Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kindle Tips: Software Update v5.6.1.1 for original Paperwhite 1 (US, UK) ... Info and tips on how to use the features



Amazon has announced software update version 5.6.1.1 for the original Paperwhite-1

The announcement, posted in the Kindle Forums, was for a "free software update available for the original Kindle Paperwhite.  This update adds features including Word Wise and Family Library that were previously only available on newer generation Kindle e-readers."

The software update includes "general improvements and the following feature enhancements"

Added text in brackets and emphases in boldface or italics are mine:

~Word Wise -For readers learning English and kids learning to read, Word Wise, available on many English language titles, makes it easier to enjoy and quickly understand more challenging books.  Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, so you can keep reading with fewer interruptions.
[Tip: Here's a page on HOW to use Wordwise, including how to turn it off or on.  The page explains that not all books are wordwise-enabled.  Here's a link to Amazon's listing of currently Wordwise-enabled books.]
  To learn more or to see the various meanings the same word can have in different contexts, just tap on the word to bring up a simple card with definitions, synonyms, and more.
  You can adjust the number of hints you see with a simple slider, dialing them up or down as you learn and grow.  See a screenshot.

~Family Library- With Kindle and Kindle reading apps, you can access not only your own books, but also books from the Amazon account of a spouse or partner.  See a screenshot
[Tip: Prime members that use a business name can share free 2-day Prime-shipping among 4 employees sharing the space.]
~Kindle FreeTime Unlimited - An all-in-one subscription for kids that offers unlimited, ad-free access to more than 5,000 age-appropriate books, videos, educational apps and games, for as little as $2.99 per month.
  [Tip: Freetime Info Links for specific Kindle devices:
  Paperwhite 1; later Kindle eReaders; and Fire tablets
]
~Expanded X-Ray for Books - X-Ray now makes it easier to explore as you read-quickly flip through all the images in a book, and use the new timeline view to easily browse the most notable passages.  See a screenshot.

~Deeper Goodreads Integration - Goodreads on Kindle makes it quicker to access and update your reading status and adds the ability to preview and purchase books without leaving Goodreads.  See a screenshot.

~Enhanced Search - Makes it even easier to find what you're looking for by combining and previewing results from your Library, Goodreads and the Kindle Store on the same page.  See a screenshot

~About This Book- See information about the book as you start to read, including its place in a series and author information, plus mark it as "Currently Reading" on Goodreads.  See a screenshot

These features will be delivered automatically as part of a free, over-the-air software update in the coming weeks, or you can visit [the Paperwhite1 software page] to download the software update [U.S.]...'  [the UK Paperwhite 1 owners page here]

I corrected some links in the original announcement on the forums.

It's good to see Amazon continuing to support the original Kindle Paperwhite (2012).




Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button


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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Kindle Paperwhite announced today. New Features. How does it differ from the Voyage model? ... Update 1: a reminder that 3G e-Ink Kindles get 24/7 free-3G access to Wikipedia


Well, I'll be!

Quiet Amazon just released a new Kindle Paperwhite model, at the same price as the 2nd Paperwhite.

I'll be referring to this as the Paperwhite 3 or Paperwhite 2015. (UK Paperwhite 3 is here.)

Things that stand out from the press release:

300 Pixels per Inch for Laser-Quality Text
This one has double the pixels of the Paperwhite 2, matching the premium (higher cost) Voyage model at 300 pixels per inch now.

This should make reading of the smaller fonts much more doable.
Those who reviewed the Yoyage, with the same resolution, tended to write that it is more like looking at a physical book page and that the words just pop off the screen as a result.  With smaller fonts that are very readable, you can view more text on a page.

  The ability to read smaller fonts much more easily also means you can fit more words on each page. 

New Bookerly Font and Typography Features
Amazon explains that they created "an exclusive font designed from the ground up for reading on digital screens ... [and] is hand-crafted for great readability at any size.  It introduces a lighter, more graceful look and outperforms other digital reading fonts to help customers read faster with less eyestrain."
  See examples and more information + new typesetting and layout features here.

  There's also a subpage that shows the Bookerly font compared with Palatino and Caecilia fonts, and it details what the details or improvements are.
  Even with these two popular fonts, Bookerly looks less like a typewriter than the others do.

Release date is June 30.  Preorders are being taken, of course.
Those wanting to receive it ON that day can just "Select "FREE Two-Day Shipping" at checkout."

The $119 price for this upgraded Paperwhite means that I'll finally upgrade from my Paperwhite 1, which was good enough for me, relative to the Paperwhite 2.

  Note that you can get this with 3G cell phone network capability added to the usual WiFi, for $189, which is still $10 less than for the basic Voyage ($199) without 3G.

  The Voyage with 3G is $269 currently.  (The prices quoted are with the Special Offers default for the lock screen image.  If you prefer not to see Special Offers. you can always opt later for No Special Offers, for $20 additional, in the eReader setup options.)

Update 1 - Many are not aware that with the e-Ink 3G e-Ink Kindles, you have 24/7 free 3G access to Wikipedia wherever there is a cellular network tower.  That's a big plus for people who like to look things up but either don't have a smartphone or tablet or prefer to not spend data charges on that -- and this way they don't have to rely on finding a WiFi hotspot or password to a friend's network.  [End of Update 1]


How is it different from the Voyage?

  The Voyage is thinner and it has the PagePress feature which uses sensors on the bezel area so that you can apply a bit more pressure (in the right spot) to turn the page without having to lift a finger to do this on the text display. That is probably most appreciated by those standing on commute trains or buses. The Voyage also has a built-in adaptive light to change brightness automatically to what it calculates is ideal. This works well for some and not for others.  I turn auto-brightness off on my phone and tablets but don't know how well the Voyage would adjust for my taste.



I'm including in this blog article most of the press release, directly below, so that you can see the full particulars as presented by Amazon today.  Also, those new to the Kindle can see a list of regular features that are less known.

