Archive for the ‘New models’ Category

Hello, future! So many Amazon announcements!

October 25, 2017

Hello, future! So many Amazon announcements!

Every once in a while, Amazon just has a flurry of press releases, a proliferation of innovation, a multiplication of celebration and exuberation! 😉

Just this week, Amazon has announced a number of updates and new directions.

I’m going to include links to older press releases in my next book, Because of the Kindle. I’m really hoping to get your opinions on that for inclusion:

You can be part of my new book, “Because of the Kindle”

I also looked at

Kindle press releases “through the ages”

back in 2011…but rarely have we seen so many initiatives touted in so short a period of time.

Let’s take a look (I’ll comment on the ones most relevant to this blog):

Monday, 10/23/2017

Your One-Stop Shop for Handcrafted Gifts: Amazon Handmade Launches the Handmade Gift Shop

Amazon’s Fall 2017 Half-Hour Pilot Season Premieres on November 10 on Amazon Prime Video

This certainly has some direct impact on Fire tablet users, among others. Unfortunately, the biggest news around Amazon Video lately has been the number of executives leaving. That, in itself, can be seen as a sign of innovation, or at least, reinvention. We don’t know yet what it will mean in the long run, but Amazon is certainly always willing to make changes.

Tuesday, 10/24/2017

Amazon Announces All-New Kindle App—Easier Than Ever to Read and Connect with Friends

The

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

have been a big part of the Kindleer community for a long time now (the Kindle apps for the iPhone and iPod touch were announced on March 4, 2009). It wouldn’t surprise me if more e-books are read in the apps (if we include tablets, certainly) than on Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers).

This update is largely focused on social elements…but only if you have an Apple device (for now). Those features are coming to Android as well.

Amazon is really, really trying to socialize their business…they do quite well with business to business, and with consumers. Nowadays, though, you also need to be part of your customers’ lives even when they aren’t shopping or consuming content. Alexa has done a lot of that: I interact with Amazon devices throughout the day, when I’m not shopping.

I haven’t had time to explore it much yet, but I will say, the recommendations seem much better. they listed Fritz Leiber, Robert Silverberg, and John Brunner books I didn’t know were in

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile*)

for example.

This is far from Amazon’s first attempt at socialization; will this be the one that really catches on? We’ll see, but it is always good to see Amazon making an effort.

Amazon Celebrates 10 Years in Arizona; Employs 6,000 People in the Copper State

Amazon Business Launches Business Prime Shipping in the United States and Germany

Basically, this is Amazon Prime in bulk for businesses. It can be a huge savings: Up to 100 users are $1,299 dollars a year…that’s only $12.99 per person, potentially. There is a $499 level for up to 10 people, and $10,099 for more than 100.

I think this is a very smart move, and will really make Amazon an indispensable part of the infrastructure for many mid to large size businesses.

Qualifying businesses can get a thirty-day free trial at

Business Prime Shipping (at AmazonSmile*)

AWS Announces General Availability for Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL

Wednesday, 10/25/2017

Introducing Amazon Key, a New Level of Delivery Convenience for Prime Members

We had buzzing about this…I wrote a short fiction incorporating the idea ten days ago in this post:

Regular Delivery

The actual implementation is quite fascinating!

Amazon Key (at AmazonSmile*)

It’s only available to Amazon Prime members, first off.

You buy a kit which has a SmartLock and a camera. If you are handy (we aren’t) you can install it yourself, or you can schedule free installation.

It’s a lot more robust than just a simple lockbox and key. You can watch deliveries (live or recorded). You can unlock it remotely to let guests enter. “Happiness” is guaranteed.

There are some limitations as to what can be delivered (fifty pound limit, for one).

It’s initially available in these areas (although you can check your zip code on the page:

Eligible for in-home delivery*

Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Baltimore, MD
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland, OH
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Houston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Jacksonville, FL
Kansas City, KS
Los Angeles and Orange County, CA
Louisville, KY
Miami, FL
Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN
Nashville, TN
Newark, NJ
Orlando, FL
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA
Portland, OR
Richmond, VA
Sacramento, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
San Antonio, TX
San Diego, CA
San Francisco Bay area, CA
Sarasota, FL
Seattle and Eastside, WA
St. Louis, MO
Tampa, FL
Washington, DC metro area
*In-home delivery is currently only available in select areas, requires an Amazon Key In-Home Kit, and is exclusive to Prime members.

We definitely want this (we’ve had Amazon items stolen), but it is a lot of money in our current circumstances. We’ll think about it. The Amazon Locker isn’t far away from where we work or live…although this is more convenient, and has those other advantages.

There will be a lot of questions…our now adult kid brought up hackability…but I can’t imagine it’s easier to hack this than to kick in a door (which we’ve had happen…well, we don’t know if it was a kick, but a door on the side of the house was broken to gain entry). Still, this is a big deal! I also wonder if law enforcement and first responders will have access…that could be literally lifesaving, but many might object depending on the parameters.

Introducing Amazon Cloud Cam—An Intelligent Security Camera that Works with Alexa for Only $119.99

This is about buying the Amazon Cloud Cam separately from Amazon Key (it’s included, otherwise).

Well, that’s a lot of future in one week! 🙂 Worth mentioning that it isn’t even 8:00 in the morning yet in Seattle…maybe more to come! I also expect more from Amazon this year…

What do you think? I’m sure I’ll write more about these topics going forward, but feel free to ask/tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.



