After using my Kindle for four days, one (admittedly small) thing is already bugging me. There is a feature of the Kindle store called “Save for Later”. As I’m browsing the store on my Kindle device and see something I might want to buy later, I can save it. Later, I can access my list of saved items and easily purchase any of them right from that list. Sounds generally useful, right?
The problem I have with this “feature” is that it doesn’t integrate in any way with Amazon’s already existing Wishlist feature. Items I add to my Save for Later list do not appear on my Amazon Wishlist and vice versa. Consequently, there’s no way to access or add items to my Amazon Wishlist from my Kindle, and no way to access or add items to my Save for Later list from Amazon’s website on my computer. This is frustrating for a number of obvious reasons, and I can’t help but feel that Amazon has made a major marketing blunder here. By not allowing me to see my own Wishlist on my Kindle or my Save for Later list on my computer, they’re actually decreasing my access to the things I’ve already decided I eventually want to buy from them. It’s as if the grocery store were to search my pockets at the door and steal any grocery lists they find. That’s an extreme analogy, to be fair, but not entirely far from the reality here.
Now, to cut Amazon some slack, a Kindle book is different from a physical book, and physical books and other items that exist on my Amazon Wishlist would not be very useful to me if I attempted to download them to my Kindle device, so I can see some rationale behind keeping the regular Amazon store and the Kindle store separate from one another. However, since I can browse the Kindle store on my computer and even purchase items and send samples to my Kindle device from my computer, is it really too much to ask for me to be able to add items to my Save for Later list and view that list on my computer?
Update: In December 2009 Amazon enabled support for adding books to an Amazon Wishlist from the Kindle device, effectively merging the “Save for Later” feature with the true Wishlist feature on Amazon.com. I still cannot view non-Kindle items on my Kindle, but I can now view my Kindle book wishlist either on my Kindle or on my Macbook and add/remove items from either place. This is of course much better than before, though I still question the marketing wisdom of not allowing a user to purchase physical items for shipping right from their Kindle. My credit card is on file, Amazon. Why not let me shop your entire catalog from wherever I am using a device I purchased from you?