Amazon has pushed out an updated version of its Kindle app for iOS, and it adds features that had previously only been available on the Kindle Fire tablet and Kindle E Ink devices.
Kindle 2.9 for iOS lets iPad users can now read magazines from the Kindle Store as well as digital reproductions of textbooks.
But iPhone and iPod touch users also get a killer new feature: support for Amazon’s send-to-kindle service.
This lets you email eBooks or other text documents to your Kindle account and access them on an iOS device, Kindle, or Kindle Fire. Up until today that feature was only available on Kindle devices.
Unfortunately it looks like you still need to buy a Kindle or Kindle Fire to get started though — Amazon doesn’t give iOS app users their own email addresses.
Update: Actually it looks like iOS users do get a special email address that you can use to send documents to your device. I had to login to my Amazon Kindle account in a web browser and visit the “Personal Document Settings” area to find it.
You can send doc, html, rtf, pdf, azw, or mobi files. They’ll show up in the Docs section of your Kindle app. You can also synchronize your notes and last-read page across Kindle devices (although I’ve found that the Kindle Fire stubbornly doesn’t like to synchronize personal documents yet).
You can also login to your Kindle account using a web browser at amazon.com/myk and “send” personal documents from your account to your various Kindle devices. That now includes any iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad that has the Kindle software installed.
What I love about the Kindle Personal Documents feature is that it lets you turn a Kindle (or a device with a Kindle app) into a full-fledged, all-purpose eBook reader. While you can’t simply email yourself an EPUB file, you can use Calibre or another app to convert a file from EPUB to a format that Amazon does support, email it to yourself, and then read it across various devices.
That means you’re not stuck with the books available from Amazon’s store. You can purchase titles from competing stores or send DRM-free books downloaded from other sources to your account and read them.
Hopefully these features will be available for the Kindle Android app soon.
Amazon’s Kindle 2.9 app also now lets iOS users open PDF files from mail or Safari. Users can also transfer PDF files to the Kindle app using iTunes.