I must admit that I am really surprised with some of the features that are missing from the Amazon’s services and applications in relation to reading Kindle books. I would not have been as surprised if the Kindle was just released, however the eReader has been available for more than 5 years (released November 2007) and the Kindle Fire has been out for more than a year (released September 2011).
First, I’m astonished that the Amazon does not have a webpage on the Amazon.com website that when you are logged in to your Amazon account, allows you to interact with your personal documents via a drag and drop interface.
In fact, if you’re on a website (for example the Project Gutenberg site) and want to download a public domain Kindle formatted (.mobi) book onto your Kindle Fire, the file is downloaded to the Fire’s “Download” directory, making it unavailable for reading on the device.
There are a variety of alternatives, including emailing to a personalized @kindle.com email address, downloading 3rd party file maintenance apps onto your device, or installing a Send to Kindle software application on your PC, Mac, or Android.
If you are using the iOS Kindle App on the iPad and click on a .mobi file in Safari, you are able to open the book automatically in the Kindle App and the book is still there when you return. This seems like a fairly obvious feature. However, you cannot use the iOS Kindle App to then upload the book to your Amazon Personal Document Cloud Storage for reading on other devices.
While I have no doubt that the original intent was to ensure that when reading public domain books on your Kindle device you would purchase the $2.99 version instead of the public domain version, it seems that a feature that works with the Kindle reader on the iOS (download and read) should also work on the actual Kindle Fire.
To be fair, the “Share to Kindle” application that can be installed on your PC does allow for great interaction with the Amazon Kindle cloud services. However this is still a workaround for a fairly obvious set of features. Also, once the book has been uploaded to your personal documents folder, you can then use the web interface to send the book to your registered device. But the act of getting the book uploaded to your personal documents in the first place still requires a separate software application.
If anyone involved in the Amazon apps reads this, I recommend the follow fairly obvious features be added:
1. Allow .mobi files downloaded from on the Kindle Fire browser to be opened in the reader.
2. Add a feature on all versions of the Kindle reader (iOS and Fire) allowing for the user to upload a document to their personal Amazon Cloud storage.
3. Create an interactive webpage (similar to what is available through Dropbox.com) allowing users to interact with their personal documents stored in their Kindle