Friday, July 18, 2014

Amazon's new Kindle Unlimited subscription plan for Kindle and Audible books


I just saw this.  Today, Amazon announced the launch of a new Kindle program - Kindle Unlimited -- a new subscription service which allows customers to "freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to thousands of Audible audiobooks, all for only $9.99 a month."

There is a 30-day trial available for this newly-launched book-subscription program, competitors for which include Scribd and Oyster.

This involves approximately the same number of books than are in the Prime program's Kindle Owners Lending Program.  And the books they highlight ARE in that program, which makes sense, as they would aleady have lending agreements with many publishers for those.   The difference is that this would tend to involve the Audible versions of SOME of the books involved (2,000 or so -- where the publisher agrees to that -- and the reading of and listening to those digital books would be sync'd).

  The 30-day free trial would help you decide whether or not this would work for your interests in reading.  However, note that the Audible part includes about 2,000 Audible books at this point, and for the rest of Audible's offerings, there is a complimentary 3-month Audible membership

From Amazon's press release:
' Read freely from over 600,000 books-available on Kindle devices, as well as free Kindle reading apps for iOS, Android and more

Listen to thousands of audiobooks from Audible, or switch easily between reading and listening with Whispersync for Voice

Enjoy best sellers including the Harry Potter series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Hunger Games trilogy, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and Flash Boys

The most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks such as The Handmaid's Tale, Life of Pi, and Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Start a free 30-day trial today.

Amazon.com today introduced Kindle Unlimited—a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to thousands of Audible audiobooks, all for only $9.99 a month. Finding a great book is easy, and there are never any due dates—just look for the Kindle Unlimited logo on eligible titles and click “Read for Free.” Customers can choose from best sellers like The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and The Lord of the Rings, and with thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible, like The Handmaid’s Tale and Water for Elephants, the story can continue in the car or on the go.
  Kindle Unlimited subscribers also get the additional benefit of a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to the full selection of Audible titles. Kindle Unlimited is available starting today and is accessible from Kindle devices or with Amazon’s free Kindle reading apps. Start your free 30-day trial today at www.amazon.com/ku-freetrial.

“With Kindle Unlimited, you won’t have to think twice before you try a new author or genre—you can just start reading and listening,” said Russ Grandinetti, Senior Vice President, Kindle. “In addition to offering over 600,000 eBooks, Kindle Unlimited is also by far the most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks and eBooks together. With thousands of Whispersync for Voice-enabled audiobooks to choose from, you can easily switch between reading and listening to a book, allowing the story to continue even when your eyes are busy. We hope you take advantage of the 30-day free trial and try it for yourself.”

Kindle Unlimited features include:

. Unlimited reading: Access over 600,000 books including best sellers like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Water for Elephants, Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, All the King’s Men, Wonder Boys, Ask for It, The Princess Bride, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, The Atlantis Gene, Kitchen Confidential, The Sisterhood, Crazy Little Thing, The Blind Side, and The Giver, plus thousands of classics such as Animal Farm, To the Lighthouse, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Cat’s Cradle, and The Good Earth, as well as books featuring beloved children’s characters from Sesame Street, and useful reference titles including books from the For Dummies series and Lonely Planet travel guides.

. Unlimited listening: Keep the story going with unlimited access to more than 2,000 audiobooks from Audible with Whispersync for Voice, and switch seamlessly between reading and listening to customer favorites like the Hunger Games trilogy, Life of Pi, The Handmaid’s Tale, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, The Great Santini, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Winter’s Tale, Boardwalk Empire, El Narco, Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies, Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, The Finisher, Johnny Carson, The Stranger I Married, and Life Code.

. Kindle exclusives: Choose from hundreds of thousands of books only found on Kindle, including Brilliance by Marcus Sakey, The Hangman’s Daughter series by Oliver P√∂tzsch, War Brides by Helen Bryan, Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct and Matthew Hope books, When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath, Chasing Shadows by CJ Lyons, and Sick by Brett Battles.
Short Reads: For a quick escape, select from thousands of books that are 100 pages or less, including Kindle Singles from Stephen King, Andy Borowitz, and Nelson DeMille, and short fiction from Amazon Publishing’s StoryFront imprint.
Free three-month Audible membership: In addition to the thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible included in Kindle Unlimited, subscribers get a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to more than 150,000 titles.

. Popular Kindle features: Enjoy all the great Kindle features customers love such as Whispersync, Popular Highlights, X-Ray, customer reviews, and Goodreads integration.
Read and listen everywhere: Access across Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps for iPhone, iPad, Android tablets and phones, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, PC, Mac and Windows 8—so you always have your library with you and never lose your place.

For more details on Kindle Unlimited, visit www.amazon.com/kindleunlimited.'

While the public libraries will lend you most of these books, there are waiting times and due-dates involved, and the Kindle Unlimited subscription service features unlimited reading and listening and no waiting periods.

I'm not sure if Prime members (US, UK) who get to read one of these 600,000+ Kindle books at no added cost each calendar month, (benefits included in the Prime yearly fee for 2-days free shipping + instant streaming video and music) would find this tempting, but those who feel constrained by the limit of one Kindle Prime-eligible book per calendar month might, as well as those who haven't opted for the Prime program.

Will be interested in any thoughts on this new development.





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Quick info from forums on Amazon's Fire Phone and data plans, etc.


Customers discuss Fire Phone data plans and decisions made more difficult due to current phone plans, etc.
  Thought I'd drop off a couple of tips from an Amazon forum on the coming Fire Phone, which will be shipping on July 25.  I'd not looked into the plans myself, as I have a the Nokia Lumia 1020, a Windows Phone, and just began my new data plan in December as a low-price update -- and I actually bought it for the 40-megapixel camera, which I now use more than my super expensive pocket Sony.  I'll report on my experience with a review copy of the Fire Phone though.

From the forum thread (typos corrected):
' Sue says:
I just called At&T and asked about the phone plans for the new phone and they have 2.

One is $45 a month which includes unlimited call and texting with 1g of data. The second is $60 a month and that includes unlimited calls and texting with 2g of data.   These prices go for the individual plan as well as the no contract phone.

I called because the phone is calling to me and I am weakening.

+++
Jimi says:
I am an existing AT&T customer with an old iPhone 4 and about a year and a half beyond my last contract.  Now I'm glad that I was given a new computer instead of a new phone for my last birthday.  I have been phone shopping for a while, so I quickly pre-ordered the 64gb Fire phone.

