Washington Post free on Kindle Fire

Washington Post free on Kindle Fire

When Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer) bought the Washington Post, most of the talk was about how that might (presumably negatively) impact the venerable newspaper.

Less discussed (but not entirely absent) was how it might benefit it, and consumers.

Well, Kindle Fire owners can now get the Washington Post on their tablets for free for six months.

You just need to download this app:

The Washington Post (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I’ve been exploring it this morning on my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile*)

and it seems like an easy yes.

There is no obligation to continue with the subscription.

You don’t need to have any other relationship with the WaPo.

Even if you do decide to continue (and you’ll be asked…it’s not an automatic opt-in), the next six months are $1 (I think for the full six months, not $1 per month). Following that, it would be an opt out to avoid continuing at $3.99 per month.

It’s a carefully thought out app, with easy navigation.

There is a lot of content. This morning, for example, there are

  • Top Stories: 12 stories
  • Around the World: 9 stories
  • Politics & Power: 12 stories
  • Business & Tech: 8 stories
  • Ideas & Controversy: 9 stories
  •  Sports: 15 stories
  • Life & Entertainment: 11 stories

They have a “Most Read & Don’t Miss” category as well, and a section called “Backstory”.

You can also save stories.

I was pleased to see that they had easy sharing options, including (since I have it installed), Flipboard. For example, I flipped a story called “How Disney Turned ‘Frozen’ into a $1B Hit” into my

The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard

this morning.

If you missed reading a newspaper, or, as may be pretty likely for some people, are curious about what it was like 😉 , this is a great opportunity.

However, it’s worth noting that you don’t have the resources you do when reading a Kindle book. You can’t pull up a definition of a word or go to Wikipedia for more detail on it.

I’ve written to them about this next one. No text-to-speech access.

It’s possible in these sorts of apps: I have it in my National Geographic app, for example.

While I don’t want to take away from the time I spend with books, this would be a wonderful option in the car with TTS. I could jump into a particular article with a deeper background than I got from a 24 hour news channel (or the Watchup (at AmazonSmile*) app) and get the benefit of in-depth journalism while driving.

This is currently a Fire tablet exclusive.

However, it’s worth noting that a twenty-week subscription to seven day home delivery of the WaPo is $39.80…so, for about the cost of a year’s worth of it (which would come out to around $100), you could get one of the current generation of (low end) Fire tablets.

I will say, this won’t replace

Flipboard (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

for me as a news source. I like seeing many, many stories with snippet previews, as I do in Flipboard. What I want to know (and I don’t always know I want to know before I see it) is never going to be a solid match for the WaPo…even though I do want to know about most Washington Post covered topics, too.

What do you think? If you’ve tried the app, do you have an opinion? Do you agree with the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon? What would still make the physical experience better for you, if that’s the case? Would this get you to buy a Fire, if you haven’t? If you don’t have a Fire, are you disappointed you can’t get this deal? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

22 Responses to “Washington Post free on Kindle Fire”

  1. j Says:

    I think you should have said the following in the title, I wasted a click 😉

    “free for six months.”

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, j!

      Hm…I did say the six month thing in the post before I put in the link for the app. Sounds like you might have been skipping ahead. 😉 Not sure why it was a waste, though: this is free for six months, and it’s not even going to be an opt out on the renewal. If they’d simply announced it was free without a six month limit, they could have started charging for it the next day. If you only get things that say, “Free forever”, I don’t think you are going to find much. This way, you know it’s good for six months, as I mentioned, the first renewal (should one choose to do that) is only going to be a dollar.

  2. Tom Semple Says:

    The app is fully accessible to Screen Reader. When that is turned on it will read out any paragraph you tap on. Of course that does not help with your car scenario…

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      Good to know! It seems like it would be hard for someone who is print disabled to use that to read an article…if they couldn’t really see where the paragraphs were.

      • Tom Semple Says:

        It is instructive to try it out. For example, when you open the article, it announces how many total ‘items’ (title/author/paragraphs) there are, and as you scroll up/down, a rising/falling tone sounds out as a new item scrolls into view, and when you stop scrolling, it announces which items are in view (“showing items 5 to 12 of 22”). You can tap the same location on the screen, scroll up to next paragraph after it has read out the paragraph you tapped on. Or you can slide your finger from one paragraph to the next.

        So it is not difficult (or particularly inconvenient) for print disabled people to navigate the article (once they are familiar with Android accessibility features). A ‘continuous reading’ mode would be a good option to add, for sure, and they could improve accessibility of embedded video (it is pretty tricky to locate the ‘pause’ button should you want to stop playback and continue reading ‘below’ that).

        The point is that accessibility is there, which cannot be said for most apps. And in this app’s first iteration (no doubt building on the ‘regular’ WP app), it seems pretty good.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Tom!

        I’ll have to check it out…haven’t doe much with the screen reader. National Geographic has full text-to-speech in their Kindle app, so I would guess it would be possible for Amazon to with this WaPo app as well…don’t know for sure, though.

  3. Karen Salmons Says:

    Hi Bufo, Echo arrived today, one day later than stated but figure that’s FedEX. Setup was super easy and I am totally in love with something I definitely don’t need but am sure going to enjoy. The Fire TV Stick is supposed to come today too. I already have the Fire TV but am going to use the stick on the kitchen TV. I’ll be on tech overload all weekend. Right now Alexa is playing holiday music.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Karen!

