Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Using dropbox to wirelessly transfer files to your Kindle 2 for FREE

That's right. I said Kindle 2 (two). Want to wirelessly transfer files to your Kindle without paying amazon? Here's how.

(NOTE if you have a Kindle 3 you have more options including free wireless transfer for the wifi version.)

(NOTE 2 :  Skip to step 7 if you are an advanced user and just want to cut to the chase)

1. Set up a drop box account (go to www.dropbox.com on your pc and check their help screen if you don't know how)

Dropbox creates a little folder (appropriately named) in your 'My Documents' folder. This folder syncs with the cloud and you can access it from pretty much anything. You can share items in your dropbox folder with other users too...but I digress...

2. Make a folder inside Dropbox called, say, "ebooks".

2a. Add a .mobi file you want toto this folder now

3. Go to the experimental browser on your Kindle
[MENU] hard button,  toggle down to [experimental] then just choose [launch browser]

4. Go to m.dropbox.com and log on (this is the mobile vrs of Dropbox - we're just using it to log on and that's it).  IMPORTANT: If you don't want it to keep asking for your password, make sure you tick the 'Remember Me' checkbox. NOTE:  Don't bother trying to find your files yet cause you can't download in the mobile version.

5. Now toggle down and select "View in standard" (or just go to www.dropbox.com instead of mobile version in previous step)

6.  Look at the screen capture above.  See where I've arrowed 'ADVANCED' at the top of the web page?  Well that means Kindle is having an attempt to render the page as a complete page.  You have to switch to BASIC MODE for it to be much use.  (select [MENU] hard button and toggle down to the last item

7. Screen should now look something like above (with 'BASIC MODE' at the top of the page).  Try refreshing the page if it still shows ADVANCED MODE.

7(b) Now toggle down and select 'EVENTS' just down below the Dropbox logo in the screen capture above
NOTE YOU MUST GO TO EVENTS.  I can't see any other way the Kindle 2 can access dropbox content.

8.  Bookmark this page (hardbutton [MENU] and select 'Bookmark This Page'.

8(b).  Go to the next page using the appropriate hard button.  You will see a list of the most recent events.  The top most item will be the files you have just added to dropbox.  Toggle down and select this item and it will download to your Kindle!   THAT'S IT.  You've just wirelessly added a book to your Kindle

You should now just be able to open your Kindle browser, go to the bookmark you created for dropbox events, go to the next page, and select any recently added books.

Aside from the ugly interface, there are some limitations.  For example, if you are a heavy user of Dropbox you will have quite a few items in your events list.  Your newly added book may get lost if you don't immediately log on via your Kindle after you've added it.  If this is the case, you may consider creating a totally separate Dropbox account just for your Kindle and share the folder with your main dropbox account.  Log on to your special Kindle account on your Kindle and it will obviously only show ebook related activity in the events.

I love this.  I often get (legal) Kindle readable documents emailed to me by a friend.  I'd prefer to read these documents on my Kindle but often don't have the device on me (or can't be bothered finding the cable and plugging it in to my laptop).  Rather than lament about my early adoption of the platform (no WiFi - crappy browser <sob>), I can now just drop the file into the ebook dropbox folder and download to my Kindle at my leisure from anywhere in the world.  And believe me, the wireless network does work all over the world. Much better than expensive mobile roaming charges.  My cousin took her Kindle around Europe - so good sitting in a foreign hotel at night emailing home and reading a book after a day of sight seeing - nothing worse than looking for a friendly internet cafe and wasting precious holiday hours in front of a computer.

Imagine an ebook folder shared to a network of Kindle users.  I'd be like a virtual bookclub.

Hope you can follow my babble and enjoy

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  1. Thank you for the instructions!
    I will try this approach tonight on my kindle.

  2. Good luck. Hope the above helps.

  3. Is this still the recommended approach with the Kindle Fire or is there a better, newer solution to syncing your Dropbox files? Thanks!

  4. Sorry. Haven't been looking at comments for a while. No - this is a work around for the Kindle 2 only. I now have a Kindle 3. It's browser is quicker and handles drop box much better. The Kindle Fire is pretty much an Android tablet so you'd have no troubles just using dropbox as normal. Android has a dropbox app. no Kindle Fire for Australia though.

  5. This worked perfectly! Thank you so much for sharing this step by step tutorial. I definitely needed it. I feel so independent now!