Kindle Stories November 30, 2015

9to5toys-header

Black Friday brought some of the best Google-y deals we’ve seen this year, but the fun’s not over yet. Cyber Monday is now here, and — as usual — there are some great discounts to be found all across the web. We found some of the best Android picks earlier today, but here’s a bigger roundup of some of the best-of-the-best Cyber Monday deals you’ll find. For Google lovers and the not-so-Google lovers alike, you’ll almost surely find something in this roundup worthy of adding to your cart… expand full story

Kindle Stories September 17, 2015

amazon-kindle-fire

Amazon has taken the wraps off an entire family of new Kindle Fire tablets, including a new budget-friendly $50 model alongside two Kindle Fire HD tablets and a special Kids Edition version with a unique protective case. The new Android-based devices were launched alongside a new Amazon Fire TV family and will feature a revamped user interface, dubbed Fire OS 5 ‘Bellini’…

expand full story

Kindle Stories September 7, 2015

kindle-50-dollars

The WSJ is reporting that Amazon is going to strip down a 6-inch tablet and sell it for $50 for the holidays. What’s amazing is that the theoretically color tablet was cheaper to make than even an ebook display version:

Mr. Bezos had set an internal goal of the $50 price tag for versions of both the Fire tablet and Kindle e-reader, viewing the rock-bottom prices as a crucial lure for a more cost-conscious group of buyers, the people said. But the e-reader screen technology from its vendors ultimately proved too expensive to drop the retail price, the people said. Amazon’s cheapest Kindle sells for $79.

It is likely that the $50 Tablet will be a pared down version of the already minimalist $99 6-inch Kindle which has gone on sale for as little at $69 in recent months. The report cites a mono speaker as one of the cost cutting initiatives but the company will likely drop things like cameras, display quality and battery life.

What might be more interesting to me is that Amazon is said to have fired many from its FireOS group in the wake of the Fire Phone flop and subsequent $170M writedown… expand full story

Kindle Stories September 2, 2015

PSA: Popular iOS game Alto’s Adventure is coming to Android

Alto’s Adventure is one of those fad games that may or may not stick around in the long term, but it has been featured in the App Store a couple of times for good reason. It’s a tranquil and calm pick-up-and-play snowboarding game not all too different than the likes of Tiny Wings, but — just like Tiny Wings — it’s very addicting. Now, thanks to an announcement from NoodleCake (the game’s maker), we know that Alto’s Adventure is coming to Android.

We don’t yet know exactly when the game is making its way to Google’s mobile platform. “We are hoping to have the game out soon enough but we don’t have an exact launch date just yet,” the developers said in a blog post. Assumably, NoodleCake will also be pushing the device to the Amazon Appstore, as the company says that it is coming to Kindle Fire as well. We’ll keep you in the loop. As a fan of the game myself, I’m excited.

Kindle Stories June 25, 2015

0

Amazon announced today new sharing functionality for its Kindle app that’s exclusive to the Android version until later this year. The new functionality provides the ability to share quotes, highlights, and book recommendations with friends over a host of different messaging services, and instant book previews for those who are on the receiving end of these shares.

expand full story

Kindle Stories December 17, 2014

firephone

Amazon’s Fire Phone, announced in June, was a flop to say the least. Offering hardly anything that wasn’t already on the market, the device launched at a price of $199 on contract (and AT&T-only, to boot), but very soon became basically free (and $199 unlocked) after sales figures turned out to be absolutely depressing. But even with the device’s failures, Amazon is today pushing a relatively substantial software update to its flopped attempt at entering the smartphone market…

expand full story

Kindle Stories December 8, 2014

Kindle for Android updated w/ Amazon X-Ray, flashcard support, more

Amazon this evening has released a relatively major update to its Kindle app on Android. The update bumps the app to version 4.8 and packs a handful of notable new features, some of which have been available on the iOS side of things for over two years now.

Kindle Stories September 17, 2014

FireTablet_Family-1-620x323

Following a big day of Apple news, Kindle has unleashed a massive refresh of its Kindle lines, including three refreshed Kindles and—interestingly—one completely new Kindle model. The lineup includes the company’s new flagship e-reader dubbed Kindle Voyage, a new entry-level Kindle that now packs a touch screen, an updated Kindle Fire HDX, and a new Kindle Fire HD, which is starting at just $99. expand full story

Kindle Stories July 18, 2014

kindle-unlimited-ebook-audiobook

Amazon’s worst kept secret, an all-you-can-read Kindle eBook service, is now live. Dubbed Kindle Unlimited, this $10 per month subscription service grants its members unlimited access to over 600,000 ebooks and thousands of audiobooks. Highlights of the library include:

The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Water for Elephants, Oh Myyy! – There Goes The Internet, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People… plus thousands of classics such as Animal Farm, To the Lighthouse and 2001: A Space Odyssey…

Kindle Unlimited members will also get free access to Audible’s library of over 150,000 audiobooks for 3-months. After which, you’ll presumably need to pay the standard rate of $14.95 per month.

