off the wireless to extend battery life and read them offline; and just as on a laptop, you find a page you want to add to a collection on your Kindle regarding some research.

    Sergey, if you're out there, don't do anything to the s2r web site that might break this feature!

    1. Blackbeard, thanks for giving the reasons this can be so useful!

    2. Blackbeard, don't worry, I'm not going to ruin things that work well for Sendtoreader's users. From time to time I even extend those things' functionality :)

  5. SendtoReader saved me again. I was over on arstechnica and saw that they put out a long review of Apple's new version of the Mac OSX, "Mountain Lion." I hate reading long articles online (this one is 24 web pages,) they're selling a Kindle version for $4.99 on Amazon, and using the URL prefix only grabbed the first web page. I didn't want the review on my Kindle in 24 parts, nor did I want to pay $4.99. So I went to my document archive on, used the edit option on that first web page, and there's an option to insert a URL into the document you're editing. It says it'll insert text, but it will do whatever's on the page. So I just pasted the review URL in 23 times, each time changing the page number on the URL, and voila, I had the "ebook" for free. It looks to be about 100 Kindle screens worth of stuff, so definitely worth reading offline, and the results were stellar. Thank you, SendtoReader! I also checked the reviews of the ebook on Amazon, and someone mentioned doing something similar with Instapaper. Five minutes with sendtoreader saved me $5 so I'm a happy camper. So if you want to glom together a bunch of web pages into one Kindle document but you're not a Premium SendtoReader customer, remember the sendtoreader insert tool.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Explorer Blackbeard :-) !
      Instapaper and Readability both have success sometimes in getting ALL pages in one fell swoop but I think that this would be a challenge, including getting the layout right. Readability has often failed me, in fact. Haven't tried Instapaper but Marco was finally going to do an app for the Kindle Fire, I read last month.

      Sergey will probably enjoy your trick here. He's been very flexible.

    2. Nice tip Blackbeard, in fact, I'm now working on an updated version of s2r's composer, you can see one of the first wireframes at if curious. The new functionality will surely help in such cases.

  6. How do you add the domain on the Kindle Touch? On my Kindle Keyboard it is a snap because of the physical D-pad. How do you do it on the KTouch with no arrow or D-pad?

    When I click a link on a document and it opens the browser to that document, I tap the URL bar and it is highlighted but at the end of the URL. How do I move to the front of the URL but after the http:// to insert the

    1. SK, on tablets, where Touch rules, you can put the tip of a finger on the front part of the URL to signal the KFire to produce a cursor that can be used to add more alphanumeric characters. You can also use the edge of a thumb.

      With Touch devices, when you do that you slightly long-press it sometimes to give it a longer, more noticeable signal.

      Then when you see the cursor, you can move it to the left or right if needed by putting a finger tip on the precise space you want (but there's not enough precision in these things for that to always work). often there's a small blue inverted arrow type thing under the line that you can move more precisely.

      Hope that helps! The prefix works realy well.

    2. The inverted insert-arrow below the line optionally used is not blue on the KTouch of course :-)

    3. What do I do if the original URL is longer than the address bar? In my case, it shows the end of the URL, i.e., the "http://" part is not visible. I tap the address bar to get the insert cursor but I can't figure out how to move the cursor to the front of the URL.

      Whether I slide my finger to the right or to the left, the text in the address bar does not move and the cursor jumps to where my finger first touched.

      How do I move the cursor to the left, to the beginning of the URL which is not visible?

    4. SK,
      After you tap the address bar and see your cursor, you can actually press it again but this time stay on the field and pull the text to the right, so that it shows the left or front part of the URL. Then tap in the spot right after the "http://" and insert the cursor there that way.

      I just did this on KindleTouch - but you have to long press it and move it to the right.

      Or tap at the left part of the URL you see, to get your cursor there and then press it longer to move it more to the right.

      Hope that works for you.

  7. It does not work with my kindle touch :(

    1. Anonymous, Did you register for a free sendtoreader account? You have to login with up with it once per session, for it to work.

      Also, on a Kindle, don't type the "http://" as the Kindle does that for you...


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