Friday, August 15, 2014

Kindle Fire HDX and HD2 Tips: Software updates - general improvements for the Kindle Fire tablets are here - v11.3.2.5, v13.3.2.5, and v14.3.2.5.


Amazon has set a software update to go directly to the current line of Kindle Fire tablets
-- I noticed that mine was being received and installed today, August 15, 2014.   It suddenly turned on and did the update.  This will be true for most owners of these tablets.

The update hasn't been announced in the forums, possibly because it's considered a minor update.  Amazon's wording at the software update pages:

    "The software update includes general improvements and performance enhancements."

General instructions from Amazon's help pages


     To Download & Install Software Updates Automatically

Sync your Kindle Fire HD 2nd Generation, or Kindle Fire HDX 7", or Kindle Fire HD 8.9" to download the latest software update automatically.  
Your Kindle Fire needs to be fully charged and connected to a Wi-Fi network before you can download the software update.
  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to open Quick Settings, and then tap Settings.
  2. Tap Device, and then tap System Updates.
  3. Tap Check Now. If an update is available, your Kindle Fire will automatically download the update.
  4. After you download the update, tap Update.
Your Kindle Fire will restart during the software update. After the restart, the message "Installing system update" will appear on the screen.
_______

However, some who haven't received an update yet may want to download and install these manually rather than wait for the automatic update.  They'll need to determine which software version is on the device...

  • Swipe down from the top of the screen to open Quick Settings, and then tap Settings.


  • Tap Device, and then tap System Updates.  If you have the latest software update, it should look like this: 11.3.2.3.2_user_323001620 [if for Kindle Fire HD 7" 2nd Gen tablet, in this case, or later.]




  • Here are the Current and Latest Update versions (August 2014)
      and the Update pages for those wanting or needing to manually install the updates:

      Kindle Fire HD 7" 2nd Gen - Update page
        11.3.2.5

      Kindle Fire HDX 7" - Update page
        13.3.2.5

      Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" - Update page
        14.3.2.5


    See other blog postings today (8/15/14) for Paperwhite2 and Kindle for Android updates



      For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
    Temporarily-free books - Non-classics
    USA: by:
       Publication Date  
       Bestselling   High-ratings

    UK: PubDate   Popular

    The Kindle Daily Deal

    What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care

    Highly-rated under $1
    ,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
    Most Popular Free K-Books
    U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
       Top 100 free
    UK-Only:
       Top 100 free

    Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.

    USEFUL for your Kindle Keyboard (U.S. only, currently):
      99c Notepad 1.1,   99c Calculator,
      99c Calendar,   99c Converter

      *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button


    Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
    -- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

    Send to Kindle


    (Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
    If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
    Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

    Kindle Tips: Kindle Reading app update for Kindle for Android (v4.6) - Lots of enhancements but some are reporting crashes with the update, so waiting for the next update may be a good option for some.

       

    Kindle reading-app for Android updated with Audible Integration improvements and several other feature enhancements

    A copy of the forum announcement:
    ' Initial post: Aug 12, 2014 3:00:21 PM PDT

    Megan H. - Forum Moderator says:
    (AMAZON) (AMAZON OFFICIAL)
    We have a new, exciting software update available for Kindle for Android. The latest version of Kindle for Android 4.6 has several new features and performance improvements.

    What's been improved?

    We've improved the listening experience for books with audio:
    * When you're listening from a Bluetooth device, playback will automatically pause if Bluetooth is disconnected. A new permission is required for this, "Pair with Bluetooth devices." More information about the device permissions we require and why, is available at: https://amazon.com/help/kindleforandroid/permissions
    * Go hands-free with Immersion Reading; enjoy automatic page turns without the screen shutting off.
    * Learn more about reading and listening with Whispersync for Voice.

    Helpful account information can be found on the Settings screen:
    * Rename your device to make it easier to recognize when buying books from the Kindle store.
    * Check your registration information, is the app registered to the correct email address?
    * Learn more about reading personal documents with Send to Kindle.

    Viewing options inside the book have been updated:
    * "Use system brightness" is a more intuitive option for a brightness settings. Tap the "Aa" icon at the top of the screen to choose this new option. If you're not finding the "Aa" icon, tap the center of the screen to have the menu bars slide into view. This improvement was made with the help of your feedback!
    * When the menus are hidden (tap the center of the screen to show or hide them), tap the bottom right corner of the screen. Do you notice a small padlock? Tap it to lock the orientation. Now you can turn the device in any direction so you read on your side or back.

    Improvements were made to the Table of Contents as well:
    * A direct link to the book cover is at the top.
    * "Front matter" is next. Funny name but this where you'll find the title, copyright, dedication and more. There's an arrow to the right of the label. Tap it to close the front matter section.
    * If a book has page numbers we'll show them alongside the chapter names. The current page you're on will be highlighted.
    * If another chapter is selected, you can always get back to your previous location by tapping one of the placeholders on the location seeker at the bottom.

    Lots of other improvements and fixes are included as a result of your feedback. Please keep the feedback coming, we're always listening and will be sure to send your comments to the Kindle for Android team. '


    REMINDER
    How does Whispersync for Voice work?
    Amazon's Whispersync for Voice page has a clear diagram showing the basics of how the parts relate and how you use this convenient feature (without relying on the computerized voice we heard with the older eInk Kindles that had audio).


    If this is a NEW Android app install
    If you've never installed the Android app,
    • go to Amazon's Kindle for Android app page
    • Select "Download now"
    • Follow the instructions to download the app to your device
    • After installing the Kindle reading app, you'll need to register it to your Amazon account.

    Kindle reading-app Updates - Where?
      . Kindle for Android Phone update page at Amazon appstore
      . Kindle for Android Tablet update page at Amazon appstore
      . or, if Google play was the original source anyway, Android Updates from Google play.




    Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
      Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
    UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
        Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

      *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button


    Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
    -- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

    Send to Kindle


    (Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
    If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
    Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

    Kindle Tips: Software update v5.4.5.1 for Paperwhite 2 is ready. REVISED for Footnote improvements.

    New software update for Paperwhite 2
    The description released August 11 at the software update page and at the forums just repeats exactly what the changes were for update v5.4.5 on July 28, 2014 (!)

    However, knowledgeable customers say that there were complaints that the footnotes were now not working properly after v5.4.5, and they report that the footnote functioning is working well with this last week's updated release 5.4.5.1.

    The links below will work for this update.  Below is a copy of what was posted for v5.4.5 on July 28.
      Bear in mind, that when it says "v5.4.5" all of it now applies also to v5.4.5.1.


