Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Black Friday Kindle Device banners caution: Check you have the right one for Black Friday specials. Updated the Kindle Devices table for ID'g and direct links. 11/24/16.. UPDATES for Cyber Monday Week 11/28-29


UPDATES: I've updated the table of current Kindle device ID and links for the U.S., UK., Canada and International offerings. (Nov 24, 2016).

In September, Amazon released the newer 8" Fire HD tablet.
  Clicking on the image or the text link will get you the info on what this one does.  I haven't had a chance to look at forum responses to this model (I'm still happy with my older 8.9" HD year 2013 model), but the reviews rate this new HD 8"device higher than I've seen with previous tablets.
  I'll be looking at this more closely later.

This post was first published for Good Friday on Nov 24, 2016
UPDATES added here Nov 28-29 for Amazon's CyberMonday Week (General, rather than just devices).

They say a lot of things would go fast but to keep checking.  In the meantime, they also add this:
' Some Cyber Monday 2016 deals are in limited supply, and all will go quickly–but don't worry if you miss one, because we'll keep adding new ones as often as every five minutes throughout the day and all week long.'

So, these days, special sales holidays are week-long as they were last year (and probably the year before), but they have always run out of some items and their discount amounts may fluctuate.

Amazon of course updated its Amazon Devices page for Cyber Monday's pricing.
Most of the "Thanksgiving Holiday" pricing remains since that was to be for a week anyway.
  However, Amazon ended several device/tablet sales though they still have a couple of other ones.

UPDATED AGAIN Nov. 29 to confirm that the Fire HD specials on Monday were in effect through CyberMonday only and NOT for the week.  What's described just below is NO LONGER ON SALE for the rest of CyberMonday Week, unfortunately.
So, I'm revising the wording for Tuesday morning.

  On Thursday, I saw that the popular new Fire HD 8" 2016 tablet was offered as part of the HD 8 Essentials Bundle.  This bundled set was $78 with the custom cover and a screen protector. [Regular pricing is back Tuesday Nov. 29. and the "Essentials Bundle" is no longer available.]

  The default HD8 model has 16GB of memory.  The tablet does come with a microSD slot for added storage, but I personally always feel more comfortable with the 32GB so I don't have to swap apps out or worry about how much music I can keep on the tablet or the number of movies downloaded.  The difference is about $30 between a 16GB model and a 32GB version.

  With a fast processor and HD definition, it's a good deal, but more so when you have Amazon Prime-US or Amazon Prime-UK and its huge selection of free videos and free 2-day shipping among many other features -- and a 30-day free trial comes with the purchase, but after the 30-day period, Prime will cost about $8.25/mo on an annual basis, although Prime for STUDENTS - US or Prime for Students - UK is a much better deal.
[REMINDER: The sale on these ended the end of Monday evening Nov. 28.]

 The Essential bundle came (and will likely be offered again, later) with only the black cover, but when buying the Fire tablet separately, you're offered a choice of blue, magenta, or tangerine colored covers -- however, this color choice in covers would cost more when the cover is added separately.

On the HD 8 page (UK page here) for just the tablet, the colors represent the colors of a cover IF you choose to also get a cover.

They had the bare bones Fire basic model for $33 Monday.  It has Only 8GB memory with probably 4GB+ used by the system files.  It does have a microSD slot -- but with only 8GB of internal memory, you'd be switching out material quite a bit, back and forth.  Good for very young kids, probably.  It's normally $50 and is back at that pricing Tuesday Nov. 29.

  HOWEVER, remember that the 8" HD model with better speed, display, and storage space is only $40 more.

Also remember that Amazon is still adding sales items on the Amazon Devices CyberMonday page as well as the GENERAL CyberMonday Week page for other items.


EARLIER
Amazon has very good $ale prices for this Thanksgiving holiday:
However, I get banners showing different sales pricing depending on the page I was on when I clicked to go to look at current Kindles.

While going directly to the "Buy a Kindle" top menu page when I'm at the Amazon Devices page, I get the following sales-banner-menu:

Current e-Reader banner info:
Black Friday Deals Week: Kindle $79.99 $49.99Kindle Paperwhite  $119.99 $99.99, and Kindle Voyage  $199.99 $169.99.

When going from other pages to a Kindle page with a Kindle banner at the top, I get the below instead:
Limited-time offers: Kindle $99.99 $69.99, Kindle Paperwhite, $139.99 $119.99 and Kindle Voyage $219.99 $189.99.

That's probably because Amazon is changing its landing pages and hasn't yet caught all of the Black Friday changes, which would officially begin tomorrow but they usually start them earlier.  So, this is a heads-up that for the Black Friday Deals week, look for the first banner above, for eReaders.

Current Fire tablets banner info
Black Friday Deals Week: Save $30 on All-New Fire HD 8 Tablets $89.99 $59.99  Learn more

The "Learn more" leads to the Fire HD 8 page that has a banner that links you to the HD 8 Essentials Bundle at a very good discount for now.


Getting this off for browsing during spare Thanksgiving Day time to be ready for Black Friday.




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!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Catching up: Latest Kindle + Free Entire Sunday NY Times Magazine edition on "Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart"


Catching up after time away
First, as most will already know, Amazon released, in Late June, the new basic Kindle e-Reader that's even thinner and lighter

  Wanted to explore some new features and updates but have to leave again and can't start that until tomorrow.

  I've finally updated the Kindle chart listing of what's available globally, with links to specific current models.

 In the meantime, here's an amazing resource today for those of us stymied by what has happened in the middle east and the ramifications globally -- a significant free offering by the New York Times today.

 
FRACTURED LANDS: HOW THE ARAB WORLD CAME APART
- an Interactive, online "book" in essence, which you can access and resume when you have time and interest.

  The NY Times is providing FREE, for all readers, even non-subscribers, today's ENTIRE issue of its interactive edition of its Sunday NY Times Magazine: "FRACTURED LANDS: HOW THE ARAB WORLD CAME APART."

  From the opening:
' ... In print, it occupies an entire issue. The product of some 18 months of reporting, it tells the story of the catastrophe that has fractured the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis.

