March 21, 2013, 2:33 PM — There is never enough time to read all the interesting news stories and blog posts you come across in a given day, which is why read-it-later apps such as Instapaper and Pocket can be so handy.
In addition to saving articles to read during your spare moments, Instapaper and Pocket offer a text-focused uniform layout for each article making them easier to read on tablets and smartphones.
But did you know Amazon also offers a similar read-it-later feature for Kindle e-reader devices and mobile apps?
The online bookseller recently upped its game for its service with a new Send to Kindle button that website owners can stick on their sites right next to share buttons for Facebook and Twitter. The Washington Post, Time, and BoingBoing were the first sites to offer the new share buttons online on Tuesday.
Kindle it later
Let's say you came across an interesting post on Boing Boing about the ongoing Brian Krebs SWATting drama.
Tapping the Send to Kindle button on the site brings up a pop-up browser window asking you to sign-in to your Amazon account. The first time you use the service, you can specify which of your Kindle devices you'd like to send the save article to. If you prefer, you can also send it to your Kindle library to download later.
You can also choose to have your saved content downloaded over Wi-Fi or Amazon's Whispernet service for devices with wireless data access.
After you've saved your settings, you are shown a preview of the saved article in a stripped-down format, then you have to hit "Send" to save the article to your Kindle device. The next time you want to save an article, it will be a two-step process where you hit the Send to Kindle button and then hit the "Send" button in the pop-up window.
Using Send to Kindle for Websites is not an easy, one-click process. If the Kindle is your preferred reading software, however, that may be less important to you than just getting content into your Kindle account.
Amazon's new button also depends on site owners to offer the service, but there are many other ways you can send content to your Kindle for later consumption.
Firefox and Chrome
If you use the Firefox or Chrome web browsers, you can install a Send to Kindle add-on that lets you save content from any website.
Similar to the Send to Kindle button for websites, you have to sign-in to your Amazon account to use the add-on, and Amazon's Firefox and Chrome buttons require a two-click process to save content.
During the second step, you can choose to send your content directly to Kindle, see a preview of what the story will look like on your Kindle, or save a selected snippet of text from the article to Kindle.
Services such as Instapaper or Pocket also offer read-it-later buttons featuring one-click functionality. That lets you save content more quickly, but you lose the extra options on Amazon's service.
Desktop to Kindle
Desktop users can also download apps for Windows or Mac that let you quickly send documents to Kindle using Amazon's Kindle Personal Document Service (KPDS).
KPDS is compatible with many common file types, including Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX), HTML, RTF, and PDF, as well as image formats including JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP.
The Windows version of Send to Kindle for desktop installs an option inside the right-click contextual menu of Windows Explorer. You also get an option to select "Send to Kindle" from apps that have print functionality, such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Reader. Mac users will see a Send to Kindle icon in their dock for drag-and-drop functionality, as well as a print option similar to Windows.
If that wasn't enough, Amazon also lets you email documents and web pages directly to your Kindle library and Android users can send documents to Kindle using their Android device's share menu.
If you're a big Kindle user, Send to Kindle is a good way to keep all your reading in one spot. If you'd like to keep your articles separate or just can't stand Amazon's annoying two-click process to save articles, then services such as Instapaper and Pocket are better alternatives.