    The changes that took effect for v5.4.5 and which still apply for v5.4.5.1

    NEW KINDLE PAPERWHITE 2 gets Software Update v5.4.5 has some general improvements and feature enhancements.

    Many report never getting automated updates on their E-Ink readers.  In that case you can download the update-file and install it manually if wanting to get the feature updates.  More on that below.

    This update was released last week.

    Kindle Paperwhite 2 Software Upgrade to v5.4.5

      Devices involved: See Paperwhite 2 (US),   UK Paperwhite 2: here; Global Paperwhite 2: here.

    The new, free software update available for Kindle Paperwhite 2 can be found here [U.S. and some international].

        [Here's the UK-only software update page]


    Amazon's software update page explains how to check the software version currently on your Paperwhite 2.  I'm usually one of the last to receive software updates, so sometimes I do follow the step-by-step instructions to do a manual download and install to my Kindle if the change is important to me.  In my case, I have the Paperwhite 1, and there's no current update for that one.

    This update normally automatically downloads and installs on the applicable Kindle Paperwhite 2 eventually;  however, as mentioned, you can also manually download the software and transfer the update to your device via USB cable.

    Here are the feature enhancements they describe for update v5.4.5 [Emphases below are mine]
    • Sync to the Most Recent Page Read
      Any books you are reading on your Kindle Paperwhite will now sync to the most recent page read across all Kindle devices and/or reading apps registered to your Amazon account. You can still manually sync your Kindle Paperwhite to go to the furthest page read.  To learn more, go to Sync on Your Kindle Paperwhite.
    • Preview a PDF in Pan-and-Zoom Mode
      When viewing a PDF in pan-and-zoom mode, you will now see a small preview window in the margin of the screen.
    • Read a Sample While Your Physical Book Ships
      While you are waiting for select physical books to arrive at your doorstep, you can start reading the book right away by adding a sample of the book to your Kindle library.  With this release, these samples will be now available for download in the Cloud tab of your Kindle Paperwhite in addition to your other supported Kindle devices and apps. Any previous samples you have claimed through a physical book purchase will also be available in the Cloud to download. To learn more, go to Read While Your Book Ships.
    A Reminder about how syncing of your reading between devices and apps is done
    In order for this to work reliably, the changes to your last page read and any new annotations done (highlighting, notes and bookmarks) must be 'seen' by the servers at Amazon -- this means that your WiFi or 3G wireless connection would need to be 'on' at the time you close the book by tapping the Home icon.
       Once the Amazon servers note the changes, they'll be available to the next Kindle-compatible reader or app you open (with Wireless on that device turned On also).
      You can turn 'off' the WiFi or 3G Wireless connection after leaving the Kindle book reading, which will help maximize battery use on that device.)

      When an eInk screen is displaying a page but there is no change to that screen, the display is having no effect on the battery.
      When you change what's being displayed (changing or adding anything on the page, as in tapping it on the side to get a new page or when an action brings a pop-up window or dialog box), the display IS using the battery.  That's why just pressing the power button for only ~1 second puts the Kindle to 'sleep' during which it displays an image, which doesn't use the battery, but the Paperwhite light turns off.

      Leaving it in this sleep state doesn't draw battery power as a result of the image display itself.  If, however, WiFi is On during Sleep state, any activity with subscription downloads or a Special Offers download -will- use battery power.

      There is always very slow battery drain in between charges even when a device is turned off.

      So, the "Screen Off" is an relatively new choice on mine, I noticed.  This just blanks the screen and puts it into sleep state.  SOME have requested a blank screen so they know it's "Off" but, in this case, it's only that there's no image seen - not even Amazon's default images during normal sleep-screens.

    Mentioned previously also:
      "Restart" acts more like a soft-reboot on a computer and clears up memory states that may be causing problems.

      There is NO option on my Paperwhite to completely Power Off or Shut down the Kindle.  My options are to (1) Cancel a longer key-press action, (2) Restart the Paperwhite (mine is a Paperwhite 1), or (3) choose "Screen Off."

      It could be that my dialog box for powering off is different from that seen by others because I chose not to get Special Offers sent to my Paperwhite (I accept Special Offers on my Kindle Fire tablets) and, therefore, blanking the screen with a "Screen Off" does not interfere with the marketing offers on the lockscreen.

      Some may choose to get the offers on the Paperwhite and, as a result, may not get the 'Screen Off' option.  That's just conjecture on my part.

      But, in that case, they seem to get the option to 'shut down' the Kindle.

      Also, in my case, holding in the power button for over 20 seconds (rather than 5 seconds) does still cause a Restart (and a clearing of current memory use), as in the past.


    IF you experience unusual battery drain
    Note that keeping your Kindle always connected to a Wi-Fi network can drain the battery faster under certain circumstances.  If you're experiencing that, then once you've got the update "over the air," put the Paperwhite back to "Airplane Mode ON" via the 'Settings' option on the Menu -- the option lets you toggle Wireless OFF, using the "Airplane On" choice.

      Amazon's Paperwhite development team won't return the Wireless Off/On choice to the front menu as they did last year for the Kindle Touch, removing the 'airplane mode' icon which confuses many.  It's very inconvenient to have the WiFi On/Off setting on a secondary menu and many, as a result, don't even know that they can turn WiFi Off if needed.

      Amazon probably prefers that we keep Wireless 'On' due to delivery of Special Offers but the battery-drain problem can occur when circumstances involve (1) subscriptions that are downloaded regularly (my New York Times Latest News subscription updates the Kindle edition about five times a day - $1.99/month)) or (2) due to a weaker connection that results from the distance from the WiFi router, in which case the device keeps trying to connect when a download is due (and that can be for the special offers that Amazon regularly needs to send for those who choose to opt for the less-expensive model with the special-offers feature) and is then constantly active.

      BUT, again, WiFi needs to be 'On' after you've read a book and made annotations for a session AND when you then want to be able to continue reading later, on another device (like a smartphone), starting at where you'd stopped.
      If WiFi isn't turned on, the Amazon servers won't have any way of knowing the last-page-read location nor any notes or highlighting you've made, which you'd want to be able to access on the other device.  So, a reminder on my usual recommendation:
    1. When you're finished reading, tap the top-toolbar and press the HOME icon.
      That will 'close' the book session and record the last page read and log the annotations.
    2. Tap the top of the Paperwhite to bring up the toolbar and menu icon.
    3. If you see an airplane icon at the top, your WiFi is Off (and you're in "airplane" take-off mode).
    4. Tap 'Settings'
    5. Turn Airplane Mode OFF, and that'll turn WiFi ON.
    6. At that point, the Kindle will try to sync your changes to the Server and will download anything that is pending (a subscription to a newspaper, magazine, or blog, usually).
    7. After that's done, you can go ahead and leave WiFi ON if you have no problems with faster battery drain
          OR you can turn OFF the WiFi if you need to save battery power.