  The geography of this catastrophe is broad and its causes are many, but its consequences — war and uncertainty throughout the world — are familiar to us all.  Scott Anderson’s story gives the reader a visceral sense of how it all unfolded, through the eyes of six characters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan.

  Accompanying Anderson’s text are 10 portfolios by the photographer Paolo Pellegrin, drawn from his extensive travels across the region over the last 14 years, as well as a landmark virtual-reality experience that embeds the viewer with the Iraqi fighting forces during the battle to retake Falluja. "




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!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The new KINDLE OASIS arrives and it's a luxury/premium model. What are the added features? Physical page-turn buttons, lightness, a cover that charges the Kindle - giving 'months' per charge, enhanced page consistency. (UK, Canada, Int'l also) UPDATED Apr 16-17 with added info.


So, the new Kindle Oasis is almost here.





This luxury edition item with charging case
will be released on April 27, 2016.
(UK: here,  Canada: here, Int'l: here)

What's new? (Also see Updated info.)
For one thing, physical, dedicated page turn buttons are back !

The nicely-sized 'handgrip' side is wider and thicker, while the other side of the Oasis is slimmer.

  HOWEVER, when you want to hold it with the other hand, you can just turn it around and the Oasis will auto-rotate the page orientation to match.

Amazon claims that "the tapered, ergonomic handgrip shifts the center of gravity to your palm, to rest in your hand like the spine of a book. Perfectly balanced for one-handed reading,"

It's now, overall, both thinner and lighter than previous Kindles.

Almost an inch shorter, it's a bit wider to get a more secure handgrip, and when you measure the thinness against earlier models, the NON-page-turn buttons side is at least twice as thin, which is hard to believe.

Oasis (UK: here, Canada: here, Int'l: here) comes with a removable leather charging cover included, which "boosts battery to last months."  Color options are black, merlot, or walnut.  I've read that without the battery cover, the battery life is shorter than on the earlier, larger Kindle e-Ink readers, but most use their Kindles with a protective cover and this will give battery life lasting "months" instead of "weeks" as with the earlier Kindles.

The product page explains that you can "charge the Oasis and cover simultaneously while snapped together and plugged in.  When on the go, the cover will automatically recharge the device ...Plus, a new hibernation mode minimizes power consumption when your Kindle is inactive, extending battery life to its fullest capacity.

 I haven't seen an Amazon-product option that isn't in leather (some don't want to buy animal skin) but I imagine 3rd party covers will be available, although I haven't seen if they'll be able to use Amazon's battery-charging technology.

 Amazon describes the cover as one that "fits closely around the bezel, waking Kindle Oasis when opened and putting it to sleep when closed.  Twelve magnets form a secure attachment between device and cover, while still easy to detach when the lightest possible weight is desired."

Without the cover, the Oasis weighs 4.6 oz. vs 6.3 oz. for Voyage and 7.2 oz. for the Paperwhite 3.
Display resolution is the same for all three of these, at 300 dpi.

The new Kindle doesn't have automatic light adjustments but it does have 10 LEDS vs 6 in the Voyage and 4 in the Paperwhite 3.  Amazon explains that the 60% increase in lighting brings " enhanced page consistency" -- a feature that some Kindle users will appreciate when even the slightest variance has bothered some in earlier versions.

Storage capacity is the same at 4 GB.

They promise "Sharp, dark text" (which I hope they apply to the HOME page as well, since their latest update to the older Kindles lightened the font colors for the Home page and therefore reduced the contrast -- I'm still hoping they'll fix that).  
"All fonts have been hand-tuned at the pixel level for maximum readability."

The CURRENT price showing as of today (prices can change from time to time) is $289.99, and if you want 3G cellular network capability in addition to the default WiFi, that's an additional $70 (or $359.00).

As with all the other Kindles, the default configuration includes "Special Offers," which can be good offers or sometimes just ads on the lock screen.  To get the Oasis or any Kindle with NO Special Offers on the lock screen, it's an additional $20.

Comparison of Kindle E-Readers
Here's a link to Amazon's COMPARISON CHART of Kindle e-Readers (UK: here, Canada: here, Int'l: here) as of April 14, 2016.

Who might find this premium model worth a look?
While responding to a comment just now, it occurred to me that commuters who need to stand and hang onto a strap for long rides might find it easier to hold onto this Kindle with only one hand (no stretching the hand for screen taps to turn pages). It'd be less likely to cramp the hand.

And Tom Semple mentioned earlier that people going away (camping etc) to places with no electricity will find it useful. Then there are the few who see uneven lighting even on the Voyage and post that they're very bothered by it (while others don't notice, so it's a matter of how your eyes see).

That's it for now.  Are the premium features attractive to you?  I'll be back to update this as I find out more.

UPDATES - 4/16 and 4/17, 2016

Mashable's Lance Ulanoff
offers interesting points, not mentioned on the product page, from his conversations with Amazon.

• While the screen is only 3.4mm thick, the grip side with page-turn buttons houses the e-reader’s CPU, storage and battery.

• The body is made of an electroplated polymer for added strength.

• The Oasis appears sharper and brighter due, Amazon explained, to a wider white gamut and with "brand new" lighting and screen refraction.

• "The lighting now flows in through the side and is spread evenly over the screen by something Amazon called a 'cylindrical refractive pattern.'  What I noticed is that, even at its brightest, I could not see the actual LEDs.

• There's very little distance between the screen and the glass surface and you can feel as if you're touching the 'print.'

• Amazon explained that they chemically strengthened the glass after cutting it down to size rather than before.  This helps prevent weak spots.

• The page turns, for him, were quicker, without noticeable flashing.

• As mentioned above, the battery life without the cover attached is about two weeks.  The cover doesn't add much weight, he feels, describing it as 'relatively light, and brings the battery life to about 9 weeks

Ulanoff also describes how this cover works.  See that and more at the full article.


  ALSO The best Kindle Oasis photos I've seen for a good idea of what the new model AND cover look like are at The Verge article by Nick Statt.