_______ From Amazon's Press Release _______
Amazon Introduces New Kindle Paperwhite: The Most Popular Kindle, Now Even BetterStill Only $119

New 300 ppi display—unsurpassed resolution with twice the pixels for laser-quality text and images

All-new typography and layout features help you read faster with less eyestrain—new Bookerly font is crafted from the ground up for digital reading

SEATTLE—June 17, 2015—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today introduced the all-new Kindle Paperwhite, updating its most popular and best-selling Kindle with the highest resolution Paperwhite display, the exclusive Kindle font Bookerly, and a new typesetting engine for more beautiful pages. Meet the new Kindle Paperwhite at www.amazon.com/paperwhite.  [ UK Paperwhite 3 here.]

“We love inventing for readers,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “The new Kindle Paperwhite obsesses over the details that matter most to readers—we’ve added our highest-resolution display so the words are crisp and clear on the page, a new font that is crafted exclusively for reading Kindle books, and a new typesetting engine that makes pages beautiful. Together, these details help you read faster and with less eyestrain, so you can lose yourself in the author’s world.”

New, Highest Resolution Paperwhite Display—300 Pixels per Inch for Laser-Quality Text
The new Kindle Paperwhite adds our highest resolution Paperwhite display, delivering the same 300 pixels per inch that readers love about the top-of-the-line Kindle Voyage. With unsurpassed resolution and 2x the pixels as the previous generation Kindle Paperwhite, the display delivers laser-quality text, making it easy to read comfortably at any font size, including at smaller fonts so you can fit more words on each page. Even with the new higher resolution display, Kindle Paperwhite delivers battery life that is measured in weeks rather than hours.

New Bookerly Font and Typography Features—Read Faster With Less Eyestrain
Kindle Paperwhite now offers Bookerly, an exclusive font designed from the ground up for reading on digital screens. Warm and contemporary, Bookerly is inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books, but is hand-crafted for great readability at any size. It introduces a lighter, more graceful look and outperforms other digital reading fonts to help customers read faster with less eyestrain. See Bookerly:www.amazon.com/bookerly.

The new Kindle Paperwhite also offers an all-new typesetting engine that lays out words just as the author intended:

-          Hyphenation and improved spacing—Kindle Paperwhite adds hyphenation to break words at the right place, creates paragraphs with consistent lines, and adjusts the space between words. This results in more natural word spacing and more words on each page, which allows for faster reading with less eyestrain. See an example: www.amazon.com/hyphenation
-          Improved character placement—New kerning and ligatures automatically adjust character spacing to make it easier and faster to recognize words at any font size. Similar to a typesetter formatting a print book, Kindle Paperwhite will look at neighboring pairs of letters in context and adjust the character spacing to suit the word, removing distracting whitespace between letters and making the shape of the word more beautiful to help with word recognition speed. For example, in the word “quietly”, the tail of the “y” loops under the “l” to make the letters of the word fit better together. In the word “first”, the “f” and “i” are drawn together to make a ligature. See an example:www.amazon.com/characterspacing.
-          Beautiful page layout—Print books often use drop caps to add emphasis and beauty to the first page of a chapter. In eBooks, this is challenging to replicate given the ability to adjust font size and line spacing. The new typesetting engine presents drop caps, text, and images on Kindle just as the author intended, and dynamically adjusts the layout as the reader changes the text size. See an example:www.amazon.com/dropcaps.
-          Large fonts, without compromises—One of the benefits of reading on Kindle is that you can customize the font size based on personal preference—over half of Kindle customers take advantage of this feature and use a font size larger than the default. As you increase the size of a font, fewer words appear on each page, often creating distractions like large white space or broken sentences. Now, Kindle Paperwhite automatically adapts when a reader chooses the largest font sizes, customizing the margins, columns, indents, nested lists, borders, and drop caps to keep the page easy to read. See an example:www.amazon.com/largefonts.

The new typography and layout improvements are available on over half a million books, including many best sellers, with thousands more being added every week. The features will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air software update in the coming weeks.

Lose Yourself in a Book
Unlike tablets and phones, dedicated e-readers don’t distract you with social media, emails, and text messages. They don’t beep at you or tire your eyes when you read for hours at a time. By design, e-readers are purpose-built for reading and create a sanctuary so you can lose yourself in a book.

All the Features Readers Love about Kindle
The new Kindle Paperwhite includes all of the features that have made the Kindle family the best-selling e-readers in the world for seven years running:
-          Weeks of battery life—Battery life is measured in weeks, not hours.
-          No set up required—Kindle arrives pre-registered so you can start reading immediately.
-          Whispersync—Saves and synchronizes your last page read, bookmarks, and annotations across all of your devices and Kindle apps, so you can always pick up where you left off.
-          Worry-free archive—Automatically backs up your Kindle books in the cloud, so you never need to worry about losing your books—re-download your books wirelessly anytime for free.
-          Goodreads—Kindle is integrated with the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations, with over 40 million members, 1.1 billion books added, and 43 million book reviews.
-          X-Ray—Explore the “Bones of the Book”—see all of the passages across a book that mention relevant ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics of interest.
-          Word Wise—Available on many popular English language titles, Word Wise makes it easier to enjoy and quickly understand more challenging books. Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, so you can keep reading with fewer interruptions.
-          Family Library—With Kindle and Kindle reading apps, you can access not only your own books, but also books from the Amazon account of a spouse or partner.
-          Kindle FreeTime—Gives parents a simple, engaging way to encourage kids to spend more time reading. Hand-select books for your kids to read, and achievement badges are earned when they hit reading milestones.
-          Time to Read—Tells you how much time it will take to finish a chapter or a book based on your personalized reading speed.
-          Kindle Page Flip—Skim page-by-page, scan by chapter, or jump to anywhere in your book, all without losing your place.
-          Vocabulary Builder—Compiles words you look up in the dictionary into an easy-to-access list. Use these lists to quiz yourself with flashcards and instantly see words in context.
-          Share your favorite passages—Share book recommendations, highlighted sections, and meaningful quotes with friends via Facebook and Twitter
-          Smart Lookup—Integrates a full dictionary definition with other reference information via X-Ray and Wikipedia.