    Only if you'd rather not wait -- DOWNLOADING and transferring the Update via USB
    US:  Go to the Kindle Paperwhite Software Update v5.4.5 download section to get the instructions for the download and transfer to your Kindle via USB:
    UK:  UK Paperwhite eReader owners can do the same for the UK-only page




    Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
      Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
    UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
        Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

      *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button

    Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
    -- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

    Send to Kindle


    (Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
    If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
    Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

    Free Kindle books: Search-link options for August for contemporary, non-classics + less-known bargain pages + Kindle discount-alerts by customers + Kindle Unlimited Audible w/ Whispersync


    August 9, 2014
    - This includes a quick reminder that the free Kindle book search options in the reference section (right-column of blog) are updated for August.

    Regular readers of the blog are aware of the following links, but I repost them (and often add new ones) each month, for those who are new to the blog or are looking for a refresher on what's available.

    These include some less-known links for avid bargain Kindle book hunters

        July 2014  August 2014.
        Also, all currently free non-classics sorted by:
        Publication Date   Bestselling    High ratings

      There are only a few shown on the first few days of any month, and these include pre-orders due that month -- most of these are listed as "free preview" of whatever chapters chosen, some are short stories, and a few (overnight) not-entire-family-safe titles may show up. Since this is August 9, the listing will include more already available, full books.

        Highly rated, under $1

        In addition, Amazon still quietly carries: "Mostly 99c Kindle Books" page, which is a different Amazon listing from the one for highly rated Kindle books under $1.

        Amazon Top 100   (Also, UK-only)

        Amazon's own Limited Time Free Promos.


    Two ongoing pages you may want to bookmark
    1. Free Kindle Non-Classics - includes the above bargain links among other ones
    2. KINDLE SUPPORT info
      This has an "Often Asked" section which has a lot of good info in it. Updated 7/2/14, 2:50pm


    Also for newcomers to the Kindle or to this blog, here are the special monthly book deals for August 2014 -- where to find them, etc.

    AUGUST 2014's monthly Kindle Books deal, for $3.99 or less (See UK listing here.)

    For those who want to quickly look first at only the ones that are star-rated at 4 or above, here is Amazon's page for exactly that.

      On the main monthly Kindle book deals page, separate categories are highlighted, using Amazon's usual horizontally-scrolling pick-lists, for the following topics highlighted on the main page. They link to "See all" at the bottom of each horizontally-scrolled category row [ I'm adding direct links to the full category listings ]:

      1. History and by Avg Customer Rating
      2. Science Fiction & Fantasy and by Avg Customer Rating
      3. Biography and Memoirs and by Avg Customer Rating
      4. Literary Fiction Deals and by Avg Customer Rating
      5. Religion and Spirituality and by Avg Customer Rating
      7. Whispersync for Voice and by Avg Customer Rating     Newer
            The Whispersync category has sometimes shown up with an explanation that the
            corresponding audio book is also sold at the monthly-deal price, if wanted.
      ' Now you can seamlessly switch between reading featured Kindle books and listening to them without ever losing your place...
      First, purchase the Kindle book for $3.99 or less. Then add the narration from Audible for $3.99 or less to enable the feature. '
      But the Whispersync category is no longer on the main Monthly Deals page, although the deals still exist (there are about 74 of these Whispersync-ready books in this month's deals).  They ARE included in the overall scrolled monthly deals that can be sorted by several options at the bottom of that main page.

    Note that the new Kindle Unlimited subscription program includes many of these as part of Kindle Unlimited so that there's no added charge for the Audible book.

    The main monthly deals page also tends to show, on the right, two vertically-scrolling categories:
      1. A list of Bestsellers
      2. Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense highlighted + more in the linked full list w/ sorting options)
          Here's that fuller listing by Avg Customer Rating

    THEN, at the bottom of the new main monthly Kindle book-deals page, they offer the FULL current monthly listing, defaulting to sorting by "New and Popular" and there are 125 in all, currently, but the number may vary.

      Here's a direct link to that Full-listing (US), sorted by "New and Popular" for the month, so
        it's a good one to bookmark if you just want to jump to that) and
        you can choose another sort option for this full listing, such as
            Avg Customer Rating or by Price: Low to High

    These options should make it easier to find books of interest to you.

    The pricing for August's group of Kindle books ranges from $0.99 to $3.99, as is usual for this monthly deal.

      The Kindle books you'll see on this special monthly-deals page  (UK version here) are new for August.

    (US Link: amzn.to/mkbooks-1to4,  UK Link: amzn.to/100kbooks-1to4uk)


    The ongoing Kindle Daily Deals page
    for any given day usually shows a lot of books since it includes children's books, a couple of genre-specific deals, and the monthly daily deals as well.




    DISCOUNTED / Price Dropped Kindle eBooks III - the ongoing Kindle Forum message thread
      This is an ongoing message thread in which Kindle owners share information on recent drops in pricing on specific Kindle books, often with some added info by the person posting it.

      Here's a link to the thread, which includes many books with huge price drops.  I'm starting at an August 3 posting that includes books that are still on sale today August 9 (many are very highly rated), one of them by Darrell Hammond, Saturday Night Live's "longest-tenured cast member," which is $25 in print format but $1.99 currently in Kindle edition.

      The books discussed in this forum thread tend to be very short-term discounts.

      That forum topic link is to a specific post to start, in this case, a book alert on August 3, as mentioned.  You can browse previous posts or days, or keep up with ongoing alerts after that, because Amazon keeps track of the last message# that you read, so that you can start from there next time.
     While many of the better deals seem around $1.99-$4.99, there usually are a decent number of larger-publishing house deals included (primarily price-matching) that tend to end in a DAY, so you'd need to double-check the current pricing of ANY Kindle books that interest you to see if the discounts are still active.

      Again, Kindle book prices are discounted for only a very short time, too often, and are promos, and that's another reason to watch the list.  Most of the large-publisher discounts last only one or two days even when they originate the discount.


    DISCOUNTS ON ACCESSORIES Amazon's current pages (some, ongoing) on accessories for Kindle e-Reader and Kindle Fire
      1. Up to 50% (higher discount than usual) on cases for Kindle eReaders
      2. Up to 50% on cases for Kindle Fire (Gen 2) and Kindle Fire HD tablets but NOT HDX tablets
      3. Accessories for all Kindles, with some discounted.


    For larger discounts, there are the Goldbox and Lightning Deals which sometimes include bigger one-day sales.


