Amazon is finally going to allow easy use of the EPUB format on its Kindle e-readers. First noticed by Good E-Reader, Amazon quietly updated the “Send to Kindle” document pages to say EPUB will be supported “beginning in late 2022.”
That’s huge news. Amazon Kindles have been around for fifteen years now, and in all that time, they’ve never supported EPUB in any form. Now they will, although not natively. This is big because EPUB is typically the go-to file format for ebooks.
You won’t be able to directly copy EPUB files onto one, you’ll have to use Send to Kindle, which will then convert the EPUB files to an Amazon-specific file format.
Send to Kindle is great, and a feature that I use all the time on my Kindle devices. Instead of having to find a cable to connect your Kindle to a computer to transfer files, you can email them to your special Kindle inbox.
From there, Amazon transfers them to your account and device, doing any necessary file-type conversions.
The reason for the change appears to be the retirement of the MOBI and AZW formats. Amazon bought Mobipocket, the creator of the MOBI format, in 2005, two years before the launch of the Kindle. AZW is an Amazon-packaged version of the MOBI format and is the current native format that Kindles use.
Amazon is retiring the older formats because they don’t support the “newest Kindle features for documents.”
It’s great to see that EPUB will be supported later this year; even if you must use a tool to use them. This could be the first step towards native EPUB support on Kindles.
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