World’s Best eBook Store
Kindle e-readers come with instant access to the Kindle Store, which includes:
-          Massive selection—Millions of books, newspapers and magazines, including the latest best sellers, Kindle Singles, and more.
-          Kindle exclusives—Over 800,000 books are exclusive to the Kindle Store.
-          Lowest book prices—Over a million titles are $2.99 or less, over 2 million are $9.99 or less.
-          Kindle Unlimited—Enjoy unlimited reading of over 800,000 books and unlimited listening to a selection of thousands of audiobooks for just $9.99 a month.
-          Kindle First—Access new Kindle books a month in advance of their official release date. Customers can choose one of the featured books each month for $1.99, and Prime members can make their selection for free—yet another benefit of Prime membership.

The new Kindle Paperwhite is $119. It is available for pre-order around the world and will start shipping June 30. Order now at www.amazon.com/paperwhite   [UK Paperwhite 3 here.]  

[ End of Amazon Press Release attachment ]



Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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Monday, June 8, 2015

Amazon Echo now reads your Audible books on command ... Other capabilities recently added involve accessing services outside Amazon's walls ... Getting traffic info - sports scores ... Controlling lights in the home.



Amazon updates their Echo voice assistant and speaker to add direct read of Audible books

This has been a big request.  Earlier, people had to pair phones or tablets with bluetooth to have their Audible books read through the convenient and very clear Echo speaker system.

Amazon's wording:
' Listening to audiobooks from your Audible library is easy. Here's how:

- Start any book you own with "Alexa, read [Audible book title]"
- Resume the current book you're reading by saying "Alexa, read my book."
- Control playback with "Alexa, go back/forward."
[You can, of course, also pause it as needed.]
Echo also supports Whispersync for Voice, which allows you to seamlessly switch between reading and listening with your eligible Kindle books.  You can read on your Kindle, tablet, or smartphone and then continue listening on your Echo, right where you left off. '

While Amazon is offering "complimentary extended samples from popular titles and a free trial," there are ongoing monthly Kindle Book specials that feature inexpensive Audible narrations paired with some of the Kindle books featured at larger discounts for the month.  The product page for that month will sayk, "Add narration for a reduced price of ____ when you buy the Kindle book."

  For June's specially discounted Kindle books ($1.99 to $3.99), you can find the listing of 104 Kindle books that are paired, for June, with reduced-cost Whispersync for Voice here.  (In March there were only 53, so they seem to be expanding these.)

And for those who want to try a free Audible example with a free Kindle book to see how Whispersync works, here's the only one available currently.

Here's the help page for using Whispersync with more information.


Amazon's latest Echo features that allow you to escape its semi-walled garden
The Verge's Josh Lowensohn reported, in early May, on the Echo's new ability to work with Twitter, Gmail, and Evernote, "...plus a few others, thanks to the If This Then That" ("ITTT)" feature.  I'm repeating this section for those who had no interest in the Echo at the time but may be interested in some of the newer features.

  Lowensohn mentioned the recent updates already reported here, "things like Pandora, traffic reports, sports scores, and support for Belkin's WeMo and Phillips's Hue products" and describes the new features' capabilities:
' ... the IFTTT 'recipes' for Alexa let you send your shopping and to-do lists out to third-party services like Google Drive, Evernote, and Todoist

... There are 54 combinations in total.  Enabling them requires signing up for IFTTT, then linking it up with your Amazon account.  You also need to go through the motions of activating the various third-party app channels, and approving your accounts there so IFTTT can link everything up behind the scenes. Some of the really good examples so far are:

. Adding your Echo shopping list items to Evernote
. Sending someone a short email with your voice
. Sending someone an SMS with your voice
. Adding Echo shopping list items to the iOS Reminders app
. Adding Alexa to-dos to Microsoft's OneNote '

See the Verge's full article for illustrations and more details on what's involved in using the feature.

Amazon Echo was recently updated to control Wemo switches and Philips Hue smart bulbs in the home, to turn lights on or off in named rooms or to dim or brighten them.

Pandora was added, in May (in addition to iHeartRadio and TuneIn radio features).

The updates are coming quickly lately with more meat to them, and Amazon's obviously serious about making it a key device, as Boston Business Journal's David Harris pointed to Amazon's dedicating an entire floor of its Cambridge, Mass. Kendall Square office "to working on the Echo" and is still recruiting more staff for it, with "a hiring event on May 14, 2015 for roles that run the “gamut of distributed systems, speech/voice recognition, and big data.”


My own use of the Echo
I'm music and info-oriented, so while the device is not super knowledgeable about the universe, I tell 'Alexa' to "Wiki [subject]" which has it go to Wikipedia to read me the first couple of paragraphs, and then it sends the rest of the article to my tablet (or phone). This is helpful when I'm not near my computer and think of something.  It's also good for adding to my Echo Todo and/or Shopping lists when I think of things in the kitchen, and I can just say "Alexa, add [whatever] to my todo list" [or to my shopping list].

  For music, I ask it to "play playlist [name]" and I get about an hour of my favorite music, depending on the genre I feel like listening to.  If interested in an artist, I ask it to play [artist] from Prime (which is free Amazon music for Prime members) or I ask it just to "play [artist] and it asks if I want to listen to the musician on iHeart Radio or Prime, sometimes it chooses TuneIn.  I signed up for Pandora but haven't used it with Echo yet.  The local classical music station sounds surprisingly good on it, though this isn't true of some other stations.

The speaker is very clear, is loud enough that I can't use it at max for most material, has more bass than I thought it would for its size, but it's best with really well-recorded tracks. If the treble range is edgy, it's very edgy on the Echo.  I'd like loudness compensation added in the next version for late night listening at lower volume.

 It's great for my kitchen where I have no speakers and no computer. They've added news-sources for flash news but I'm waiting for them to allow direct-access to specific sources instead of my having to say "Next" a few times when not interested in the current source.

I really like that I can control the volume by just saying "alexa, louder" or "alexa, not so loud" when I'm working in the kitchen. Or asking it, "what's playing?" or "who's singing?" and it tells me the artist and album. If you like a track, you can of course buy it (but you need a confirmation code to do it), and I've added a lot of good, free Prime tracks to my library while listening, by just saying "add this to my library."

  Others are interested in being able to get current sports scores or scores for ealier games, and in getting traffic reports, when we give it starting and ending addresses.  (I haven't used it, as I have lifetime traffic status and recommended alternate routes on my Garmin Nuvi, which is a bargain for what it does, well.)