    Newish Kindle Outlet Store
    In the meantime, Amazon recently put together a Kindle Outlet Store to feature their certified refurbished Kindle devices, at up to 25% off.




    Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
    -- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

    Send to Kindle


    (Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
    If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
    Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

    Fire TV and Prime Shipping Tips: The Fire TV app selection has more than doubled, challenging Apple TV's, and Prime Instant-Video-ONLY categories have been expanded ... Amazon expands Same Day Delivery to more U.S. cities ... Amazon also offers a SLOWER shipping option to Prime members in return for a $1 Instant video credit.


    Amazon's Fire TV's appstore has quickly become competitive with Apple's Apple TV offerings.

    The Motley Fool, an investing site, reports today that "Amazon Fire TV Just Leveled the Playing Field With Apple TV."

      The article by Steve Symington draws our attention to Amazon's announcement that
    ' ... the Fire TV app selection has more than doubled, with "hundreds" of new services and games added since the media streaming device was launched in April.  Among Fire TV's new games are Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Dungeon Quest, Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse, and the official Flappy Birds Family -- the last of which is currently a Fire TV exclusive.  Meanwhile, new services include WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney Jr., MLB.TV, Animal Planet Live, and WWE Network.

    If that wasn't enough, Amazon promised more significant Fire TV services to come by the end of the year, including WATCH ABC, WATCH ABC Family, NFL Now, A&E, Lifetime, Outside TV, Young Hollywood, North Face TV, Fashion TV, Green TV, and Dailymotion. '

    The Apple TV box has been reviewed as slower than the Fire TV, with much less memory, and with less advanced gaming capability (although the Fire TV is not going to be the equal of an actual $300-400 gaming console).  Curiously, Symington writes that an Apple TV advantage is its full-screen mirroring functionality.  But not only does Fire TV have that (and it's very smooth, with no delays), the Fire TV also has "Fling" a feature that allows you to use your Kindle Fire HDX or HD2 or Fire Phone to send a video to the TV where it will be streamed via Amazon's Cloud and not take up processing power while you can continue to do other work on the tablet or phone AND get X-Ray'd info on who is in a scene you're watching with Amazon Prime videos.

    Tips from other customers
    You can browse the customer reviews for tips on how to minimize your Cable bill by using the Fire TV offerings.
     There's a search box in the customer reviews area that lets you search the customer reviews for words like "cable" etc.

    Voice Search - Does it work for more than Amazon's videos?
    Hulu Plus's is now included in the voice search, for the most part (they're building the database, and most of it is working).
      Netflix will be integrated with voice search control later.  From a recent Amazon press release, a quote from CEO Jeff Bezos:
    '... innovative features like unified voice search, which we’re delighted is being adopted by so many new partners, including Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Crackle and Showtime Anytime... '
      Anyone doing keypad searches knows how arduous searches can be.

    Finding Amazon Prime Instant Videos Only
    Searching for only Prime Instant Video -- This has not been possible but customers have of course been keen to have this capability, and Amazon has said, earlier, that they are working on making Prime Instant Videos easier to find on the Fire TV.

      As of mid-July, Amazon added more Prime-Instant Only browsing categories.  One customer review mentioned it's not a Search, but it's much more helpful than it was. (Note that Apple TV does not get Prime Instant videos.)

      On July 30, Amazon explained the new features in a reply to a customer review:
    ' The Amazon team says                           July 30, 2014

    . . . We wanted to let you know that we made it easier to find your favorite Prime content with the click of your remote.   You can now browse many more Prime-only categories, including
      Top Prime TV,
      Top Prime Movies,
      Prime TV for Kids,
      Prime Movies for Kids,
      Prime TV by Genre, and
      Prime Movies by Genre. '

    They don't mention a coming Voice Search that searches specifically for Prime Instant videos, and even then it would take forever to show results that included large segments of the 40,000 or so that are available for a search-results page.  The Genre category should be very useful, as long as Amazon doesn't limit greatly the number of videos that will come up.  You can of course search for a specific movie to see whether it carries a charge for Prime members or is included at no added cost.

    HOWEVER, there's another way to view what is available for Prime members at no added cost:
      You can use your laptop, desktop, or even tablet, to go to the Prime-Only pages, by categories and genres or by a listing that's sortable, with details.

    Generally, it would be faster to go through these on a computing device when so many items are involved.
      I've read that due to various Agreements that are for varying terms, a video can go in and out of 'Free' category, so that may be an additional reason to have fixed categories that include only Prime Instant Video content.

      Some are also just putting Prime videos onto their "Watch" lists and these will show up on that list on the Fire TV.

    If you're new to checking out Fire TV, see earlier blog articles for much more detail on the features and how to use them:
    1. Intro to Features of the new Fire TV - April 2, 2014
    2. Tips from further exploration of my Fire TV - April 8, 2014
    3. The amazing Frequency app - April 14, 2014.


    Amazon expands Same Day Delivery to more cities
    Press release details are cited in a story by Forbes's Jeremy Greenfield, who reports:
    ' Amazon has launched Same Day Delivery in six more major cities, making goods from baby supplies to textbooks available almost immediately for millions more shoppers.

    The program, which initially launched in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle is now also available in Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
      For an additional charge of $5.99, Amazon Prime customers can have as many items as they want delivered to their doors on the same day they’re ordered.  Not all Amazon items are available for delivery same day and orders must be placed before noon.
    . . .
    It’s unclear from the Amazon release whether trade books — that is, books widely read by the general public like fiction, nonfiction, illustrated books, etc. — are included in the new program.  The release specifically mentioned textbooks, however: “Fill-up the back pack with things like pencils, glue, text books, lunch boxes and other supplies.”

    Amazon has not yet replied to a request for comment. '

    From the press release:
    ' ... Prime members pay only $5.99 for all the same-day delivery items they can order.
    Pricing for non-Prime customers remains unchanged, with a $9.98 fee for the first item and $0.99 for each additional item. '
    "Metro" areas:
    I live across the bay from San Francisco but "the East Bay' (which includes Berkeley) is not considered part of the "metro" area of San Francisco, so it's not available where I am.  It's really rare that I ever need something in one day.  And I just received one item in 1 business day though it was estimated to take the usual two days.

      To view Same-Day eligible ZIP codes in select cities and see if your area is eligible:
        * East Coast & Midwest Cities
        * West Coast & Southwest Cities


    In the meantime!
    Amazon is encouraging Prime customers to opt for slower shipping if the item isn't needed in two days.
    Cnet's Lance Whitney writes that Amazon is offering Prime members a $1 credit toward an Instant Video rental (usually costing $1.99 to $2.99) if they choose free "no rush" shipping.

