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Kindle Paperwhite: How to Use Whispersync with Kindle Editions and Audible Books
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Dailey rated it it was amazing Jan 09, Linda rated it liked it May 04, D Honerkamp rated it liked it Feb 11, Annette Cunningham marked it as to-read Nov 28, Laurie marked it as to-read Aug 01, Tom Smitha is currently reading it Nov 01, MJ Stubblefield added it May 14, Joy Darcy marked it as to-read May 27, Sharon Morris-addison is currently reading it Jul 25, Santa Nikkels marked it as to-read Oct 20, Wanda Dennison is currently reading it Nov 03, Gary Viljoen is currently reading it Nov 19, Charlotte Fly is currently reading it Nov 26, Marylou Brashler is currently reading it Nov 29, Renzo Follegati is currently reading it Dec 20, Instead, "Alexa, read my book" actually started playing the most-recently purchased Audible book.
I would have thought "Alexa, read my book" would read Kindle and "Alexa, play my book" would play Audible, but that doesn't appear to be how it works. That said, you can tell Alexa to read a Kindle book, but you have to specify the exact and I mean the exact-exact title. The book is, obviously, a Star Trek book. It's set in the Discovery timeline, which is about 10 years before Kirk and Spock adventured on the Enterprise. To indicate that it was part of the Star Trek: Discovery TV show, the book title includes that and then another colon for good measure.
Even though there is no other book by the name The Enterprise War in my collection or, for that matter, in paper or Kindle on Amazon , you can't specify "Alexa, read The Enterprise War. This need to specify the full name of a title is also an inconvenience with Amazon's newest feature, "Alexa, manage my content. It should be noted that this feature is extremely limited, but it does provide a look into what might be in the future. For example, you can only send a Kindle or Audible book to a single default device.
Before you go
You can't choose to send Audible to your iPhone and the Kindle book to a Kindle reader. You also can't borrow new Kindle books if you're a Kindle Unlimited member. And, of course, you must specify the complete name of the book you want to send. That means, if you have a large library, there's no way you can ask Alexa "What's the name of my Enterprise book" and get a name or a list back.
Once you send a book to a device, you can use Alexa to remove it, but this is really the nuclear option. If you ask Alexa to delete the book you sent, you're not just deleting the book from your device, you're permanently removing it from your library. That's harsh. I asked a random Amazon tech support person whether it would be possible to get back a book I deleted this way, and he said he didn't know and hadn't yet been brave enough to try it. One bonus, I was told, is that if you delete a Kindle Unlimited book in this way, Amazon marks it as a return.
There's no doubt that -- today -- this new feature is a whole lot of meh. But think about what Amazon could do with it in the future. It could add better title parsing, so you could send "that Enterprise book" to a device. It could allow books to be sent to devices you specify.
Kindle Unlimited VS Audible: The Ultimate Guide
With just earbuds, you might even be able to purchase a book. For example, "Alexa, what's that new Discovery Enterprise book? Would you like to purchase and download either of them? Would you like more details? And then, Alexa would begin reading the book, all without screen access. A similar approach might be taken for books already in your Kindle library.
Here's another potential future exchange:. Would you like me to read that? Today, these features are crude. But as time goes on, these additions are logical extensions to Amazon's offerings. For those of us who are sighted, but just like having our hands free, these are helpful features. But what really excites me is how we're a few steps away from providing some very capable browsing and discovery accessibility features to sight-challenged individuals. This could really empower folks in entirely new ways. So stay tuned.
If Alexa doesn't kill us in our sleep first, the literary future of an always-on voice assistant might be very helpful and exciting indeed.
Neither the author, nor anyone else at ZDNet, for that matter, have any input into Star Trek despite our most fervent wishes.