A post on the Kindle Forums mentioned that TuneIn offers a lot of nearby scanner stations if you use the Echo app to enter, in the Search field at the top,
  'fire and police' -- but it doesn't work well by voice.  Just a curiosity.  TuneIn offers local, national, and int'l radio stations (music, talk) with clear, easy access.

  What's struck me most about the Alexa voice is that its answers are often lightning fast, which I wouldn't expect when it needs to go to the servers, access whatever, and then get back to me with an answer, and even then the speech is so natural, I have found myself saying, 'Thank you.'

  I also found that I sort of enjoy ordering something around :-) ... "Do this, do that, get me this, or that. What, you don't know? Take a class, get trained!"

I do shut off its hearing often, by pressing the microphone icon down, because I don't want it to waste electricity waiting for the word-string 'alexa' to fly by so it can say "Your command is my wish."

  I often just use the remote and press the mic and talk without needing to say her name.  She tries to obey, does what she can, and then stops listening for anything unless I press the remote button.  When will Amazon give us a male voice that takes orders from us?


Echo now does Google Calendar
This is one I waited for, except that i started to use a small printed calendar lately.  Why? I don't know, but it's sort of convenient :-)

  I had a bit of difficulty finding out how to do the linking, but finally found this help page on how to link your Google calendar to Echo, and its instructions are very clear.

  Richi Gupta, with octafinance.com has good details on what you can and can't do with Google calendar, from Echo.


Some Echo tips from the Kindle forums
' Beauty Fool says:
Wow... I just discovered you can get the latest episodes of various NPR, APM, etc shows by simply asking for them.
Case-in-point: "Alexa, play Splendid Table."
Reply: "Getting the latest episode of The Splendid Table from Tune-In."

+++
romper says:
If you ask, "what's the weather or forecast" she will give you only today's weather.  Ask "what's the extended forecast" she will give you the next 7 days...

+++
Cheryl Jones says:
as for the weather you can ask her for 10 days. so you can ask for the weather next sat or the weather for may 30 etc. or you can ask if it will rain next sat.... '

Recent mainstream reviews from mainstream tech writers who use it quite a bit
• "Five months in, it's the most used gadget in my home" - James Kendrick, ZDNet, May 15, 2015
• "It sucks.  It's awesome.  It sucks.  We want two more" - David Gewirtz for DIY-IT - May 21, 2015
• "Amazon Echo review" - Margaret Dornbusch - Gadgeteer, May 31, 2015
• "Amazon Echo talks to Google Calendar (and you)" - (more tips) David Gewirtz for DIY-IT, June 1




Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button


Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle


(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Kindle Tips: Kindle for iOS software update v4.9 and for Kindle Fire tablets. Also, small update v4.5.4 for Kindle Fire tablets. Family Library sharing. Free Kindle books listed for June. Monthly Kindle book specials.


Software update to v4.9 for Kindle for iOS and Kindle Fire devices

Amazon announced, on their Kindle Forums, a software update for both Kindle for iOS (v4.9) and on the Kindle Fire tablets.  Here's the main info from that:
' Several exciting improvements offer faster reading with less eye strain.

Discover these features on Kindle for iOS and Fire tablets today, with more devices coming later this year.

What's New in Version 4.9?
Available today on hundreds of thousands of books, including most bestsellers like J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," Stephen King's "Revival," Veronica Roth's "Insurgent," and Abigail Strom's "Almost Like Love."
And coming soon to most Kindle books.

Faster Reading, Less Eye Strain
Hyphenation plus smoother word spacing result in faster reading with less eye strain.
Improved character placement increases word recognition speed at any font size.

Beautiful Page Layout
Drop caps, text, and images adapt automatically to look great no matter your screen or font size.
Print-like layout dynamically adjusts for any combination of screen size and font setting.

Large Fonts, No Compromises
Enjoy reading with larger font sizes without compromising your reading experience.
Page layout and margins automatically adapt to work well at even the largest font sizes.

Bookerly - The Font for Readers
Bookerly is a new Kindle exclusive font designed for reading on digital screens.
Warm and contemporary, Bookerly is inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books but is hand-crafted for optimal readability at any screen size. '

The Kindle for iOS software-update page at Amazon also mentions
' • Audible Improvements – This release includes a new look for the Audible player controls in the reader and a new player bar that appears in the library while you’re listening to an audio companion '

Latest Fire OS update, v4.5.4 for Kindle Fire tablets (in addition to the built-in Kindle Reader update v4.9)
My Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" tablet (Yr 2013) received an over-the-air (OTA) update yesterday, and the reasons shown are
  "...includes general improvements and performance enhancements."
So it's just a maintenance update.
All Kindle Fire tablets get an OS update at the same time.
  Software update pages: US and UK

  No new features have been announced since v4.5.1 in September 2014 (though some will have missed some noteworthy ones) when the latest features newly introduced were:
Family Library: Family Library lets owners share apps, games, audiobooks and ebooks with another adult in their household, even if they have a different Amazon account.  Available in the US, UK, and Germany.

Lock screen media controls: The update brings MP3 and Audible playback controls to the locks screen, and for tablets that have a rear-facing camera, this too can now be activated form the lock screen.

Prime Music Stations: Prime members now have access to ad-free personalized stations with unlimited skips. "Over a million songs by artists including U2, Blake Shelton, Daft Punk, Bruno Mars, Madonna, and more.   Just open the Mujsic tab and select Prime Stations to start listening."  Available in the US.

Emoji: The Amazon keyboard now features hundreds of color emojis.

Camera for Kids: Amazon FreeTime now includes a camera feature designed for kids that allows them to play with the camera but not post photos to social media.  Available in US, UK and Germany

June's free Kindle books (contemporary or non-classics)
    May 2015  June 2015.
    Also, all currently free non-classics sorted by:
    Publication Date   Bestselling    High ratings

  There are only a few shown on the first few days of any month, and these include pre-orders due that month -- most of these are listed as "free preview" of whatever chapters chosen, some are short stories, and a few (overnight) not-entirely-family-safe titles may show up.  Since this is June 2, the listing will not include more already available, full books

Reminder: The special monthly book deals for June 2015
  JUNE 2015's monthly Kindle Books deal, for $3.99 or less   (See UK listing here.)




Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button

Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle


(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How to find and use the Kindle Owners' Lending Library on latest Kindle Fire tablets as well as e-Ink Kindle eReaders. Basics on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle First.


Finding the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL)


While looking up info for Prime Music to use with the new Amazon Echo that I finally received, and to answer questions for friends who have received one as well, I found that the older methods for finding KOLL had changed for the later Kindle Fire tablets.

Also, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library is no longer highlighted in the top banners when you go to the book store, and the link to it is in the unseen menu that you need to swipe to the right, from the left edge, to see -- or you can click on the TINY menu icon at the top left to get the options, but I usually have better luck with the swiping method.

So, this is a refresher for those who've not used it for awhile (like me) and maybe new info for recent Kindle owners who may not know about it because Amazon has been featuring, more visibly, Kindle Unlimited ($10/month to borrow up to 10 books at a given time instead of borrowing one-only per calendar month for free) as well as the newer Kindle First and other currently highlighted features.

For details on how the Kindle Owners' Lending Library works, see the scrolling page of blog articles on this feature.

  The details found on that scrolling page will answer a lot of common questions about the program.

The lending library started with only 5,000+ books and is currently at over 950,000 Kindle books.
Here is the straight listing of the 950,000+ books, the default set being those that Amazon is featuring -- and if you change the Sorting (at top right) from "Featured" to "Avg Customer Review," you'll see which ones have a lot of 5-star ratings for whatever reasons.

  You can browse by categories or, when using a Kindle e-Ink eReader or a Kindle Fire tablet, you can search the lending library.

  Prime shipping members (UK here) who own Kindle devices can use KOLL, but it's not available on Kindle apps for other devices.

  You can borrow one Kindle book per calendar month, from a choice of over 950,000 now, without dealing with waiting times or due-dates.  The Big6 publishers don't tend to place their books in this library though.

  I borrowed a book the other day (after returning one I had held onto for a long time), so I won't be able to borrow another one until the next calendar month, June, after I return the current loan.


  Prime
's Lending Library:
     Rules for borrowing
        Note:  When you borrow a Prime library book,
              you do this from your Kindle, at the Kindle's Kindle Store

                and not from the Amazon web pages.
        The BIG RED $0.00 you see on the product page for "Prime" cost
        means it's $0.00 to Borrow it, from the Kindle,


How to borrow from the KOLL
The first image is from Amazon, showing how this is done on e-Ink eReaders
followed by some screenshots of the process on a more recent Kindle Fire tablet.

On a Kindle e-Ink eReader, you click on the top-right Menu's "Shop Kindle Store"
and then on the store's top-right menu's "Kindle Owners' Lending Library."



On a Kindle Fire tablet, you'd click on 'Books' in the top menu.
Then, at your library listing, click on the "Store" icon at top-right corner.


At the Bookstore, swipe right, from left edge, to get the options
and choose "Kindle Owners' Lending Library," near the bottom of the page.
(These are all Prime-eligible books and show as $0.00 for Kindle Unlimited users as well.)


When you get the KOLL screen to browse,
you can also search for a book or author at the top.
I typed 'Amy Tan' into the search field.


I didn't find anything by Tan in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library
and chose from results showing books with similar content.
When deciding on one, you'll see "Borrow for Free" under the orange "Buy for ___".


When I did this, Amazon reminded me that I still had a book out from this library
and I needed to return it first, as we get only one book per calendar month.
That's it!


The Kindle First program
The Kindle First program, introduced by Amazon in the U.S., is also available in the UK.

  For those who haven't tried it yet, in either country, Amazon offers, each month, 4 of the next month's new releases early and from these you can select one.  They're Editors' Picks, and anyone can buy one of the featured book for $.99 (or UK £0.99).  HOWEVER if you are a Prime (UK prime page here) program member, you get that selection for FREE (capitalization courtesy of Amazon).




Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button


Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle


(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How to import music from iTunes or Windows Media to your Amazon library ... Shortcuts to find Prime Music for Echo and Prime Instant Video for FireTV and Stick+tablets ... Today's Kindle Daily Deal: 45 'Summer Reads' instead of one .


I've been collecting my PRIME-info shortcuts for friends new to FireTv and to Amazon Echo, which I still haven't done a fuller report on -- still hunting things down when here.

  These shortcuts include what's available on Instant Prime and --for the Echo --  what is included in Prime Music (and helpful for getting Echo to play what you intend).
  Details will follow on another post I'm working on today.

  Re Kindle books -- I noticed today the changes to Kindle Owners Lending Library and where that appears on Kindle Fire tablets now, as that was changed recently.  The e-Ink Kindle eReaders are clearer in that this borrowing feature appears in the main store menu, up front oon the older Kindles, the Paperwhite and Voyage readers.  So will show that later today and/or tomorrow with some screen shots.

  In the meantime, included with this post are shortcuts for Prime Instant Video info and the less easy to find Prime Music pages that are very useful for the Echo.

  With the Echo, you've a lot more to work with if you join (for free) iHeart Radio and Pandora, which now both work well with Echo.  Echo users use these sites by identifying them and your free accounts in the Echo app's Settings/Music after joining those two music sites. Both are free for the basic service.

  Until then I say, 'Alexa, play [artist] from Prime Music' if wanting to hear something I don't already have.
  If you're a Prime shipping member, the Prime music songs are free, and there are well over a million involved.
  From your own playlists, you can just say, 'Alexa, play playlist [playlist-name]'

Will have somewhat more interesting things in the follow-up Echo report - these are just what some are asking about on the first day of use.

At any rate, here are some Prime feature shortcuts for finding what you want in connection with accessing them on  Fire TV, tablets, or the Amazon Echo.

