iOS: Sideloading .mobi & .pdf files

There really is one dead simple way of getting .mobi and .pdf files to your iOS tablet or smartphone for reading consumption and that is emailing it to your Kindle’s email address. Yes, it really does have its own email address.

Step 1a – Finding your Kindle apps email address in the Kindle app

The iOS Kindle App opens to the “All Items” screen. In the bottom right hand corner is a grey cog. Tap that to enter settings.

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In settings, you’ll find an option that reads Send-to-Kindle Email Address. That is the email address of your kindle app. You can send an email with a .mobi or .pdf file as an attachment to that email address and the file will side load itself.

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Don’t worry. Your email address will be legible. I just couldn’t risk having all the spam bots sending free advertising to my Kindle app. =)

Step 1b – Finding your Kindle apps email address on Amazon.com

Go to Amazon.com and login.

On the right-hand side of the page there is an option that says Hello (yournamehere), Your Account. If you hover over your name a dropdown menu will appear and one of the options on it is Manage your Kindle. Click that link.

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You may be prompted to login to your Amazon account again, if so log in.

On the left hand side there will be a submenu titled Your Kindle Account and a clickable link titled Manage Your Devices. Click Manage Your Devices.

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On that page you’ll see a orange header that reads Registered Kindle Reading Apps along with a list of all devices you have the Kindle app installed on. It’ll also have that device’s email address.

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Step 2 – Email the .mobi or .pdf file to your Kindle app.

This part is pretty easy, basically take the .mobi or .pdf file add it to an email as an attachment and email your Kindle’s email address. If the .mobi or .pdf file is in an email, you can save the file to your desktop (or wherever) and attach it to an email. If it’s already in an email, you could just try forwarding it to your Kindle’s email address. I haven’t tried this last one, but it won’t hurt you to try it yourself.

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Again, I hid my Kindle apps email address but the most important thing for you to notice is that I attached a .mobi file. My file showed up almost instantly, but if it doesn’t. I would give it a minute or two. Anymore than two minutes and I may suspect something happened. The same cannot be said for a .pdf file though.

Note: The .pdf file I emailed took hours to show up. I don’t know if this was just a case of Kindle servers hiccupping or maybe Amazon screens the .pdf files for harmful components. In any case, you can email .pdf files but it may take a while to show up. You’d be better off sideloading via Dropbox.

In any case, in just moments you should be able to check your Kindle app for the title you just sent over. If the title doesn’t show up automagically on it’s own, try hitting that refresh icon in the top right hand corner next to the shopping cart.

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Viola! That’s all there is to it. You have now sideloaded a mobi or PDF file to the Kindle app.

In case you are wondering if I am going to answer the question I posed in the email to myself. I can’t see anywhere within the kindle app where any attention was paid to my email’s subject line or email content. The only thing my kindle app recognized was the .mobi attachment.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to use the comments section below.

Optional Step:

Please consider making a donation for my efforts in bringing you this tutorial.

If not PayPal, I sure wouldn’t hate a Kindle Gift Card. If you’d rather gift a book so that I don’t use that gift card on coffee or electronics, here is a link to my Amazon Gift Registry. Ignore the big ticket items, this is also where I keep my Christmas/Birthday wishlist. =)

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