      Sounds like a fun weekend! 🙂

      My guess is that your Echo will be able to control your Fire TV at some point…so you’ll be able to ask it to show you a particular show, or a genre of a show. I’m just guessing on that, though.

      My Fire TV Sticks are due December 4th…I’d be interested in your evaluation of it!

  4. alanchurch Says:

    Since the New York Times is $20 per month on my kindle or ipad , getting WAPO so cheaply is a great bargain.

  5. Jennifer Martin Says:

    The app is not available for first generation Kindle Fires. Do you know if it will be?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Jennifer!

      They haven’t announced plans for that (Amazon rarely announces much in advance…although they do it some times).

      My intuition is that it won’t, because it is a different operating system version…and they would need to design a version of the app for it. It is possible, but the 1st gen is becoming increasingly divergent from the current gens as they keep getting new things. I’m not sure how much of a market the 1st gen Kindle Fires are at this point…

      I don’t know for sure, though, so virtual fingers crossed!

  6. Edward Boyhan Says:

    As it turned out I installed the new WP app manually on my Fire HDX 8.9 (2nd gen). It would only allow it to be delivered to this device, but when I went to the list of compatible devices for the app, it also listed my Kindle Fire HD 8.9 (1st gen) as compatible. So I went to the store from my KF89 to see if I could get it.

    The only WP app the store showed was the “old” WP app. I put that on the KFHD89 (a comparison is always useful — yes? :grin). It appears that the new app gives you a curated selection of stories (I hate curation!), whereas the “old” app just gives you access to all the stories in the WP (didn’t check if there’s some kind of article limit though).

    My reading of the second 6 months was $1/month, but I’d be glad to be wrong (:grin). I should also point out that the WP digital subscription for $50/year is incredibly cheap compared to the digital subscriptions to the WSJ, NYT, and The Economist — all of which I get — all of which are $100’s/year.

    Nevertheless, the WP sure would be a great bennie, if they made it free for Prime members (:grin — just sayin)

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      I appreciate you checking that. Bottom line: you couldn’t get the new app for your first gen Fire, but you could get the old one?

      I could see them including the WaPo subscription as a benefit for Prime members. I was intrigued this morning to see the seamless way I was reading an article about the 50 best nonfiction books of the year, could tap on a title, and go right to the Amazon product page. It didn’t ask me if I wanted to do it, just completely frictionless. The WaPo app might subsidize itself…

  7. hsextant Says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this app. It has a very clean page presentation and is very easy to read. Six months free and another 6 for 99 cents seems like a good deal to me, (even if it is 99 cents per month) and the standard monthly rate is very reasonable. In any event it sure makes trying the app painless.

    I must confess however to seeing nothing about 99 cents or standard rates. On the sales page for the app, it only stated that it was free for 6 months.

    OK. In the APP, if you hit the gear icon and then FAQ, the subscription terms are described under what happens at the end of 6 months.

    I have found that I really enjoy reading internet articles on my HDX using Silk’s “reading view.” The WP page presentation is very similar and I found it to be very comfortable reading.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, hsextant!

      Yep, I also didn’t see the renewal details untl I was within the app.

      I’ve never much gotten into Silk:


      although now that it has a privacy mode, I should try it again.

      The one exception is on my Fire phone. It has a “touch free” scrolling mode in Silk, which I really do find useful. I just have to slightly tilt the phone (forward or back) to scroll on a webpage…that lets me read an article with one hand, while perhaps mousing on my computer with the other.

      • hsextant Says:

        Interesting article on the Silk browser. Due to the fact that my use of the internet on the fire is pretty rare and tame, reading an occasional Atlantic or New Yorker article, a quick google search, looking at weather radar or google traffic, Amazon can record as much info as they want. Hell between them and the grocery store’s rewards card, they know more about me than I do.

        I have enough trouble using one device at a time, I won’t be reading an article with one hand and mousing with the other. There is a great peace in being old and partially senile.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, hsextant!


        It’s not really about whether or not Amazon has the information…for me, it’s about just keeping the device cleaner. No need to have stuff saved and “volunteering” itself. Well, okay, I’d just as soon not have my history pop up when I show someone the tablet, which I do quite a bit.

        I’m both ambidextrous and a multitasker…I’ve never thought about it, but I wonder if those two are connected? Anyway, just to give you an example, I might be writing something about a list of stats, and have the stats on one device while I write on another. For example, I track the US movie box office at


        I’ll have my IMDb search results on my Fire, and be writing on our desktop. The ability to scroll with one hand makes it easier to switch back and forth between the devices.

  8. Tania Marshall Says:

    I was messing around with my new HDX 8.9 and found I could turn on text to speech for the Washington Post.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tania!

      I really appreciate that! That option was not available when they first released the app, but it has been updated since then. I had missed it in the update, which certainly can happen.

      I mentioned it in a post and credited you. 🙂

  9. Tania Marshall Says:

    Oh, and the FAQ says once the free 6 months are up, you will be offered another 6 months at $1. Opting in to the $1 offer then gets you into regular subscription rate of $3.99 a month after the 2nd 6 months are up.

  10. Amazon announcement storm: precursor to hardware announcement? | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] Washington Post free on Kindle Fire […]

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