Anyone in the U.S. can try Kindle Unlimited for free for 30 days by signing up for a free trial. All of this content is available on Android, iOS, Windows phone, and of course all Kindle hardware.

Full press release follows:

expand full story

Kindle Stories May 7, 2014

Amazon for Android updated with new icon, Single Sign On feature, bug fixes

Amazon this afternoon has rolled out an update to its official Android app that includes several minor new features and bug fixes. Most notably, the update adds the Single Sign On feature to Amazon’s entire suite of app. This means that if you log into your account through the Amazon app, you’ll automatically be signed in to the company’s other apps, such as Kindle, Amazon Appstore, and Amazon MP3.

Kindle Stories April 17, 2014

Kindle for Samsung app to offer Galaxy owners 12 free ebooks a year

Amazon and Samsung have announced that a new Kindle for Samsung app will provide a download service designed specifically for Galaxy devices, and which will allow owners to choose up to 12 free ebooks a year from a choice of 48.

The service will be available first for the Galaxy S5 later this month, then rolling out to other Galaxy devices.

“We are delighted to be able to deepen our long-standing relationship with Amazon and offer Kindle for Samsung as the perfect app for reading on a smart device. With this service we demonstrate our commitment to creating and broadening key content partnerships that deliver rich and personalized experiences for our customers,” said Lee Epting, Vice President, Samsung’s Media Solution Center Europe.

To get access to the free books, you’ll need to get a referral to Samsung Book Deals. We’ll learn more about how this works when the service launches.

Kindle Stories November 26, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 10.13.43 AM

I’m sure we’re all “tired” to hear about the tablet/PC debate and which format will outsell one another next year. That being said, a new Canalys report caught my eye as it projects that in 2014 tablets will account for 50 percent of the PC market. I consider projections that indicate tablets will become half of the desktop, notebook, and tablet devices that make up the entire PC market to be notable because of the sheer size.

expand full story

Kindle Stories October 18, 2013

Kindle-HDX

Everything about the new Kindle HDX is better than the previous HD version. The screen is brighter and has more pixels. It is lighter, thinner, has a better case, and has an improved OS. The buttons are now around the back vs. on either side (which takes a few reps to get used to). You can now jump down to the apps in much similar way to what you can in a normal Android tablet.

But that’s the problem. The OS just isn’t as good as the one you’ll find on the Nexus 7 with similar specs. And with the Nexus 7 you’ll get Google’s extremely productive Google Apps including Google Now, Google Maps, Gmail, Translate, and on and on. With the Kindle line you get a lot of nice apps, including many of the more popular ones like Facebook, Hulu, Netflix.  But you don’t get any of the long tail apps you get from the Google Play Store, and that’s kind of a bummer.

Also, I’m personally not feeling the Mayday feature. It was probably awesome when there were only 20 reviewers getting service, but I had to wait on hold for around 10 minutes before I could talk to someone – for me, that’s not worth it. Your mileage will vary, obviously.

Amazon has a ton of good content including a very passable App selection, full music and movie libraries, and of course tons of ebooks.  If you are okay with just Amazon, then you are looking at the best tablet you can find.  If you want more, then head over to Google Play. Pricing options below. 

Screen Shot 2013-10-18 at 11.37.12 AM

Kindle Stories October 7, 2013

unnamed-102

Hot on the heels of an iOS update this morning, Skype has just updated its Android app to version 4.4. Most notably, the update brings an all new interface to tablet users that “puts conversations first” by prominently displaying your most recent calls and chats. Tablet users should also see significant quality and performance enhancements, as well.

Skype is also touting that the video call quality has greatly improved in version 4.4 of the app. In “good network conditions”, you should experience up to four times the resolution of previous versions with improved clarity and frame rates. The update is also available to Kindle Fire HD and HDX users, who will be able to enjoy hardware accelerated video.

Other enhancements include: expand full story

Kindle Stories October 3, 2013

We got a tip (Thanks Guy!) that Amazon had trademarked the name ‘Firetube’ in Canada and the US. With all of the news surrounding the Amazon Phone lately – I immediately thought that is a dumb name for a phone.

Seconds later it hit me. Tube=TV. Amazon needs a TV product to counter Apple and Google.

It makes a lot of sense.  Amazon has all of this content on the Fire and no way to put it on a TV yet. They have to release some type of Chromecast competitor and quick. There are, of course, rumors of an Amazon TV. Lots of rumors. Bloomberg thinks Fall 2013 is the planned launch window. That’s right now.

