Archive for the ‘Kindle Fire’ Category

Today only: 15% off Fire tablets

February 24, 2015

Today only: 15% off Fire tablets

There is a special sale today:

15% off Fire tablets (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

They are promoting these prices:

Not included on the splash page is the

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile*)

but I assume that’s because it is already on sale at $199 versus $239…which is about 17% off. :)

We have an HD 6 at home as a “guest Kindle”, and my Significant Other and I each have a Kindle Fire HDX 7″, which we use every day.

I don’t think this suggests that any change is coming in the lineup…they just do sales like this from time to time.

As  usual, check that price before you click or tap the Buy button: prices may be different in your country.

Join thousands 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! :) 

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.

Valentine’s Day sale on Kindles and Fires

February 8, 2015

Valentine’s Day sale on Kindles and Fires

I think we tend to see sales on the Fires a lot more than on the EBRs (E-Book Readers…non-Fire Kindles).

That’s why it was nice to see this

Valentine’s Deals (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Not only are some of the Fires on sales, so are some of the EBRs.

Those prices are all for the least expensive configurations: ad-supported where appropriate, lowest onboard memory.

Update: added for today only, Monday, February 9: Fire HDX 8.9 (at AmazonSmile*) 64 GB, wi-fi only for $299…instead of $479! That’s a savings of $180!

While not mentioned at the “presented by Sprint” page, it’s also

$15 off the Fire HD 7(at AmazonSmile*) making it $114 instead of $139

As a former brick-and-mortar store manager, it’s interesting to me that the top in the line items don’t tend to go on sale as much at Amazon…and that makes customer psychology sense.

The

Kindle Voyage (any configuration) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

for example, is not included in this sale…and usually isn’t included. I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever seen that one on sale, in fact.

That’s because there are times when something being more expensive is more of an incentive to buy, not less of one.

Gifts are a great example.

If you can afford and want a luxury gift, you are impressed by a higher price.

When I ran a game store (I did that in addition to a bookstore…not at the same time), we would never have discounted a $500 chess set.

A $20 chess set? Sure.

In fact, we probably wouldn’t have had a $20 chess set…it would have been $19.99, to make it look like more of a bargain.

I think Amazon doesn’t price the Voyage at $200 because it is competing with other gadgets…not because it is competing with other Kindles.

They probably sell more with it as the most expensive Kindle.

Couldn’t they discount it for a short time, sell a bunch, and then raise it again?

Yes, but you don’t want people waiting for a sale on an expensive item.

The Mindle Touch is almost an impulse buy for some people. You might debate if you need another one, or if your kid needs their own, and be influenced by a sale.

For the Voyage, it should be a careful, reasoned decision…you have to consider the less expensive models, and decide in favor of the Voyage.

Having people waiting for price fluctuations on the Voyage could make “closing the sale” more difficult.

Regardless, this is a “limited time” sale, and may not be available in your country. Check the price before you click or tap that Buy button.

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

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! :) 

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.

Current gen Fire sale (including Kids’), limited time

December 10, 2014

Current gen Fire sale (including Kids’), limited time

When did it get to be that we got the best bargains near the holidays? People used to think that prices got raised during the holiday, and then they’d find bargains afterwards.

I think part of is that there isn’t the same problem with stock sitting in a physical store that there used to be. Yes, devices are physical stock, but that is managed so much better now than they were when I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore. I would be sure that the cost per square foot of using an Amazon fulfillment center is a tiny fraction of what it was for my bookstore.

Amazon has some of their current generation Fire tablets on sale right now, for a “limited time”. This a public offer in the USA store: it’s not limited to those with Special Offers, and it isn’t a deal of the day. However, we don’t know when it might go away (which could be any time).

The models on sale are:

 Fire HD Kids Edition (at AmazonSmile*) $30 off

That brings this version with the ruggedized case and the special replacement policy down to as low as $159 The $30 off applies to both the 6″ and the 7″.

Fire HD 7 (at AmazonSmile*) $25 off

Now you have a mid-size Fire for as low as $114. You can also still get the six inch for $99.

Also on sale is my daily tablet (makes it sound like medicine, doesn’t it?) ;)

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile*) $40 off

That’s as low as $199. It is the previous gen, and doesn’t have a rear-facing camera, but does have the current software (Fire OS 4).

There may be more sales, of course, but we are getting into that “short shipping season”, and there may be more unavailabilities. I’d say this sale is particularly good on the new Kids’ edition…that’s going to be a hot item this year, and a great gift. For me, that’s particularly true for elementary school kids…that’s more of the market than for older kids.