You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


My current Amazon giveaway:

Beyond Curie: Four women in physics and their remarkable discoveries 1903 to 1963 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Giveaway:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/b139e577ee333624

  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
    Requirements for participation:
  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Scott Calvin on Amazon

Start:Sep 25, 2017 5:46 AM PDT

End:Oct 25, 2017 11:59 PM PDT


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

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

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Text-to-speech and Audible but no audio onboard…a deeper look at Amazon’s 10th anniversary Kindle

October 13, 2017

Text-to-speech and Audible but no audio onboard…a deeper look at Amazon’s 10th anniversary Kindle

I was excited to hear about Amazon’s release of the

2nd generation, waterproof Kindle Oasis (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

which they have tied into the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the Kindle (November 19th).

I’m working on a book about the tenth anniversary myself…and you can be part of it:

You can be part of my new book, “Because of the Kindle”

I didn’t have much time to look at it when it was announced this week…things have been busy. This weekend, I may be going up to Santa Rosa to help. My company has been considerably affected (as have family, friends, and coworkers). They are asking us to be available to support, so I’m not quite sure what my weekend will be like yet. I live about an hour away, and the air quality has been unhealthy here…we can see the smoke around us, and the sun has looked like it was red. I wore a mask walking from my car to where I was working (a few long blocks) yesterday…that was much better. The first morning of the fires, one of our dogs was quite concerned…I first thought there might be a fire in our neighborhood. It’s definitely a difficult situation, so I was happy to volunteer in what small way I can. My Significant Other is an insurance claims manager, and has been dealing with the impact as well.

So, today, I did get some time to take a look at the

Kindle Oasis 2 User’s Guide

The first thing I did was search the document for “text-to-speech” and variations. That’s a big issue for me, as regular readers know. I didn’t find anything on it, even though it does Audible books (an Amazon company which does audiobooks).

Note that there are no onboard speakers: you connect it via Bluetooth to an external speaker.

However, I did get good news!

I chatted with Amazon help, and they confirmed (quickly, easily, definitively) that the new EBR (E-Book Reader) does have TTS!


Me: Does the new Kindle Oasis do text-to-speech?
You are now connected to Nagaranjan from Amazon.com
Nagaranjan: Hello, my name is Nagaranjan. I’m here to help you today.
Me: Hi!
Nagaranjan: I will be glad to help you with information regarding the new Kindle Oasis device.
Yes, Bufo. This device does support text-to-speech.
Me: Oh, great! Not Audible books, but text-to-speech? It doesn’t say that in the Quick Start Guide.
Nagaranjan: You can be rest assured about it. Other than audible books , it does support text-to-speech as well.
Me: That’s excellent! Thanks!
Nagaranjan: You’re welcome.
Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Me: No, that was it. I use TTS extensively. I could Bluetooth it to a speaker to hear it…no onboard speakers on the new Oasis, right?
Nagaranjan: Yes, Bufo. Bluetooth speakers is the only option available for this device.
Me: That’s what I thought…thanks so much for your answers!
Nagaranjan: My pleasure.
Bye, Bufo 🙂
Me: Bye!


 

Great news! For years now, I’ve been doing TTS on my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX  7″tablet…but having it on an EBR (E-Book Reader) is a terrific option.

Speaking of the 7″ that’s one of the most notable things about this new model…hm, since it is the Kindle Oasis 2, I’ll use KO2 as a shorthand. I’ll have a hard time not seeing that as potassium superoxide, but that’s probably just me. 😉

Anyway, it has a 7″ (17.8cm) display, rather than the 6″ that almost all Kindles have had (except the Kindle DX, which had 9.7″). The 7″ size has been good for me…it still fits in my voluminous pockets, and I can hold it comfortably.

In this case, it doesn’t massively increase the size, because the “bezel” (the part around the actual display) is smaller than it used to be on Kindles. For comparison, here is the Voyage:

6.4″ x 4.5″ x 0.30″ (162 x 115 x 7.6 mm)

and here is the KO2:

6.3″ x 5.6″ x 0.13-0.33″ (159 mm x 141 mm x 3.4-8.3 mm)

The variation in depth will probably depend on the connectivity you select. You can get it with wi-fi only, or with wi-fi and cellular connectivity. My guess is the additional “antenna” will increase the depth. Do you care about cellular? It’s mostly for downloading books, I’d say, but it could also be for things like Wikipedia look up. It does cost an additional $50, and isn’t available in all configurations right now (actually, for pre-order for Halloween, at least on the main configs…maybe all).

Oh, let me address that, too: if you were nostalgic for the 1st gen Kindle, good news…the price is back! 😉

Just kidding…the original Kindle was $399, and you can pay more than that, by the time you get a cover (the K1 came with a cover). Of course, you get a lot, lot more than you did with that one, but a line graph of the most expensive Kindles over time would show a remarkable boomerang…but the least expensive would have dropped over time. Hm…might not be more if you didn’t get the cellular connectivity, but the K1 had that.

Let’s talk about config options (note that not every combination will be available):

Storage

8GB or 32GB (+$30)

Why spend more? More onboard storage may be important if you put multiple audiobooks on there at once. I don’t usually need much memory on my Kindles, since I store most of the e-books in the cloud. An audiobook could be big…

Connectivity

Wi-fi only or wi-fi+cellular (+$50)

Why spend more? You are often in places where there is no wi-fi. I think that is becoming more unusual for many parts of the country…hard for me to imagine that, in my normal routine, I’d ever be away from wi-fi for more than a few hours, but certainly, that’s different in different parts of the country.

Special Offers

With Special Offers (the default) or without them (+$20)

Why pay more? You don’t want to see ads. I always get Special Offers…I don’t mind advertisers subsiding my purchase to puts ads on the sleep screen (and this one has a banner at the bottom of the homescreen, too). They don’t bother me, and I have bought some things that way.