The system said I can continue on our grandfathered unlimited plan.  I may actually end up using more data with my new phone and the new Prime music feature. '

Reminder: the phone is $199 to start, with a 2-year monthly data plan, but comes with a free YEAR of $99/yr Prime (Prime members would get an additional year added to their current Prime program.)
  There's an option to get the larger-storage 64GB model for $299 with a 2-year monthly data plan with AT&T.

  Essentially then, the $199 phone with 32G is $99 after saving on $99 Prime the first year, when opting for 2 yrs of a monthly data plan.

Here's the original blog article on the phone's unusual features, as learned on Launch day.



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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Kindle Fire Sale: The current Kindle Fire tablets are still on sale (since July 9). No word on ending date. Added info on how to use some less-known features.

New banners have been appearing since July 9th on Amazon Kindle Fire pages
while I had to be away.  Here is the banner information -- the actual links are below the Amazon alerts here:






The discounts start with the 7" HD model and include the 8.9" HDX.
  Prices shown below are for models with 'special offers' on the lockscreen and represent models with increasing storage capacity:
  * New Kindle Fire HD 7" 2nd Gen - $139/169  $119/$129 [See "NOTE" below)
  * Kindle Fire HDX 7" - $229/269/309  $199/239/259   ($100 more w/ 4G-LTE cellular network access)
  * Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" - $379/429/479  $339/389/439   ($100 more w/ 4G-LTE cellular network access)

  NOTE: The lower-cost HD 7" 2nd Gen tablet shows an 8GB option. YOU SHOULDN'T CHOOSE THAT - especially with only a $10 difference in pricing during the sale.  8 GB is just not enough.  You'd be swapping out apps all the time to get space since that 8GB includes system files with barely 5 GB for apps, videos and books.

The Kindle Fire HDX 7" with 64GB of memory/storage is the best deal on the smaller tablet.

  The Kindle Fire family header showing today



  Blog articles with detail on the tablets
    KINDLE FIRE HDX/HD Tips:
      Overview of New Features
      More tips: Things to know
      More info: From later reviews

     Getting Prime Music working
     Screen Magnifier for fixed-sized pages
     Certified Miracast adapter
     How to install GooglePlay apps
     How to install Flash


  ONE caveat and a recommendation: For the Kindle Fire tablets, I tend to recommend the 32GB model, as people tend to get more and more apps, and some are sophisticated games, which take a lot of storage space.
The 64GB model, though, is only $20 more (at $259) with the current discount.
  During the Father's Day sale, that 64GB model (normally $309) was on sale for $279.

  With smaller-storage or memory models, the Cloud (Amazon's server space for our content) will serve as a personal apps "library" (as with books) and you can swap apps back to the server and to your tablet, watching
the remaining current storage apace more.

The Kindle books situation with Big 5 participants
Thursday night I want to get on the Hachette and now Simon and Schuster e-book negotiations situation and Apple's negotiated settlement to refund about $400,000,000 to millions of customers if their appeal, now in the Second Circuit in New York, fails (it'll take a year or more to decide).  So, the e-book pricing wars continue.



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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Quick note: Free Kindle book search-link options for July for contemporary, non-classics + some less-known bargain pages - Updated 7/2/14 - 2:50pm


July 2, 2014
- This is just a quick note to let you know that the free Kindle book search options in the reference section (right-column of blog) are updated for July.

I've been unexpectedly trapped in a hospital for a bit, all is fixed, and I'm back to add to the blog again in the next few days while most of you will or should be holidaying.  A lot to catch up on.

Reminders of what is available - some less-known links for avid bargain Kindle book hunters

    June 2014  July 2014.
    Also, all currently free non-classics sorted by:
    Publication Date   Bestselling    High ratings


    Highly rated, under $1


    In addition, Amazon still quietly carries: "Mostly 99c Kindle Books" page, which is a different Amazon listing from the one for highly rated Kindle books under $1.


    Amazon Top 100   (Also, UK-only)

    Amazon's own Limited Time Free Promos.


Two ongoing pages you may want to bookmark
1. Free Kindle Non-Classics - includes the above bargain links among other ones
2. KINDLE SUPPORT info
  This has an "Often Asked" section which has a lot of good info in it. Updated 7/2/14, 2:50pm




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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Amazon's Smartphone is here. $199 to start, with 2 yr plan AND free year of Prime (extra year for Prime members). Updated and re-edited for clarity 7/2/14



LAUNCH EVENT time 10:30am PDT, 1:30pm EDT

FIRE PHONE is now available for pre-order.


Release date: July 25, 2014
  Limited time offer - "Includes a full year of Amazon Prime" (normally $99)
If you aren't a Prime member, you'll get a full year of Prime with Fire phone. If you already have Prime, we'll extend your membership for a full year."

It starts at $199 for 32 GB, $299 for 64 GB, with a 2-year monthly data plan with AT&T.
  Essentially then, the phone with 32G is $99 after saving on $99 Prime, with 2 yrs of a monthly data plan.

The 3D-simulation on Amazon's product-page image is pretty nifty.  Am not placing it here, as eInk Kindle subscribers to the Kindle Edition of the blog can't view video. :-)  Thanks again to the subscribers for continued support of the blog.


Content seen during launch is below - edited after-the-fact for clarity (and to fix typos galore)

REFRESH the web page to see any additional updates as they occur today, which will be shown at the top instead.

Will just be taking notes here and updating when I see something unusual.  My earlier article on the rather heavily "rumored" smartphone had a lot of details that will likely be were confirmed, for the most part, today.

While the 3D aspects should be novel and fun for awhile, I was looking forward to a good plan but especially since it's been said to be exclusive to AT&T (which seemed a hint they may have worked out a good deal for customers and Amazon with AT&T to get that exclusive).  The limited-time offer of 1 yr of free Prime is probably what makes it a better deal than most, as it makes the cost of a new, very high-tech smartphone with advanced features only $99 if you get a 2-year monthly data plan with AT&T.


The launch started out with the usual lists of previous goals and accomplishments, and Amazon will then take invited customer-applicants for this event (said to be chosen via a random drawing) and the usual media to a place where they can get hands-on access.

