Friday, April 27, 2012

Kindle News: (1) Draw Something is ready for Kindle Fire, (2) SendToKindle for Mac, (3) Amazon's surprising 1st Qtr results

    Free version

    Paid version

The L.A. Times' Michelle Maltais highlighted the new Kindle Fire app yesterday, Draw Something
' Picture this: Kindle Fire users finally get to join in the addictive fun of Draw Something. '

Note there are free and paid versions.  I haven't seen what more is available with the Paid version, but reviews are sort of ecstatic on both versions.

In images above, cLick on 'Free' to read the description for that and on 'Paid' to get that one (and I'll just add links in on this line).

While Draw Something had been available for regular Android users, the Kindle Fire runs, she points out, on an altered version of the Android operating system and Amazon tests them for compatability and reliability before approving them for their Android Apps Store

The multiplayer game is a bit different in that you try to get your opponent to guess the right answer, and you both get rewarded.  Maltais writes that in less than two months after launching on Android and Apple's iOS, the app has had 50 million downloads across platforms.

NEW KINDLE APP: sendtokindle for Mac (Send Once, Read Everywhere

Amazon released this in the last week.  Their page explains that with this Mac-focused Kindle app, you can:
  • Send personal documents to your Kindle from your Mac.
  • Drag and drop one or more documents on to the Send to Kindle icon in your Dock or launch the application and drag and drop one or more documents on to it.
  • From any Mac application that can print, select the print menu and choose Send to Kindle.
  • From Finder, simply control-click on one or more documents and choose Send to Kindle.
  • Choose to archive documents in your Kindle library, where you can re-download them conveniently at any time.

Note the System Requirements though:
  • A Mac with a 500 MHz Intel processor or faster
  • At least 512MB of RAM
  • 100MB of available disk space
  • Mac OS X v10.6 (Snow Leopard) or Mac OS X v10.7 (Lion)

Amazon's net profits -- after sacrificing short term profitability by putting money back into expanding the market (Kindles and digital media) and the business, opening distribution centers galore, hiring 9,000+ more people recently, providing better customer service (a major strength) -- were down over last year but less so than anticipated by the analysts ('beating expectations'), so there was a lot of cheering Thursday over the numbers.

  While they were expected to have first quarter earnings of only $0.07 per share, the earnings were $0.28 per share, 4 times higher than anticipated by the experts -- despite earnings per share falling 35% compared to last year's $0.44.  It's all about beating (and managing) expectations.  News of their revenues increasing 36% and their obviously on-track long-range plans to grow the business are causing the stock to soar the last 2 days.

Good reading on this, with many details:
Seeking Alpha - "Investors Are Cheering After Another Quarter Of Margin Sacrifices," by Robert Broens

  A note to Kindle-Edition Subscribers: Remember that Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Touch e-readers have MENU/ARTICLE MODE once you reach the articles I link you to (which means you are then using the e-Ink Kindle's web-browser).

  The linked articles' fonts won't be particularly readable, size-wise, until you choose Menu/Article Mode, but then you'll see how easy it is to follow these links and read comfortably on the E-Ink Kindle after Article Mode removes ads and side-columns.

  Kindle Fire users: The new software update v6.3 has a Web READING VIEW, which shows up now as a pair of glasses that show up next to the Bookmarks ribbon at the bottom status bar showing the rectangular lined Menu.
  This feature removes any side elements (ads, links to other features) and just shows you the body of the article in very readable font, isolated, and with clickable links which the e-Ink Article Mode feature doesn't have.
  This new feature is SO good that I now use Amazon's Web ("Silk") by default instead of my previously preferred "Dolphin" Android browser which doesn't have the Reading View.

  Kindle Fire readers have an advantage in that they can double-click the normal web page text and that will enlarge the font of the story and fit it to the width of the screen usually, depending on your web settings.  But the new Reading View feature is a sure thing.

Here are several RELATED ARTICLES that I'll link interested readers to, as they give a better idea of the dynamics involved with Amazon's history of longer-range planning and they help explain what's happening now with Amazon in a digital-media-focused world.
  I'd mentioned that their new main page shows an emphasis on digital products, front and center, and that this emphasis was duplicated on submenus -- and that's where most of the profits came.  But a LOT of it came from their third-party Marketplace area, where company expenses would be lower.

  Amazon Kindle Fire has 54.4% of U.S. Android Tablet market, by TechnoBuffalo's Todd Haselton

  Note that Amazon's having over 54% of the Android Market here is rather huge for obvious reasons and also because Google owns the Android operating system.  I enjoy a Galaxy 10.1" Tab, and the very popular Samsung's percentage in comScore's data-collection is 15.4%, in 2nd place.

  All this is despite comScore's subtitle, '10" Tablets Have 39 Percent Higher Content Consumption Rate than 7" Tablets' (How does that affect advertising? How much reading is done on the Kindle Fire?)

  The Kindle Fire doubled its share of the Android Tablet Market in two months.

  Is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2  7.0 a better Kindle Fire than the Kindle Fire?, by Eric Franklin

  I want to go into this one a bit more later but am pointing readers to the article, as it's related to what is happening with Amazon's overall sales of course.

  The answer in the article is No, and Franklin makes good points about why he thinks the Kindle Fire would be the better choice for Amazon's audience despite more features in the Samsung hardware.

  Even TIME Techland's Keith Wagstaff, in his review of the new Samsung 7", while impressed with the Samsung otherwise for only $50 more, ends with, "So, the $250 question: Should you buy this instead of a Kindle Fire?  If you have Amazon Prime, the answer is no.  That tablet was built as a media mecca for Amazon’s ever-growing library of books and movies, and it serves that purpose extremely well..."

  Amazon: Jeff Bezos Is a Genius, by The Street's Rocco Pendola (thanks to Island Librarian Nancy Picchi's alert, is a very interesting, entertaining article.

Say something enough, even based on soft assumptions, and many will just repeat it until it becomes an Internet truth.

  Forbes's Tim Worstall asks, Does Amazon Really Sell The Kindle At Break Even Or a Loss?.
  Worstall makes points that should have been made by others long ago, with most news articles I've seen just repeating the first guesstimates given, as fact.  Looking at device parts and assuming one knows the prices Amazon could get for massive production orders is odd.  Repeating an even educated guess as 'fact' from that is even odder to me.  But, yes, as Worstall points out, the margins at the same selling price tend to increase with time on electronic devices.

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links
Kindle Fire  7" tablet - $199
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $79/$109
Kindle Touch, WiFi
- $99/$139
Kindle Touch, 3G/WiFi - $149/$189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189, Free, slow web
Kindle DX - $379, Free, slow web
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £89
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £109
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi, UK - £169
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
OTHER International
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $109
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi - $189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB

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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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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  1. I really like using the new reader view with the Pocket app. You don't have to exit reading view to send to pocket and the result is great for off line reading.

    1. K H, I didn't know that you could send to Pocket without exiting the Reading View. Thanks for that.

      For those of you who don't know or don't remember what "Pocket" is - it's the former "Read It Later" app for Android, now free and for KindleFire as well. See


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