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!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

How to find your Amazon pages, including your personal, password-protected webpage of Kindle book annotation, with added social features. Kindle tips on updated older e-Ink eReader software update v5.6.1.1 features


Quick solutions


Contact Us

A few tips before I do a recap of current news

While getting back to the blog to update it with recent news (the new Kindle coming any day will be addressed in the next blog article), I was trying to find a couple of Amazon management pages for my various settings, but it took forever to find some of them, so I decided to make up a table of them to make it easier for me and for some of you (see chart at left or at the top of the Kindle Edition of this blog for Kindle eReaders) and will add more links later on.

E-Ink Kindle Reader 5.6.1.1 'Reading Progress' - where is it?
This was one of the more common questions asked after the big required update on older Kindle e-Ink eReaders, including the Paperwhite 1.
  It turns out that this is now located under the Aa fonts and screen-display icon.
  But you can directly access it within a Kindle book by just tapping the bottom left of the page to activate it

 : Aa icon features screen sometimes freezes on some devices
  Some have gotten past this by Resetting the device (which includes a normal re-start or a memory-clearing 20-second hold of the power button to reset it). The 'Reset Device' showing on the Home/ Settings/Device Options/Menu screen used to say 'Reset to Factory Default,' which can remove your non-Kindle books and documents, so that should be used only as a last resort.

  But some have been able to get the Aa features screen to stop freezing tendencies after merely tapping Home and then Sync and Check for Items.

  The general features of older e-Ink v5.6.1.1. software update
  This particular software update version is for Paperwhite 1 and older Kindles.  The newer Paperwhites and Voyage have v5.7.x.x. software with slightly different features.

    In June 2015, I made a blog article that described v5.6.1.1 update's general features newly available at that time, and users of Paperwhite 1 or older Kindle e-Ink eReaders may want to take a look at those since not much was said about those general features during the recent required update for those of us who had not installed the update when it came out in 2015.  Amazon then delivered this update to these older non-updated Kindle.

 Those who did not, for some reason, get this update over the air should see the recent blog article with info on how to manually install it.


  I'm adding, below, an earlier article I posted about a little-known, hugely helpful feature, written YEARS ago but still germane.

This is info I thought would be useful for new Kindle owners, but I've found that oldtime Kindle users don't tend to know it exists, and definitely students involved in the pilot programs at universities don't seem to know either, judging from some reports.

If you check your Menu button/Settings/Menu button (again) options, you'll see one for "Enabling" or "Disabling Annotations Backup."  These are for the personal highlighting and notes that you can make on any regular books purchased from Amazon which are then, if you authorize it, BACKED UP to your own private, password-protected webpage at Amazon.  (PDFs on the Kindle have no annotation features.*)

The Kindle User's Guide is the first book placed on your Kindle (by Amazon) and is also readable on the Net and downloadable to your computer in PDF format for reading on your pc or Mac).
  Be sure to check the parts on how to highlight and make notes (as well as everything else it can do).

  But highlighting is as simple as going to the start of the highlighting and clicking on the 5-way button and using that 5-way to go to the right or down (or across a page turn) until you see where you want to end the highlight.
  Then you press the 5-way button again. That's it.

  There can be confusion at times with the cursor as to whether you want to start a search or just see a dictionary summary definition for a word or start an annotation -- but if the highlighting doesn't work, press "Back" button (my favorite or most-used button) to get back to where you were and start again.

SIDE-NOTE on the much-appreciated BACK button
The "Back" button is also used when you jump to another Location in the book or to a search result for the book or when you decide you want to look up a detailed definition of a word your cursor is on.

  The key word is "jump."  When I Search a word or phrase in a book, to see where it occurs elsewhere in that book, the Kindle gives me 6 search results (depending on the size of the chosen font) on the first page of results and I can choose to click on any or all of them -- BUT to get BACK to where I was in the book, I then press the "BACK" button and I'm back where I was before the Search and 'jump' to the results page.
  It's the same when you click on a link to another part of the book; you press 'BACK' to return to where you were before the 'jump.'

  I read a lot of non-fiction, so I do use this feature a lot.  A big help for any Kindle user is the ability to check your previous annotations for a book, on the Kindle, where they are shown to you via the "My Notes & Marks" option when you click the "MENU" button at bottom right of teh kindle.

  The highlighting and notes feature is especially useful for those in book clubs or for those who are taking a class that uses the book.

  But what's the easiest way to print them out for use elsewhere, if you don't just bring your Kindle and go through it that way?

PRIVATE WEB KINDLE-ANNOTATIONS PAGE FOR OUR BOOKS
  Your private books-annotation webpage at Amazon.  Again, it's password-protected so only you should have access to it.  I think that's part of the agreement with Amazon too.  Each of us can get to that page by typing http://kindle.amazon.com or you can just bookmark it when you get there.  Be sure to click on "Your_Highlights" when you land on the main page.

 When you put in your password, you'll be brought to your list of purchased or free books from Amazon and you can sort them by title or author.  Click on a link for one of your books, and you'll see a group of about 5 highlighting entries and notes you made for the book (if you did).   If you made more annotations than are seen on that page, you'll see, at the top, a list of pages numbered for more of your notes, which you can click on to see the rest of your notes.

  BUT an additional great feature is that you can click near the bottom left of that group of annotation results, on the link to "See all your highlights and notes on one page."  And that's the way I look at them.


Here's a link to an actual web page showing some highlighting entries for a specific book I bought (and haven't finished yet).  The book is a fascinating take on what it's like to actually win an election and enter the White House and all that comes with that.


* PDF books: you can ask Amazon to convert a copy of any of these by emailing it to [you]@free.kindle.com with the word "Convert" in the Subject field, and they'll send for free a converted copy back to your email.  From there you can move it to your Kindle with the USB cable, putting it into the 'documents' folder of the Kindle.

The larger text, reflowed to fit into a 6" screen will be easier to read, but the original layout tends to be lost when the PDF is complex.  For single column documents it's usually fine though -- plus your inline dictionary will work for these (not for actual PDFs), as will book-searches with multiple-results Kindle style, text-to-speech, and highlighting and notes.  Annotations for books purchased from non-Amazon sources are not backed up to the Amazon server nor are the annotations for those though.