Prine Instant-eligible Video: Movies and TV
1. http://amzn.to/primeinstantvideo3 (by category)
2. http://amzn.to/primeinstantvideo
    (Listing of ~18,000 Prime Instant-eligible videos
      You can narrow these down by using the search box at the top of the page. )
3. http://bit.ly/instantvideowebplayersetting
    (Settings to use for instant video web player -- for tablets use, 'flash' instead if 'silverlight'

Prime Music for streaming from your library at no added cost/
1. http://bit.ly/primemusicpage (by category
    (Free Prime music by categories. You can just add these to your library
    On tablets and on Fire TV many songs have scrolling lyrics w/ current line highlighted
2. http://bit.ly/primemusic-amazon (help page)
3. http://bit.ly/primemusic-who
    (Who and what's included in Prime music (artists and albums, as of 6/12/14)


Importing Music from iTunes or Windows Media Player to your Amazon Library
  (source: Amazon help pages)

  To import your music:
Go to your Music Library from a web browser on the computer you want to import music from.
Click Upload your music in the left menu,
  If prompted to install the Amazon Music Importer, follow the on-screen instructions.
Once you've opened or installed the Amazon Music Importer,
  click Start Scan to automatically scan your iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries for songs to import.
  You can also click-Browse manually to choose files on your computer to find music.
    This process may take some time to complete.
After the Amazon Music Importer has located your music,
  click Import all to add the entire selection to your music library.
    OR, click Select Music to choose which songs you'd like to add."

  However, what is free and what isn't when importing music?
  Amazon limits free uploads to 250 songs.
  Anything bought from Amazon does not count against the 250 songs limit.
    The alternative they have is to pay $25/yr to be able to import up to 250,000 songs...



Saturday's Kindle Daily Deal - today only (May 23, 2015 only)

Sending this mid-day for people who didn't check the Kindle Daily deal today, which is good for only one day (or remaining night for east coasters, at the time I write this).

This consists of not the usual one book but 45 books, some of which are priced considerably higher usually.  For instance, I never got Amy Tan's latest book, but at $1.99 I will probably click on that today.




  For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
Temporarily-free books - Non-classics
USA: by:
   Publication Date  
   Bestselling   High-ratings

UK: PubDate   Popular
The Kindle Daily Deal
What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care
Highly-rated under $1,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
Most Popular Free K-Books
U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
   Top 100 free
UK-Only:
   Top 100 free
USEFUL for your Kindle Keyboard(U.S. only, currently):
  99c Notepad 1.1,   99c Calculator,
  99c Calendar,   99c Converter


  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button


Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle


(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Library resources online - explore your regional libraries for some amazing resources. Also, my Amazon ECHO arrived yesterday. Initial brief report.


LIBRARY RESOURCES ONLINE FOR MANY REGIONAL AREAS

  I've mentioned this earlier and am updating the info -- there is a treasure that many of us have at our fingertips without realizing it -- none of my friends knew we had the access I'm describing in this updated posting although we are all somewhat heavy readers.

One day, while looking for information on something, I wanted to access Infotrac which has articles going back to 1970s or so, in full text, for participant institutions like my city library.  I live in California, and the requirement for accessing my library's special online resources is California residence.

  To give an example of what may be available in your area -- the Berkeley and San Francisco libraries both give its members access to databases that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive for most of us.  And merely as a California resident, I am able to access both.  (I didn't look for others.)  Many of you will have similar access in your areas.

 Infotrac is one of the offerings and a more common one.
  See http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/services_and_resources/online_resources.php for an example of what is often available through public libraries in the U.S.
.  I saw, on a web search, that many remote county libraries have the same access, so it's not just where a university might be.

  Besides Infotrac, I clicked on one of the gazillion links that came up on my screen, this time:
  http://0-proquest.safaribooksonline.com.www.berkeley-public.org/home
  This link will work only for people with a Berkeley Public Library card, even if California residence is all that's needed.  A similar link should work with your own public library's link, which you can google.  That'll depend on the state you're in.

Safari Books Online
To see, OTHERWISE, what Safari Books Online is like without the special public library access, here's their own site.  The regular situation (without library access) -- They have a free trial, but the monthly cost is, at $39/mo. for full access to all their books (see what's included, below) in the Safari "Bookshelf" option.  In this blog article, I'm describing the (free) "Library" option instead.
   I have no affiliation with Safari Books Online.  And, at $39/mo, or $399/yr for full access to all their books  (no limit on time spent online)  their regular offerings may be worth a look for any who need such books regularlyh for their work or study.

  The rest of us may have, though,  free public library access to what we need from that collection.

  The free library access version, if your library has it, is to almost all the current major computer/technical books that I've browsed at Barnes & Noble while lamenting that I couldn't justify spending that much money, since I wanted to read so many of them. It gives access to most of the current offerings I'd browse at the store.

 Included in the free Safari Books Online are O'Reilly Media, Prentice Hall, Addison-Wesley, PeachPit Press, New Riders, Sams, que, Adobe Press, and many others.

 It's all current -- books on items like Photoshop CS5, some on using Facebook :-) --  and so I tried it at the library (from home) for free to see what the various e-books are like, to read on my desktop or netbook.

 These offerings are FULL TEXT and speedy online reading if you have fast Internet access.  Every now and then a graphic image might not show up where it should but all the text is there as well as most of the graphic images. I did a tutorial on fixing photos from a book that normally costs $40 to buy.

I hope that most reading this will be able to find similar resources at their regional or state libraries.

Pennsylvania's Free Library of Philadelphia offers a library card for out-of-state-residents for $50/year (the link is to www.freelibrary.org/register/getcard1.cfm ).  No in-person visit required in Philadelphia.
  HOWEVER, while they do carry Infotrac and a myriad of other reference databases, they unfortunately don't carry Safari Online books.  They DO carry Overdrive for ebooks (for those of you who don't get Overdrive for easy Kindle book public library borrowing on Whispernet and need to rely on 3M instead but would prefer the easier to use Overdrive).

My Amazon ECHO arrived today
I ordered the almost vaporware Echo in January, and it actually arrived yesterday, after I had really lost interest.  But I'll report tonight on my initial explorations and I have to admit it's more fun than I had guessed.  After reading in the forums about all the things that didn't work quite right at first, from the paying beta-exploration customers who nevertheless related what they did like so far, I found that most of my instructions were working well (without doing the 'training' in my voice and enunciation), after the requested almost daily feedback to the Echo team who are adding features on a regular basis.  For example, lowering the volume while I'm doing something else, normally you'd say 'softer' or 'lower volume' or 'level 4' -- but I just said, naturally, "Alexa, not so loud" and it went down.  It's 'learned' from customer feedback.