    It seems the expense of offering Prime benefits is having an impact on its bottom line, and this is one way to lower the costs for Amazon without having to raise the cost of Prime features any further.

      And it makes sense too.  Some commenters on news sites are saying that they can use their Prime to buy 3 separate items which will be delivered in slow motion :-) and get $3 toward video credits that way.  So far, it's being allowed.  Apparently some noticed that this option began to appear about 8 days ago.


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    Sunday, August 3, 2014

    Amazon explains, to customers, its negotiation focus with Hachette and other publishers. Judge Cote approves Apple's settlement plan for the states' class-action suits. Is the Kindle Unlimited subscription program a factor in the negotiations?


    Amazon explains to customers its concerns and focus during the ongoing negotiations with Hachette

    After all that's been written lately about the continuing, apparently bitter, struggle between Amazon and Hachette, Amazon has decided to explain its own perspective on this to customers, who aren't able to pre-order books of interest from Hachette nor expect to order and be shipped quickly a bestseller from that publishing company.

    Amazon's bold offer to authors (and Hachette) during the interim
      On July 9, Amazon made an offer that was favorable to the authors while talks continue.  From NPR:
    ' . . . On Tuesday, the retailer wrote directly to a handful of Hachette authors, asking for thoughts on a proposal that would give 100 percent of digital profits to authors while the fight continues.

      Amazon's vice president of Kindle content and independent publishing, David Naggar, wrote in a letter that the move "would motivate both Hachette and Amazon to work faster to resolve the situation."
      . . .
      . . . Hachette initially called the suggestions laid out in the letter "suicidal." After news of the letter to authors broke, Amazon sent the offer directly to Hachette, which rejected it, saying, "We believe that the best outcome for the writers we publish is a contract with Amazon that brings genuine marketing benefits and whose terms allow Hachette to continue to invest in writers, marketing, and innovation."

      Amazon, responding to the "suicidal" comment, said, "We call baloney. Hachette is part of a $10 billion global conglomerate. It wouldn't be 'suicide.' They can afford it. What they're really making clear is that they absolutely want their authors caught in the middle of this negotiation because they believe it increases their leverage. ... Our offer is sincere. They should take us up on it." '

    Well, that went nowhere.  It might have given some authors pause about the situation though.

    So now, Amazon's explaining, at the Kindle Forum, their side of the dispute to customers and detailing the math involved in pricing and net revenue for different scenarios.  It also answers the conjecture that Amazon has demanded 50%.
      Here, for convenience, is the full text of the public posting, bold-faced emphases mine:
    ' Initial post: Jul 29, 2014 1:29:59 PM PDT
    The Amazon Books team says:
    (AMAZON OFFICIAL)
    With this update, we're providing specific information about Amazon's objectives.

    A key objective is lower e-book prices. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there's no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out-of-stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market -- e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can be and should be less expensive.

    It's also important to understand that e-books are highly price-elastic. This means that when the price goes up, customers buy much less.  We've quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99.

      So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99.  Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000.  Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000.

    The important thing to note here is that at the lower price, total revenue increases 16%. This is good for all the parties involved:

    * The customer is paying 33% less.

    * The author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that's 74% larger.  And that 74% increase in copies sold makes it much more likely that the title will make it onto the national bestseller lists. (Any author who's trying to get on one of the national bestseller lists should insist to their publisher that their e-book be priced at $9.99 or lower.)

    * Likewise, the higher total revenue generated at $9.99 is also good for the publisher and the retailer.  At $9.99, even though the customer is paying less, the total pie is bigger and there is more to share amongst the parties.

    Keep in mind that books don't just compete against books.  Books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more.  If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.

    So, at $9.99, the total pie is bigger - how does Amazon propose to share that revenue pie?  We believe 35% should go to the author, 35% to the publisher and 30% to Amazon.  Is 30% reasonable?  Yes.  In fact, the 30% share of total revenue is what Hachette forced us to take in 2010 when they illegally colluded with their competitors to raise e-book prices.  We had no problem with the 30% -- we did have a big problem with the price increases.

    Is it Amazon's position that all e-books should be $9.99 or less?  No, we accept that there will be legitimate reasons for a small number of specialized titles to be above $9.99.

    One more note on our proposal for how the total revenue should be shared.  While we believe 35% should go to the author and 35% to Hachette, the way this would actually work is that we would send 70% of the total revenue to Hachette, and they would decide how much to share with the author.  We believe Hachette is sharing too small a portion with the author today, but ultimately that is not our call.

    We hope this information on our objectives is helpful.

    Thank you,

    The Amazon Books Team '

    Another possible stumbling block
    While I haven't seen this suggested, it seems to me that another sticking point for publishers could be that Amazon probably (I don't know that this is true but I can't imagine Amazon not approaching the subject) wants the same rights to include certain books under their new Kindle Unlimited subscription plan when publishers have already given subscription rights for those books to competitors like Scribd and Oyster.

    Other articles you might find interesting
      * A petition from some of the writers to Hachette
            David Gaughran is one of the supporters.  He wrote a much-admired analysis
            of the Amazon-Hachette situation.
      * In mid-July, talks began between Amazon and Simon & Schuster on
            new e-book pricing agreements.
      * Here's a NY Post article on that.
      * Apple gets court approval for a $450 million settlement over e-books price-fixing,
            and it involves lower penalties if the case is sent by an Appeals court back to Judge Cote,
            while there'd be a change or dismissal of the settlement if the appeals court comes down
            on Apple's side.

    Some might be interested in this blog's History and Timeline of the e-book pricing wars.
      It includes a streamlined version of what the DoJ and Judge Cote would have seen and some insight into why she ruled as she did.




    Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
      Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
    UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
        Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

      *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button


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    Amazon's new Kindle Unlimited subscription plan for Kindle and Audible books. UPDATED.


    I just saw this.  Today, Amazon announced the launch of a new Kindle program - Kindle Unlimited -- a new subscription service which allows customers to "freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to thousands of Audible audiobooks, all for only $9.99 a month."

    There is a 30-day trial available for this newly-launched book-subscription program, competitors for which include Scribd and Oyster.

    This involves approximately the same number of books than are in the Prime program's Kindle Owners Lending Program.  And the books they highlight ARE in that program, which makes sense, as they would aleady have lending agreements with many publishers for those.   The difference is that this would tend to involve the Audible versions of SOME of the books involved (2,000 or so -- where the publisher agrees to that -- and the reading of and listening to those digital books would be sync'd).