Protection Plan

None | 1 year +$24.99 | 2 years +$29.99 | 3 years +$39.99

Why pay more? There is a thirty day return policy automatically, but this lets you get a replacement after that even if you accidentally break it. With the three year plan, you get up to three replacements

In addition to those, you may certainly want some accessories. I read with my Kindles in a cover…a non-animal leather, water resistant cover (an official one from Amazon) is $44.99, and comes in three colors. The animal leather one (which may not be waterproof) is $59.99, and comes in three different colors (not the same as the fabric one’s colors).

A wall charger is $19.99…it comes with a USB charger, which will be slower.

They do have a bundle for $309.97 at time of writing, which includes the KO2, a cover, and a charger.

A few other notes before we look at the software:

  • Even in the standard config, it has twice the storage of a Kindle Voyage
  • It has twice the number of LEDs (lights) as the Voyage…12
  • It has page turn buttons…not the page press of the Voyage
  • It comes in graphite color (which is lighter than the black available on the Voyage), and has an aluminum back
  • It is slightly heavier than the Voyage, but lighter than the Paperwhite
  • It has the same PPI (Pixels Per Inch…sharpness, basically) as the Voyage and Paperwhite…300
  • Note that both page forward and page back buttons are your rightside as you look at the device…in the right place for righthanders who use their dominant hands to turn pages, but not for lefthanders (I’m an ambi, myself). I’ll have to look to see if you can flip the orientation

Next, let’s talk about some of the more software features, gleaned in part from the User’s Guide:

  • They talk quite a bit about storing your wi-fi password at Amazon, if want…I think this is a great feature, not new to this device!
  • Airplane mode is two taps (Settings, then Airplane Mode)
  • There is a “tap to share comments” button
  • You can hide the recommended content on the homescreen
  • It uses Bing translate
  • You can browse the web: “Your Kindle includes an experimental web browser that enables you to surf the web and view most
    Amazon web pages. The Experimental Web Browser supports JavaScript, SSL, and cookies, but does not support media plug-ins. You must have a Wi-Fi connection to access most websites.”
  • “Some websites may have books or documents that you want to download and read on your Kindle. You will be asked to confirm if you want to download these items to your Kindle Homecscreen. Supported file types for download include Kindle content (.AZW, .AZW1, .AZW3, and .KFX), unprotected Mobipocket books (.MOBI, .PRC), and text files (.TXT).”
  • It has a “nightlight” feature, which gradually decreases the brightness, which is intended to account for your eyes adjusting to the dark
  • You can invert the colors, so it is white text on a black background

One more thing in a chat with Amazon: I couldn’t find the number of font sizes, so I asked:


Me: How many font sizes does the new Kindle Oasis 2 have?
You are now connected to Vijay from Amazon.com
Vijay: Hello, my name is Vijay. I’m here to help you today.
Me: Great!
Vijay: Glad to meet you, please allow me a minute, Bufo.
Thanks for waiting.
Me: Sure!
Vijay: The font size options range from approximately 8-point size to 36-point size.
Me: Thanks! Do you know how many options there are?
Vijay: May I know the options you are referring to ?
Me: Sure. The font sizes range from 8 to 36, but I assume I can’t pick one for each point (8, 9, 10). If could pick, say, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32, or 36, that would be eight options.
Vijay: Thanks for the information.
I’m checking this for you.
Me: Thanks!
Vijay: Thanks for waiting.
Yes, you are correct, the selection will be like 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28, 32.
Me: That answers it, then…looks like 7 options. Thanks!
Vijay: You’re most Welcome!
​Is there anything else I can do for you today?

Me: Nope, that’s it!

Vijay: Thank you for contacting Amazon Kindle support. Have a great weekend!
You can click the *End Chat* button on the top right corner of this window to properly close the chat.
🙂
Bye..
Me: Bye!


 

Hope that helps you make your decision! If you have additional comments or questions, let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Bonus deal: the Echo Show (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) is $30 off making it just under $200. Speculation has been that it might be because we still haven’t seen the return of YouTube videos.


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


My current Amazon giveaway:

Beyond Curie: Four women in physics and their remarkable discoveries 1903 to 1963 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Giveaway:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/b139e577ee333624

  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
    Requirements for participation:
  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Scott Calvin on Amazon

Start:Sep 25, 2017 5:46 AM PDT

End:Oct 25, 2017 11:59 PM PDT


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

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

 

Wowsers! Amazon just blew the doors off with new devices and features!

September 28, 2017

Wowsers! Amazon just blew the doors off with new devices and features!

“Wowsers”, of course, was an expression used by Inspector Gadget…which may be singularly appropriate here. 🙂 Amazon doesn’t like to call them gadgets any more, they are “devices”.

That makes sense, since some of these are actually practical, or at least can be.

With what was announced today in a surprise hardware announcement (which also had an important feature improvement), had one of the biggest line-up changes I’ve seen. It required Amazon sending out three press releases today. Oh, and they had a fourth one, that BMW and MINI will have Alexa in the car starting in mid-2018 in the USA, UK, and Germany.

I think there will actually be a lot more later this year…it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they tie something big into the 10th anniversary of the release of the Kindle November 20th (I’m working on something as well)…that may be why there wasn’t an update to the Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers) today, but it may also be why we didn’t get Amazon auggies (Augmented/Virtual Reality hardware)…they may think of that as another revolutionary item, like the Kindle.

They announced new (and very different) Echo items, and a new Fire TV (as I’ve been saying they would, based on rumors). However, there were new features, too.

There is a lot to digest, and there may end up being more than one post…but let’s dive in!