Word on the street now is that Amazon has positioned itself ahead of Apple, who had to stall theirs for a while, and mainstream reviewers are more delighted than they'd expected to be.

I'll blog on this tonight when I get back. It's been interesting to see my own reactions to using such an odd duck but also I was surprised at why I like certain aspects of it. A sort of weird but fun experience I'll explain later tonight.



Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button


Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle


(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Kindle tip: Today's Free Android app of the day: White Noise ... Macmillan's Kindle Daily Deal today: 4 Fiction Classics by Flannery O'Connor ... Jetblue airlines to show Prime movies and music to Prime-shipping members




For those of you who could use the 40+ ambient-sounds to help with relaxation or to more easily fall sleep, this $1.99 app may be worth trying.

The White Noise app has received an average 4.4 stars rating as of today, with most quite happy with it.

But some reviewers disliked some app permissions.  Those permission settings were removed from the paid version of the app, which is free today (May 6).


Clarifications seen in Comments area
The app-permissions used to require:

1. your phone number
    The Help description explains that white noise is able to turn off if a phone call comes in. Otherwise, it doesn't access your phone number.

    Version 5.6.3 added a setting,though, to "prevent interruption" and that now "keeps audio playing with phone calls, unplugging headphones, and undocking"

2. your location
    Three months ago, the app maker said that the location-setting permission was being removed.

3. somehow "sharing" the fact that you were going to sleep
The app previously had a setting that unbelievably 'shared' the fact you were going to sleep.
TMSOFT replied that this was "removed from the application."

    Also, a new "setting to "Disable Social" was also added into the app settings."

4. that the app was always running and that you couldn't turn it off - a misunderstanding
    You can press the pause button on the main screen right above the volume control.

5. in the free version, a request that you rate the app was persistent and annoying
    this paid version (for free this Tuesday, May 6) allows you to disable the rating prompt.
    The TMSOFT rep says that when developers update an app to add new features, they developers lose the previous ratings and reviews, which are important to the success of the app.  (I'd think loss of previous ratings and reviews would only be for very heavy changes so that it seems like a new app, but I guess they don't want to take the chance).

6. volume controls affected?
    At the time the comment was written, in January 2015, Amazon installed Kindle Fire updates that seemed to reduce volume on some models, including mine, and I didn't have the sleep app.


A couple of customers advise not to use the alarm feature as it doesn't work reliably.  There was no response to that comment. And some people haven't had problems with it.

What you can do is download, for free, new sounds when they're available

Also, "new sounds from import, create mix, and recording are now added to top of sound list" is on the new features list.


The Kindle Daily Deal today is from Macmillan books:
"Four Fiction Classics by Flannery O'Connor, $2.99 Each


Jetblue's interesting partnership with Amazon
Yahoo News reports that "Passengers with Amazon Prime memberships will be able to watch tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, including Amazon Original Series at 35,000 feet, at no additional cost to their membership.
'In the latest enhancement to its Fly-Fi and in-flight entertainment products, JetBlue has announced a partnership with Amazon that will let passengers enjoy unlimited, on-demand entertainment through JetBlue’s high-speed Fly-Fi broadband Internet.
. . .
Passengers also get access to more than 1 million songs available from Prime music, and can buy and download songs from the Amazon Music store, eBooks from the Kindle store, and apps and games from the Amazon Appstore.

Some in-flight purchases made on JetBlue’s free Fly-Fi broadband will earn TrueBlue points and the airline will run TrueBlue promotions on the service. '



Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button


Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle


(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

News scraps and Kindle tips: Kindle Convert software ... New features for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick + availability in the UK and Germany ... Echo's new social network features and its If This Then That 'recipe' capability ... May's free contemporary Kindle books


AMAZON'S RECENT ACTIVITIES + SOME TIPS

The big news this week is what's happening with Amazon's Echo

But first, a couple of things that have happened with Amazon products in the last couple of months that weren't reported here yet + the regular beginning-of-month searchable links for free contemporary (non-classic) Kindle books:

May's free Kindle books (contemporary or non-classics)
    April 2015  May 2015.
    Also, all currently free non-classics sorted by:
    Publication Date   Bestselling    High ratings

  As ever, there are only a few shown on the first few days of any month, and these include pre-orders due that month -- most of these are listed as "free preview" of whatever chapters chosen, some are short stories, and a few (overnight) not-entirely-family-safe titles may show up.  Since this is May 3, the listing will not include more already available, full books.


Kindle Convert - new software
Amazon announced back in February -- in a Kindle Community Forum post -- new software that, for PC owners, will help you convert print books and printed personal documents into Kindle files that can be read on your Kindles.  The forum link just above is to a description of what the software, Kindle Convert can do.  The first paragraph:
' ... a new software application that allows you to convert scans of your most treasured personal books, documents and keepsakes into high quality Kindle books so you can digitally safeguard and enjoy them forever. Kindle Convert preserves all the things that make your books and documents unique, such as hand-written notes, autographs, photos and images, so you can maintain the look and feel of your printed books. '
The forum post explains more.
I didn't blog on this because initial reports and reviews cited difficulty of the process involved in doing this, and I felt later updates may improve the process.

  But I'm mentioning it here because there were a number of reports that "pdf files" did not convert well after all the effort.
  However, the software focus is on valued printed books and documents that you want to be able to read and keep on the Kindle.

  We already have an easy way to get PDFs converted to Kindle book format.  Amazon's own "Send to Kindle" programs works for documents from a web browser, an Android tablet, your desktop, and most of all, from your email.

  We all have Kindle email-addresses assigned to our Kindle devices.  It's in the format [you]@kindle.com and can be found at the Manage your Devices and Content page (formerly called "Manage-your-Kindle" page).

  There, under the image of each of your devices, you'll see the email address for your devices.  You can edit your device's email address name there to something that's easier to remember than the automatically assigned email address.

  Only you can send documents or books to that email address (which wind up in your Cloud area) so that no spam can invade your Kindle or Android tablet (my Windows phone doesn't get one of these addresses) and you can designate those whose email addresses can send docs to your Kindle (if, for example, doing a subscription not available from Amazon Kindle store).

