Amazon’s Kindle lineup includes some of the best e-readers around, but no Kindle readers support the industry standard for ebooks: the EPUB format. However, Amazon says that will (partially) change soon.
Kindles are designed to read books purchased from Amazon, but Kindle owners can also copy their own files for reading — such as DRM-free books and comics purchased from other stores, or public domain books from Project Gutenberg. However, books have to be in the
.MOBIformat to work on Kindles, which is different from the
.EPUBformat that just about every other e-reader and reading app supports. That has led to many books being distributed in both formats, and various tools for converting EPUB files to MOBI.
Amazon will now finally support EPUB… sort of. The company revealed in a support article that the MOBI file format is being discontinued, and you’ll soon be able to copy EPUB books without converting them yourself. Amazon’s Kindle Personal Documents Service, which creates an email address that you can send books to as attachments, will accept EPUB files. The Send to Kindle apps for PC and Android will also support the format.
The one minor catch seems to be that Kindle readers won’t actually support EPUB files natively — it’s just that Amazon will now convert them to the native Kindle format for you without the use of external tools. Send to Kindle and the Kindle Personal Documents Service can handle EPUB books, but there’s no word in Amazon’s support documents about copying EPUB books directly onto a Kindle with USB. If you want to move those files to a Kindle without an available internet connection, you might still have to use third-party conversion tools.
Even with that small (assumed) caveat, this is still a great move that will make Kindles much more convenient to use with third-party books. Amazon says the new functionality will be available in “late 2022.”
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