Let’s start with what I think is the biggest life changer for people:

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

What is it? A smaller, less expensive version of the Echo Show (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*).

That means it is an Alexa-enabled speaker with a screen.

Voice-enabled, and you can make videocalls to people with Echo Spot, Echo Show…or the free Alexa App on a SmartPhone.

Having a small, always available screen is going to make it a big part of people’s lives…not just as a baby monitor or to watch the dogs (it does do the “drop in” feature).

However, and this is new, you can now voice call anyone (they do need a phone, but not an Echo) hands free.

You can speak their phone numbers if they aren’t in your contacts.

This will work with most North American phone numbers (although not 911).

What does it cost to call?

It’s free!

Yes, this means free phone calling to just about any phone number.

More details here:

Alexa Calling & Messaging (at AmazonSmile*)

Oh, and you have the choice to anonymize the call…not show your number, but that’s up to you. To be clear, you are not using your phone to make the call.

Obviously, it would be good to be able to call 911 hands-free, especially for people with some challenges.

You can, with an additional device:

Echo Connect (at AmazonSmile*)

That one is $34.99, due to be released December 13th (the Echo Spot is scheduled for release December 19th).

What does it do?

It connects to your phone number, so you can call any number you can call with your phone…911, international numbers, and so on.

There are two more big Echo devices…and then a raft of features I still need to discuss!

The Echo Tower has been redesigned, and the price has been reduced to $99.99!

Echo (2nd gen) (at AmazonSmile*)

There are new colors and new finishes, including an Oak Finish. New speaker tech, new microphone tech, beamforming technology, it’s only about six inches tall, and controls hundreds of devices.

You can save $50 on three of them by using the code ECHO3PACK…details here: Amazon help page (at AmazonSmile*)

However, in the past, controlling SmartHome devices also meant you had a separate hub.

Now, for the last big Echo device, you can get an Echo…with a built-in hub!

Echo Plus (at AmazonSmile*)

For $149.99, you’ll be able to control your SmartHome devices easily…oh, and they throw in (gently, I’m sure) Silver+Philips Hue Bulb (which is only available for a limited time…$14.99 value).

I think this may make some people into SmartHome people who have been afraid to try it.

Speaking of controlling your SmartHome…

There are two new features which will also work with the earlier generation (although they don’t mention the Tap) and the Dot, Show, and Plus. Not right away, though…they say next month.

Alexa Routines

This lets you group activities into one name…and you can invoke it by voice or by time of day and dat of the week.

So, when you usually get up, Alexa can already have the coffeemaker going, start your music, turn on the lights in the bathroom and kitchen, and so on.

That’s a big one!

Hmm…they don’t mention it playing a particular song, but you can see how that could be great…you could say, “That’s what I’m talking about!” and have a triumphant, stadium ready anthem play, lights flash on and off. There are a lot of possibilities.

Improved SmartHome Groups

This is another giant improvement!

You can now assign lights (for example) to a given Echo device. That means that you walk into the kitchen (where you have an Echo), say, “Alexa, turn on the lights,” and just the lights in the kitchen come on.

Innovation!

One more Alexa thing, and this really may add a new dimension.

Alexa Gadgets (at AmazonSmile*)

At this point, you are just signing up to be in the loop.

What they show us as representative is basically a set of trivia game buzzers.

You’ll be able to get two of those for $19.99.

My guess is, though, that we’ll start seeing things like wands you can wave to “cast spells”.

I’m signing up, and I’ll keep you informed.

Echo gen 2 and Echo Plus press release

Echo Spot press release

Whew! That’s enough Echo for this post!

The

Fire TV (at AmazonSmile*)

is better, faster, stronger than it used to be. 😉

Now it has 4K Ultra HD video (and it’s a bargain for that, at $69.99). It’s got more memory, HDR (High Dynamic Range, better voice control, a slim design (which can hang and hide between the TV)…it goes on.

One I’ll really like: single sign on for a number of services, including CNNGO. What that means is that it won’t keep asking you to verify who you are. I’ve been meaning to write to CNN about that: it’s really disruptive to step out of the shower, soaking wet, trying to get ready to go to work…and have to go down to another room where I have a laptop with the page saved to enter a code. I was going to suggest that they ask for the validation code at the end of a session, rather than the beginning, so I could enter the code when it was convenient for me. Now, though, that might not matter. 🙂

I think the Echo Spot will be perhaps the most popular item out of this list, but the Echo TV will continue to be popular.

I’m going to wrap up here, but it looks to me like they might have also refreshed more of the

Fire tablet family (at AmazonSmile*)

but I’ll have to double-check.

Later this year, I think we could see EBR announcements (again, perhaps tied into November 20th for the ten-year Kindle anniversary), and those Amazon auggies…

What do you think of these announcements? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.


My current Amazon giveaway:

Beyond Curie: Four women in physics and their remarkable discoveries 1903 to 1963 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Giveaway:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/b139e577ee333624

  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
    Requirements for participation:
  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Scott Calvin on Amazon

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

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

New Amazon device announcements!

September 19, 2017

New Amazon device announcements!

Well, it’s always nice to get one right! 🙂

I said last week:

“We’ve had strong rumors about new Fire TV devices: my guess is we will have the announcement by Tuesday (which is a traditional book announcement day)…”

Here is that Tuesday, and there are announcements!

Okay, okay…they haven’t announced the new Fire TVs at the time I write this, but they did announce in this

press release

they did announce a new

Fire HD 10″ with hands-free Alexa (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and the day’s not through yet. 😉

I haven’t had time to look at this much yet, but I will later (it’s available for pre-order, releasing October 11). The hands-free Alexa part is new: you can turn on a mode when it is on wi-fi that will let you address it like an Echo (but presumably, it won’t hear you as well, since it won’t have those far-field microphones).