Quick thoughts: Will it play from the iOS app? Will it be cheap and cost ~$35 like the ChromeCast?  Bundled with Kindle? Will it work with older devices? I’ve reached out to Amazon for a comment.

With the name now public and the holidays approaching, it would be surprising not to see an announcement soon.

Kindle Stories September 6, 2013

Update Amazon has now said that the phone won’t be launched this year, and it won’t be free. “We have no plans to offer a phone this year, and if we were to launch a phone in the future, it would not be free,” Amazon said in a statement to AllThingsD.

According to Jessica Lessin and Amir Efrati, Amazon is considering making its upcoming, long-rumored smartphone available to consumers free of charge. However, it is unclear what strings are attached to the deal:

There are many unanswered questions about the plan and what strings will be attached for customers. One of them is whether Amazon would require its  smartphone owners to pay for services such as Amazon Prime, the company’s loyalty program. But the people familiar with the matter said that Amazon wants the device to be free whether or not people sign up for a new wireless plan at the same time. (Wireless carriers typically discount the price of devices if customers sign up for a one- or two-year wireless contract.)

A launch date for the device is currently unclear. Like with the Kindle Fire tablets, past reports have suggested that the Amazon phone will run on a forked version of Google’s Android operating system.

Earlier this year, reports emerged with claims that Amazon is working on a bevy of products, including a phone with a 3D display, and various audio/media center devices. Amazon’s hardware development division for these products is (like Apple) situated in Cupertino.

expand full story

Kindle Stories May 9, 2013

slide_191871_376941_huge

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is working to expand its hardware offerings, this year, beyond the Kindle e-readers and tablets (like the Kindle Fire). According to the new report, Amazon is working on two smartphones, including a high-end model with a 3D display. Like other smartphones currently on the market, this display could be interacted with via a user’s eyes:

expand full story

Kindle Stories April 26, 2013

glassWe already knew that Google Glass would be running Android 4.0.4 and got a look at the official tech specs straight from Google, but until now we didn’t know some of the specifics such as how much RAM and what processor the device is using. Today we details via developer +JayLee (via Selfscreens) that Google Glass reports running a OMAP 4430 CPU similar to that used in the original Kindle (although not other details are available on the processor) and 682mb of RAM. Lee speculates Glass might actually pack in 1GB of RAM: expand full story

Kindle Stories March 13, 2013

Kindle-pricing-Fire-HD-8.9Amazon announced today in a press release that it is lowering the price of its the largest tablet in the U.S., the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″.  The price of the entry level WiFi only model drops from $299 to $269, while the 4G variant will now sell for $399 (down from $499 previously). In addition, the company is also rolling out the device to a handful of new countries including: the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, and Italy.

The 8.9-inch tablet  includes a1920x1200, 254 ppi display, TI OMAP4470 processor, 1GB of RAM, Custom Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers, 10 hours of battery life, and of course access to Amazon’s ecosystem of content.

You can already find the updated pricing for the both the entry level $269 model and the $399 4G model on Amazon. expand full story

Kindle Stories February 5, 2013

Amazon compares Kindle Fire HD to iPad’s Retina display in new TV ad (Video)

Amazon has not been shy about comparing its Kindle Fire devices to iPads. When it released its earnings report in October, Amazon compared the two devices spec by spec and noted the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD has 193 percent more pixels than the iPad mini. Amazon’s latest advertisement for its Kindle Fire boldly put the 8.9-inch HD model up against a full-sized Retina iPad. While noting both offer “stunning HD” and “you may not be able to tell the difference,” Amazon ended the ad by highlighting the $299 price point of the Kindle Fire as being significantly under the latest $499 iPad with Retina display. With Amazon knocking an additional $30 to $50 off the Kindle Fire HD this week, you can grab one for $250 less than an iPad 4.

While the price might be compelling, most reviews (including our own) agreed the Kindle Fire’s software is keeping it from being a true competitor to the iPad and pure Android tablets.

Our newest commercial shows iPad with Retina Display and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ side-by-side. Both have large, stunning HD screens. In fact, you may not be able to tell the difference… but your wallet definitely can. Meet the new, larger Kindle Fire.

Kindle Stories September 20, 2012

Walmart apparently sent a memo to store managers on Sept. 19. announcing plans to stop selling Amazon’s line of Kindle products.

“We have recently made the business decision to not carry Amazon tablets and eReaders beyond our existing inventory and purchase commitments,” said Walmart in the memo. “This includes all Amazon Kindle models current and recently announced.”

Reuters, which cited the memo and an unidentified source “familiar with situation,” first reported the news:

In the memo, Wal-Mart said the decision was consistent with its overall merchandising strategy. While Wal-Mart dwarfs other retailers in overall sales, it trails Amazon and others online and has been stepping up efforts to increase its presence there. Consumers who buy Kindle tablets such as the new Kindle Fire HD can shop on the devices for more than just digital books, pushing Amazon into further competition with stores.

