Lots of us like to listen to audiobooks, and lots of us buy ebooks across a variety of services and devices. If you own an iPad, for instance, you might download audio books from iTunes or iBooks from that particular app, and then read right on your iPad. If you want to listen to iBooks, or have a visual impairment that makes it tough to see the text on the iPad screen, you can turn on VoiceOver and have the iBook read to you.
What about the Mac, you might ask? Can’t you just turn on VoiceOver on the Mac and have it read ebooks to you? Not if you use an e-Reader software like Kindle or Nook, you can’t. There is a way to get your Mac to read Kindle books to you, out loud, with its built-in text to speech software, but it’s not as intuitive as you might think. Here’s how.
Amazon's latest app lets you send files to your Kindle directly from your Mac.
Amazon today announced its “Send to Kindle” app for Mac users. The free tool can send documents from a Mac to registered Kindle devices (including the iOS Kindle app) wirelessly. Many are unaware that each Kindle account comes with its own email address, and Amazon lets its users send documents to devices through that address. Popular bookmarking service Instapaper also lets its users push articles to a Kindle account for reading later.
The new Send to Kindle app cuts out the email middleman for desktop computer owners.
iBooks is plenty impressive, but despite Apple’s own leap into the realm of e-books, Amazon is going strong with the Kindle platform. They’ve managed to price the Kindle affordably enough at this point that few who only want an e-reader are likely to spend another few hundred on an iPad, and they’ve successfully managed to leverage their real strength against iBooks time and time again: if you buy a book through Amazon, you will not only be able to read it on every gadget out there, whether you have a Kindle, an Android smartphone, or a Mac… but thanks to their Whispersync technology, you’ll even be able to keep your bookmarks and annotations synced across every platform forever.
It’s nice to see Amazon fighting so ably against the competition of iBooks to their empire, and even nicer to see a new update to their Kindle for Mac software come down the pipeline which adds improved Whispersync functionality, which will allow you to keep your notes and highlighted passages synced across all your devices. There’s also a refreshed interface which looks much more Mac-like than previously.
If you buy Kindle over iBooks — and there’s absolutely no shame in that — go grab the latest update now.