A rumor I hadn't heard earlier
From BostInno
' In addition to the five total front cameras, the back camera is said to have optical character recognition that can capture and convert text.
  In other words, instead of stuffing all those business cards into your pockets at your next networking event, you'll be able to snap up a photo of the card and have all the information automatically compiled into your contacts. '
I had no idea this morning whether that was true or not, but that's very useful.  There are Android and iOS apps that have been able to, for some time, take a picture of a sign with text in another language and translate it.
  Turns out that the Fire Phone can read an image to get, say, a phone number but, not only that, it can realize that a graphic element confused it and that the area code is not a valid one and then can fetch the information to correct it).


Jeff Bezos mentioned that 60,000+ people applied to view the launch in Seattle in person, and Amazon whittled that down to 300.

Prime apparently has "tens of millions" of subscribers -- and we know that Prime will be the big factor here, as we've seen with video and music features (along with Kindle book loans and 2-day free shipping) on millions of items.  As you saw in a previous blog entry here, the original 5,000 Kindle books in the Prime Library for free lending of one-book per calendar month has grown to over 500,000.

A sample previous prediction by experts when the first Kindle launched was mentioned -- the investing site Motley Fool said it would be good "for kindling."

Opening PR reminded us that Foresee and YouGov branding charts both list Amazon as No. 1 in customer service.


The Fire Phone with FIREFLY scanning
Claims on slides shown, for the most part:  (I'll double space these after editing, and also highlight a few aspects that were more interesting to me, for easier reading.)
. Rubberized frame, Gorilla Glass, aluminum buttons.

. Premium materials, scratch resistant

. 4.7 inch IPS LCD HD display

. Quad core 2.2 Ghz processor, Adreno 330 graphics processor, and 2 GB of RAM.

. "Beautiful, comfortable, durable"

. Injection-molded steel connectors

. Focus on making it Better than usual for outdoor viewing

. Great imaging hardware
      with 13 MP rear-facing camera, f/2 5-element lens, optical image stabilization

. Slide of Fire Phone vs iPhone 5s and Samsung F5
      (They wouldn't be showing one where the Fire Phone didn't look better, of course)

. "Don't miss the shot" -- instant fast access to camera from

. Free Unlimited Photo Storage

. Dual stereo speakers (Stereo audio in Landscape), Virtual surround sound, Dolby Digital Plus

. Free Mayday Help/Support feature -- (video support by customer reps and AT&T reps within 15 seconds when you need help) is included.  You see the rep, who does not see you but you can hear each other, and the reps can not only show you how to do something, they can do it for you.)

. Watch material on HDTV, 2nd screen, Miracast, plus Xray for movies and tv

. Flat cables, earphones included

. Netflix, HBO Go, ESPN, Youtube, and Showtime apps are included and ready to go.

. includes of course the new Prime Music feature (free for members) - over 1 million songs
      with unlimited free streaming.

. More than a few Music apps and services

. "Semantic Boosting" helps to get the phone number right by eliminating invalid numbers.

. Firefly scanning feature "scrapes" the image for relevant info [via optical character recognition], compressing a large image file to a smaller one with only small bits of info.  That helps the phone send the info to its cloud service to process the image and get appropriate info or answers quickly.

. Reminder about the X-ray feature, now using Firefly also.  As with tablets, if it recognizes the show, it pulls up info on the actors, specific episode, and scene via Amazon's IMDB database.  I expect this works with Amazon Prime but not with Netflix and Hulu Plus etc., as they control the stream with Prime video.  HOWEVER, the Firefly scanning feature has had a lot of training by Amazon and itself can "recognize" movies, TV episodes, music, and get info for X-Ray.  I've added Amazon's description of Firefly functions at the bottom of this post, as it is a very impressive feature, activated by the press of a physical button on the phone.

. Firefly recognizes a hundred million different items in real-world situations.

. The image changes as you move your phone (or head) and perspective.

. A MAP application was shown next, in 3D

. They zoomed into the Empire State Building image, and it's said this looks a lot better than previous attempts at 3D on similar devices

. The 3D couldn't exactly be experienced by our looking at the launch-event slides over the web with our normal devices.

. Various web sites are very impressed with the 3D implementation.  Most writers I read were skeptical about it based on previous attempts by other companies.

. In the web browsing -- "auto scroll" - you can scroll by tilting the phone (I'm not sure I'd want that, but they pointed out that can be turned off when wanted.

. You can pin other apps to the app grid.  They have the Carousel with latest apps accessed at the top.

. Get in and out of apps with widgets (shown on slide) without having to load up a full app

. Music app.  As with the tablets, we can see the lyrics synchronized (highlighting current line) with songs for which they received the rights for that.
      Song info is in one panel - lyrics in a panel to the right.

. Games: You can tilt the phone to look at different perspectives in a game.

. "Dynamic Perspective" - They started working on this 4 years ago and had prototypes working in the first week.

. The phone has a wider range of view for the front camera to cover the area needed for tracking head movement and whatever else needed to make the 3D simulation work well.

. At least two of the Fire Phone's four corner cameras and center camera can find your eyes, creating stereovision.

. To have it work in the dark, they added infrared lights, one in each camera.

. Dynamic Perspective sensor system -- "uses four ultra-low power specialized cameras -- the smallest globally shuttered cameras in existence -- plus four infrared LEDs for invisible illumination, real-time computer vision algorithms, and a custom graphics engine rendering at 60 fps" [frames per second]."

. They used "millions of images from thousands of faces from all around the world" while testing this.

. While trying to find the user's head and eyes for perspective-use, the cameras -could- during development be fooled by another head that happened to be in the picture (as in an image on a t-shirt).  They say they fixed the usual problems with seeing multiple-faces in that case.

. Developers can develop 3D apps for viewing homes while shopping, etc.

. You can silence your ringer for 3 hours.  After that, it turns back on.
      This would help me since I forget to turn it back on and then can't use a landline to call my cellphone to find out where it is :-)

. Price: $199 for 32 GB phone, with a 2 year monthly data plan, and includes a limited-time offer of a free one-year Prime membership, $299 for 64 GB phone w/ 2 yr contract and same Prime deal.


Addendum: More about Firefly and what it does (from product page)
  You just press the physical button on the side of the Fire Phone to "take action on"
' Phone numbers, web, and email addresses
Firefly identifies printed text on posters, magazines, and business cards -- make calls, save new contacts, send emails, and visit websites without typing long addresses.