      The 30-day free trial would help you decide whether or not this would work for your interests in reading.  However, note that the Audible part includes about 2,000 Audible books at this point, and for the rest of Audible's offerings, there is a complimentary 3-month Audible membership

    From Amazon's press release:
    ' Read freely from over 600,000 books-available on Kindle devices, as well as free Kindle reading apps for iOS, Android and more

    Listen to thousands of audiobooks from Audible, or switch easily between reading and listening with Whispersync for Voice

    Enjoy best sellers including the Harry Potter series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Hunger Games trilogy, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, and Flash Boys

    The most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks such as The Handmaid's Tale, Life of Pi, and Capital in the Twenty-First Century

    Start a free 30-day trial today.

    Amazon.com today introduced Kindle Unlimited—a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to thousands of Audible audiobooks, all for only $9.99 a month. Finding a great book is easy, and there are never any due dates—just look for the Kindle Unlimited logo on eligible titles and click “Read for Free.” Customers can choose from best sellers like The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and The Lord of the Rings, and with thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible, like The Handmaid’s Tale and Water for Elephants, the story can continue in the car or on the go.
      Kindle Unlimited subscribers also get the additional benefit of a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to the full selection of Audible titles. Kindle Unlimited is available starting today and is accessible from Kindle devices or with Amazon’s free Kindle reading apps. Start your free 30-day trial today at www.amazon.com/ku-freetrial.

    “With Kindle Unlimited, you won’t have to think twice before you try a new author or genre—you can just start reading and listening,” said Russ Grandinetti, Senior Vice President, Kindle. “In addition to offering over 600,000 eBooks, Kindle Unlimited is also by far the most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks and eBooks together. With thousands of Whispersync for Voice-enabled audiobooks to choose from, you can easily switch between reading and listening to a book, allowing the story to continue even when your eyes are busy. We hope you take advantage of the 30-day free trial and try it for yourself.”

    Kindle Unlimited features include:

    . Unlimited reading: Access over 600,000 books including best sellers like 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, All the King’s Men, Wonder Boys, Ask for It, The Princess Bride, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, The Atlantis Gene, Kitchen Confidential, The Sisterhood, Crazy Little Thing, The Blind Side, and The Giver, plus thousands of classics such as Animal Farm, To the Lighthouse, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Cat’s Cradle, and The Good Earth, as well as books featuring beloved children’s characters from Sesame Street, and useful reference titles including books from the For Dummies series and Lonely Planet travel guides.

    . Unlimited listening: Keep the story going with unlimited access to more than 2,000 audiobooks from Audible with Whispersync for Voice, and switch seamlessly between reading and listening to customer favorites like the Hunger Games trilogy, Life of Pi, The Handmaid’s Tale, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, The Great Santini, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Winter’s Tale, Boardwalk Empire, El Narco, Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies, Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, The Finisher, Johnny Carson, The Stranger I Married, and Life Code.

    . Kindle exclusives: Choose from hundreds of thousands of books only found on Kindle, including Brilliance by Marcus Sakey, The Hangman’s Daughter series by Oliver P√∂tzsch, War Brides by Helen Bryan, Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct and Matthew Hope books, When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath, Chasing Shadows by CJ Lyons, and Sick by Brett Battles.
    Short Reads: For a quick escape, select from thousands of books that are 100 pages or less, including Kindle Singles from Stephen King, Andy Borowitz, and Nelson DeMille, and short fiction from Amazon Publishing’s StoryFront imprint.
    Free three-month Audible membership: In addition to the thousands of professionally narrated audiobooks from Audible included in Kindle Unlimited, subscribers get a complimentary three-month Audible membership, with access to more than 150,000 titles.

    . Popular Kindle features: Enjoy all the great Kindle features customers love such as Whispersync, Popular Highlights, X-Ray, customer reviews, and Goodreads integration.
    Read and listen everywhere: Access across Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps for iPhone, iPad, Android tablets and phones, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, PC, Mac and Windows 8—so you always have your library with you and never lose your place.

    For more details on Kindle Unlimited, visit www.amazon.com/kindleunlimited.'

    Factors for consideration:
    1. While the public libraries will lend you most of these books, there are waiting times and due-dates involved, and the Kindle Unlimited subscription service features unlimited reading and listening and no waiting periods.
    2. This new subscription program lets you borrow up to 10 Kindle books at a time.  While you've unlimited time to read any of them, you can remove a book you've finished reading and then choose another book.
    3. There is no limit on how many Kindle books can be borrowed in a given month.
    4. Kindle Unlimited doesn't limit you to books read on Amazon Kindle devices.
    5. You don't need to be a Prime member to participate.
    6. The Big 5 publishers' e-books tend to be missing from this program at this point,
        although I imagine this will be a negotiating point with new Agreements due.

    I'm not sure if Prime members (US, UK) who get to read just one of the 600,000+ Kindle books in the Lending Library at no added cost each calendar month (benefits included in the Prime yearly fee for 2-days free shipping + instant streaming video and music) would find this tempting, but those who feel constrained by the limit of one Kindle Prime-eligible book per calendar month might, as well as those who haven't opted for the Prime program.



    Will be interested in any thoughts on this new development.


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    Saturday, August 2, 2014

    Kindle Tips: Kindle for IOS update version 4.4 released; Kindle Placeholders, Notes Export, Sync to most recent page read - across all Kindle devices and apps, Wikipedia Smart Lookup

       
    The Kindle Forum has an announcement that Kindle for IOS, v4.4 is ready for download.

     Here's a copy of the announcement (Any bolded emphases are mine).

    ' Initial post: Jul 29, 2014 1:41:40 PM PDT
    Megan H. - Forum Moderator says:
    (AMAZON) (AMAZON OFFICIAL)
    We're pleased to announce the latest version of Kindle for iOS is now available in the Apple App Store.

    What's New in Version 4.4?

    Kindle for iOS Version 4.4 provides several customer-requested features that make sync and navigation easier.

    * Sync to the most recent page read - Any books you are reading on Kindle for iOS will now sync to the most recent page read across all Kindle devices and/or reading apps registered to your Amazon account.
      Customers can still manually sync to the furthest page read from the left navigation menu.

    * Kindle Placeholders - Allow customers the freedom to explore other areas of the book without losing their current place. Jump directly to previous locations with "placeholders" on the progress bar.

    * Notes Export - Studying for the next exam or writing the next term paper just got easier. Students can now export notes, highlights, and more to e-mail from their "Print Replica" textbooks, giving students easy access to their information.

    * Performance and stability improvements

    * Wikipedia Smart Lookup: Select a word and learn more from Wikipedia in the Info Card at the bottom of the page. '

    Re the notes export
    Remember that there's a way for you to export notes and highlights from any Kindle book, not just the "Print Replica" textbooks. Kindle-compatible device- or app owners have a personal, password-protected website that holds your annotations for each book.  You can view them by your most recent highlights (which are grouped secondarily by book) or you can choose 'Books.'
    You can copy (for emailing or personal logging) and print sections from these.