One thing I checked right away was to see if it will have Alexa calling and the drop-in feature like the

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

which would have solved an issue for me when that device wonderfully enabled a sibling to “attend” another sibling’s wedding.

How the Echo Show kept our family together at a wedding

Interestingly, they talk about how it is great for Skype calls! My guess is that they will enable Alexa calling on it (it’s wi-fi isn’t different from the Echo being able to do calls) before the end of the year.

I have to run, but I can’t go without mentioning the price, which is only $149.99!

Also, there is this:

“Fire HD 10 also includes For You, a new personalized page on the tablet home screen that makes it easy for customers to quickly get back to reading, watching, playing or listening—and to quickly find what’s next. For You learns what a customer loves to do on the tablet, and then presents personalized recommendations across a variety of entertainment categories like books, videos, songs, and apps to help customers get the most out of their tablet. Customers can also quickly access family photos from Prime Photos and see their local weather right from the For You home screen. The new For You page is also now available for customers on previous generation Fire tablets.”

I think we could still get those Fire TV announcements today…or there may be announcements over the next few days, we’ll see.

If you have comments (some of my readers have really insightful comments when new models are released), feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amaz on 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.

Amazon device announcement imminent?

September 15, 2017

Amazon device announcement imminent?

You know how, just before a tsunami, all of the water may leave the beach, before it comes crashing back with a fury?

The same sort of thing may be happening right now with Amazon devices. 🙂

Well, at least with the

Amazon Fire TV 2nd generation (at AmazonSmile*)

Without my link, you’d have a tough time even finding it. It’s not on the

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

page any more. When you find it, it says they don’t know when or if it will be back in stock.

I would bet it won’t be. 🙂

We’ve had strong rumors about new Fire TV devices: my guess is we will have the announcement by Tuesday (which is a traditional book announcement day), although it could happen Friday. It might also just appear in the store at midnight middle of the night Thursday with an announcement to follow Friday. The Fire TV has been a very popular item, and no reason to suppose it’s not a big part of the devices strategy. The “missing model” has 4.3 stars out of 5, with a remarkable 34,645 customer reviews. For comparison, the Kindle Voyage has about a third that many reviews (12,998).

The Apple TV was recently refreshed, and streamers are big. We may get a higher end version which includes Alexa with far field microphones, and maybe a refreshing of the inexpensive Fire TV Stick (which wouldn’t have those microphones, I would think).

As to other devices:

  • The entry level Kindle is in stock
  • All versions of the Paperwhite seem to be in stock. One interesting note: they have Kindle Unlimited for three months as an add-on for $1.99
  • The Voyage with both 3G and wi-fi and no special offers is out of stock, expected back October 18th
  • Most of the Kindle Oasis versions are out of stock: only the black version is available (the merlot and walnut are out of stock) and the Wi-Fi only is out of stock
  • The black Amazon Echo tower (my name for the original) is out of stock, expected back September 21st
  • The Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, and Echo Show are in stock. The Echo Look is still by invitation only
  • The Amazon Fire tablets appear to be in stock

My feeling?

At least two new Fire TV family members…one with Alexa, one Stick. The Oasis won’t be announced as gone, but is dwindling. They might keep one version. The Tap is probably fading out. This is likely to be the last big hardware announcement of the year…so auggies (VAM…virtual/augmented/merged/mixed reality headset/glasses) is a possible category. That last one could wait for software announcements…those could come later in the year. Oh, and Amazon could always surprise us with something new, like they did with the wand and the dash buttons.

I’d be surprised if we don’t get an announcement in the next few days, but what do you think? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Bonus deal: I know this will likely be too late in the day for some of you, but

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (at AmazonSmile*)

is $2.99 today…at least in the USA.

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

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amaz on 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.

 

 

September 2017 is coming: what devices have been around the longest?

July 30, 2017

September 2017 is coming: what devices have been around the longest?

September is about a month away, and Amazon has often announced new hardware in that month.

Last year, I looked at the current Amazon hardware shortly before that, to give my opinions on which ones I thought might be updated.

Let’s do that again. 🙂

Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers)

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*) $79.99

The most recent edition is from  June of last year, and that’s when they added Bluetooth. They could update that, but they could also just lower the price. That’s a question for me at this point: do they really need four models of EBR now, and do the price points make sense? If the Paperwhite comes down $20 to get under $100, I don’t think they need two between $50 and $100. An under $50 Kindle could be attractive…I’m not seeing $80 as a good price point. I also think that EBRs are in competition with the Fire tablet line…it’s not the same experience, but I think many people are fine with reading on a backlit tablet, rather than having a dedicated reading device.

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) $119.99

It’s been more than two years since they updated this one. If someone wanted to buy a Kindle who had never owned one, this is still the one I’d recommend. The frontlighting makes it worth more money than the entry level model. I don’t find that the upgrades to the Voyage are worth the money for most people. If they wanted to update it and keep the price about the same, they could add Bluetooth and water-proofing. I could even see the price going up a bit.

Kindle Voyage (any configuration) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) $199.99

Last updated in 2014. There are 12,972 customer reviews at time of writing. The Paperwhite has 47,415. Now, yes, the Paperwhite has been around longer, but I don’t sense the customer engagement with the Voyage. Could they simply drop this model? Maybe. They could also just leave it alone, maybe lowering the price, but I don’t see them doing much development on this.