Movies & TV
Firefly recognizes over 240,000 movies and TV episodes, and 160 live TV channels.  Firefly uses X-Ray, powered by IMDb, to show information on actors, plot details, and related content -- add titles to your Watchlist or download to watch later.

Music
Firefly recognizes songs so you can access artist information, play related songs, download albums direct to your Fire phone, or add them to your Wish List to purchase later on.  With Firefly-enabled apps like iHeartRadio and StubHub, you can create radio stations based on an identified artist, or even find tickets for their next show.

Over 70 million products
Recognize household items, books, DVDs, CDs, video games, and more.  Access product details, add items to your Wish List, or order on Amazon straight from your Fire phone. '


Amazon's 3D FIRE PHONE is now available for pre-order here
Release date: July 25, 2014


Note: For those reading this blog via RSS or Atom feeds on a feed reader: There's a recent blog article that includes a section on how to subscribe to the blog's Comments area as well, so that you can see what else was said, or asked on a post topic, by blog readers and any replies I make.  (TheOldReader puts the Comments after the appropriate blog articles rather than showing them separately.)


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, June 16, 2014

Kindle Tips: Added info re enlarging text on a page layout that doesn't allow zooming in on a Kindle Fire tablet. Also, how to get the ongoing blog comments (Questions/Answers/Feedback) into your news feeds.


Added info and comments on the new Manage Your Content and Devices page

In the blog article on the new Kindle-management page ("Manage your Content and Devices"), I'd written that although some page layouts do not allow us to zoom the text when using the Kindle Fire tablets, a customer rep had mentioned that  the Manage your Content and Devices page is one of those but there's another way to enlarge the text on those.

  The text and fonts on that page are too small for some to read on a 7" tablet.  I mentioned that the Kindle support person had said that if you triple-tap on the page, then you can zoom the text.
  However, that didn't work for me.  I've updated that with new info and am highlighting it in this post.

 In the Comments section of the post, Tom Semple wrote that he believed this function would have to first be enabled in the "Accessibility" settings.

  Sure enough that's true; On my 8.9" Kindle Fire HDX, I found the setting labeled as "Screen Magnifier" option under the 'Accessibility' setting.
  (At top menu of Home page, swipe down to see the "Settings" option.)

  My Kindle Fire HD 7" Gen 1 (Yr 2012) does NOT have this feature, but it IS a feature that you can enable in Yr 2013's Kindle Fire HD Gen 2.

  After enabling the Screen Magnifier, you can triple-tap on a page layout that normally doesn't allow zoomed enlargements of the text, and the text will be larger and definitely easier to read.  To get the text size back to normal setting, triple-tap the display again.

  Tom Semple often has terrific additional information as he is usually one of the first to try out the new features and does a thorough analysis.  So his comments are worth a read.

  To see ongoing Comments to the blog (including my replies), you can add the Comments section to any feed reader you're using. 'RSS' is the usual type of feed, but some news readers use 'Atom'

  To get Comments section:
    You can use one of the following two links to add to your Feed reader if you want to receive the Comments-only feed for Kindleworld in addition to the feed for the blog.  You enter ONE of the following when 'adding' this blog's ongoing Comments to your feed, depending on whether you use an RSS feed or an Atom one (the reader will give you that info).

    . (For RSS 2.0 feeds)  http://kindleworld.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/default?alt=rss
    . (For Atom 1.0 feeds)  http://kindleworld.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/default


    Here are the URLs to 'add' if you haven't already added the Kindleworld blog to your feed reader and you're interested in getting it.

  To get A Kindle World blog
    . (For RSS 2.0 feeds)  http://kindleworld.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss
    . (For Atom 1.0 feeds)  http://kindleworld.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default


Re Feed readers:  I used to use Google Reader, but that was ended by Google.   tend to use the free versions of the following, in order of preference.
  . The Old Reader as it's simple to use, direct, not confusing, and very smooth, and it's most like the old Google reader (for those who were fond of its simplicity).
  . Feedly - Varied layouts, lots of features. I find it sort of confusing but it has attractive magazine-like layouts.
  . Newsblur - A lot of features but they're sort of aggressive about hoping you'll upgrade to the paid version when there are too many people in front of you waiting for approval of the free version.  It has a good rep though.


  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

Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.

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!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Kindle Fire HDX and HD 2nd Gen tablets: How to get free Prime Music working. Reactions to the Mayday Help feature.



Getting Prime Music feature activated on current Kindle fire tablets
There have been reports of difficulty getting the current Kindle Fire tablets updated software to access the Prime Music feature.  I had difficulty at first too.  The tablet kept seeing only the old Amazon MP3 icon after I tapped "Music" at the top Home menu and clicked to get an album or song that was followed by a popup asking me to use "Amazon Music" icon to launch or play the Prime Music that had just been put into my Music Library via the Cart.

    Even after I Powered Off, and did cache clearing with Application Management for the Amazon mp3 icon that kept showing up, it did let me access the Prime music feature.

   What did work to activate Prime Music on the Kindle Fire tablets?
* I clicked on 'Web' (instead of  'Musc') to bring up Amazon's default Silk web browser.  
* Then I accessed the Prime Music offerings page
      *OR*  typed in http://amazon.com/cloudplayer
    When the webpage loaded, it changed the Amazon mp3 icon to the Amazon Music one and I suddenly had access to all the Prime Music features.

    The expert-recommended Prime playlists have a lot of today's music on it but most of it wasn't that interesting to me.  However, when I viewed the resulting limited number of examples of Songs or Albums showing but then clicked on "See more" at top right of each, I got a lot more.

    If I clicked on an album or a song, then I was also shown, at the bottom, related albums or songs by that artist and sometmes similar artists, or compilation albums.

  What worked best for me was to SEARCH, using the magnifier-icon for songs or artists I wanted to hear and then I got very good results.  I have an interest in the old stuff from the 60s as they're harder to find without getting malware popups, and I did find the Platters, the Drifters, The Rays, Little Anthony, the Righteous Brothers et al.  I was fond of "On Broadway" and found it and then of course "Under the Boardwalk," for which there are scrolling lyrics, with the current sung line highlighted (with Amazon's X-ray feature)

   However, for the 70s, I couldn't find Prime-free songs from JJ Cale, John Mayall, Leon Russell, Rolling Stones, Traffic, or Steppenwolf's "The Pusher" -- but at least I found that I could, if I wanted any that much, pay 99c to $1.29 for a song if I wanted. and did, so that's how Amazon makes money off of this, after paying music publishers for the unlimited use of some  for Prime.