    How the Placeholder feature works
    In the Kindle Forum, Sonja S., a Forum Moderator explains:
    ' In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2014 7:22:18 AM PDT
    Sonja S. - Forum Moderator says:
    (AMAZON) (AMAZON OFFICIAL)
    Hey Karen, a placeholder is a temporary bookmark, represented as a dot on the progress bar.
      Placeholders mark the current location and the previous two locations visited.
    The "oldest" placeholder disappears after a reader visits a third page.

    Placeholders are added when navigating the book by any method other than page swipe.
      When you jump to another page in the book - for example, with the help of annotations or table of contents - a placeholder is added to the progress bar.
      Tapping this placeholder will return you to a previously visited page.
      In this way, you can quickly jump back and forth between the current page you're reading and another page recently visited.

      Note that these locations are stored locally on your device, and do not sync across devices.

    Let us know how else we can help! '


    Kindle reading-app Update - Where?
    Go to the page for download instructions.
    If you have iOS 6 or above, the normal steps listed there apply.
    The page has an "Important" section for those who are still on iOS 5.




    Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
      Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
    UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
        Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

      *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
    -- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

    Send to Kindle


    (Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Kindle News: Kindle Paperwhite 2 software update v5.4.5 -- Sync to most recent page read across all Kindle devices + reading apps; Small preview window now in margin of PDF pan & zooms; Sample of beginning of a book ready in your Cloud while waiting for a physical book.


    NEW KINDLE PAPERWHITE 2 gets Software Update v5.4.5 has some general improvements and feature enhancements.

    Many report never getting automated updates on their E-Ink readers.  In that case you can download the update-file and install it manually if wanting to get the feature updates.  More on that below.

    This update was released last week.

    Kindle Paperwhite 2 Software Upgrade to v5.4.5

      Devices involved: See Paperwhite 2 (US),   UK Paperwhite 2: here; Global Paperwhite 2: here.

    The new, free software update available for Kindle Paperwhite 2 can be found here [U.S. and some international].

        [Here's the UK-only software update page]


    Amazon's software update page explains how to check the software version currently on your Paperwhite 2.  I'm usually one of the last to receive software updates, so sometimes I do follow the step-by-step instructions to do a manual download and install to my Kindle if the change is important to me.  In my case, I have the Paperwhite 1, and there's no current update for that one.

    This update normally automatically downloads and installs on the applicable Kindle Paperwhite 2 eventually;  however, as mentioned, you can also manually download the software and transfer the update to your device via USB cable.

    Here are the feature enhancements they describe for update v5.4.5 [Emphases below are mine]
    • Sync to the Most Recent Page Read
      Any books you are reading on your Kindle Paperwhite will now sync to the most recent page read across all Kindle devices and/or reading apps registered to your Amazon account. You can still manually sync your Kindle Paperwhite to go to the furthest page read.  To learn more, go to Sync on Your Kindle Paperwhite.
    • Preview a PDF in Pan-and-Zoom Mode
      When viewing a PDF in pan-and-zoom mode, you will now see a small preview window in the margin of the screen.
    • Read a Sample While Your Physical Book Ships
      While you are waiting for select physical books to arrive at your doorstep, you can start reading the book right away by adding a sample of the book to your Kindle library.  With this release, these samples will be now available for download in the Cloud tab of your Kindle Paperwhite in addition to your other supported Kindle devices and apps. Any previous samples you have claimed through a physical book purchase will also be available in the Cloud to download. To learn more, go to Read While Your Book Ships.
    A Reminder about how syncing of your reading between devices and apps is done
    In order for this to work reliably, the changes to your last page read and any new annotations done (highlighting, notes and bookmarks) must be 'seen' by the servers at Amazon -- this means that your WiFi or 3G wireless connection would need to be 'on' at the time you close the book by tapping the Home icon.
       Once the Amazon servers note the changes, they'll be available to the next Kindle-compatible reader or app you open (with Wireless on that device turned On also).
      You can turn 'off' the WiFi or 3G Wireless connection after leaving the Kindle book reading, which will help maximize battery use on that device.)

      When an eInk screen is displaying a page but there is no change to that screen, the display is having no effect on the battery.
      When you change what's being displayed (changing or adding anything on the page, as in tapping it on the side to get a new page or when an action brings a pop-up window or dialog box), the display IS using the battery.  That's why just pressing the power button for only ~1 second puts the Kindle to 'sleep' during which it displays an image, which doesn't use the battery, but the Paperwhite light turns off.

      Leaving it in this sleep state doesn't draw battery power as a result of the image display itself.  If, however, WiFi is On during Sleep state, any activity with subscription downloads or a Special Offers download -will- use battery power.

      There is always very slow battery drain in between charges even when a device is turned off.

      So, the "Screen Off" is an relatively new choice on mine, I noticed.  This just blanks the screen and puts it into sleep state.  SOME have requested a blank screen so they know it's "Off" but, in this case, it's only that there's no image seen - not even Amazon's default images during normal sleep-screens.

    Mentioned previously also:
      "Restart" acts more like a soft-reboot on a computer and clears up memory states that may be causing problems.

      There is NO option on my Paperwhite to completely Power Off or Shut down the Kindle.  My options are to (1) Cancel a longer key-press action, (2) Restart the Paperwhite (mine is a Paperwhite 1), or (3) choose "Screen Off."

      It could be that my dialog box for powering off is different from that seen by others because I chose not to get Special Offers sent to my Paperwhite (I accept Special Offers on my Kindle Fire tablets) and, therefore, blanking the screen with a "Screen Off" does not interfere with the marketing offers on the lockscreen.

      Some may choose to get the offers on the Paperwhite and, as a result, may not get the 'Screen Off' option.  That's just conjecture on my part.

      But, in that case, they seem to get the option to 'shut down' the Kindle.

      Also, in my case, holding in the power button for over 20 seconds (rather than 5 seconds) does still cause a Restart (and a clearing of current memory use), as in the past.


    IF you experience unusual battery drain
    Note that keeping your Kindle always connected to a Wi-Fi network can drain the battery faster under certain circumstances.  If you're experiencing that, then once you've got the update "over the air," put the Paperwhite back to "Airplane Mode ON" via the 'Settings' option on the Menu -- the option lets you toggle Wireless OFF, using the "Airplane On" choice.