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!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Amazon's required older Kindle E-Ink Reader software update for continued access to store and Cloud - with links to How to Manually Update older Kindles AFTER March 22 + additional software update for new interface for some models -- Workarounds if you don't like the interface. Also, reactions to Kindle Fire tablets getting Fire OS 5 update and the option to return to OS 4 if wanted. Updated 3/19/16.and 3/28/16



Older e-Ink software update - Links involved, if your update hasn't been completed

1. Critical Software Update for Kindle E-Readers - Amazon Help page
2. Amazon Devices - Identifying yours: U.S. and UK

UPDATED 3/19/16 to add footnotes for asterisks used in the affected-devices table.
UPDATED 3/26/16 to add device-photo-page links just above the table of affected devices.

Amazon has sent personal e-mail alerts to all owners of older Kindle e-Ink E-Readers needing a "critical" software update that would be automatically delivered to that older device "over the air" via either 3G Cellular network (for the oldest Kindles) or via WiFi.

  While they identify the e-Readers needing the updates, it may not be clear to us which device is named in the e-mail, since they mention the "generation" of Kindle and most of us don't tend to identify our devices that way.

  We don't always see our Amazon emails when they're mixed in with daily discount alerts or order confirmations received, among all our other email, so this article is to make sure owners are aware of the needed update.

  The email I received listed the specific older devices I own:
' The following Kindle e-readers registered to your account require an important software update:
  [The affected-device list is placed here -- my Kindle e-Reader 1 (2007)'s odd mercury-column
    selection cursor still works 9 years later (!) and is very readable.
]

  Update the e-readers listed ... to continue downloading e-books and using Kindle services.  To receive the update, follow these steps:

- Plug your Kindle in to charge during the update.
- Turn on wireless.
- Leave your Kindle plugged in and connected to the wireless network overnight, or until the update is complete.

The software update will download and install automatically, even if your device is asleep. Your device may restart multiple times during the update process.  You will get a final confirmation letter on your device when the update is complete, which can be found in your Kindle Library.

 If you do not update the devices' software by March 22, 2016, you will no longer be able to access Kindle services or get the update via connecting to a wireless network.
  To resume access, you will need to manually update the software on each of your Kindle devices. Please visit our Help page for more details on how to update manually: www.amazon.com/ku2016.

I did receive my updates over the air a couple of weeks after I got the notices, and it was pretty seamless if you were expecting it.

  The "critical" update that allows you to continue downloading your e-books and use Kindle services will not show any differences (that I could see).  But, as mentioned, you're told it's completed and, in my case, I also received a 'letter' document letting me know it was done.  Again, if you haven't received it, you should plug in your Kindle overnight to receive it, before March 22.

  AFTER March 22, you can do this ONLY if you get the software update file and load it onto the Kindle yourself.  For ANY of this, if you have any trouble understanding what to do,
  call Kindle Support: US - 866-321-8851  or  UK only - 0800 496 1081
  OR use the Contact Kindle support page

For convenience, here is info for affected (and UNaffected) devices from PART of the critical-software-update page.

The following devices require the latest software version
  (photos of each with links to how to manually update them after March 22 are at the U.S. and UK device-identifying pages:

Device and Year Software Version Your Device Needs Update via Wireless (2G/3G) or Wi-Fi
Kindle 1st Generation (2007) 1.2.1 Use Wireless
Kindle 2nd Generation (2009) * 2.5.8 Use Wireless
Kindle DX 2nd Generation (2009) * 2.5.8 Use Wireless
Kindle Keyboard 3rd Generation (2010) ** 3.4.2 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 4th Generation (2011) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle 5th Generation (2012) 4.1.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Touch 4th Generation (2011) ** 5.3.7.3 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 5th Generation (2012) ** 5.6.1.1 or higher Use Wi-Fi
Kindle Paperwhite 6th Generation (2013) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Voyage 7th Generation (2014) No Update Needed No Update Needed
Kindle Paperwhite 7th Generation (2015) No Update Needed No Update Needed


*   For these devices, even if you are running software version 2.5.8, if you have not connected to wireless (2G/3G) since October 5, 2015, please connect now.

** For these devices, even if your device has built-in 3G, you will need to connect to Wi-Fi to receive the latest software update.


FAR more detail if you need it is at the softwareupdate help page.
  Again, here's the page that helps identify your device(s): U.S. and UK


Then there is a SECOND update for many with older (but more recent) Kindle e-Readers.
This second update is to get the interface to match what they've done for the newer e-Ink e-Readers.

My Paperwhite 1 stayed at software version 5.6.1.1 so far and the interface is the same.  My Paperwhite 3 got the new interface (v5.7.x.x), called the HOME VIEW vs the old 'cover' or "list" page styles.

  The change I liked was that instead of "Cloud" and "Device" they now use the terms "All" and "Downloaded" --and these are clearer in that the Cloud holds ALL that you own while "Downloaded" refers to the copies you've put on your device to read.

SOME are not enthralled with the new interface because it includes Recommended books
Some of us have always turned off the option to see Amazon recommendations, as we just want to see the books we bought and prefer to go to the Amazon pages if we want recommendations.
 Others LIKE having recommendations based on their reading habits and keep the Home View.

  If you DON'T want the book recommendations and some other features of Home View, you can turn them off.  Here are tips from the Kindle forum.
  Voyage/Paperwhite - new interface tips
  The following settings tip ALSO turns off the "Recommend Content" feature and you'll be able to get the old home page List View instead.

  The new, somewhat paler or lighter-contrast screen and smaller fonts will still be in effect.

On the 3-dot menu icon at the top-right:
  Go to: Settings / Device Options / Personalize Your Kindle / Advanced Options / Home Screen View
  and Set that to Off when you'd rather not use the new view.

Others say to just pull down the top menu down (in some models, the 2nd one from the right) and choose "List"
Some tap "All Items" at the top and then "List View."

Another finds that "Anything new that I've downloaded never shows up. I can find them if I do a search or if I switch to the grid."
  For the grid:
  "Tap "All Items" and then Grid View to get -that- view.'

