Kindle up your PC

key review info
application features
  • Purchase, download and read hundreds of thousands of books available in the Kindle Store
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Like many portable devices out there, Amazon’s Kindle comes with a correspondent for PC. Kindle for PC is designed specifically to allow you to pick up your lecture from where you left it  on Amazon’s e-book reader, even if you are in front of the computer.

The application is free of charge (which is an obvious choice considering the price of the electronic device) and installs in a jiffy, without any problems or any stops along the way. When the installation process completes a very simple interface is displayed. It looks designed with reading space in mind and placing features and options on second place.

From the start you have to know that this program comes with the same options and features the portable device has. This means that it lets you add bookmarks, add notes or highlight text strings. Also, you have to associate your Kindle device with your Amazon account so that the application can manage all the items you purchased.

The interface is split into two main sections which give you access to your reading material: Home and Archived Items. Under the first tab you will find the all the items that are available locally. The latter shows the titles in your Kindle library.

At the beginning there will be no content available. But as soon as you log into your Amazon account you will be able to send the titles to Kindle for PC from your order section of the page. They will pop up in the “Archived Items” tab of the application and as soon as you they are double-clicked they are automatically downloaded and opened. Next time you’ll find them under “Home”.

Regardless of the currently active tab, the application offers sorting options by title and by author. The books already on your computer can also be ordered considering the time of their addition.

When you read a book you have the possibility to highlight text and add notes in a very easy manner. Selecting the text you desire automatically launches a menu that features these options and the search function. Bringing up only the option to add a note in a location (no highlighting) requires the “effort” of right-clicking inside the page (the note is appended to the nearest word, just like on the portable device).

Access to all the notes and highlights is easily attained from the upper right hand part of the interface, right next to the search bar. You can view them all or only a specific category. Annotations can be edited at any moment you want from the side panel; clicking on them and the highlights takes you to their exact location in the text.

Book navigation options present in the application take you anywhere in the text as long as you know the location you want to reach. As far as viewing options are concerned, Kindle for PC provides various text sizes to pick from, and for each of them you benefit from live preview at mouse hover.

Moreover, you can adjust the amount of words per line or the brightness level of the window by dragging by a slidebar. Color mode options can change the background from white to sepia or to black. Having this option here in this menu is okay, but you will also find it under Text Color in “View” menu where one would expect some choices for modifying the color of the font.

Synchronization of the notes and marks in the application as well as the page you left reading on are all done through Whispersync technology, which works like a charm. The reading interrupted on your Kindle device can be resumed seamlessly on the PC or other device. Bookmarks, notes and highlights are quickly transferred.

Kindle for PC is not exactly jam packed with features and options, but rather a more basic application that addresses a purpose in the simplest manner possible. It can be used even if you do not own a Kindle in order to download and read public domain e-books from Amazon.

With Windows 7’s touch capabilities the possibilities to improve and make more appealing software such as Kindle for PC have increased exponentially. A tabbed interface that would allow handling more than one title at once would make for a nice feature, just like a more complex annotation management (like having them ordered in multiple ways).

The Good

The application incorporates options for customizing your reading experience, such as changing font size, background color or brightness.

Whispersync synchronizes your reading between multiple devices quickly and easily. Also, the books in the archive are downloaded very fast.

You have the possibility to add notes or highlight text and skip to them in a snap. Also, you have access to Amazon's bookstore where you can find a great diversity of titles from all domains.

The Bad

The lack of more functionality and options in the application is what’s dragging it down. A tabbed interface or support for more e-book formats as well as other sort of reading material would be important steps to increase the application’s popularity.

The Truth

Kindle for PC fulfills a simple goal: rendering Amazon digital books on the computer. However, its functionality extends to synchronizing with the items and reading progress of books on Kindle devices as well. But that is pretty much it.

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This article is also available in SpanishLee los libros del Amazon Kindle en tu ordenador

user interface 3
features 3
ease of use 4
pricing / value 3

final rating 3
Editor's review