The Oasis $289.99 (I’m not linking because it can’t be purchased without an animal leather cover)

This top of the line model came out in April of 2016. I’ve seen some very positive reaction to it, but a 4.2 star average isn’t exceptional (the Paperwhite has a 4.5). I don’t see them dropping this model: it’s good to have an EBR positioned as a luxury item. They could even update this one.

I could see this ending up with three promoted models (and maybe a dormant one): one for under $50, one for about $100, and one for well over $250.

Fire Tablets

Fire Tablets (at AmazonSmile*)

The Fire tablets were already updated this year. I don’t expect to hear much about this, unless they introduce a high end with something innovative.

Echo Family

Echo family (at AmazonSmile*)

We use our

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

every day. It’s even going to enable us to take a family member with mobility issues to a wedding…not for the ceremony itself, but at the social events around it. It will mean that people can walk up and talk to my relative, and our relative will be able to see what’s going on. I suspect that will be confusing for people at first, because they probably won’t realize our relative sees them. 🙂

I don’t expect that or the Dot (it’s doing too well) or the Look (I don’t think it’s gotten enough engagement) to be updated. The Tap is already off the family stripe (what the show you at the top of a strategy)…I use ours a lot (taking it to work with me), but I don’t think it’s been a hit, unfortunately.

As to the original

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

which I call “The Tower”, I think it is due.

That’s partially to deal with Apple’s device, so that would mean smaller and with better sound. It doesn’t mean cheaper, although it certainly could. My intuition is that people wouldn’t mind losing the big Tower design…I suppose they could also introduce one which is intermediate to the “hockey puck” Dot and The Tower.

I think there is still a lot of software innovation to come: one thing would be the ability of Alexa to recognize individual voices. In our house, for example, that might mean giving me the temperature in Celsius and my Significant Other the temperature in Fahrenheit, for example. That could also serve as one alternative for “password protecting” purchases (with an option for a number, when your voice isn’t recognized).

In terms of new Alexa devices:

I like the Dash Wand, but don’t use it that much.

A ring, a watch, a key fob…I could see a lot options for a tiny Alexa device (without “always on” technology).

An Alexa specifically for the car would make sense.

Fire TV

Fire TV family (at AmazonSmile*)

I do think these could see a significant upgrade…in addition to recent integrated Fire TV in a television (as opposed to the add on box or stick).

Our Fire TV, interestingly, could use more power. We recently got DirecTV HBO as part of our phone package, so I added that app…and it does seem to be pushing the limits of the device.

Other possibilities:

  • They are doing more branded phone deals, and I think that will continue, with Alexa onboard being the draw. I do still want a fully functional Alexa app for my existing SmartPhones (Galaxy for my personal phone, iPhone for work)
  • I expect Amazon to get into virtual/augmented reality in a really noticeable way this year, and there could be an announcement around that. I’ve started referring to virtual/augmented reality hardware as “auggies”. I’m not saying Amazon would produce a branded headset, but something…that might also wait for closer to the holidays, though
  • It wouldn’t surprise me to see Amazon get into Amazon branded SmartHome devices (plugs, lightbulbs), and perhaps a hub

I have some other thoughts, but I’m interested in what you think. If Amazon introduces new branded hardware in September or August, what would you guess? Do you think they’d keep the Voyage and drop the Paperwhite? Is the Tap on the way out? Are recent unavailabilities of some devices a sign that they are being replaced? 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!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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 you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! 🙂 

Echo Show: first impressions

June 29, 2017

Echo Show: first impressions

Well, our

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

is here!

There’s no question that when you set it up, it’s a cool…thing. 🙂 I say that, because it isn’t really obvious what it is at first. It’s sort of like the first Kindle back in 2007, or I suppose a television set in 1948. It does something for sure, and it’s clear that something is futuristic and pretty unprecedented…but just how you’ll use it, and how it will fit into your life, is a bit of a mystery. You have no doubt that it will fit into it, even become important…but for now, the right reaction seems to be a half smile and bemusement.

Let’s back up a little, and talk about unboxing it and setting it up.

I had been very impressed when our Dash Wand arrived…the packaging was great! I was hoping for a repeat of that, but it take me some effort to get it out of the box. There was a slip cover that didn’t want to slip off (and I didn’t want to tear it), and several pieces of tape to remove. No big deal, but not the exemplary experience of the Wand.

Out of the box, it was simple. Just plug it in, and follow the instructions. It does have a touchscreen and as far as I could tell, I did have to use it…Alexa does most of her processing in the cloud, so I’m sure it needs to be connected before it can carry on a conversation. I did have to enter my wi-fi password: nowadays, Amazon devices generally already know mine, so I don’t have to do that…I think it may not have known who I was until we were into the set up, but then I feel like it should have been able to do my password. Oh, and it needed to update the software before it would work…that took maybe fifteen minutes.

It’s shape is kind of a wedge…not entirely unlike the original Kindle, but it makes sense for this to be able to stand up easily. Unfortunately, that does mean that when you turn on the video monitor, it may not show you someone sitting on the couch, for example, depending on where it is…you might see the above them instead.

The video display area is about the size of a 7″ tablet, like a Kindle Fire…then there are maybe four inches of non-display below that. The whole thing would be about the right size to be a trivet for a salad plate. It’s not very deep, but you couldn’t really hang it on a wall.

The screen quality looked great to me! The colors in the introductory video were nicely muted, but vibrant colors were clearly possible. The sound is good, and can get quite loud.

The screen has a background picture, and then rotates through useful information, like what is on my calendar and the weather, as well as some news.

It understood me pretty much like an original Echo. I did ask it to show me “otter videos” and it came up with “odd or videos”, which believe me, weren’t the same thing. 😉

The only “ad” I saw was a suggestion that I get Amazon’s unlimited music package, which I don’t want at this point.

