How to get Kindle for iPad in Singapore

Kindle App for iPad

Having used the Kindle Touch for a few months, I love it. It’s light, the battery life is good and more importantly, my eyes don’t feel tired as there is no glare from the screen. In fact, everything is good about the Kindle Touch, except for one thing – viewing pictures in colour. E-ink, with its multiple shades of grey, is capable of displaying crisp text and detailed graphics. However, it does not display in colour. While this is not a problem for most books, it’s a huge minus point for graphics intensive publications such as magazines and cook books. Amazon actually has a Kindle app (compatible with Kindle reader) for most devices such as Android, iPad, iPhone, PC and Mac and this app supports full color. Kindle app is free and has the same user experience as the Kindle reader.I have the Kindle app installed on my MacBook for some time already and there hasn’t any issues with it at all. Installation on PC and Mac is easy – Just run the installer from Amazon and you are done; regardless of where you are (in the world). Installation of Kindle app on iPad or iPhone, on the other hard, is tricky. It must be done via iTunes and the list of available applications is location-specific; for people whose locations are not in the supported countries (such as Singapore), Kindle app will not be available in their iTunes store. The workaround this is simple – change your Apple App Store to United States. But do note that creating an account for the US App Store when you’re not based in the US is against Apple’s terms and conditions, so I’m not recommending that you do it. But for the sake of discussion, here’s a way to workaround this issue, i.e. how to create an iTunes account with location in United States. This workaround is good for downloading of any free apps, such as Kindle, since it doesn’t require any billing information. You can refer to Apple’s instructions here on how to do it . However, if your intention is to download paid apps from the US App Store, you will need a valid US registered credit card or iTunes gift card.

iTunes Account Creation Error

It seems that Apple had recently updated their billing address verification and it doesn’t accept my VPOST USA address (as shown in the error above). I am very sure my VPOST USA address works as I had already bought a few items shipped to it with no issues. After some googling, somebody mentioned that iTunes accepts Apple’s own address. If you face the same issue, try the address below and it may help.

Address: 1 Infinite Loop

City: Cupertino

State: CA

Zip Code: 95014-2083

Area Code: 212

Phone: 2263127

Once you have successfully created the US iTunes account, you need to log out of your iTunes stores and re-login again with the newly created account. You may receive a warning that the app store will be changed from your current location to US and that’s normal. You should be able to install Amazon Kindle in your iPad/iPhone now.

BTW, if you already had downloaded some apps onto your iPad or iPhone (with your iTunes Singapore store), don’t worry about losing them cos any downloaded apps will remain in the device. 😉


How to get Amazon Kindle Touch in Singapore

My daughter is an avid reader and as a matter of fact, we are running out of shelves to store her books. This year, instead of adding to our storage woes,  I decided to kill two birds with one stone by getting her an Amazon Kindle for her birthday. As Amazon currently does not ship Kindles to Singapore, I received a lot of queries on how do I get a copy, especially the ebooks for Kindle, in Singapore. For those who are interested, here are the steps and the process is rather simple.

  1. First, you need a US registered address.  In my case, I have a VPOST account and it comes with a personalized US shipping address. VPOST accounts are free and I have been using them for all my US purchases with no problems – So far, so good. 😉
  2. Create an Amazon account and enter your address with the VPOST USA address. You can use the Singapore registered credit card for your purchases. Somebody told me that only US registered ones will work, but I didn’t have any problems (so far). If (for some reasons) your credit card doesn’t work, fret not. You can always use Amazon gift cards for your purchases. There is a shop “Tinyfries” in Millenia Walk that sells Amazon gift cards.
  3. Purchase the Amazon Kindle online and ship it to the VPOST USA address. I bought the “Special Offer” edition where the Kindle Touch is cheaper by USD$40. The catch is that there will be paid advertisements during the screen-saver mode. It’s not irritating and it only appears when you are not reading. There is actually a hack documented in the Internet on how to remove these paid advertisements but since I opted to save $40 in return for these non-intrusive advertisements, I decided to keep my end of the bargain and honour the agreement. I think you should too.
  4. Once VPOST USA receives your goods, it will send you an invoice via email with the shipping charges back to Singapore. Make that payment and you should be expecting your Kindle in about a week’s time.
  5. Once you receive your Kindle, connect it to your home WiFi and register it with your Amazon account. Any ebooks purchased will be “delivered” to your registered Kindle (via WiFi) almost instantaneously.

All in all, it took about 2 weeks for the parcel to arrive at my doorstep – easy peasy lemon squeezy. 😉

The original packaging only includes an USB charging cable and does not include any power adapter. For US$99, I won’t complain though. Anyway, I can use my blackberry charger to charge the Kindle. The output from the blackberry charge is 5V, 700mA and that means it allows upto a maximum of 700mA. The optional Amazon Kindle charger has a specifications of 5V, 850mA and thus there is a chance that the Kindle may draw upto 850mA. Since the maximum output from my charger is only 700mA, I reckon it probably means that it may take longer to fully charge up the Kindle. I am further assuming that it’s ok to use my blackberry charger as the output voltage is the same for both chargers. So far, I have charged my Kindle twice and it didn’t have any problems; The first charge took about 4 hours and the second charge took 6 hours as it was already 3/4 drained.

By the way, the little Amazon man (danboard) in the pictures above is to show the relative size of the packaging only. You know that it’s not part of Kindle, right? 😉

Before you take the plunge and buy a Kindle, there are a few gotchas that you should be aware of, mainly as a result of the fact that Kindle is not sold in Singapore.

  1. You need to send the unit back to US (and bear the additional international shipping cost) for any warranty issues
  2. You need to register an US address in your Amazon account before you can buy any ebooks from Amazon. Note that you will only see the list of available ebooks after you have logged into Amazon with the proper credentials, i.e. US address.
  3. Depending on your luck, Amazon may reject your purchases when it detects that you are accessing from a non-US location (i.e. via your computer’s IP address). To work around this issue, I use a prepaid VPN (Virtual Private Network) service from AlwaysVPN. As the name “VPN” implies, this service basically “teleport” yourself into US so that your web access is perceived as if it originates from US. For a prepaid amount of USD$8.50, I get 5GB worth of downloads and based on my calculation, I can easily download more than 2,000 ebooks if I use this service purely for Amazon’s transactions. Afterall, Kindle Touch only has 4GB of memory.
Since Kindle is not available for sale in Singapore, naturally you don’t expect to find its accessories in the local stores. My advice is to get all its accessories together with the Kindle. The shipping charges are also cheaper when you pool a few items together, as compared to shipping them individually.

Amazon Kindle Zip Sleeve

Personally, I prefer a sleeve over a cover as I like Kindle’s thin profile. Since this is meant to be a birthday gift for my daughter, I let her decide on the type of case. Like father like daughter (maybe), she chose a sleeve too – the blue Amazon Kindle Zip Sleeve. I must say the sleeve is very well designed as it has sufficient padding to protect the kindle against minor knocks and yet it’s not too bulky.

Amazon Kindle Zip Sleeve and its padding

Kindle Touch – Fits in my hand easily

As a standard disclaimer, all of the above are based on my personal experience and your mileage may vary. Please use any of the information with discretion. Do not hold me responsible and have fun with your Kindle! 😉

updated: 13 November 2012

The store “Tiny Fries” in Millenia Walk has closed down. ;-(