I’ll keep my eye open for more bargains, though!

Join over a thousand 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.

Today: 50% off 3rd Gen HDXs with 4G

December 8, 2014

Today: 50% off 3rd Gen HDXs with 4G

This is a Gold Box Deal (GBD) so it should only be good today (although there may be other deals later on).

This is a good one!

Gold Box Deal of the Day: 50% Off Kindle Fire HDX 4G LTE Tablets (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

You can get a Kindle HDX 7″ (that’s what I use every day) for $139…the current gen is $199!

This one comes with 4G (another way to connect to the internet besides using wi-fi) which would require a dataplan that you would pay for monthly, but let me be clear:

You do not need to get the dataplan!

I don’t currently have a Fire HDX with 4G: I did, but just didn’t find it worthwhile and didn’t renew after the  plan after the first year.

Where I live (in the San Francisco Bay Area), there’s plenty of wi-fi…if you live in a rural area, that might not be the case, and you might be happy to pay for a monthly plan.

I consider this one of the best deals Amazon has offered on Fire tablets to the general public (as opposed to something like a Limited Time Special Offer…although this could run out and is only for today).

Note that this has the current version of the operating system: you do have Mayday (the onscreen tech help), you can download some Prime videos.

Bottom line: if you’ve been thinking about a Fire tablet, especially as a gift (the 4G is a nice option in a gift…they can just use wi-fi, if they want, but they can choose. They may move somewhere in the future with 4G), this is an excellent opportunity.

 Join over a thousand 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.

Fire OS 4.5.1 update available

November 25, 2014

Fire OS 4.5.1 update available

More later, but my

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

just updated to 4.5.1.

They list the following key features:

  • Family Library: this is the new feature that lets you share certain content with some people, even when they aren’t on the same account
  • Lock Screen Media Controls: you can play music and audiobooks directly from the lock screen
  • If you have a rear-facing camera, you can launch the camera app from the lock screen
  • Prime Music Stations: Prime members now have ad-free stations of music
  • Emoji: little pictures for your e-mail (and other places)
  • Camera for Kids: interesting! Gimmicky camera features for children using Amazon FreeTime (that’s a new branding, I think) and they can’t post to social media

You can update your device manually from

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

or you can wait and it should happen automatically eventually.

The last major update was recent…I wrote about it on November 7th, so this is the second one in a month!

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! :) 

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

Washington Post free on Kindle Fire

November 21, 2014

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.

J.D. Powers: Fires more satisfying than iPads (take $20 off)

November 19, 2014

J.D. Powers: Fires more satisfying than iPads (take $20 off)

This one was interesting!

Amazon has given us a discount on something before when they ranked highest in Customer Service (which they did for nine years in a row in the Foresee survey for the holidays, through the most recent 2013 season).

This time, it’s a J.D. Powers survey on how satisfied customers are with their tablets.

Fire users said they were more satisfied than iPad users…and they were more satisfied than users of the other tablets in the survey as well.

Now, it’s worth noting that

the survey (summarized)

does include price as a factor, but it is only 11% of the score.

iPads and Samsungs were within 11% of Amazon in the total scores, but Amazon’s 827 out of 1,000 was the highest.

To celebrate, Amazon is giving $20 off for today on the

Fire HD 7, 7″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That makes it $119 rather than $139.

Check the price before you click the Buy button, though…this probably only applies in the USA, and I have readers around the world.

You can also get the smaller 6″ screen version for $99 (look for more sales as we come up to the holidays).

Fire HD 6, 6″ HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile*)

We just bought one of the six inchers to be our new guest Kindle. I like the idea of having a Paperwhite as a guest Kindle, but, well, our Mindle (the entry level Kindle) broke a while back, and I’ve been using the Paperwhite which was intended as a guest Kindle. We have a couple people coming to stay with us for the holidays, and I decided to go with the tablet instead of the EBR (E-Book Reader).

I did that in part because of cost, in part because of availability (if I could have gotten a Voyage by the time I needed it, I would have done that, with the Paperwhite going back to being the guest Kindle),  and in part because I like having a variety of devices. :)

It arrived yesterday, but I haven’t set it up yet. I’ll get to that by the weekend, certainly.

Today’s sale is one where I wouldn’t expect them to sell out of it, and I do expect more opportunities to get bargains before the holidays. Still, it’s a savings of $20…two months of Kindle Unlimited. ;)

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.

Gold Box Deal of the Day: $140 (!) off 3rd gen 8.9″ KFHDX

November 17, 2014

Gold Box Deal of the Day: $140 (!) off 3rd gen 8.9″ KFHDX

If you want a bigger screen (and don’t need the absolute latest version), this is a good deal!