   On the other hand, almost every recording Elvis ever made is there on free Prime Music.  And some Springsteen too.   I already use Amazon's Cloud Player a lot, so this is a boon in my case.


Reaction to Kindle Fire's direct video MayDay customer support feature
I've found that friends don't use the MaydaY function for some reason, and it's a shame because it's the most amazing type of customer support I've encountered - an actual human to contact and answer questions even at 3am in the morning, who can either 'show' you how to do something on your tablet or even do it FOR you.
    You can see and hear them, not by phone where it's hard for them to see what you're talking about and not by computer-typing-chat which is always slow and not particularly helpful.

    The customer reps are unusually adept and helpful, and I can't think of another company that  would go to these lengths, spending that kind of money in support, to make it easier on the customer -- but that's how Amazon has decided it will get customer loyalty and our dollars, but this kind of live, video-style advanced support (well-informed reps) is expensive, especially with their goal of 15-second response time !  U.S. travelers access it when in other parts of the world.  It turns out they've seen an average 9.75-second response time

This morning Amazon had a press release to remind people who don't use it, what a boon it is.
    Also, for those who gift a tablet to family members etc., almost no support time is needed from the gifter. And the tablet user doesn't deal with uncomprehending, impersonal first-level support from people working in data centers in other countries where effective communication between U.S. customers and support is often a struggle.

    I'll "reprint" below MOST of the press release but you can read there some unusual and often entertaining situations in which Mayday customer-support representatives have found themselves involved (or in which they decided to help in ways uncommon for customer technical support).

    The basics of the press release otherwise
PRESS RELEASE
June 13, 2014, 9:01 a.m. EDT

75% of Kindle Fire HDX Customer Questions Now Come via the Mayday Button—Average Response Time is Just 9.75 Seconds



SEATTLE, Jun 13, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) --AMZN +0.64% —Eight months ago, Amazon launched the Mayday button, connecting you to live, on-device tech support 24x7, 365 days a year—for free. Today, Amazon announced that the Mayday button is now the most popular way for Fire HDX customers to contact customer service, and the average response time is just 9.75 seconds.
“When we set out to invent the Mayday button, we wanted to revolutionize tech support—and we’re happy to report it’s working!” said Scott Brown, Director, Amazon Customer Service. “75% of customer contacts for Fire HDX now come via the Mayday button. Even as the Mayday button has grown to become the most popular way for customers to ask questions, the team’s been able to beat the response time goal of 15 seconds or less—our average is just 9.75 seconds.”
Unusual Mayday anecdotes include::
    [Omitted for space - see the actual press release]
 
Here’s what customers are saying about the Mayday button:
  • “Un-freaking-believable”
  • “The Mayday feature of my new kindle is fantastic. To have a person who can hear your voice answer your questions immediately, and solve your issue within seconds is just invaluable.”
  • “MAYDAY is officially the coolest!!!”
  • “I wasn’t disappointed. It’s everything you said it would be. Mayday is terrific.”
  • “Sensational”
  • “The Mayday feature ROCKS! I’ve used it twice already and both times the tech support was just the best! Amazon you have the best device support on the market today!”

Here’s what reviewers are saying:
  • “An amazing idea well-implemented.” – TechCrunch
  • “But in Mayday, we get a glimpse into what the future of online customer support could look like.” – Fortune
  • “Mayday is amazing and truly practical…” – New York Times
  • “It’s called Mayday, and it’s the most remarkable customer service tool I’ve ever seen.” – The Verge
  • “It’s pretty cool that Amazon has invested so heavily in customer service that it has real humans waiting to help you out 24/7 at the push of a button.” – Business Insider
The Mayday button is free and available 24/7, 365 days a year. To use, you simply tap the Mayday button in Quick Settings, and an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever you’d prefer . . .

  -- [End of reprinted portions of the press release]




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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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Amazon's PRIME MUSIC feature launches with more than a million songs for unlimited streaming by Prime members at no additional cost. Update2: Prime Music apps are ready for Android and iOS


Update2 - Amazon sent out an email today that said the iOS and Android apps are ready.
  Go to the new Prime Music apps page for these.

  Also, apparently, per the email just now, the software updates for the Kindle Fire HDX and HD 2nd Gen tablets also include the Prime Music capabiility, although the software pages linked to in this morning's blog article on the software updates did not say that.

[Blog article posted yesterday]
Amazon's new banner alert today explains it pretty well.  To see the listing of some of the artists, songs, and works included in the newly launched Prime Music program's free, unlimited streaming, see the separate blog page I made for the info on artist and recommended playlists (we can of course create our own and add to existing ones):
  Prime Music - What and who's included in that Million plus?

The Prime Music feature is included at no added cost under the Prime program (free 2-day shipping is the basic feature, and Amazon's no-added-cost streaming Instant Video (over 40,000 movies and TV episodes) was added on top of that along with free rentals (one per calendar month) from an Amazon library of over 593,000 Kindle books -- no waiting-periods, no due dates -- and the new "free" music feature is, furthermore, ad-free, even with a base of over 1 million songs and "hundreds of playlists" with unlimited listening.  Negotiations with music publishers must have been interesting.

Amazon's press release is printed on several news sites this morning.  Included is this:
' Prime members can choose exactly which songs and albums to listen to, or they can sit back and listen to hundreds of expert-programmed Prime Playlists.

  Discovering music is easy thanks to Amazon’s personalized recommendations.  Music fans will find tons of music they’ll love, from Grammy winners to indie breakout singers, along with a huge music catalog that can easily be combined with their own collection.

  Prime members can also download songs from the Prime Music catalog to their mobile devices for offline playback on planes, trains and anywhere they’re without an internet connection. '

The new Prime Music streaming service is available only in the U.S. and Puerto Rico though.