  The font sizes on collections and book lists are smaller and some have requested larger fonts.
  Others have found the new, smaller fonts clearer though.
  NOTE: In a thread at Teleread, I saw the following:
"The difference you noticed with the weight of the Helvetica font is an issue that we are aware of,” Stephany Rochon in Amazon PR e-mailed me earlier this week, “and we are correcting it before the update is rolled out broadly to customers. "
Changing Portrait to Landscape is done in a different place now.
Tap the "Aa" option at the top, then "page" and then "orientation."

When tapping on "Downloaded" rather than "All" -- you'll tend to get only titles you've not read or samples, of course.
If there's a book or sample that you don't want,
  you can tap the 3-dot menu next to a book title and see
  an option to "remove from device" -- some have wondered how to do this on the updated Kindles.


TABLETS: Option to reset your 4th Generation Kindle Fire tablet from Fire OS 5 to Fire OS 4
I've had a couple of complaints from users who found themselves faced with a very sudden, new tablet interface and HATED it.  They asked what they could do about it.  I don't have a tablet that gets the new update/upgrade, but I advised them to wait a bit to see if they might like it better after some time.  As it turns out, they did find new features that make the new Fire OS5 update worth keeping.   One is the ability to switch easily between currently running programs.  It works well.

  HOWEVER, I saw, on the Kindle forum, that some have, nevertheless, wanted to return to the old "Fire OS4 Version, and Amazon has made this possible, but it involves a Factory Reset and you lose personal docs and customizations made.

  Here's Amazon's help page that details how to "Reset and Downgrade Your 4th Generation Fire Tablet to Fire OS 4."




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.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Amazon announced two more Alexa-enabled devices: Amazon Tap - a PORTABLE Echo with Dolby stereo -- and the new Echo Dot that can be connected to speakers with a cable or bluetooth


Amazon Tap

Echo Dot

A quick alert on two new Alexa-enabled Amazon Tap and Echo Dot
I read about these this morning, from a couple of email pieces, one that was probably sent to most of us.

For those who didn't see them, here are the salient points quoted plus a photo of the Comparison table's Amazon Tap speaker features-detail (that are compared with other speakers on the product page) that will give an idea of what it can do vs features on other popular speakers. Voice Search is one.









At the left: Amazon Tap features used in a comparison table


"Amazon Tap is an Alexa-enabled portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speaker that gives you rich, full-range sound.

  Just tap the microphone button and ask for music, request the news, search for information, order a pizza, and more with the Alexa Voice Service.

  Amazon Tap has dual stereo speakers with Dolby processing that provides crisp vocals, extended bass response, and 360° omni-directional audio.

 Small and easy to travel with, you can enjoy great music and Alexa wherever you are. "


Echo Dot - Amazon's description:
' Echo Dot uses the same far-field voice recognition as Echo and is a convenient addition to any room of the house.

  Directly connect Echo Dot to speakers with an audio cable or via Bluetooth, and
add voice-control to your home stereo system.

  With its built-in speaker, you can place Dot in the bedroom and use it as a smart alarm clock that can also turn off your lights,

  or use Dot in the kitchen to easily set timers and add items to your shopping list using just your voice.

Echo Dot is available for $89.99 in limited quantities exclusively for Prime members through Alexa Voice Shopping. Limit 1 per order, 2 per customer.  To order your Echo Dot, existing Echo and Fire TV customers can just say “Alexa, order an Echo Dot.” '




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


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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Recall on CHARGER for two Amazon-UK Fire Tablets - possible risk of electric shock





Quick alert for UK owners of the current Fire 7" and Fire for Kids tablets. (UK models only)

For those who may have missed Amazon's alerts in their email, DigitalSpy and other tech sites report on the Amazon recall of chargers for the two models linked above) because of an electric shock risk."
' The chargers could be dangerous if the adapter assembly starts to detach - an issue that can occur when the component is pulled from the wall.

Amazon has assured customers that this only happens "in rare cases" but they're asking that anyone who purchased one of these tablets sold in the UK and Ireland since September 2015 stop using it.

  They're offering a choice of an exchange for these chargers for free or an Amazon credit of £12 placed in the customer's Amazon-UK account so that the customer can purchase a third-party replacement.

  Until you can get a replacement, Amazon recommends using the bundled USB cable with another compatible adapter.

DailyRecord writes:
' Anxious parents and Kindle Fire owners are being urged to check charger plugs with the model number FABK7B and contact the e-tailer’s customer services at amazon.co.uk/contactus for advice and power cable replacements. '



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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Friday, January 22, 2016

Jeff Bezos brings Jason Rezaian back to the U.S.


Where ISN'T Jeff Bezos these days and what isn't he doing?

Michael Calderone tweeted this photo (credit: @jehld) of Jeff Bezos and Jason Rezaian before JB brought them home to the U.S. on a private plane -- story at CNN.

Headline: "Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post, quietly traveled to Germany this week to personally escort Post reporter Jason Rezaian home to the United States" on a private plane from Germany after Rezaian's release from an Iranian prison where he was held for a year and a half, very shortly after being interviewed in Iran by Anthony Bourdain for his CNN travel foodamentary for the3 "Parts Unknown" series.

It was disconcerting to see Rezaian extolling the beauty of Iran over dinner, with his wife beside him and realizing it was probably dangerous and then find out he was arrested not long after that.  He has dual citizenship, and he was fairly quickly thrown into jail for 'spying' activities which is almost surely bunk.  His release was as as part of the recent prisoner swap.  Rezaian's wife, released months earlier from jail, was scheduled to have her own trial there in a few months, but she (no surprise!) came back to the U.S. with him, though some monitors tried to stop her from joining him.

I think he was mainly the Iranian government's ace in the hole - a big bargaining chip for them.

Glad he got back, and I hope he doesn't go back soon. What a nightmare.
.
So, we've seen JB go from the guy who sells books in his garage to the guy who now owns The Washington Post and gets involved in international politics when not involved with rockets or drones.