When I asked it who an actor was, it did show me a picture of the actor. I asked for Brussels sprouts recipes, and it could show me a video. When selecting from choices, you can say a number.

I asked it to take a picture, and it did, and then uploaded it to Prime videos. There were several modes for that.

I did the “drop in” thing from the Alexa app on my phone to the Show in the same room. Unfortunately, that created quite a bit of feedback…and I had to say a few different things to get it to stop. Drop in is just a way to initiate a call (a videocall, in this case), and have no action necessary on the other end for it to start. I could have stopped the video, if I wanted to do that. However, if I want to see our dogs during the day (and if I can get it to show them how low they will be), that would work well.

It could control our lights, shows us the weather, and so on, just like our Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Tap.

I’ve been trying it for about an hour or so, and my first impression? Clearly, it’s going to be important. It’s also going to get a lot better than it is now, but it’s already a good thing. It’s a bit like being told you have a super power, but not knowing how to use it. 😉

I’ll work with it more tomorrow, so I’ll have more to say. In the mean time, here’s the

Amazon Echo Show help pages (at AmazonSmile*)

This is what’s there:

LEARN MORE

Let me and my readers know if you have specific questions, or tips and tricks (or just thoughts) you want to share by commenting on this post.

Important update: I’ve add a new

Things to do and things to know about the Amazon Echo Show page

and yes, that’s intended to be a little rhyme. 😉

I’m just going to throw factoids in there, and encourage you to comment on it with things you would suggest should be added (and once I’ve approved them, they can be seen as comments whether or not I add them to the page. I will review them, because I do get spam comments on this blog). I’ve barely started it, but my guess is that I’ll have more than 100 in there before the end of the weekend. Probably most useful when searched, however you are able to search a webpage on your device.

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

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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! :) 

Amazon Dash Wand: first impressions

June 17, 2017

Amazon Dash Wand: first impressions

Well, that got here quickly!

I just wrote yesterday about the

Least expensive Alexa hardware so far: Amazon Dash Wand…free (sort of) for Prime members

and it arrived today!

It feels fully baked…I was impressed with the execution! Some Amazon hardware has seemed like it was rushed to market, but not the ADW.

The packaging was great: elegant, and clear. They don’t tell you this on the product page (that could have used work), but it comes with the batteries you need.

Putting the batteries in was simple. Setting it up was really simple! I didn’t need to download an app, just go to a website on my phone. I didn’t even have to enter a wi-fi password, since Amazon is storing those for me. I also didn’t have to put in a username and password (my phone already knows that…maybe this works because I have the Amazon shopping app on my phone).

I checked: it wouldn’t read me a Kindle book. It did answer weather questions and the time…and it does sound much better than our

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

You hold down a button to talk to it, or to scan.

Interestingly, it didn’t find something when we asked for it…it even told us that Amazon didn’t have the one we had ordered before (which impressed me…that it said we had ordered it before).

However, when I scanned it, it did show up in our cart!

At this point, there is a tweak I would make. It didn’t tell me that something had been successfully scanned…it wouldn’t have to do that with words, just a reassuring tone would work.

The magnet to put it on the fridge seemed to have the right amount of strength. It also comes with a hook, so you could hang it.

This would work well as a guest device…our Tap could work for that, too, but this is quite elegant. They could pick up the wand and ask Alexa to turn on the light. 🙂 That did work, by the way. I should say that it seemed to take longer to think than our Echo devices, but it wasn’t bad.

My verdict at this point: I think it’s a winner! 😉

One other quick note: Amazon may be buying Whole Foods…

What do you think? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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! :) 

 

Least expensive Alexa hardware so far: Amazon Dash Wand…free (sort of) for Prime members

June 15, 2017

Least expensive Alexa hardware so far: Amazon Dash Wand…free (sort of) for Prime members

I want Alexa everywhere!

Amazon’s digital assistant is like Iron Man’s Jarvis…and it does more and better than the original Star Trek’s computer on the Enterprise.

Well, on the latter, the computer’s abilities weren’t always the same…but it took quite a while to look up something (and we could hear relays closing), and it couldn’t interact with the ship much. If it could, Kirk would be saying, “Computer, fire photon torpedoes”…or perhaps, “Computer, open ‘Battle Time’ skill!” and letting it manage everything. Oh, wait, they tried that…right, Dr. Daystrom? 😉

I have it on our Echoes (Dot and original). I have it on my Tap I take to work. I have it on our Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. I have it on my Galaxy S7 (as part of the Amazon shopping app) and my work iPhone (again, through the app).

When I don’t have Alexa available, I know it…sometimes, I really want to ask Alexa something, even when that’s not an option.

You can get Alexa for free (if you own a compatible SmartPhone with that shopping app), but the least expensive hardware option from Amazon to date has been the

Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

for $39.99, although the

Echo Dot (at AmazonSmile*)

currently matches that price, because of a

Big sale on some Kindles and Echoes

Amazon just introducde a $20 option…and

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

members get a limited $20 credit when they purchase some things, so it’s cost neutral. Details on that here:

For a limited time, receive a $20 promotional credit when you register your Amazon Dash Wand with your Amazon Prime account (at AmazonSmile*)

Now, this isn’t part of the Echo family: it explicitly says it won’t play music.

I’m checking to see if it will read text-to-speech enabled Kindle books: I can see it as a handy bedside item.

That’s not what it’s designed to do, though: it’s designed for shopping. You can magnetically stick it to your refrigerator (the Echo voice remote used to (and may still…I’ll have to check) come with a magnetic cradle, but this is magnetic itself).

