Archive for the ‘Kindle Fire’ Category

$49 for FHD6: check your e-mail

July 10, 2015

$49 for FHD6: check your e-mail

Just on my phone, but I got a presumably non-sharable code for a Fire HD 6 for $49!

This may not last long…which is why I am sending it out in this limited way.

Update: the offer also appeared for me on the device’s Amazon product page:

Yep…$49 instead of $99, for a “limited-time”.

Interestingly, I’m seeing in the Kindle forum that different people are seeing different prices. Assuming that they are all in the same country, it might seem odd that the prices would be different for different people. That can happen…and, as I understand it, it’s legal.

For example, a website could charge different prices to people in different locations. It might cost them more to do business in different states…perhaps there are different delivery methods available.

If that seems odd, it happens a lot. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area: compare our gas prices to those of, say, New Orleans. That’s not just due to our relatively high gas taxes.

More broadly, what if they charged more for an item that was Prime eligible…but only if the customer was a Prime member? I don’t know if that’s the case, of course…but my guess is that it would be legal.

Here’s a

Lifehacker article by Thorin Klosowski

that gives you several examples of “dynamic pricing” at websites…including Amazon. They claim to give you some advice about what to do about it…but I think it’s going to simply be the way it is for most people.

That said, I think Amazon generally has very good prices (it’s one of their three principles: price, selection, and service). I have noticed in the past that a Prime item might be higher than I would pay for it somewhere else…but the convenience of Prime make it worth it. In other words, if I’d pay the same price (counting shipping and handling) for something that is Prime versus something which isn’t Prime, I’d definitely going with Prime.

If you aren’t a Prime member, now is the time to sign up for the free month! That way, you’ll be a Prime member for Prime Day:

July 15th is “Prime Day”: will there be deals on Kindles?

That may be a veeeeerrrrryyyy interesting day, with lightning sales and day-long sales.

Oh, as to Fire HD6?

Yes, we own one now…it’s what we have as our “guest Kindle”, and has been used that way. I think our house guest really appreciated having a tablet to use.

If you can get one for fifty dollars, you could use it yourself…or tuck it away as a gift for later.

On the other hand, who knows what  opportunities we’ll have five days from now? ;) Of course, Amazon does have a generous thirty-day return policy on Kindles/Fires. You could hypothetically take advantage of this low price, and then return it (paying return shipping, since it would be working as advertised) if there was a better deal on July 15th.

What do you think? Would it be okay to buy a Kindle, with the idea that you might return it if you could get a cheaper price? Is it okay for websites to the same item for different prices to different people? If so, what should the criteria be? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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.

Limited time sale on Fire tablets: up to $40 off

June 10, 2015

Limited time sale on Fire tablets: up to $40 off

This isn’t a Limited Time Offer that is only available for owners of the Fire tablets with Special Offers (although those are often outstanding!).

This is available to everyone (at least in the USA)…Amazon just says it is limited, and doesn’t see to be saying how long. My guess is more than one day, since it would otherwise by a deal of the day or a Gold Box Deal.

The

is $40 off…$99 rather than $139.

Also discounted is the Kids Edition, which has a ruggedized cover included:

The six inch (screen) version is $134 instead of $149 (fifteen dollars off).

The seven inch model is $40 off…$149 instead of $189.

Not on a limited time sale, but still discounted is the model I use every day:

$199 instead of $239, so again, $40 off.

Again, I don’t know how long these prices will last, so check before you click or tap that Buy button…

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.

Round up #297: Bookcon, Alexa plays a game

May 24, 2015

Round up #297: Bookcon, Alexa plays a game

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Copy text on the Kindle Fire HDX

When did this happen?

People have often asked about copying text from a Kindle book. They want to paste it somewhere else…an e-mail, a Word document, that kind of thing.

The answer in the past has usually been to highlight it in the book, then go to

https://kindle.amazon.com

From there, you could copy and paste.

Not very convenient.

I was just highlighting something in a book I was reading on my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile)

by “long pressing” (hold your finger or stylus on something on the screen for about a second) and dragging ove what I wanted, when I was that one of the choices was to “copy”.

When I tapped the copy button, it told me it was copied to the clipboard.

The “clipboard” is what Microsoft calls the place where something is temporarily stored when you copy something and then paste it somewhere else.