The publication did not provide additional details, but Walmart.com currently reflects the reported change. When searching for “Kindle” on the national retailer’s website, no Kindle-related products appear in the queue. It is unclear if Walmart’s website ever offered the tablets, however.

expand full story

Kindle Stories March 28, 2012

Amazon is rolling out a big 6.3 update for the Kindle Fire right about now with the following updates: expand full story

Kindle Stories March 27, 2012

Since the introduction of Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet, the company quickly proved there is indeed a market for the $199 Android hybrid. As pointed out in a report from Taiwan Economic News today, Amazon already shipped approximately 5 million units of the tablet that launched last September. Backing earlier rumors that Amazon planned to launch a larger 8-inch Kindle Fire sometime during 2012, the report claimed Amazon would roll out three new models of the tablet this year:

expand full story

J.K. Rowling’s widely popular Harry Potter series is at-last available electronically.

The author’s own online Pottermore Shop displays all seven titles in ePub format, and prices vary between $8 each and $10 each, per copy. Fans can also purchase the entire series for $57.54.

The ePub files are unprotected and compatible with most Android devices, iOS devices, and any other eReader, tablet, or smartphone that accepts ePub format. In addition, the Harry Potter eBooks are available in Amazon Kindle formats. A full list of compatible devices and reading services is also available on the Pottermore Shop website.

expand full story

Kindle Stories March 22, 2012

Amazon just updated the “Kindle” for Android app to support Kindle Format 8, and it brings a variety of children’s books, comic books, and graphic novels with vivid color and illustrations.

“Shop for over 1000 children’s titles such as Brown Bear and Curious George, and comics such as Batman and Superman. Plus, richer formatting in thousands of other Kindle titles,” announced the app’s description on the Google Play Store.

The new collection of reading materials compliment an already existing catalog of over 850,000 Kindle books and 100 different newspapers and magazines hosted through Amazon’s free application that does not need a Kindle slate. For those that already own a Kindle, Whispersync seamlessly beams a user’s last page read, and any bookmarks, highlights, and notes across all compatible devices.

expand full story

Kindle Stories February 10, 2012

We heard about this before: AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski reported (via Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley) that Amazon will launch a 9-inch version of the Kindle Fire by mid year. Amazon will play off the wide success of its 7-inch version. With the introduction of a 9-inch Kindle Fire by mid year, analyst Bartley is raising his sales estimate f0r the Kindle Fire from 12.7 million to 14.9 million units shipped in 2012. Bartley reported:

We are raising our 2012 sales forecasts to 14.9 million from 12.7 million,” he wrote. “But we believe there is an upward bias, particularly from the new 7- and 9-inch models, which we expect to launch in mid-2012.”

We heard rumors in late 2011 that Amazon was to launch a 10.1-inch version to compete with the iPad. At any rate, we expect Amazon to announce a larger version at some point.

 

expand full story

Kindle Stories January 18, 2012

Amazon just released software version 6.2.2 for the Kindle Fire. While Amazon has yet to release an official change log, users are reporting it on the Kindle Fire support forums, and it can be found as an over-the-air download. The minor software release brings full-screen Silk browsing for your enjoyment. We will keep an eye out for other changes. (via The Verge)

Kindle Stories December 21, 2011

Amazon started to roll out another over-the-air update to the Kindle Fire, putting the device at version 6.2.1. The company announced tonight that the update would improve performance and touch responsiveness, allowing a user to choose the items appearing in the carousel. It also gives the ability to add a password lock on Wi-Fi access. To install version 6.2.1, tap the ‘sync’ button in the right corner, or a user can manually install it by downloading the file.

Tonight’s fixes come after many users complaining since getting their device. Our own Seth Weintraub even gave his two cents about the device’s speed in his review:

expand full story

Kindle Stories December 15, 2011

Amazon Kindles are selling like wildfire, at least that’s the latest from the company. Amazon announced in a press release this morning that they’re selling more than 1 million Kindles per week — for the last 3 weeks. Granted this includes all three Kindles, but Amazon specifically mentioned the Kindle Fire, saying that it has broken records since it was released 11 weeks ago. Not only has it broken their records, but also is the best selling tablet at Target and others reports The Next Web.

We’ve embedded the press release after the break.

expand full story

Kindle Stories December 2, 2011

In the two weeks it’s been on the market, Amazon rose to become a major tablet player second to Apple. The $199 Kindle Fire shipping estimate for the fourth quarter of this year easily outpaces combined sales estimates for Samsung and HTC tablets and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet. According to research firm IHS iSuppli, Amazon is set to ship an estimated 3.9 million Fires during the last three months of 2011, which echoes today’s estimated by component makers who predicted Fire shipments of four to five million units through holidays.