(Additional info for blog entry: Jason Rezian's statement Jan 20 after he arrived in Germany, freed finally from the unexpected ordeal in Iran.)



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.

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Just an alert for newsfeed readers re an updated blog article on borrowing Kindle books and "KOLL"

This is just an alert to those who use newsfeeds like Feedly and Newsblur that I updated a blog article on the various programs for borrowing Kindle books and how to find the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. (It varies.)

Older articles are not put on the top of current newsfeeds, so the alert will be here for just awhile for those who use them to read the blog articles.

The updated blog article starts:

Finding the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL)

  - May 2015 but Updated Jan 22, 2016,
While looking up info for Prime Music to use with the new Amazon Echo that I finally received, and to answer questions for friends who have received one as well, I found that the older methods for finding KOLL had changed for the later Kindle Fire tablets.


and can be read here.



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How to find and use the Kindle Owners' Lending Library on latest Kindle Fire tablets as well as e-Ink Kindle eReaders. Basics on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle First. UPDATED January 22, 2016



Finding the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL)

  - May 2015 but Updated Jan 22, 2016,
While looking up info for Prime Music to use with the new Amazon Echo that I finally received, and to answer questions for friends who have received one as well, I found that the older methods for finding KOLL had changed for the later Kindle Fire tablets.


Also, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL) is no longer highlighted in the top banners when you go to the book store, and the link to it, on Kindle Fire tablets, is in the unseen menu that you need to swipe to the right, from the left edge, to see -- or you can click on the TINY menu icon at the top left to get the options, but I usually have better luck with the swiping method.

So, this is a refresher for those who've not used it for awhile (like me) and may be completely new info for recent Kindle owners because Amazon features, more visibly, (1) Kindle Unlimited, a ($10/month subscription that allows anyone to borrow up to 10 books at a given time instead of only Kindle device owners being able to borrow one-only per calendar month for free), as well as (2) the Kindle First program and other currently highlighted features.

For details on how the Kindle Owners' Lending Library wime-orks, see the scrolling page of Kindleworld blog articles on this feature.

  The details found on that scrolling page will answer a lot of common questions about the program.

The Kindle Owners' Lending library started with only 5,000+ books and is currently at over 1,160,000 Kindle books, according to my Paperwhite 2's all-categories display for the lending library.

And here, seen in a web browser, is a straight listing of over 1,188,000 Prime-Eligible Kindle books, the default listing being those that Amazon is currently featuring -- and if you change the Sorting (at top right) from "Featured" to "Avg Customer Review," you'll see which ones have a lot of 5-star ratings for whatever reasons.

  The Kindle Unlimited program includes books that are not Prime-Eligible.  Harry Potter books are a part of the Kindle Unlimited subscription feature, but it seems that most Potter books are not designated "Prime"-eligible currently (Publisher did not agree to do it), so Prime members who are Kindle owners cannot borrow those to read via KOLL/Prime program, but KOLL subscribers can of course borrow them plus nine other books to read at any given time, for their $10/month.

  The lending library (KOLL) started with only 5,000+ books and the number of Prime-Eligible books for borrowing for reading on Kindle devices is currently at over 1,188,000+ Kindle books.

  The more-often featured Kindle Unlimited program gets Amazon $10/mo from each member for the flexibility allowing almost unlimited borrowing from that set of over a million Kindle books, available to users of ANY reading device (not just Kindle Owners).

  On both, you can browse by categories or, when using a Kindle e-Ink eReader or a Kindle Fire tablet, you can search the lending library. The Kindle Fire tablets use up more room with their large color book cover graphics, and the Search feature is very important when you're looking for a specific book or topic.

  Prime shipping members (UK here) who own Kindle devices can use KOLL, but it's not available on Kindle apps for other devices.

  You can borrow one Kindle book per calendar month, from a choice of over 1,188,000 now, without dealing with waiting times or due-dates.  The Big6 publishers don't tend to place their books in this library though.

  I borrowed a book the other day (after returning one I had held onto for a long time), so I won't be able to borrow another one until the next calendar month, June, after I return the current loan.


  Prime
's Lending Library:
     Rules for borrowing
        Note:  When you borrow a Prime library book,
              you do this from your Kindle, at the Kindle's Kindle Store

                and not from the Amazon web pages.
        The BIG RED $0.00 you see on the product page for "Prime" cost
        means it's $0.00 to Borrow it, from the Kindle,


How to borrow from the KOLL on your Kindle
Amazon changes the navigation process somewhat as the years and models roll by. The Help page they have is not quite up to date because the navigation steps tend to differ a bit between the devices.

The first images below are from Amazon, showing generally (vaguely) what the process looks like on e-Ink eReaders,
and those images are followed by some screenshots of the process on my Year 2013 Kindle Fire HDX tablet.

Getting to the Lending Library -- On the Kindle e-Ink eReaders, Amazon seems to have changed the method a bit very recently, on the varying devices (maybe they're programmed by different Kindle teams).

On my Paperwhite 2, Year 2014~, there are two ways:
  1. I can tap the top-right Menu and Select "Shop Kindle Store"
That brings up the store menu, and then I need to tap the top-right store-menu, which offers the "Kindle Owners' Lending Library' option near the bottom.
  2. I can also tqp the CART icon at the top, which also takes me to the store, where a tap on the store menu at top-right will offer me the KOLL option near the bottom.

The resulting KOLL page for e-Ink readers DEFAULTS now to just show all categories (pure text) without requiring us to choose All Categories as some older models do  It's well organized.

  Older Kindle e-Ink readers will differ somewhat in several ways, as mentioned (I no longer have one to use for tests).  The Amazon help page does still mention choosing "All Categories" or maybe "See all categories" before seeing the Lending Library option, but that doesn't apply to my Paperwhite2 eReader.


Here's Amazon's VIDEO-tutorial (this video doesn't run on e-Ink Kindle Blog Edition subscriptions), which uses a recent Kindle eReader model   Although the steps shown in the video don't match precisely steps needed for various eReaders, their current help page indicates that the KOLL benefits are available on any Kindle eReader. Continue to let us know if you have problems finding KOLL on an old Kindle e-Ink Reader.  I'll look into it more.