It is the Gold Box Deal of the Day, which means there is a definite countdown on when it ends (about 11:59 PM Pacific Time on Monday).

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 32 GB – Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation – 3rd) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This one is not old enough to have the HDMI out (which I used to use…moot point, really, with my Fire TV, which works better than the HDMI did**). It is new enough, though, to have Mayday, which is, in my mind, one of the greatest Customer Service improvements in many years.

It does have both a front and rear-facing camera.

Even though the sale officially goes until the end of the day, they could sell out before that.

Also, do check the price before you click that Buy button: this won’t be the same in all countries. I’m reporting an Amazon.com deal. It’s $259 in the least expensive qualified configuration…$120 less than the current generation equivalent.

Don’t wait if you want it…

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.

** Some apps would detect the HDMI cable and refuse to play the video. Mirroring the screen through the Fire TV (which means that whatever is on the tablet’s screen shows on the TV screen) eliminates that issue

Thanks to reader Sandi B, whose comment helped improve the accuracy of this post.

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.

 

Updates bring new features to some Kindle EBRs

November 14, 2014

Updates bring new features to some Kindle EBRs

Amazon had told us they were coming, and in this

press release

they announce that new features are available for the current Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers…non-Fires).

They will come automatically over-the-air, or you can get them by going to

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

If you do it manually, be careful to pick the update for the right model of Kindle.

Here are the specific models they have announced have the new updates. This doesn’t mean that older models absolutely won’t get them, although that is possible.

What are these new features?

  • Word Wise (at AmazonSmile*) (click links for screenshots): definitions of “difficult words” automatically appear above the words. You can then tap to see more information. You can control how many of these appear by using a slider. This may be particularly useful for children and for those learning English as a second language. It’s not going to be available on every book, but some popular books already have it. I’m sure you’ll be able to turn this off, in case you find it vexatious (annoying) ;)
  • Family Library (at AmazonSmile*): this allows you to share books from one account with a set number of people from another account. This will also only be certain books. This is a huge change, and we’ll have to see how the implementation is
  • Kindle FreeTime Unlimited: this is the subser (“subscription service”. You pay $2.99 a month, and your child gets access to curated content at no additional cost
  • Expanded X-Ray for Books (at AmazonSmile*): X-Ray gives you information about the characters, terms, concepts and more in the book which you are reading. Now you’ll be able to browse the pictures in a book and the meaningful passages as well.
  • Deeper Goodreads Integration (at AmazonSmile*): Amazon owns the immensely popular social reading site. Looking at this, it appears that this will have more of an impact when you are in the Goodreads app/function on your device than when you are reading a book. For example, it doesn’t appear to me that your reading status will automatically update as you read the book (I’d like to see that feature…with an ability to mask it, of course), but you will be able to buy books (not quite yet) directly from the Goodreads function
  • Enhanced Search (at AmazonSmile*): when you search for something, you’ll get results from your library, from the Kindle Store, and from Goodreads
  • About This Book (at AmazonSmile*): it’s unclear to me yet if this will work when you aren’t connected to wi-fi, but it definitely has some things people have talked about since the Kindle 1 in 2007. It will give you series information, author information (and in the screenshot, it shows a way to sign up to be notified when new books by that author are released), “mentioned in this book” (that looks like other books), and contrary to what I said above :) gives you a way to at least update Goodreads with the fact that you are currently reading it

I’ll install this on our Paperwhite 2 and test it out.

One interesting note: the links above for each of the features also include links to the Fires. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every Fire gets every one of these features, or even that any of them do…they may just link to all products on the “Press Resource” pages.

Note that this is Amazon, as they often do, giving us more at no additional cost…thanks, Amazon!

If you’ve checked these out or have questions about them, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this page. Which of these do you think you’ll use? What do you wish they had done which they didn’t (I figured I’d ask the question before people volunteered, as they always do ;) )?

 

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.

Profiles are here for the KFHDX

November 7, 2014

Profiles are here for the KFHDX

This morning, my Significant Other brought me their

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

unable to get into it.

It had updated the system software, with what turned out to be a significant update…and wanted a password to get into the device, which hadn’t been true before for my SO.

I think, from looking at it, that occurred because I have set up Kindle FreeTime profiles on the account…it appeared to be intended to keep children out of the device. I actually set them up for our dogs, just testing it out for my readers. :)

Fortunately, I knew that password…and it worked.