Shipments of nearly four million Fires will give Amazon an estimated 13.8 percent share of global media tablet shipments in the fourth quarter, IHS iSuppli noted. The research firm compared that to the 4.8 percent held by Samsung, 4.7 percent by Barnes & Noble and 1.3 percent by HTC. Apple’s iPad, of course, commands 65.6 percent portion of the market.

IHS’s Rhoda Alexander was quoted as saying:

Nearly two years after Apple Inc. rolled out the iPad, a competitor has finally developed an alternative which looks like it might have enough of Apple’s secret sauce to succeed. Initial market response strongly suggests that Amazon, with the Kindle Fire, has found the right combination of savvy pricing, astute marketing, accessible content and an appropriate business model, positioning the Kindle Fire to appeal to a brand-new set of media tablet buyers. The production plans make it clear that Amazon is betting big on the product.

The Fire began shipping sixteen days ago following the September 28 introduction, “creating chaos in the Android tablet market” due to its sweet price spot of just $199, IHS noted. They previously estimated Amazon is selling the device at a loss because components needed to make it cost an estimated $201.70.

Amazon “is playing the long game”, IHS explains, adding the online retailer is “developing a business model that looks beyond the device”. Rhoda Alexander writes that Amazon is able to cover the losses through content sales as the Fire is tightly integrated with their content stores and cloud services:

Amazon plans to use the Kindle Fire to drive sales of physical goods that comprise the majority of the company’s business. As long as this strategy is successful, the company can afford to take a loss on the hardware—while its Android competitors cannot.

IHS expects Apple to discount the $499 iPad 2 when iPad 3 is released some time next year, allowing the Cupertino gadget maker to maintain its profit margins on both the iPad 3 and iPad 2 while attacking Amazon on the low-end.

While Apple and Amazon, and to a lesser extent Samsung, are enjoying fruits of their labor, Research In Motion today announced that unsold PlayBook inventory will cost them a whopping $485 million. Just 150,000 PlayBooks shipped into the channel in the third quarter, the company revealed. Due to this charge, BlackBerry outages and sluggish sales, the once mighty company no longer expects to meet its full-year earnings forecast, Reuters reported today.

expand full story

Amazon isn’t keen on divulging sales data for its device. This has been true since their venture into hardware with the original Kindle e-reader’s release a little over four years ago. As a result, sales comparison is quite thankless, but not impossible. As most tech companies commission Asian manufacturers to build their gadgets, supply chain leaks can provide a reasonably accurate guesstimate in terms of units shipped to the channel (which can still differ greatly from the number of units sold to consumers and incur high costs related to unsold inventory, as seen in RIM’s example).

Now, according to DigiTimes, an Asian trade publication, Quanta Computer has already shipped between three and four million units of the seven-inch Kindle Fire tablet to Amazon. The online retailer has commissioned Quanta to assemble the gadget. The $199 Android tablet began shipping sixteen days ago following the September 28 introduction. Quanta is estimated to ship up to five million Kindle Fire units by January 2012.

The sources said Amazon has continued to increase its orders for Kindle Fire and aims to see total OEM Kindle Fire shipments reach five million units by the end of December or early January.

If all goes well and sell-through is high enough, Amazon should have no trouble reaching an installed base of five million Kindle Fire users by the year’s end. And considering the tablets prominent placement on Amazon.com, Amazon’s brand, powerful marketing and ecosystem as well as its penchant for gradually reducing prices (even though they sell the gizmo at a loss), the Fire could easily remain the second most-used tablet throughout 2012.

expand full story

Every 14 days, Google publishes an updated pie-chart laying out all of the details about what Android versions are most prominent. Yesterday’s chart reveals that Android 2.3, or Gingerbread, now makes up 50.6% of Android’s user base, followed by Android 2.2, Froyo which has 35.3%. Interestingly, there are still close to 12% of users on lower levels of Android. Where the shocker really comes in to play is the percentage of users that are rocking Honeycomb, the Android version exclusive to tablets.

Figures also updated by Google’s team, was a pie-chart showing different screen sizes that feature Android. The chart showed that 3.1% of all Android devices are tablets with a 7-inch or larger screen.  If all 200M Android devices are still active and represented here, that means that 6.2M Android Tablets are in the market.

expand full story

Kindle Stories November 28, 2011

Online-only seller Amazon is sure bearing fruits of its recent foray into the tablet space. The $199 Kindle Fire tablet launched September 28 and it remains their bestselling product across all Amazon for eight weeks running. It’s not much of a surprise, really, considering the product’s prominent advertising on the Amazon sites and its breakthrough price.