Back before we had Windows, I created something similar for myself…I called it the “bucket”, but the idea was the same. :)

I could then go to the native e-mail program, start a new message, and long press again to paste.

I was also able to paste it into a new document in

OfficeSuite Professional 7 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Well, this will make things a lot more convenient! It also makes the Fire tablet a much more capable device for work and school.

I am on version 9.8_1– of the Amazon Kindle app.

When I copied on Kindle for PC, it would give me a citation (identify the source of the book), but I’m actually glad this one doesn’t do that. :) I wouldn’t mind having the option of the either one of the two…

A game you can play with your Amazon Echo

Back when the Amazon Kindle was first introduced in 2007, one question we would get was whether or not it played games.

It did, actually…I wrote about that back in 2010:

It’s the games Kindles play

There was a hidden version of “Minesweeper”.

Certainly, you may want to use your EBR (E-Book Reader) only for, you know, reading, but I think it’s nice to have the option. ;)

I’m guessing that the

Amazon Echo

Amazon’s “ambient computing” device (you talk to it…it does stuff) is going to have a general release in early July. That’s based on them not taking invitations any more, on it saying it is in stock on July 8th, and on them asking for video testimonials for it.

I’m sure people will ask if you can play games with it.

I asked mine it if played games, and it didn’t have an answer.

However, I tried:

“Alexa, scissors, paper, rock.”

Alexa responded with: “OK, let’s play. 3… 2… 1… scissors!”

Each time I ask, it responds with one of the three play options…and I don’t know which one it will choose.

In case you don’t know:

  • scissors cuts (wins over) paper
  • paper covers (wins over) rock
  • rock smashes (wins over) scissors

If you both “throw” the same choice, no one wins.

Have fun!

Oh, and for those of you who were curious…Alexa did not respond to the Big Bang Theory variant, “scissors, paper, rock, lizard, Spock”. ;)

Update: thanks to regular reader and commenter Phink for giving me the proper order to say the sequence…it should be “rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock”.  Then the Echo played the game! I’d never played it that way before, and interestingly, we both threw Spock. :) I also didn’t know that it had originated before the Big Bang Theory, with Sam Kass and Karen Bryla. Thanks, Phink!

For more conversations I have had with the Echo, see

Alexa says

Yes, I did reference WarGames, and say, “Alexa, shall we play a game?” ;) That didn’t get me much, but when I said, “Alexa, play global thermonuclear war,” the Echo responded, “I’d rather play chess.”

We bought a new computer…

…and we didn’t buy it from Amazon.

Honestly, I really wanted it to buy it from Amazon…not least because I could buy it at

http://smile.amazon.com

and get Amazon to donate some money to my designated non-profit (fifty cents per $100 I spend).

I also have credit at Amazon from doing our taxes through Turbotax (you can get a bonus on your refund if you take part of it as an Amazon gift card), and we have Prime, for free shipping.

Add it that I just like Amazon :) and there’s usually no good reason to buy something big anywhere else.

In this case, though, I get e-mails from TigerDirect (I’ve used them in the past).

We’d already pretty much decided on a Lenova laptop.

Some of you may remember that we bought an Asus two-in-one not too long ago (it converts from a tablet to a laptop by means of a detachable keyboard).

The problem with that one?

The keyboard is really too small.

I type pretty well, and typing is what often moves me from using my Fire to something else.

I just can’t do it comfortably enough on that Asus.

It’s still a valuable device for us, and I use it in addition to a desktop we’ve had for many years…and that is, well, let’s call it geriatric. ;)

This laptop (I’m using it now) is more of a replacement for the desktop, eventually.

TigerDirect had Lenovo G50s for about $100 less than Amazon…and more memory.

I tried to get one once, and it sold out to quickly.

So, when one came up again, I went for it.

Earlier, I had pointed out to my Significant Other that getting one from Amazon would be free shipping…and my SO asked, perfectly reasonably, “Will the shipping be $100?” ;)

Nope…the shipping was about $9.

Just made sense to go with TigerDirect in this case.

I did install the Kindle app on it…you knew I was going to get back to the Kindle eventually, right? ;)

The Kindle app for Windows 8.1 does look beautiful! I’m not often impressed with the graphic design of an app, but I was with this one.

