Round up #81: Draw Something, WB scripts, Target drops Kindles

Round up #81: Draw Something, WB scripts, Target drops Kindles

Kindles no longer on…er…in Target

Does it ever seem weird to you when you are watching a TV show, and you see a commercial for another TV show on another channel? Why would they show an ad for something that could take business away from them?

Simple: they are paid for it.

Does the Kindle Fire hypothetically take business away from a Target store?

Sure it does.

The brick-and-mortar has been carrying Kindle hardware for more than two years (since April 25, 2010).

Now, according to this

The Verge article

Target is going to stop selling Kindles soon, due to a “conflict of interest”.

What interest has changed?

Especially since they say they are going to continue carrying the NOOK?

Well, there is one thing…they are going to start having Apple mini-stores inside Targets, and have iPads.

Now, to be clear: Apple couldn’t legally tell Target not to carry Kindles as a condition of getting the Apple stores…but Target could certainly decide on its own not to carry it.

Let’s say that Amazon is passing through a meteor storm right now, what with Microsoft investing $300m in Barnes & Noble and Target dropping their hardware.

Hm…not in Target, Best Buy stores closing down…it may be a good thing that Amazon is experimenting with opening its own stores.

Draw, pardner…

If you have a Kindle Fire, you can now play one of the most popular games out there:

Which version should you get?

Well, I do have to say, we find it a lot easier to have a paid version, but up to you. Two questions we get pretty often in the Amazon Kindle community are resolved by getting paid versions of apps.

One thing is people talking about advertising on their Kindle Fires. When you get free apps, they are often free because they are ad-supported. When people complain about ads, the advice they are often given is to uninstall their free apps, and that seems to work: I don’t see people coming back and saying that they still have a problem (and they often do that on the forum). It appears to me that those ads may appear when you launch the browser, not just when you   launch the app.

The other issue is when people want to play a game, and the Kindle Fire asks to connect to the internet first. Free ad-supported games need to connect to the web to download new ads, I think. I’ve also seen people say that they need to connect to check the DRM (Digital Rights Management), but I don’t know that. It could happen, I guess, but needing to download new ads makes sense to me.

Anyway, the game is a pretty simple idea (the most successful games often are). It is a social game: you are going to play it with other people. If you don’t have somebody with which to play, I think they’ll find you somebody, from what I heard.

You are given a few words, you pick one, and then you draw it. The other person tries to figure out what it is from your drawing.

The drawing tools can let you do pictures that are pretty sophisticated: here’s a gallery:

http://www.drawsomethinggallery.net/

I’ve heard that you don’t have to be a good artist…haven’t tried it yet myself.

We’ll always have e-books…

I do think Casablanca is one of the best movies (although my Significant Other doesn’t really share my admiration).

Well, Warner Brothers has just included Casablanca in a new series of movie scripts they have released for the Kindle:

I downloaded the sample for Casablanca…it’s marvelously done! They did an active table of contents…with active links just for the content in the sample. I’ve never seen that before. There is background information, pictures…I think these would be great gifts for film buffs!

Warner Brothers does a great job honoring its film history, and this seems appears to continue that tradition.

Perceptions of the player results

While people can still participate in

the polls

I posted yesterday about perceptions of Barnes & Noble, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple, I thought I’d go ahead and give you some of the rankings. What I’ve done here is list the number of votes in each category that each of the four got. Now, it’s worth noting that they didn’t all get the same number of overall votes, and you may want to look at the post above to see the percentages. The companies were described as:

Innovative

  1. Amazon 91 votes
  2. Apple 84
  3. Microsoft 45
  4. Barnes & Noble 14

This surprises me. I would think of Barnes & Noble as more innovative than Microsoft (they just released their “GlowLight” NOOK Simple Touch, for example. Well, but Microsoft does have Kinect…just interesting.

Customer Friendly

  • Amazon 101
  • Barnes & Noble 25
  • Apple 24
  • Microsoft 5
I think of Amazon as very customer friendly, and they tend to be ranked very high. Microsoft being that low? Interesting…do they think their perception as customer friendly would be improved through Barnes & Noble?

Cool

  1. Apple 69
  2. Amazon 55
  3. Microsoft 8
  4. Barnes & Noble 7
I expected Apple to win this one, and they did. I guess I’m not enough of a gamer to rank Microsoft up there on this…I suspect that impacted it.

Bookloving

  1. Amazon 84
  2. Barnes & Noble 58
  3. Apple 3
  4. Microsoft 1
Pretty much what I would have expected on this one.

Secure for the future

  1. Amazon 84
  2. Microsoft 73
  3. Apple 68
  4. Barnes & Noble 5
No surprise that people worry about Barnes & Noble’s future, even with that influx of cash. They have the albatross of a lot of buildings, and Microsoft would dump the brand and format if it doesn’t work out, based on their past history.