Plus, it really is competing with other Android tablets rather than with Apple’s iPad (as we mentioned in our quick review). Amazon also said today that this Black Friday was the best ever for the Kindle family, with Black Friday sales of Kindle devices outpacing last year’s Black Friday by a factor of four. Kindle devices area now available at over 16,000 retail locations throughout the United States.

Amazon’s Kindle vice president Dave Limp said his company saw “a lot of customers buying multiple Kindles – one for themselves and others as gifts”. The streamlined Kindle product mix covers sweet price spots, ranging from as low as $79 (the Kindle) to $99 (the WiFi Kindle Touch) to $149 (the 3G Kindle Touch) and all the way up to $199 for their most expensive mobile device, the Kindle Fire tablet. Apple’s iPad 2 begins at $499, which buys you a tablet with 16 gigabytes of flash storage and WiFi-only networking ($130 more for a 3G+WiFi version).

expand full story

Kindle Stories November 21, 2011

ChangeWave Research in a new survey polled 3,043 consumers on consumer tablet demand for the holidays, including a close-up look at demand for the Amazon Kindle Fire vs. the Apple iPad. Overall, tablets are big this holidays as sales in the United States increase an estimated 130 percent.

Everybody wants a tablet, it seems. A total of 14 percent of respondents plan on buying a tablet in the next 90 days, an eight percentage points increase over an August ChangeWave survey and more than triple the level of a year ago. However, nowadays shoppers no longer have to pick between an iPad or an array of same-looking Android tablets because Amazon is now the second most-popular tablet brand (people clearly want an Amazon tablet).

According to ChangeWave:

The Amazon Kindle Fire is going to leapfrog the competition and become the number two product in the tablet market, as long as it can provide a quality user experience. But the Amazon surge may also contain a silver lining for Apple, by damaging the tablet market hopes of the remaining competitors in the field.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) plan on buying an iPad, or two out of three tablet buyers. People are loving their iPads and it shows in satisfaction ratings. A total of 74 percent of all iPad owners are Very Satisfied versus 49 percent for all other tablet manufacturers combined.

More than one in five, or 22 percent, eye an Amazon tablet and just four percent plan on buying a Galaxy Tab from Samsung. Apple’s score is in line with iPad’s IDC-estimated 68 percent share of the tablet market. In addition, Canalys projected Apple will overtake Hewlett-Packard to become the #1 PC maker globally on the heels of iPad 3 release, although not everybody is down with counting iPad as a computer. More tidbits and charts after the break.

expand full story

Kindle Stories November 17, 2011

A few days after becoming available to customers, a few early Kindle Fire owners are reporting Wi-Fi issues plaguing the device frequently. Some users have reported fixing the bug by changing settings on their router or fully resetting it. This is obviously a big issue for Fire users, seeing as Wi-Fi is a crucial part to streaming content — one of the Fire’s key focuses. Amazon has yet to comment, but this seems like an issue that could easily fixed via software update. For those of you who have already gotten their hands on the Kindle Fire, are you experiencing Wi-Fi issues? (via TechCrunch)

It you want access to all of the apps on the Android platform (including all of Google’s great apps) on your Kindle, you’ll want to get the Android Market on there.  Once rooted, it is a pretty straightforward process as outlined in the steps below.  Is the Kindle going to replace the Nook as the go-to cheap hacking Android Tablet? expand full story

Kindle Stories November 16, 2011

If the customized Amazon Android experience on your new Kindle Fire just isn’t cutting it, Amazon is now offering up the source code as an 809MB download to external developers here. Of course this means custom ROMS, overclocked CPUs, and endless other hacks will follow, but first you’ll need a root method. Thanks to AndroidForums.com member death2all110 (via Phandroid), we already have a one-click method using SuperOneClick 2.2, which requires you first have the SDK installed. Full instructions after the break. expand full story

Kindle Stories November 15, 2011

The fine folks over at iFixit have done their honorary teardown of the Kindle Fire, which just became available today. The teardown revealed the device is much easier to open than Apple’s iPad and iPod. Other things to note are its huge battery and shiny metal plates on the back case that help provide protection for the internal components, as well as heat sinking and EMI shielding. Head on over to iFixit for all of the technical details.

Interested in our first thoughts on the $199 Fire? Check them out here. A few more teardown photos after the break:

expand full story

Kindle Stories November 14, 2011

Mashable reports that some Google Marketplace apps are installable on Kindle’s new Fire tablet. A user simply needs to head to the device settings pane and enable the “Allow Installation of Applications From Unknown Sources” option. Then, the user needs to install GetJar.com. The Kindle Fire won’t appear in the GetJar options for app downloading, so the user just needs to select another Android 2.3 tablet. Not all apps will install, and Mashable uses the example of the Nook app. Quite the irony.

