Kindle’s Personal Documents Service (PDS hereinafter) is Amazon’s version of sideloading. Using their servers, Amazon would accept documents mailed to a kindle.com address and convert them into a format readable by Kindle devices. According to the help page, PDS is not available for Canadian users. I have no idea why. I am sorry Canada!
In the past, these documents would be saved only on the Kindle device itself so that if you traded up or your Kindle needed to be factory reset, you would lose those documents unless you saved those via a USB transfer. Not anymore.
PDS In the Cloud
PDS is now in the cloud. Any document you email to yourself will be archived in your Kindle cloud. This feature can be turned off at “www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle.” From the “Manage Your Kindle” page, click on the “Personal Documents” link on the left side. This will pull up the documents that have been archived and can be sent to supported kindle device that is linked to your account.
Archived documents can be re-downloaded from your archive to the all-new Kindle and Kindle Touch devices, as well as Kindle Keyboard (Kindle 3rd Generation–requires the latest software update v3.3 from www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates) – you will be able to find and download your documents from any of these devices that are registered to your account.
These personal documents also feature Whispersync which will synchronize your last page read, bookmarks and annotations from device to device. Let’s assume you have a Kindle Keyboard and a Kindle Fire. This means that you can read a document NOT PURCHASED AT AMAZON and still enjoy the Whispersync and Cloud storage features. Right now, this is available from Kindle device to Kindle device which isn’t super useable but according to Amazon this feature will be coming to the Kindle Fire
and ALL KINDLE APPS. Updated December 21, 2011, the PDS is now available for Kindle App for iOS.
We expect to extend these features to Kindle Fire and Kindle apps (such as Kindle Cloud Reader, Kindle for Android, Kindle for iPhone, Kindle for PC, and Kindle for Mac) in the coming months.
This means that books you have purchased from Fictionwise, Baen or All Romance eBooks, will have the whispersync and cloud features not to mention the epubs you might purchase from a website and then convert. I have sometimes waited from purchasing a book from a third party because I wanted the archiving and whispersync capabilities. Now I don’t have to wait or buy just from Amazon. If you have sent yourself documents, you may want to either resend them via email so that they are preserved in the cloud.
Tips and hints for using PDS:
- To deliver documents to yourself for free, use firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com. You can then transfer the document to your Kindle using your USB connection or download them via WiFi.
- You can change your “username” at “Manage Your Kindle” and then “Personal Documents Settings”. Your kindle email address can be whatever you set it so long as it ends with “kindle.com”.
- Don’t forget “convert” feature. When you are emailing yourself a PDF, you can add “convert” (without the quotation marks) and Amazon will convert the PDF to azw format which is the special Kindle format based on the Mobi format.
- You are limited to 5GB of PDS storage.
- Set a limit on your Whispersync charges. At “Manage Your Kindle” and then “Personal Documents Settings”, you can limit how the fees for delivery of the documents. The fees are the limit for one document, not overall. The charges are generally $.15 per megabyte for US users in the US or $.99 for worldwide delivery. If you set this to $0.00, the documents will only download via WiFi.
- You can send up to 25 documents in one email and up to 15 Kindle addresses.
- You can use PDS and then transfer the files via USB cord.
- PDS service accepts: “Doc”, “Docx”, “Html, Html”, “RTF,” “PDF”