A place with reasonable prices

  1. Amazon 98
  2. Barnes & Noble 16
  3. Microsoft 11
  4. Apple 2
Apple being on the bottom was expected here…

Fun

  1. Amazon 54
  2. Apple 44
  3. Barnes & Noble 9
  4. Microsoft 5
Amazon is that much more fun than Apple?

Reliable

  1. Amazon 87
  2. Apple 42
  3. Microsoft 36
  4. Barnes & Noble 17
Amazon is more than twice as reliable as Apple? Hm…

Good for society

  1. Amazon 53
  2. Apple 22
  3. Barnes & Noble 22
  4. Microsoft 21
I’ll be interested to hear you comments on this.

Good for content creators

  1. Amazon 67
  2. Apple 24
  3. Microsoft 19
  4. Barnes & Noble 8

People can self-publish through Barnes & Noble…why so low?

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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8 Responses to “Round up #81: Draw Something, WB scripts, Target drops Kindles”

  1. thingsajillion Says:

    Great post, enjoyed reading the early poll results and the Draw Something app. looks intriguing!

  2. Tom Semple Says:

    Another consideration in the free-vs-paid app decision is power consumption. There was a study recently that showed that ad-supported iOS apps consumed more power than their paid equivalents, evidently due to the need to download ads frequently. This applied even to apps with lots of animation. For example, my iPod Touch has always been a little challenged in terms of time between charges, and especially since iOS 5, but it has improved since I removed some of the ad-supported apps I was using (and wasting too much time with 🙂 ). This seems likely to apply to Android apps as well.

    So by all means, try the free app, but if you use it a lot, this would be another reason to upgrade to the paid app.

  3. Tom Semple Says:

    Apparently the ‘conflict of interest’ with selling Kindles has to do with Amazon’s “PriceCheck” app: people going into Target stores, scanning the item and comparing with Amazon’s price. So it is a way of punishing Amazon.

    However, the customer has taken the trouble to come into their store, why don’t they take advantage of that and sell them something? I.e. “we will match Amazon’s prices” or some such. As it is they are just giving customers one more reason to forego a store visit and order online.

    Ironically Amazon used to do Target’s online store.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      I’ve heard that speculation, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

      Taking the Kindles out of the store doesn’t stop people from using Amazon’s app…it just stops them from coming into the Target store to buy a Kindle, which seems counterproductive. The Fire was reportedly the top selling tablet in Target stores last Black Friday:

      http://webcontentmaster.com/ec_storydetail.php?ref=425296

      I doubt most people come into a Target and just buy a Fire or other Kindle.

      I’ve said this about other brick-and-mortars who have made these sorts of decisions (and I’m speaking as a former brick-and-mortar retail manager)…you aren’t going to increase your sales by not having the products your customers want.

      Let’s say someone walks into a Target planning to buy a Kindle. They don’t see one. They don’t say, “Gosh, there must have been a conflict of interest.” 🙂 They say, “This store isn’t well stocked…let’s try a different store.” They don’t just think it about the Kindle, they think it about the store generally…”Target never has what I want.”

      I doubt it’s the PriceCheck app, but if it is, I think it’s not a justifying factor…just my thoughts on that, though.

  4. Edward Boyhan Says:

    On the Target thing: I don’t know what the conflict of interest might be — I suspect, however, that the kindles weren’t selling all that well (my local target always had plenty of stock). Saying this another way: if they were selling gangbusters, I don’t think they’d be dropping them. 😀

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      Well, on Black Friday, the Kindle Fire was reportedly the best selling tablet at Target…but it’s possible they don’t sell a lot of tablets, of course.

  5. Man in the Middle Says:

    On the “good for society” totals, I’m among those who ranked Amazon high. My thinking was that Amazon in many ways encourages free trade among equals, by offering a LOT of product, along with all the related info a customer needs to make a good decision about it. Similarly, on the seller side, Amazon makes it very easy to become a seller, and guides you through that process as well.

    I recently had 3 Thermos can coolers to sell, and noticed none available used on Amazon. Figuring, why not? I signed up to sell them as a new vendor. A week later, all three have sold and shipped.

    Apple is also good for society with its computers, phones and electronic content. But it doesn’t come close to Amazon in the sheer variety of needs Amazon can easily meet.

    Likewise Barnes & Noble and Microsoft. The world is much better off with than without them, but not in nearly as many different ways as it is better with Amazon (though having DOS and Windows and Office as world-wide standards for decades has done a lot of good, so I’d rank Microsoft above Barnes & Noble.)

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