 VIDEO: (Kindle Blog Edition subscribers shouldn't try to run this.  Use a computer, tablet, or smartphone instead)

That comes from the Kindle borrowing-help page -- the text steps on that page are not entirely clear, but it's helpful to read it.  It has links to areas that explain other aspects of the borrowing programs.

On a Kindle Fire tablet, you'd click on 'Books' in the top menu.
Then, at your library listing, click on the "Store" icon at top-right corner.


At the Bookstore, swipe right, from left edge, to get the options
and choose "Kindle Owners' Lending Library," near the bottom of the page.
(These are all Prime-eligible books and show as $0.00 for Kindle Unlimited users as well.)


When you get the KOLL screen to browse,
you can also search for a book or author at the top.
I typed 'Amy Tan' into the search field.


I didn't find anything by Tan in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library
and chose from results showing books with similar content.
When deciding on one, you'll see "Borrow for Free" under the orange "Buy for ___".


When I did this, Amazon reminded me that I still had a book out from this library
and I needed to return it first, as we get only one book per calendar month.

That's it!


The Kindle First program
The Kindle First program, introduced by Amazon in the U.S., is also available in the UK.

  For those who haven't tried it yet, in either country, Amazon offers, each month, 4 of the next month's new releases early and from these you can select one.  They're Editors' Picks, and anyone can buy one of the featured book for $.99 (or UK £0.99).  HOWEVER if you are a Prime (UK prime page here) program member, you get that selection for FREE (capitalization courtesy of Amazon).




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!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Catching up on some Amazon changes during late 2015: OS v5.1.1 update for current Amazon tablets ... an alternate blue-shade-type app for earlier tablets ... ShowTime & Starz subscription availability for Prime members, with Amazon X-ray and voice-search features ... Unlimited Photos storage for Prime members now shareable with another adult household member... The Beatles, on Amazon Prime Music now ... Find the tune you heard in a movie or tv show. Updated 12/27 to add some details.



A few changes in Amazon features over the last few months, not often mentioned.


(The photo at left of what looks like snow in winter is actually of the marble mountains of Carrara, Italy.  The 'snow' is marble; this is where Michelangelo chose his marble for his sculptures, living there for a few months at a time -- there is marble dust in the air of course.  I took this photo in 2006, and it's from a photo set at PBase.).

Amazon has emailed everyone almost daily about their favorite products being on sale, so there was no need for this blog to call attention to those each day.  But I'll list today some of the minor changes that have been occurring, for any who might be interested in those.

Amazon's slowed down on hardware news, and their many books specials are sent to all regular customers directly on a daily basis.  If there is anything you'd like to see covered here, let me know at andrys [at] panix dot com.

General Tips - for Kindle tablet owners who are distracted by all that's available in movies and TV shows and, of course, many of us use Amazon Prime Music quite a bit ... When I see items that I haven't known about and think they'd interest others, I'll start including more generalized tips.
  Today's: I came across a "What tune was that?" website for finding music used in movies and TV, which currently includes 581 TV shows.  I saw this in a discussion of an episode of the totally amoral "How to Get Away with Murder," and -- as an example -- for Season 1 there are 15 episodes, with a total of 46 songs, and for Season 2, 9 episodes with 30 songs.

Amazon's "Blue Shade" feature was added to Yr 2015 Fire tablets in an update (v5.1.1)
Amazon has been slowly distributing, "over the air," software update v5.1.1 to its Fire OS 5 ("Bellini") operating system used on the current Year 2015 tablets.

The "Blue Shade" mode added is an option for those who like to read at night before sleeping, because studies have indicated that the blue light from current tablets and smartphones can affect melatonin production and therefore the quality of sleep. Amazon's e-Ink eReaders, back-lit, don't emit blue light.  For the most recent Fire tablets using OS 5, the new mode uses filters (adjustable in Settings) to limit the amount of emitted blue light from the screen, which some feel makes these devices more comfortable to read at night.

  The settings that control the color warmth and brightness level of the resulting light is fully adjustable by the user, and they've included an “ultra low” brightness level (which would also help any partners nearby trying to sleep).

  In connection with this, Amazon has featured the Fire HD 8 Reader's Edition, normally priced at $149.99, but bundled with one year of the $119.80 Kindle Unlimited subscription and with their $79.99 "rustic leather case" ($349.86 total if purchased separately) for $249.99.

  Other features in the recent "OS 5.1.1 update to the Yr 2015 Fire tablets are described by Androidheadlines:
' There is a new browser designed for children that users could activate on the FreeTime section, parents can choose a list of websites that would be appropriate for their children. Amazon and Common Sense Media chose over 40,000 YouTube videos dedicated for children, which they can view on the FreeTime browser. There’s also a new Activity Center for parents outside of FreeTime, which allows them to know how their kids are using the tablet and how much time have they spent on specific apps or games as well as seeing their browser history and everything they have accessed. The update should be now available now for the Fire HD 8, Fire HD 10 and other Fire tablets, although the process might take up to two weeks to complete. '

  A fix noted in update v5.1.1
Reader Irv Fullerton had reported to Amazon some problems in the original OS 5 functioning.  He followed up today with the following:
' Amazon fixed the error within the WPS office software - which now allows a user to actually access the icons at the top of each page of an open document.  For me - this was a huge fix as it now allowed me to work with spreadsheets I have saved within the Amazon Cloud...'

  What about older tablets? Some had thought that earlier Kindle Fire tablets would get the Blue Shade feature and other OS 5 additions via an update later on.  Pocket-link had stated, "The Amazon Fire OS 5 Bellini will come with the latest tablets from Amazon and will be available for older tablets via an over the air update in the coming months" -- but the development community hasn't reported seeing an indication of that yet.

  The "Twilight App" (Android) offers a similar blue-light-filter feature, and earlier-Kindle Fire owners can download this app by using the normal android-device app-install setting that allows using apps from "unknown sources" and getting apps from places like 1mobile and slideme.

