New Kindle with Bluetooth audio: first impressions

New Kindle with Bluetooth audio: first impressions


That’s my first impression of the

All-New Kindle E-reader – Black, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which was just released and arrived today.

It’s $79.99 right now with ad-support. I like the feel of it, even though the bevel (the area around the reading area) is going to seem big to some people.

The thing I wanted to know about right away, and tested, was the Bluetooth connectivity.

I connected it via Bluetooth to our

Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*)

The process was easy, even if not that intuitive (you had to hold the power button in for just so long, then put two fingers spread out on the screen).

Once it was set up (paired), voila!

It read a book to me, using text-to-speech.

Now, it’s important to note that this is working with “Voice View”…it’s also going to read out to you each button you touch, since it’s designed for those with print challenges. You hold and press a button for it to recognize it and tell you what it is, and then typically you double tap to make it happen. So, yes, it is more contacts for each action.

TTS on an EBR (or, um, from an EBR to a speaker), though? A very welcome return!

Once it was paired, it was very simple: any time I turn on Voice View, my Tap connects immediately and starts working. Turn it off, and the Tap disconnects. Note that the Voice View option is under Device Options in Settings, not under Reading Options (since it’s not just about reading, but all the menus).

The new Page Flip feature also works well.

This device doesn’t have a light, so that doesn’t match up to the Paperwhite…and when the Paperwhite gets Bluetooth (as I’m sure it will), that will overshadow (so to speak) this one.

This, though, is a great first hour!

I haven’t been able to test the TTS with an e-book where the publisher has blocked access…I don’t want to buy one of those, and the sample I tried for one didn’t have the access blocked, so I’m not sure.

I have more testing to do later (Is there a way to play an audiobook/music? Does it do immersion reading, where it lights up the words as I reads them?), but I wanted to share this with you right away.

I will say that the screen doesn’t seem as responsive as my Paperwhite or Voyage…but I did really like the package graphic. 🙂

Let me know if you have specific questions…I expect to explore it more this weekend.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.


2 Responses to “New Kindle with Bluetooth audio: first impressions”

  1. Tom Semple Says:

    VoiceView ignores TTS restrictions. You could try a sample for The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene to confirm this for yourself.

    I don’t think VoiceView will be very popular even with people who otherwise like TTS. At least I’m not seeing evidence for it on the various Kindle forums. For myself, I’ve played with it on my Paperwhite, it is a little too much trouble to plug in the wires and fire it up. And the ‘two fingers together’ gesture has been a little tricky. I think I’ve finally figured out how to pause and resume reliably. And there are many features that are disabled when in VoiceView mode. So…I think there is still a place for ‘simple’ TTS, if Amazon can get around to doing it. My Kindle 8gen arrives tomorrow so I’ll see if Bluetooth proves more convenient.

    Nate Hoffelder reported that the USB audio cable does NOT work with the new Kindle. That seems strange. I wonder if a software update can enable that. It is better to have flexibility for either, though Bluetooth speakers and headsets can be very inexpensive.

    By the way, Note Export and ‘improved’ Page Flip have appeared on my Kindles (Paperwhite 7gen and Kindle 7gen). Page Flip has been on Kindle for some time now (without the multiple thumbnail preview), the bigger story is that it is on iOS, Android, and (at some point) Fire.

    I’m disappointed that Note Export is disabled for Personal Documents. I’m not using PD’s much of late, and I’ll probably stop doing it altogether because better solutions have emerged for managing and consuming that content. For example, ePub and PDF files can be imported to ones own Google Play Books library, they are ‘full citizens’ there, and it has a very good annotation export feature. And for web clippings and articles, I use OneNote.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      The improved Page Flip has appeared on my Voyage, but not our Paperwhite yet. It did appear on my Kindle Fire HDX, and the implementation was nice…when I opened a book with it, it informed me about it…and that happened when I hadn’t been connected to wireless for hours.

      I think it needs to download an ancillary file, just like we have had for page numbers and such. Not every book has Page Flip.

      I’ll try testing the TTS-blocked book with a sample of the one suggest. I tried another TTS blocked book’s sample, but the sample wasn’t blocked.

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