Amazon adds examples of how this would be used.  I updated the blog to include the points below]:
' What Prime Music means for Prime members:

* Your music collection just got a lot bigger—for free with Prime: Over a million songs from artists like Daft Punk, P!nk, Bruno Mars, Blake Shelton, The Lumineers, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna, and hundreds of Prime Playlists, are now available for streaming and offline playback at no additional cost to your Prime membership, with new music added all the time.
* Your mix. Your music: Mix Prime Music songs with your own personal music collection to create the library you’ve always wanted.
* You be the DJ or let us be the DJ -- it’s your choice: Build the perfect playlist by choosing songs you already love or songs you just discovered through Amazon’s personalized recommendations. Or, just sit back and listen to one of our hundreds of Prime Playlists designed for all types of genres, occasions, artists, moods and activities, like “Feel Good Country,” “Bad Boy Rock,” “Beards & Baristas: Indie Beats,” “Hip-Hop Workout,” “'90s One-Hit Wonders,” and many others.
* No interruptions from ads: Enjoy an ad-free listening experience with unlimited skips and repeat plays.
* Listen where you want: Enjoy Prime Music on Kindle Fire HD/HDX, iOS, Android, PC, Mac and any Web browser.
* Take it offline: Download your favorite songs and Prime Playlists for offline playback on mobile devices.  With offline playback, you can enjoy your music wherever you are—and you can avoid costly data plan charges.

Prime members in the U.S. can start listening to Prime Music today at http://www.primemusic.com (Kindle Fire HD/HDX devices will get Prime Music in an automatic, over-the-air update
  [Note from ab:I don't know if this was included in the June 6 Kindle Fire software update.]

  Customers can [will be able to] also download the latest Amazon Music app in the Android and iOS app stores.  Eligible customers who are not already Prime members can try Prime Music with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime by visiting www.amazon.com/prime. '

The first mentions I saw of Amazon's new Prime feature were from ZDNet and AppleInsider sites last night.

ZDNet's Matthew Miller writes:
' Until the iOS and Android Amazon Music apps (currently known as Amazon MP3) are updated you can log in through your web browser and stream music.  You will see buttons to add songs to your library, which can take a while to build up your library.  It is easier to go through their created playlists and add and enjoy these titles.  The mobile apps should be released soon.
  . . .
Amazon lets you upload just 250 of your own songs for free or pay $24.99/year for up to 250,000 songs...
  . . .
  . . .with today's release of Amazon Prime Music, I can now stop paying monthly for Google Music All Access and stream and download all the songs I want from Amazon's server.  I also like that I can access Prime Music and my own uploaded collection of songs from multiple devices and computers. '

He mentions that that now he's saving $95/year, as he no longer feels he needs the Google Music subscription, although Google has more songs available.

From AppleInsider:
' A mix between existing free services like Pandora and for-pay options like the Apple-owned Beats Music, Amazon's solution takes a middle-of-the-road approach by focusing on ad-free playback, loosely curated playlists and manual track searching.
  . . .
' Playlists range from 20 to 30 songs, are curated by "Amazon's Music Experts" and come with titles like "Pop to Make You Feel Better," "Boss, Not Bossy" and "Bedford Ave. Hipster Hits."  More generic collections include hits from popular bands and artists, while single tracks can be found by searching the Prime Music library.
. . .
Users can add to a Prime Music library, which is accessible on Macs and PCs via Amazon's CloudPlayer, while smartphone playback is handled by the Amazon Music app.


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Kindle Fire HDX and HD2 Tips: Software updates (possibly strengthening WiFi connections) for the Kindle Fire tablets are here - v11.3.2.3.2, v13.3.2.3.2, and v14.3.2.3.2. Update: Software updates include Prime Music feature.


Amazon has set a software update to go directly to the current line of Kindle Fire tablets -- I see that mine was received and installed June 6.  It was done without my realizing it.  This will be true for most owners of these tablets.

From my reading of forums, it looks as if this update may help some who have reported problems with staying connected to their WiFi networks.  And Amazon sent an email just now that says the Kindle Fire updates include the Prime Music feature.  Otherwise, the Update pages said merely:

    "The software update includes general improvements and performance enhancements."

General instructions from Amazon's help pages


     To Download & Install Software Updates Automatically

Sync your Kindle Fire HD 2nd Generation, or Kindle Fire HDX 7", or Kindle Fire HD 8.9" to download the latest software update automatically.  
Your Kindle Fire needs to be fully charged and connected to a Wi-Fi network before you can download the software update.
  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to open Quick Settings, and then tap Settings.
  2. Tap Device, and then tap System Updates.
  3. Tap Check Now. If an update is available, your Kindle Fire will automatically download the update.
  4. After you download the update, tap Update.
Your Kindle Fire will restart during the software update. After the restart, the message "Installing system update" will appear on the screen.
_______

However, some who haven't received an update yet may want to download and install these manually rather than wait for the automatic update.  They'll need to determine which software version is on the device...
  • Swipe down from the top of the screen to open Quick Settings, and then tap Settings.

  • Tap Device, and then tap System Updates.  If you have the latest software update, it should look like this: 11.3.2.3.2_user_323001620 [if for Kindle Fire HD 7" 2nd Gen tablet, in this case]



  • Here are the Current and Latest Update versions (June 2014)
      and the Update pages for those wanting or needing to manually install the updates:

      Kindle Fire HD 7" 2nd Gen - Update page
        11.3.2.3.2

      Kindle Fire HDX 7" - Update page
        13.3.2.3.2

      Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" - Update page
        14.3.2.3.2


    Coming up next: Amazon goes Amazon Prime Music



      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

    Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.

    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


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    -- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    Kindle Fire tablet and Fire TV sale - special combo price is was $79 off. The last Fire TV with tablet bundling combo lasted for one day, but this one is noted as a Father's Day deal, (Updated May 16]


    New banner appearing today on an Amazon Kindle Fire page  Here's the text:

    Father's Day Deals: Up to $40 Off Kindle Fire tablets
    or $79 Off Amazon Fire TV with Kindle Fire HDX 7" 16GB
    Bundle $328 $249.  Limit 1 per customer.


    UPDATE: After Father's day (May 15), the price of the combo Fire TV and 16G Kindle Fire HD 7" tablet is $30 higher than the pre-Father's day sale.  It's $279 rather than $249 as of May 16.

      The Kindle Fire tablets' sale prices are also ended, returnedback up to the regular pricing.



    [The rest below is from the original blog article for the sale as of that day.]