  This alternate-apps-source method is called "side loading" (getting apps from a secondary apps store) and it involves no changes to the operating system, is NOT a 'rooting' method nor a 'hack' but a mere enabling of a setting to allow an alternate source for android apps while being careful to use only appstores that Amazon's Kindle Community forum members have tried and recommend.
  See this blog's guide for sideloading non-Amazon store and non-GooglePlay store apps.

  I've tried that 'Twilight app' on my Yr 2013 Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" tablet, and while it's very flexible and works well, I prefer to use the basic old, built-in "Aa" option setting of "Sepia" or 'White' with the brightness turned down, probably because I have no trouble sleeping well after using it this way.  As most will have noticed, there's also an option to read white text against black, on all the Amazon tablets, which bed parters trying to sleep during your late-hour reading sessions will appreciate.

Amazon Prime members can now subscribe to ShowTime, Starz, and more
Sacred Heart Spectrum alerts us to new offerings for Prime members looking to cut cable tv costs or to view series they've missed. (In fact their HBO Prime INstant videos allow people to catch up on earlier or initial episodes of very popular series, without needing the usual cable TV add-on subscriptions.
 For those of us cutting our cable TV use because it's so expensive, companies like Hulu have added separate subscriptions (not needing a cable TV subscription) for premium offerings like Showtime, for ~$9.  I cut my cable TV/Internet/Phone bill by $70/mo. by taking only the basic+extended cable (which includes the nation-wide news like CNN + and "edutainment" stations like Discovery Channel, etc.), and I cut any premium features, but I then subscribed to Showtime on Hulu for $9/mo.

  Now I'll probably change over to Amazon for the Showtime because, via Amazon, that'll include my favorite video feature, X-Ray for movies and for TV shows, which gives you added info, OnDemand, from Amazon's IMDB subsdiary, such as: What actors are in the current scene? (if you pause it).  The links are to fuller descriptions of what this version of X-Ray does for each.

  Amazon calls their new offering the "Streaming Partners Program," which includes 30 or more different streaming services which are 'paid' features on cable TV and would be available for Amazon Prime members for whatever extra monthly fee.  Showtime is $8.99/mo.

  The Streaming Partner subscriptions will also include a "unified voice search" when you watch it on Fire Tv (SO much better than pressing alpha-characters on those alphabetically-sorted keyboard forms).  Also, the Sacred Heart article reports that Amazon will be "making partners' newest episodes simultaneous with the broadcast."

  They add that 'Showtime produces such acclaimed programming as "Homeland" and "The Affair" while Starz is the home of shows like "Outlander" and "Flesh and Bone."  Viewers can watch them through Internet-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players, streaming media players, gaming consoles and mobile devices.  Amazon Prime keeps it all on the web and on any device with the Amazon Video app.'

  SIDENOTE: One advantage of the Amazon Fire TV is that you can mirror your tablet (though not the new $50 tablet) or smartphone display to the Fire TV to share the content with others more easily.  Most Android tablets and the Amazon-specific tablets, as well as recent Windows laptops come with 'Miracast' or "mirroring" capability.  I Was able to mirror my Windows laptop to it, along with my Windows phone (Nokia 1020) attached to the laptop -- this allowed me to view all my phone contents mirror'd on the Fire TV, even though the phone, itself, has no mirroring capability, since the laptop did.

Amazon's Unlimited Photo Storage Now Shareable by Prime Subscribers
PetaPixel reports that in addition to Prime members getting unlimited photo storage (including RAW files), this feature is now shareable with one other adult in the household.

  NON-Prime members can get this subscription feature for $11.99/year, with a 3-month free trial.
  There is NO limitation on the size or resolution of a photo file (as there are with other free-photo-storage sites) and Amazon promises not to change the file in anyway.

Amazon's Unlimited Everything Cloud-storage/backup plan
  That's for ALL files you want to have saved in the Cloud as backup - not just photos.  This includes videos, which are usually the most space-grabbing files. Normally $59.99/year (essentially $5/month), with a 3-month free trial.

  During Black Friday week, this was offered that weekfor $5/year.  Paul Thurrott explains why he found that special a no-brainer.  Even for the normal $60/year, "Unlimited" file backup is still considered good for people who need or would feel more comfortable with knowing their files are accessible in case of hard drive (or worse) catastrophes.  I haven't heard how fast or easy recovery of a file or file-set would be when needed, with Amazon's plan. But you can try that yourself with the that 3-month Free trial.

  Some sites say that if an Android tablet owner downloads the Amazon Underground app (free paid-apps) currently, s/he will receive an offer for a free-year of Unlimited Everything, within a day.  Unfortunately, Kindle Fire and Fire tablets have Underground built in .

  I do know that a friend received the following special offer yesterday based on a purchase within the last year:
  "Your purchase in the past 12 months of the "Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Digital Camera - Wi-Fi Enabled..." comes with a 1 FREE year of Unlimited Everything cloud storage from Amazon Cloud Drive (a $59.99 value)."

  She was not sure how she'd use it or if she would need such a thing, but it's a safety measure in case your hard drive dies, and most of us know this normally happens within 5 years.  I use another online backup service and it is really comforting to know everything I need is up there and I can recover any file (or version of a file) at any time.  While their pricing is similar, I'm limited to 1 Terabyte on the Non-Amazon cloud-backup I use.  Updated backups for the folders we choose are usually done automatically either daily or at any intervals you choose by any of these online backup sites.

AndroidHeadlines website announces "Best Android App 2015" and names three
#1 - the increasingly popular "Periscope" app (the broadcasting app that requires Compatibility "with Android SDK level 19),"
#2 - the Amazon Underground app
      (built into the Amazon Kindle Fire and Fire tablets
#3 - the new Google Photos app

The Beatles on Amazon Prime Music
You've probably read about The Beatles (complete music) being available online and featured on Spotify (and IheartRadio) for free, the last couple of days.  Today Amazon announced that the full Beatles catalog is also available for free on Amazon's Prime Music feature -- free streaming for Amazon Prime members.


That should do for now, as we go about celebrating, holidaying, or having some good quiet time while remembering those for whom it may not be an easy time of year for all the reasons we know.



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


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