We’re playing with Google Maps right now (below).  FYI Launcher apps don’t seem to work. It appears that the Kindle is about to be opened up bigtime for hacking in the next 24 hours…. expand full story

Kindle Stories November 10, 2011

Yesterday Amazon detailed a selection of apps to be available at launch and mentioned “several thousand more apps” will hit the Amazon App Store in preparation of next week’s Kindle Fire launch. Today they are putting in the groundwork by pushing out an update to the Amazon Appstore for Android app brining it up to version 2.0 and adding a few new features and an overhauled UI.

You’ll notice several UI improvements that bring it in line with the version of the store we’ve got a peek at on the Kindle Fire. Expect shades of grey to replace any hint of white from the previous version, and larger fonts throughout.

New features include in-app purchases and subscriptions, parental controls, and the ability to view any given app’s permissions before installing. Amazon is also promising faster installs and and load times, as well as the usual bug fixes. If you haven’t already, click here to install the Amazon App Store.

DigiTimes is reporting (via All Things D) that Amazon has once again just increased Kindle Fire orders, this time by a million units, to an expected five million units by the end of 2011. This follows the company upping initial orders of 3.5 million to four million units during Q3, as they prep for anticipated demand during the upcoming holidays. expand full story

Kindle Stories November 9, 2011

According to a report from The Atlantic, Amazon might be in the process of readying their own Siri competitor as the company moves to acquire voice-to-text startup Yap. While nothing is official as of yet, the proof comes from an SEC filing that shows Yap has merged with “Dio Acquisition Sub”, a company located in Amazon’s 410 Terry Avenue building in Seattle, Washington.

The voicemail-to-text tech at the heart of Yap’s private beta service (which shutdown as of October 20th) isn’t all that impressive, but the company is said to have a significant amount of intellectual property related to speech recognition. This has lead analysts to speculate the acquisition could be Amazon’s first step into building voice recognition service that could potentially compete with Apple’s Siri voice-control technology.

Of course with the Kindle Fire launch next week, and lack of Siri on iPad, it’s easy to dream up a voice-controlled Amazon tablet experience. Although, it’s likely voice recognition tech makes it’s way to Amazon’s various mobile apps and online experiences as well if the IP acquired from Yap is indeed the start of the company’s venture into voice control. expand full story

With the Kindle Fire set to start shipping next week, Amazon sent out a press release this morning confirming a ton of Amazon Appstore-optimized apps will be available at launch. While the Fire runs a scaled back version of Android, the app selection through Amazon’s app store will be far from the full-fledged Android Market. Here’s what you can expect on day-one.

Most of these are expected or were already mentioned during the launch event– Pandora, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, The Weather Channel, Rhapsody, and Comics by comiXology. In addition, Amazon says there will be “several thousand more apps” and is already working with a ton of developers including all the usual suspects–Rovio (Angry Birds), EA, PopCap, Gameloft, and Zynga.

You’ll be able to grab the Kindle Fire for $199 just about everywhere starting November 15. The press release (below) also provides the following list of other apps already optimized for the 7-inch tab:

Allrecipes, Bloomberg, Cut the Rope, Doodle Fit, Doodle Jump, Fruit Ninja, Jenga, LinkedIn, Zillow, Airport Mania, Battleheart, Pulse, The Cat in the Hat, Quickoffice Pro, Jamie’s 20-Minute Meals, IMDb Movies & TV, and Monkey Preschool Lunchbox.

expand full story

Kindle Stories November 3, 2011

In a move that might drive more e-book-only tablet users to Amazon (opposed to iBooks or elsewhere), Amazon has announced a new book borrowing service called “Kindle Lending Library”.  The move is said to encourage Prime subscriptions, which are required for the service, but could be part of Amazon’s larger strategy as the $199 Kindle Fire prepares to enter the tablet market. Either way,

The service will allow users to borrow from a selection of approximately 5,000 books (up to one a month) that have been enabled for lending by the publisher. You’ll be able to return the book at any time without due dates, and bookmarks and highlights will be saved in the event you borrow or purchase the book in the future. Included in the available content will be 100 current and previous New York Times bestsellers.

Not so fast if you’re hoping to borrow books on your non-Kindle tablet, however. The service will only be made available to owners of an eligible Kindle device that are also Amazon Prime subscribers. A Prime membership is currently going for $79 per year, a pricey ask for just the book borrowing service if you’re not planning on taking advantage of the 10,000 movies and tv shows, and free two-day shipping available to Prime users. The good news is the $199 Kindle Fire will come bundled with one free month of Prime.