The one negative right offhand was that

Creepy Archives Volume 1 (Creepy Archives Box Set) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

wouldn’t open, and told me it wasn’t compatible with this version of the Kindle app.

I’d already read it, but I just thought it would look good on this big screen. :)

“A Podcaster’s Passion for Ebooks”

This is a great

article by Len Edgerly

who does The Kindle Chronicles podcast (I’ve appeared on it, but not for years).

Len has been reporting on Kindles and e-books longer than I have, and brings an informed and compassionate viewpoint (a rare combination).

I enjoyed this piece, and I think you will, too.

HuffPost: “8 Books to Read Over A Long Holiday Weekend”

I know the weekend’s more than half over, but you weren’t going to read just one book, right? ;)

Huffington Post Oprah Winfrey Network article

I think it’s an interesting set of choices…always a tough thing to do.

Bookcon is next week

I’ve mentioned before (although I’m not sure that I’ve done it in the blog) that I find it interesting that we have great celebrations for movies and TV, and not much for books.

I do understand that: reading is a very intimate activity, and so is writing.

However…

Authors seem to me to have become more pop culture friendly in the past decade or so.

Also, I think that authors have become more of a brand name…more associate with the movies based on their books.

I would guess that most even casual moviegoers know John Green and Nicholas Sparks, in addition to knowing Stephen King.

This is the second year of

Bookcon

which is done by the same people who do New York Comic Con, among other things.

I think they are doing a good job!

It looks exciting, it looks fun…it looks “now”!

Sure, the literati might not approve of it. Mindy Kaling and Nick Offerman might not be put at a literary tea with Jane Austen and P.G. Wodehouse…but why not? It would make for one interesting conversation. ;)

Check out their site…gee, I wonder if there will be cosplay as literary characters?

What do you think? Did you plan out a book (or more) to read this weekend? Are you going to Bookcon? Is it okay to make books pop culture, or should they be “elevated”? Do you ever copy text from a Kindle book to something else? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

I Love My Kindle | Fun and information about the Kindle and the world of e-books

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.

 

Great deal! Fire HD 7″ for $79 today

April 20, 2015

Great deal! Fire HD 7″ for $79 today

You may not think you are in the  market for a backlit tablet, like the

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

but today’s deal should make you seriously think about it.

Amazon has the 7″ Fire HD on sale starting at $79!

That makes it $20 less than the usually lowest-priced tablet, the

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

and even more remarkably, the same price as the

Seventh generation entry level Kindle…I call it the “Mindle Touch” (it replaces the old “minimum Kindle”, and has a touchscreen) or the “K7″ (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) (my review)

That’s right…you can get a tablet for the same price as the least expensive EBR (E-Book Reader).

Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m suggesting you would get rid of an EBR: like many people, I use both every day.

I use a

Kindle Paperwhite 2 (at AmazonSmile*) (Kindle Paperwhite 2: first impressions and menu map)

at home when I go to bed and a

Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation – 3rd) (at AmazonSmile*)

when I am out and about.

I should empathize that: I sight read on a tablet. When we first had a choice of a tablet or an EBR (or again, both), there was a great deal of talk about how much better it is to read on an EBR.

Yes, I get that: the Paperwhite is the most comfortable reading experience I’ve ever had, and that includes paper.

However, I find the HDX to be a serviceable reader. I think part of it is that the screen technologies and software have changed…with the brightness turned almost all the way down, and white letters on a black background, I don’t notice any extra eye effort (although I do have superior night vision, which I believe is tied to some color vision deficiency).

In addition (and for me, this is highly significant), the tablets (including the one on sale for $79) have text-to-speech (TTS), software which reads a book out loud to you.

I use TTS typically for hours a week in the car while commuting.

Of course, a tablet gives you other abilities…like video, apps, and web surfing.

This would be an excellent “guest Kindle”! We have the 6″ Fire hD for that purpose now, but a 7″ screen is a bit nicer.

What does this one not have that my HDX has?

The biggest thing is the lack of Mayday, the almost instant onscreen tech help.

On the other hand, this model has two cameras, front and back, and my HDX only has one (mostly for video calls and such, it faces you as you hold the device).

Bottom line: even if they bring out another generation later this year, this would be a good gift for the holidays, a nice intro to tablets, and a good guest device.

Check the price before you click or tap the Buy button…it may not apply in your country.

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.

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.


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