You can ask it to order things for you…and it can also scan barcodes to order things. That’s one of the big things for Artificial Intelligence in the future: how can it sense the world? For years, we’ve been the sensory apparatus for our computers…we would have to tell them what was going on in the real world, from punch cards to keyboards to mice to touch. That’s sort of like our relationship to dogs. 😉 Dogs have better sensory apparatus, and we do more of the cognitive work. AI/computers can do some specific types of “mental activity” better than we can (recall of specific data, but increasingly, predictive tasks and other things…an AI just got a perfect score on Ms. Pac-Man, something no human had done before), but most are pretty limited on the kinds of generalized perception humans can do. While we can’t smell things like a dog or use echolocation like a dolphin (although some humans have shown they can use it to some extent), we actually see and hear pretty well…and process the data very efficiently (if imperfectly).

The ADW (Amazon Dash Wand) has an “eye” for scanning.

It will do some Alexa tasks: it will answer questions and control your smart home. By the way, if it really sounds like it does in the video on the product page, it’s much better than the Dot.

Now, I do have to say: the product page is sorely lacking. I’m asking questions, but for example, it doesn’t list what powers it. Is it a replaceable battery? Do you charge it? On another topic, can it Bluetooth (I don’t think so)?

You also get 3 months of a normally $14.99 a month Amazon Fresh membership…I’ll have to see if that is automatic renewal or not.

Overall, it’s a very intriguing item, and I am ordering one.

Update: here is the direct link Amazon Dash Wand (a href=”https://smile.amazon.com/Amazon-Dash-Wand-With-Alexa/dp/B01MQMJFDK/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1497534770&sr=8-3&keywords=amazon+dash+wand”>at AmazonSmile*)

What do you think? Are you going to get one? If you are not a Prime member, would you pay for it? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

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

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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! :) 

Just breaking: Fire tablet line revamped with Alexa, and 20% off mix and match 3 pack

May 17, 2017

Just breaking: Fire tablet line revamped with Alexa, and 20% off mix and match 3 pack

Amazon just sent me a press release announcing a revamp of the

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

and an introductory deal.

press release

The deal is by using the code

FIRE3PACK

for any three…you could get two of the kids’ editions and an 8″, for example, and get 20% off. You could get three of the entry level $49.99, and instead of paying $149.97, you’d pay $119.98 (based on my rounding and without tax and possible shipping and in the USA buying from Amazon.com).

The deal ends June 6th, and here are the details on the discount:

Terms and Conditions (at AmazonSmile*)

Oh, and here’s a press release with multimedia:

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170517005706/en/

I need to look over the product details more, but thinner, lighter, better battery life and wi-fi connectivity, better screen, yada yada 😉 and the same price point for the least expensive model.

The 10″ is not mentioned.

Here’s something I think is key:

Amazon is now making Alexa not just a way to get to content, but a way to manage our lives and to connect with human beings.

It seems quite likely we’ll be able to do videocalls through Alexa Calling on these devices (even if not right away).

Frequently Asked Kindle Questions: Alexa Calling edition

If that’s the case, and if that’s how we routinely communicate with loved ones (Significant Others, grandkids, grandparents, and so on), having an inexpensive, portable way to do that becomes very important.

If Alexa runs my car, feeds by pets, does my shopping lists, manages my calendar…I’ll want access to it everywhere, which will increase considerably the demand for tablets. Videocalling, I think, is one of those things that can push people (especially those with even minor vision challenges) to tablets over phones (besides the cost difference, of course).

Virtual/Augmented reality headsets, especially ones you can almost forget you are wearing, have a few years (probably five) before they overtake phones even for the technically comfortable, so there is time to do this with tablets. I do still expect Amazon to make a big VAM (Virtual/Augmented/Mixed/Merged Reality) play this year, though. 😉

What do you think? Some of my readers are really good at parsing these press releases and tech specs…feel free to let me and my readers know what you’ve found or what questions you have by commenting on this post.


My current Amazon Giveaways

LAST DAY TO ENTER!

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

the award-winning, highly-rated mystery by my sibling, Kris Calvin!

Giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/398897583537603c

  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
  • Requirements for participation:
  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Kris Calvin on Amazon (to my knowledge, all that you’ll get is a notification when Kris publishes a new book in the Kindle store, although I don’t know that for sure…that’s all I’ve ever seen for authors I follow, I think. Kris is working on the second book in the Maren Kane mystery series.

Start:May 10, 2017 7:44 AM PDT
End:May 17, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

Thanks to the hundreds of people who have entered my previous giveaways for a chance to win Kris’ book! I don’t benefit directly from Kris’ book, although we have had a lot of conversations about it. 🙂

Join thousands of readers an

Amazon Giveaway for And Then There Were None!

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/3e6a60b4814649a3

Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winner.
Requirements for participation:
Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
Follow @TMCGTT on twitter
18+ years of age (or legal age)

Start:May 12, 2017 6:24 PM PDT
End:Jun 11, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

===

Star Wars Day through 40 years of Star Wars!
Giveaway by Bufo Calvin
  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
  • Requirements for participation:
    • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
    • Follow @TMCGTT on twitter
    • 18+ years of age (or legal age)

Giveaway:
https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/0ce7b24b32a4a670

Start:May 4, 2017 6:32 AM PDT
End:Jun 3, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

It’s going on that long in part so that it covers the actual 40th anniversary of Star Wars (of the release in the USA) on May 25th 2017. Also, this book, which has good reviews and is new, is $14.99 in the Kindle edition…which is a lot for me for a giveaway. 🙂

Good luck, and may the Force be with you!

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!

 * 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.


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