Last week Amazon introduced its newest feature in its Whisper series. They already had Whispersync which syncs all your books, notes, and documents from all your Kindles or Kindle apps. They also have Whispernet, which is the free 3G service from AT&T for its Kindles. Now they add Whispercast to its lineup.
Whispercast is an online app meant to help you manage your Kindles. I was really excited to hear about it because of my work with a school that started using Kindles this year in the classroom. It looked to me like Whispercast would help plug some of the security holes for our Kindles. The whole idea behind Whispercast is as a 1:1 management system. Every Kindle an organization owns can be managed and synced from Amazon’s website. You can buy books for each device and send them wirelessly, register multiple Kindles at one time, setup multiple Amazon accounts, send books and documents to other Kindle apps on Android, Apple, or Windows devices, and block factory reset and device deregistration.
To me that last one is the most important one. I mentioned that the newest version of the Kindle software introduced parental controls in August. This was a great step, but there was one major problem. Any student could simply either do a factory reset or deregister the device to have complete access to everything. Now this would of course erase all the books, and the teacher would find out when the next student to use it complained of not having any books, but I wouldn’t put it past a student who was just trying to be malicious. Whispercast should take care of this problem.
It’s nice that Amazon finally has a way for businesses and schools to manage their Kindle devices. In my opinion, this was way too long in the making, but I guess it’s better late than never.[Amazon Whispercast]