    The first deal is for tablets alone and it starts with the 7" HD model and includes the 8.9" HDX.
      Prices shown are for models with 'special offers' on the lockscreen and represent models with increasing storage capacity:
      * New Kindle Fire HD 7" 2nd Gen - $139/169  $119/$129 [See "NOTE" below)
      * Kindle Fire HDX 7" - $229/269/309  $199/239/279   (More w/ 4G-LTE cellular network access)
      * Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" - $379/420/479  $339/389/439   (More w/ 4G-LTE cellular network access)
      * Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 1st Gen (Yr 2012) - $269/229  $229/229 (No sale on 32GB model)

      NOTE: The lower-cost HD 7" 2nd Gen tablet shows an 8GB option. DO NOT CHOOSE THAT - especially with only a $10 difference in pricing during the sale.  8 GB is just not enough.  You'd be swapping out apps all the time to get space since that 8GB includes system files with barely 5 GB for apps, videos and books.


      The Kindle Fire family header showing today



      Blog articles with detail on the tablets
        KINDLE FIRE HDX/HD Tips:
          Overview of New Features
          More tips: Things to know
          More info: From later reviews


    The second deal is for the new Fire TV bundle that includes the 16GB Kindle Fire HDX 7" tablet
    Note that this is a $79 savings that involves a $99 FireTv.

    Amazon's Fire TV was released in April and is described by Amazon as a "Streaming 1080p media player with voice search, Netflix, [Hulu Plus also], Amazon Prime Instant Video, games, and more."
      The Fire TV ALONE (not bundled with a tablet) is described in detail on its normal solo product page, but the bundled or combo deal is on its own page and is being called a deal, so the 'bundled' page may not always be available.

      You can use any current (Year 2013) Kindle Fire tablet to 'mirror' onto your HDTV (to share with others or just to see it on a large HDTV) anything that's on your tablet screen, whether a movie, tv episode, the web, email, or an app.  And, it can be used to "fling" an Amazon Instant Video to the HDTV where it is run via Amazon's Cloud, freeing up your tablet so you can do other things with it -- whether web browsing or using it to use the X-Ray features with the video being shown to see (without interrupting the TV picture) who is in the current scene, what the music is, lyrics for it, etc.  The display is beautiful, and Amazon built this with faster specs than found on the other streaming video boxes currently and added more capable game-playing capability as well, including multi-player, with the optional game controller(s).


      Blog articles with detail on Amazon's Fire TV
        FIRE TV
          Intro, Tips, More


    When the bundled deal was offered briefly a week or so ago, there were complaints that people who put the deal in their carts found that the deal was gone before they could complete the purchase.  It IS a very good deal.

      ONE caveat: For the Kindle Fire tablets, I tend to recommend the 32GB model, as people tend to get more and more apps, and some are sophisticated games, which take a lot of storage space.
      Amazon is bundling only the 16GB model of the 7" HDX tablet, which means that those who are heavy app collectors or those who download a lot of videos onto the tablet will have to, from time to time, remove an app from the device, leaving it in their Cloud areas for download when needed and another app has been swapped out to the cloud if the Fire TV user has filled the space.

      But that's what the Cloud (Amazon's server space for our content) is for.  However people should be aware this bundling is done only with the 16 Gig tabletel and they'd need to watch current storage apace more.
    TV



    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.

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    Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

    Kindle Tips: Kindle Reading app updates for iOS (v4.3) and Android (v4.5) - Switch between reading and listening in the app. Other enhancements for both iOS and Android.

       

    Kindle reading-apps for Android and iOS updated with Audible Integration -- switching between reading and listening within the app

    Salient points from the Amazon's press release:
    The updated apps make it possible for you to "switch instantly between reading a Kindle book and listening to the companion audiobook from Audible—all with just one tap, without leaving the book."

    Russ Grandinetti, SVP, Amazon Kindle, points out what they've tried to do here.  “Integrating professional narration into our Kindle apps means you never have to put down a favorite book -- start reading at home, get in the car and simply tap a button to continue listening without losing your place.

    " Audio upgrades are available for as little as $0.99, with upgrades to bestsellers like the Outlander series and The Hunger Games series available for as little as $3.99."

    "Professional narration is available for more than 45,000 Kindle books and growing—including popular best-sellers from an array of genres.  You can easily add professional narration to your favorite Kindle books with one click using Matchmaker, a service that scans your Kindle library to find which of your Kindle books have a companion Audible version available.

      Audio upgrades are available for as little as $0.99, with upgrades to bestsellers like the Outlander series and The Hunger Games series available for as little as $3.99."

    "For as little" of course means that these are the lowest prices and that other combinations will cost more.

    That "Matchmaker page-report is really nicely done and, on my own Kindle books, the report page indicates that the most prevalent audio-addition cost, in my case, is between $3.99 and $6.49 but there is an occasional crazy $12.99, which I would never pay when I already have the Kindle book.  Audible and its authors/publishers should take another look at those.  But I see a couple that I'll probably get for the $4 additional since I often don't feel like (or can't be) reading but often wouldn't mind listening to a book (especially since I'm so behind on the ones I bought).


    How does Whispersync for Voice work?
    Amazon's Whispersync for Voice page has a clear diagram showing the basics of how the parts relate and how you use this convenient feature (without relying on the computerized voice we heard with the older eInk Kindles that had audio).


    If this is a NEW Android app install
    If you've never installed the Android app,
    • go to Amazon's Kindle for Android app page
    • Select "Download now"
    • Follow the instructions to download the app to your device
    • After installing the Kindle reading app, you'll need to register it to your Amazon account.

    Kindle reading-app Updates - Where?
      . Kindle for Android Phone update page at Amazon appstore
      . Kindle for Android Tablet update page at Amazon appstore
      . or, if Google play was the original source anyway, Android Updates from Google play.


    Apple's iTunes lists Additional features for the iOS v4.3 update:
    • Access to more than 45,000 Kindle/Audible title pairs, including best sellers
    • Find audiobooks compatible with items in your Kindle library – audiobooks are delivered by Audible, an Amazon company
    • Whispersync for Voice automatically synchronizes reading progress between the Audible and Kindle versions of a book
    • Read and listen to a Kindle book at the same time; pages turn automatically
    • Narration speeds up to 2x and a sleep timer
    • Download an entire collection – gives customers the ability to download an entire collection with the tap of a button, making it easier for readers to download in bulk and load their favorite books on a new iOS device
    • Students can now find terms that are in X-Ray for Textbooks by using search – occurrences in X-Ray are shown right above occurrences in the book
    • Finding where an X-Ray term occurs on a textbook page is now easier – tap a page thumbnail in the X-Ray feature and you will see the term highlighted in the page of the book
    • Performance and stability improvements

    Intrepid Explorer and Early Tester Tom Semple points out the ability to download an "entire collection," with one tap, to a new IOS device. Although I wasn't able to imagine why anyone would want to put their entire collection on a phone, Tom points out that their set-up routine shows that they mean "*a* collection" or collection set, not one's entire collection of Kindle books, which makes more sense but I wouldn't want to do even that, to a phone. I'd rather do multi-tagging and find it important to have, on my phone, only the few books I want to read currently.  And, although the good idea of using just one button when there are so many books in a collection, it makes me wonder why on earth one would want a large collection on the phone.  It could be that I've become too 'Clouded' in my approach.