The look of the interface is different (I’d say it is…crisper, easier to read. That also goes for the icons: the e-mail icon no longer has that gray background, for example), and there are some feature changes.

They list:

  • A personalized experience with profiles (for the US, UK, and Germany): it allows for individual e-mail, game levels, movie locations, pages in books, Facebook and Twitter accounts. This is clearly the big change, and I’ll have to explore it more. I don’t know yet if this has anything to do with the Family Library, which will allow (some) sharing of e-books between accounts
  • Office Document: I already have a Microsoft Office app on my Fire I like (OfficeSuite Professional 7 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), but this apparently also backs up Office files automatically to your Amazon Cloud Drive…allowing access on other devices
  • Longer battery life: this uses Smart Suspend to prolong battery life while it sleeps
  • New weather app
  • Full screen immersive mode: apps and games will now fill the entire screen (you’ll swipe for controls)
  • Backup and restore: this sounds nice! You have to turn it on, but it will store your configuration (bookmarks, even wi-fi configurations) to the Cloud for free making it easier to set up a new device

Since mine hasn’t updated yet (I’ll see if I can update it manually…these updates can roll out over weeks), I’ll do a quick comparison of the two devices:

  • When you are unlocking them, the lockscreen has just a chevron (an arrow without a stick) on the new one…the old one had a padlock
  • The lockscreen entry has a more transparent background
  • The lockscreen entry says “Go” rather than “OK”
  • On the homescreen, the clock is on your right, rather than in the middle
  • As mentioned, there are some icon changes
  • On the new one, it appears I needed to reenter the password for the AOL account…I’m guessing we’ll need to do that on mine as well when it updates, since we can now have separately protected e-mails
  • Swiping down from the top has the same choices…although weirdly, autorotate now looks like it goes anticlockwise, rather than clockwise…what was the point of that change? Feels like it is just change for change’s sake
  • Settings has some significant differences. There is a new category for “Household Profiles”. You can add a new adult or child (you have up to four child accounts, and two adult accounts, which will be, I believe, the same thing for the Family Library). When you go to add an adult, it sys, “Pass the device to new user: We’ll need  the preson you are adding to this household to login using their Amazon account. Please make sure they are available to take the tablet for the next step”. So, this is for the Family Library! Let me jump out of the bullet points for this

When you add the Adult Profile, it says, “If you share an account, you must set up a new Amazon account to share the customized experience”. Interesting…does it benefit Amazon for you to have multiple accounts? Sure! Some things are only good per account, and it looks good when they are selling services to other businesses, which I think is increasingly becoming their main business. I’ve commented on that in regards to the Amazon Echo
: I think what people aren’t getting about it is that Amazon never needs to make money by selling things to people if they can make money by charging other companies to use Amazon to sell things to people.

I know this is a sidestep here, but I think it’s important. Amazon is becoming our retail infrastructure. Let’s say I want to buy something from, oh, Target (from their website). If I can just ask my hypothetical Amazon Echo to do that for me, I would. If Amazon then charges Target for me having done it, they can make money with very little cost to them. If they actually do the fulfillment for Target (the shipping…via drone, or as recently was announced as a trial, taxi…and maybe the same day) they can charge Target and make more money.

This doesn’t need to be just physical products: it can be digital content as well…even, possibly, your internet.

The Amazon Echo isn’t a store…it’s the road that takes you to the store (and everywhere else).

Imagine if you owned the roads fifty years ago…and could charge every store (and doctor’s office and movie theatre and…) when people used them.

Of course, they won’t monopolize the internet…it will simply be a choice consumers make, for the convenience…no monopoly there, right?

Okay, back to the update…

  • The new one says “Wireless & VPN”, rather than just “Wireless”: the old one does have VPN options
  • “Device” has been relabeled “Device Options”: those have more choices…including the ability to change the name of the device from the device itself. That’s also where you’ll find “Backup & Restore”. It will backup automatically once a day
  • Enable ADB is no longer available…that was something that could “Enable Kindle developers to debug over USB”…not something people used much, if at all
  • I was guessing that the Shopping might have changed, and there is a new category for “Fire Accessories”, but otherwise, it looks pretty similar. Looking at the Bookstore, it also looks similar

I’m guessing mine will update soon, but I think that’s enough of a comparison for right now. If you have specific things for me to check on the new on this morning, let me know…I might get to check a few yet this morning.

Oh, one more big thing! They’ve really changed the system software numbering system! My old one is 13.3.2.6…the new one says “Fire OS 4.1.1″.

If you want to update it manually, here’s the page:

Kindle Fire HDX update page (at AmazonSmile*)

 

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.


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