  VIA EMAIL to your [you@kindle.com] Kindlebook-reading email address, you can send any personal text file or *.mobi book file (often an eBook in .mobi format acquired from a non-Amazon source) to your Cloud, to read in Kindle format, with annotations posible.

  Amazon converts these emailed documents for your Kindlebook-reading device.
  If you send a PDF to an email address for an e-Ink reader, it will arrive as a readable PDF on the Kindle and if you put the word "convert" in the Subject field of the email, Amazon will automatically convert the PDF to a searchable Kindle book format but the PDF's special layout of tables or charts and columns will be different.

  For a novel for and one-column docs, this usually won't matter and is free although the older Kindle Keyboard devices with only 3G wireless used will see a 15c fee for a novel-sized file.  It's cost-free for WiFi readers otherwise.

PDFs are easily readable on tablets via a number of PDF-reader apps.  Scanning print books to PDFs yourself can be an arduous task but likely worthwhile for very valued print books you want to have in eBook format.


Bew Features for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
In late March, Amazon announced the following new features for Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
' Amazon Fire TV adds expandable USB storage and private, wireless listening with Bluetooth headphones

Watch on the go—Fire TV and Fire TV Stick now support captive portal so you can connect to Wi-Fi at a hotel or dorm room that requires web authentication

Fire TV Stick now available in the UK and Germany — Amazon Fire TV already the #1 streaming media box on Amazon in the UK and Germany '

For now, I'll just link you to the Businesswire announcement for the details on all this.


NEW ECHO FEATURES announced this week
The Verge's Josh Lowensohn reported that the Amazon Echo, usually called 'Alexa' by its owners, will now work with Twitter, Gmail, and Evernote plus a few others, thanks to the newly installed feature of "If This, Then That" ("ITTT")

  Lowensohn mentions the recent updates already reported here, "things like Pandora, traffic reports, sports scores, and support for Belkin's WeMo and Phillips's Hue products" and describes the new features' capabilities:
' ... the IFTTT 'recipes' for Alexa let you send your shopping and to-do lists out to third-party services like Google Drive, Evernote, and Todoist

... There are 54 combinations in total.  Enabling them requires signing up for IFTTT, then linking it up with your Amazon account. You also need to go through the motions of activating the various third-party app channels, and approving your accounts there so IFTTT can link everything up behind the scenes. Some of the really good examples so far are:

. Adding your Echo shopping list items to Evernote
. Sending someone a short email with your voice
. Sending someone an SMS with your voice
. Adding Echo shopping list items to the iOS Reminders app
. Adding Alexa to-dos to Microsoft's OneNote '

See the Verge's full article for illustrations and more details.




  For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
Temporarily-free books - Non-classics
USA: by:
   Publication Date  
   Bestselling   High-ratings

UK: PubDate   Popular
The Kindle Daily Deal
What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care
Highly-rated under $1,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
Most Popular Free K-Books
U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
   Top 100 free
UK-Only:
   Top 100 free
USEFUL for your Kindle Keyboard(U.S. only, currently):
  99c Notepad 1.1,   99c Calculator,
  99c Calendar,   99c Converter


  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button


Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle


(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

Monday, April 20, 2015

LATE notice for Pacific Coast mostly, on the large sale on the Kindle family HD 7" Fire Tablet today (Monday), $79 rather than $139



LATE notice on a fairly large sale today-only that Amazon is running on the HD 7" tablet, normally $139 to start but $79 to start, the balance of Monday, April 20.

This will leave less than 1 hour for east coast readers, most of whom will be asleep.  But I'll post it anyway for Pacific Coast readers who might be interested in the heavy discount.

  One recommendation:
The $79 price is for the 8 GB model, and it's $99 for the 16 GB model.

To be perfectly frank, Jeff Bezos himself argued against this amount of storage space in Yr 2012 when he launched the HD 7, and HD 8.9" tablets.  This was a year before they released the HDX tablets.  Click the photo to see that.

I guess the reason they've offered an 8 GB model SINCE then is the heavy emphasis on being able to store apps on the Cloud in the last 2 years and easily get them onto or off of the tablets as needed, but I really don't recommend an 8 GB tablet at all these days - and the 16 GB version is $20 more or actually $99. 8 GB is just too small.

  That 8 GB has to hold system files too and should be considered by those not planning to use many games and graphic apps and interested mostly in reading.
  I suppose it might be worth it for $79 for a youngster not into a lot of games, since the non-breakable version is $149 for only the 6" HD to start.

I've long recommended at least 16 GB even if it's somewhat more costly at $20 more, because (repeat) the more attractive or fun apps are heavily graphics-oriented or complex and take up a large amount of storage space and even will need temporary file space during the running of them.  

I'll repeat something I wrote a few months ago, for those interested in this sale but who don't know whether they'd want a Kindle tablet vs other types of tablets available these days.




Amazon tops Apple in Tablet satisfaction survey for first time

JD Power's Yr 2014 Vol 2 Study of U.S. Tablet Satisfaction had Amazon coming from way behind (in past years) to beat Apple out for the first time in the now popular tablet market.

The simple headline in their press release was "Amazon Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Tablet Devices"

  "The study, now in its third year, measures customer satisfaction with tablets across five factors (in order of importance): performance (28%); ease of operation (22%); features (22%); styling and design (17%); and cost (11%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale."

  From what I remember, Amazon, newer to the game, placed 5th or so in the past.  Apple led the field the first two years of this ongoing study.  The study may be of interest to some who are wondering whether or not to jump on the Holiday pricing Amazon has had in varying degrees the last couple of weeks.

  The mantra has always been "Isn't Apple the best?" As ever, if you have an Apple iPhone and love your iOS apps, it makes more sense to stick with Apple.

  Otherwise, you may want to try Amazon's now famous 30-day Full Refund "No Risk" policy on Kindles.  The return policy:
' You can return any Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet or Amazon Fire TV devices or accessories you purchased directly from Amazon.com for a full refund within 30 days of the day you received it as long as it's in new condition and the return is in accordance with our return policy. '
  (Within 60 days, it's an 80% refund, which I didn't know.)

Will get this off now,  Was not here earlier to note this sale, which is quite a bit more of a discount than usual.



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