    Kindle for Android apps - new features
    Amazon now seems to have (or is ready to have, in the future) individual apps for Android for phones and for tablets.  They both list the following features (adding "real-time highlighting" - a Kindle Fire HD feature since 2012:
    • Read and listen to books simultaneously with real-time highlighting
    • Find and purchase companion Audible audiobooks from the app
    • Add multicolor highlights to text
    • Copy and paste text from your book
    • View reading progress from book badges in your Kindle library
    • View download progress from the notification shade on your device
    • Jump directly to previous locations with “placeholders” on the progress bar
    • Tap the Back button to return to your Kindle library while reading

    Note that, for the Kindle for Android apps, there's no mention of the ability to download an entire collection (set), via a tap, to a new Android device.  Again, I don't see that as something I'd want to do) -- I might for a tablet with good storage space though.




    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!

    Thursday, June 5, 2014

    Kindle News: Kindle DX 9.7" eInk eReader with free 3G web (slow) is back - $199, on a new, global product page (for however long it's available)



    Amazon has quietly brought back the 9.7" eInk Kindle DX eReader, pricing it at $199
    - at least for awhile (that could be a couple of days to a couple of months the way it's been going.

    The DX Graphite 3G is back, on a different product page -- a GLOBAL one, which may indicate they've produced more than a few -- but I've no idea.  However, it's not shown in the eReader header-banner (where I haven't seen it since last year), nor is it on the eREader comparison table on product pages.

    At $199 they've priced it currently below the LCD tablets of similar size (~10"), so it's more economical than they were a few years ago when the DX Graphite was released.

      This newer global product page does not contain all the product information.  Instead, Amazon sends you to the older page used for the last couple of years:
    ' For complete product details, view the primary Kindle DX product page. '

    [Reminder put here, since someone missed the first link above]
      But for the currently available GLOBAL model that has been made available by Amazon again, for however long, that's at (as mentioned in the first paragraph) the DX Graphite 3G global page they made for it.

      At that primary product page, you'll find that this model still offers (SLOW) Free 3G web browsing (exceptions in some parts of the world are shown on a page I compiled data for -- Countries with free Kindle 3G access and free 3G web-browsing enabled - Updated Nov. 5, 2013.

      Amazon's product page still describes it this way under "Experimental Features":
    ' Basic Web Browser
    Kindle DX's basic Web browser works well to read simple, text-centric Web sites such as Google and Wikipedia. Need to find a movie listing or look up a sports score?  Now it's easier than ever to find the information you're looking for right from your Kindle DX.  The experimental Web browser is not currently available for some customers outside of the U.S. Check your country '

      The [Countries table, sourced from Amazon UK shows the countries that have that access.]

    Reminders for those not familiar with this eReader model
    The Kindle DX has 3G access but NOT WiFi
    Kindle DX includes Free 3G wireless that works globally, like the older Kindle Keyboard model.  It does not have WiFi.  Here's Amazon's wording on the product page [emphases mine] :
    ' Wireless Access to Wikipedia
    Kindle DX also includes free built-in access to the world's most exhaustive and up-to-date encyclopedia--Wikipedia.org. With Kindle DX in hand, looking up people, places, events and more has never been easier. It gives whole new meaning to the phrase walking encyclopedia.

    Search (Older, "primary" product page wording)
    Kindle DX's keyboard makes it easy to search within a book, across your library, in the Kindle Store, or even the Web.  To use the Search feature, simply type in a word or phrase you're looking for, and Kindle finds every instance in your book or across your Kindle library. Looking for the first reference of a character in your book? Simply type in the name and search.  You can extend your search to the Kindle Store to find related titles you may be interested in.  Explore even further by searching Wikipedia and the Web.  Web access is not currently available for some customers outside the U.S.  Check your country '

    Bear in mind that the web access is ULTRA slow on e-Ink and can tax anyone's patience, but it is useful when you have a need for it to quickly check mobile versions of email webpages or to do lookups that are primarily text-based.

     Amazon UK has a page linked to from the countries in which the 3G can be used when UK (or US) residents are traveling there.  I updated it in November 2013 as it became 59 countries rather than 61, with Russia and the Ukraine not included in that table anymore.

    The Kindle DX Graphite
    If you click on the image at the top of this blog article, you'll get the larger image.  Then if you click on "Next" while there -- at the top-right while viewing, there's a zoomed in version of that photo so that you can see the font display better.  The smaller Kindle is the older Kindle 3 Keyboard version, which also had free 3G web browsing.

    For more on the DX Graphite model, here are Day 1 reports on it in the Kindle forums after it was released

      Also, here are reactions to the DXG by the tough-minded Mobileread Forum folks, a crowd which tended to favor the Sony display before the Kindle Graphite DX was released.

    A 6" Kindle? Or the largish 9.7" DX?
    This was a common question I was asked at the time.  I wrote a blog article, when the first Kindle DX was released, about questions you should ask yourself before deciding between a smaller, more carryable Kindle and the larger, more readable one.

      The advice would be the same for the current 6" models and the DX Graphite Kindle though, except that the current 6" Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Touch and Paperwhite have considerably darker fonts than the old Kindle 2 had.

    Screen examples of older DX model (White) showing PDFs, landscape mode, sheet music
    Here are examples of material (PDFs and sheet music) as displayed on my older Kindle DX before they improved the model with the DX Graphite which has darker fonts and higher contrast.
      These will still give you an idea.  Click "next" at upper-right of the image page to get more examples as you go.

    I use the Kindle Fire more, but for many PDFs, I reach for the DX Graphite, as it's easier on the eyes for more sustained reading.  The words look etched on the screen and fewer page turns are needed, but it's also heavier.  I've used it only in the house but brought the DX with me on a 3-week trip to Egypt where I wanted to be able to check the many diagrams I'd saved from web articles.




    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.

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