It appears Amazon hasn’t entirely convinced publishers of the long-term benefits of the service, as they note in the press release they are actually ” purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader” to provide a “no-risk trial” for publishers: expand full story

Kindle Stories September 28, 2011

While the new Kindle Fire tablet failed to impress folks who were hoping for an iPad killer, the $79 regular Kindle has gotten us excited because this thing is now within grasp of an average consumer and if history is an indication, sales should grow at an exponential rate. Conveniently, Amazon has a new television commercial to push the $79 Kindle into mainstream. Clearly they want you to view the device as the perfect holiday gift.  The new inexpensive Kindle is available today. Its touch-based counterpart named the Kindle Touch is arriving in time for Thanksgiving, priced at $99/$149 for WiFi/3G variant.

expand full story

Kindle Stories September 12, 2011

Amazon is in talks with books publishers about a new service that could enable customers to subscribe to Kindle books in bulk for an annual subscription fee, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon has told publishers it is considering creating a digital-book library featuring older titles, people familiar with the talks said. The content would be available to customers of Amazon Prime, who currently pay the retailer $79 a year for unlimited two-day shipping and for access to a digital library of movies and TV shows. Amazon would offer book publishers a substantial fee for participating in the program, people familiar with the proposal said. Some of these people said that Amazon would limit the amount of books that Amazon Prime customers could read for free every month.

However, the deal is anything but certain because print die-hards are not entirely sold on the initiative, fearing the idea might “downgrade” the value of books.

Several publishing executives said they aren’t enthusiastic about the idea because they believe it could lower the value of books and because it could strain their relationships with other retailers that sell their books, they said.

It is also unclear whether enough people would buy into the idea of subscribing to a vast library of digital books. The service would, however, provide value to e-reading aficionados who buy a lot of individual e-books on a regular basis. Of course, if Amazon can work out fair usage terms and keep the prices low, the general public could take the bait, too. If anything, the initiative could be seen as another way to upsell customers to the Amazon Prime subscription package.

That being said, the very idea of subscription-based access to Amazon’s vast books library raises the question whether Amazon is attempting to kill the library per se. It may seem a stretch, but let’s not forget that Kindle books are now outselling hardcover and paperback editions combined. Also, the service could take off if coupled with the forthcoming Amazon tablet, which will probably be the case.

expand full story

Kindle Stories September 2, 2011

TechCrunch’s MG Siegler has come up with quite the exclusive this afternoon, which includes almost all of the details on Amazon’s new Kindle Tablet. TechCrunch wasn’t able to post pictures, but they reassure us they played with it — and they said it’s quite the delight, calling it “solid“. Citing the report, the 7-inch version will be released sometime by the end of the year for $250, and if it’s a success, the 10-inch will launch sometime in Q1. As for the operating system, it will be running Android, but not the kind you and I are used to.

The specs for this device are reported as follows: a 7-inch screen, single-core chip, modified Android, no physical buttons, no camera, and 6GB of internal storage (MG notes some of this is speculation). Did you read that no camera part? Wow.

Google’s Android Market is nowhere to be found. In fact, no Google app is anywhere to be found. This is Android fully forked. My understanding is that the Kindle OS was built on top of some version of Android prior to 2.2. And Amazon will keep building on top of that of that over time. In other words, this won’t be getting “Honeycomb” or “Ice Cream Sandwich” — or if it does, users will never know it because that will only be the underpinnings of the OS. Any visual changes will be all Amazon.

Continue after the break:

expand full story

Kindle Stories July 18, 2011

Great news for students from Amazon today. You can now save up to 80 percent off the list price of the print textbook by renting Kindle Textbooks on the Kindle or Kindle-compliant devices such as Windows and OS X PCs, iPads, iPhones and BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone 7 devices. “Tens of thousands of textbooks” are available for rent across those platforms, reads an Amazon page promoting the deal. You can choose a rental length between 30 and 360 days and extend your rental for as little as one day. What’s best, regardless of your chosen rental period, Amazon will charge you only for the exact time you need a book. From Amazon:

Kindle Textbook Rental is a flexible and affordable way to read textbooks. You can rent for the minimum length, typically 30 days, and save up to 80% off the print list price. If you find you need your textbook longer, you can extend your rental by as little as 1 day as many times as you want and just pay for the added days.

You can tell whether  a Kindle edition is available for rent in the Textbooks Store section of the Kindle app or from the search bar. The ability to rent textbooks in fair terms is good for students, but it ain’t like they were going to keep them anyway.

expand full story

Kindle Stories May 19, 2011

Online retailer Amazon just announced that Kindle books have surpassed print books in terms of sales. Folks are now buying more Kindle books than their hardcover and paperback counterparts combined. Amazon said that for every 100 print books customers have picked up since April 1, they have sold 105 Kindle books. The figure excludes free Kindle books and includes hardcover and paperback books where there is no Kindle edition. More amazing facts below the fold…

expand full story

Powered by WordPress VIP