      Amazon's Paperwhite development team won't return the Wireless Off/On choice to the front menu as they did last year for the Kindle Touch, removing the 'airplane mode' icon which confuses many.  It's very inconvenient to have the WiFi On/Off setting on a secondary menu and many, as a result, don't even know that they can turn WiFi Off if needed.

      Amazon probably prefers that we keep Wireless 'On' due to delivery of Special Offers but the battery-drain problem can occur when circumstances involve (1) subscriptions that are downloaded regularly (my New York Times Latest News subscription updates the Kindle edition about five times a day - $1.99/month)) or (2) due to a weaker connection that results from the distance from the WiFi router, in which case the device keeps trying to connect when a download is due (and that can be for the special offers that Amazon regularly needs to send for those who choose to opt for the less-expensive model with the special-offers feature) and is then constantly active.

      BUT, again, WiFi needs to be 'On' after you've read a book and made annotations for a session AND when you then want to be able to continue reading later, on another device (like a smartphone), starting at where you'd stopped.
      If WiFi isn't turned on, the Amazon servers won't have any way of knowing the last-page-read location nor any notes or highlighting you've made, which you'd want to be able to access on the other device.  So, a reminder on my usual recommendation:
    1. When you're finished reading, tap the top-toolbar and press the HOME icon.
      That will 'close' the book session and record the last page read and log the annotations.
    2. Tap the top of the Paperwhite to bring up the toolbar and menu icon.
    3. If you see an airplane icon at the top, your WiFi is Off (and you're in "airplane" take-off mode).
    4. Tap 'Settings'
    5. Turn Airplane Mode OFF, and that'll turn WiFi ON.
    6. At that point, the Kindle will try to sync your changes to the Server and will download anything that is pending (a subscription to a newspaper, magazine, or blog, usually).
    7. After that's done, you can go ahead and leave WiFi ON if you have no problems with faster battery drain
          OR you can turn OFF the WiFi if you need to save battery power.

    Only if you'd rather not wait -- DOWNLOADING and transferring the Update via USB
    US:  Go to the Kindle Paperwhite Software Update v5.4.5 download section to get the instructions for the download and transfer to your Kindle via USB:
    UK:  UK Paperwhite eReader owners can do the same for the UK-only page




    Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
      Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
    UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
        Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

      *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button


    Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
    -- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

    Send to Kindle


    (Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
    If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
    Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

    Friday, July 18, 2014

    Quick info from forums on Amazon's Fire Phone and data plans, etc.


    Customers discuss Fire Phone data plans and decisions made more difficult due to current phone plans, etc.
      Thought I'd drop off a couple of tips from an Amazon forum on the coming Fire Phone, which will be shipping on July 25.  I'd not looked into the plans myself, as I have a the Nokia Lumia 1020, a Windows Phone, and just began my new data plan in December as a low-price update -- and I actually bought it for the 40-megapixel camera, which I now use more than my super expensive pocket Sony.  I'll report on my experience with a review copy of the Fire Phone though.

    From the forum thread (typos corrected):
    ' Sue says:
    I just called At&T and asked about the phone plans for the new phone and they have 2.

    One is $45 a month which includes unlimited call and texting with 1g of data. The second is $60 a month and that includes unlimited calls and texting with 2g of data.   These prices go for the individual plan as well as the no contract phone.

    I called because the phone is calling to me and I am weakening.

    +++
    Jimi says:
    I am an existing AT&T customer with an old iPhone 4 and about a year and a half beyond my last contract.  Now I'm glad that I was given a new computer instead of a new phone for my last birthday.  I have been phone shopping for a while, so I quickly pre-ordered the 64gb Fire phone.

    The system said I can continue on our grandfathered unlimited plan.  I may actually end up using more data with my new phone and the new Prime music feature. '

    Reminder: the phone is $199 to start, with a 2-year monthly data plan, but comes with a free YEAR of $99/yr Prime (Prime members would get an additional year added to their current Prime program.)
      There's an option to get the larger-storage 64GB model for $299 with a 2-year monthly data plan with AT&T.

      Essentially then, the $199 phone with 32G is $99 after saving on $99 Prime the first year, when opting for 2 yrs of a monthly data plan.

    Here's the original blog article on the phone's unusual features, as learned on Launch day.



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    Thursday, July 17, 2014

    Kindle Fire Sale: The current Kindle Fire tablets are still on sale (since July 9). No word on ending date. Added info on how to use some less-known features.

    New banners have been appearing since July 9th on Amazon Kindle Fire pages
    while I had to be away.  Here is the banner information -- the actual links are below the Amazon alerts here:






    The discounts start with the 7" HD model and include the 8.9" HDX.
      Prices shown below are for models with 'special offers' on the lockscreen and represent models with increasing storage capacity:
      * New Kindle Fire HD 7" 2nd Gen - $139/169  $119/$129 [See "NOTE" below)
      * Kindle Fire HDX 7" - $229/269/309  $199/239/259   ($100 more w/ 4G-LTE cellular network access)
      * Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" - $379/429/479  $339/389/439   ($100 more w/ 4G-LTE cellular network access)

      NOTE: The lower-cost HD 7" 2nd Gen tablet shows an 8GB option. YOU SHOULDN'T CHOOSE THAT - especially with only a $10 difference in pricing during the sale.  8 GB is just not enough.  You'd be swapping out apps all the time to get space since that 8GB includes system files with barely 5 GB for apps, videos and books.

    The Kindle Fire HDX 7" with 64GB of memory/storage is the best deal on the smaller tablet.

      The Kindle Fire family header showing today



      Blog articles with detail on the tablets
        KINDLE FIRE HDX/HD Tips:
          Overview of New Features
          More tips: Things to know
          More info: From later reviews

         Getting Prime Music working
         Screen Magnifier for fixed-sized pages
         Certified Miracast adapter
         How to install GooglePlay apps
         How to install Flash


      ONE caveat and a recommendation: For the Kindle Fire tablets, I tend to recommend the 32GB model, as people tend to get more and more apps, and some are sophisticated games, which take a lot of storage space.
    The 64GB model, though, is only $20 more (at $259) with the current discount.
      During the Father's Day sale, that 64GB model (normally $309) was on sale for $279.

      With smaller-storage or memory models, the Cloud (Amazon's server space for our content) will serve as a personal apps "library" (as with books) and you can swap apps back to the server and to your tablet, watching
    the remaining current storage apace more.

    The Kindle books situation with Big 5 participants
    Thursday night I want to get on the Hachette and now Simon and Schuster e-book negotiations situation and Apple's negotiated settlement to refund about $400,000,000 to millions of customers if their appeal, now in the Second Circuit in New York, fails (it'll take a year or more to decide).  So, the e-book pricing wars continue.



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