Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Quick Kindle News: New Kindle Fire 8.9-inch HDX tablet will get free Washington Post articles. New OS 4 features are coming soon to LAST YEAR's Kindle Fire line. First reactions to 6" Fire HD tablet which is shipping. Kindle-First feature added in the UK. Kindle -First books (US) for October.

Free Washington Post news articles app will be pre-installed, on the new 8.9" Fire HDX tablet

BloombergBusinessWeek's Brad Stone reports that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, owner of The Washington Post, is bringing curated articles from the newspaper to the new Fire Tablet 8.9" HDX model, which will have it, free and pre-installed, upon delivery (shipping Oct. 21).

  Stone adds that "It will eventually be available for download on other Kindles as well as to owners of Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and various Android devices, and it will carry a monthly subscription fee" in those cases.  One can hope that the other Fire tablets will get favored subscription rates on this app, but there will likely be a promo when it's ready for the other devices.

The Washington Post project has been dubbed "Project Rainbow," indicating a colorful and overarching reach as a goal.

Stone notes that Bezos has brought in "100 new journalists while cutting pensions and other retirement benefits for current employees" but that "the resulting buzz has been positive, on balance" and that "David Carr, media columnist at the New York Times, just heralded a recent turnaround in quality: 'The once-embattled newspaper,' he wrote, 'is in the middle of a great run, turning out the kind of reporting that journalists—and readers—live for.'"

The Kindle Fire HD 6" arrives - customer reactions at forum
The response from users, at the forum discussions, to the $99 Fire HD 6" tablet, which was shipped Oct. 2, is very positive.
  Here's the forum discussion on these.

  A couple of early tech reviews:
. Laptop magazine review by Anna Attkisson calls it a "must-have" tablet (especially for its detailed parental controls) and reports: "All around, the tablet feels sturdy and less likely to fall apart than its cheap competitors.  That's unsurprising, since the company told me it splashes the device with freshwater and saltwater, slathers it in sunscreen and drops it from a meter (about 3 feet) high."
  The inexpensive smaller Fire HD 6" and 7" tablets do not have good cameras, however, at that price.
  The 6" HD is lighter and fits in one hand, but the 7" HD has stereo speakers.

. MobileTechReview titles their review "the $99 Tablet Worth Buying" and as usual Lisa Gade has a detailed, 15-minute hands-on video review of the tablet, and she even includes size comparisons with the 6" e-Ink Kindle eReader.  Also, here's her, as usual, very balanced text review.  The tablet doesn't have enough storage for large game apps with complex graphics and action. & It's a tablet for the very budget-minded consumer who still wants one with good quality.

The new Fire OS 4 system features are being added to LAST YEAR's Kindle Fire tablet line also !
Fire OS 4 "Sangria", just launched with the new Fire tablets, is being added to last year's Kindle Fire tablets, according to reports of a letter from Jeff Bezos showing up on some tablets to announce that it'll come in a few weeks.  However, I have an 8.9" Kindle Fire HDX and did not get the letter.  There was a recent update (which I've not reported since it was a maintenance update and contained no new features) but no special communique.
 The 7" HDX was kept as a current tablet this year, not replaced by another 7" model, and some of us were a bit worried about the lack of that letter.

  I made an inquiry to Amazon about this and received confirmation that the lack of that letter on other 3rd Generation tablets doesn't indicate they're being ignored for this update.
" The update will roll back to all 3rd gen Fire tablets - so, Fire HDX 7, Fire HDX 8.9 and Fire HD. "
  Again here is the product page area describing in detail the highly-anticipated features of the new Fire OS 4.

  These features are already being received well on the just-shipped Fire HD 6", mentioned above.

Kindle-First feature now available in the UK as well
The Kindle First program, introduced by Amazon in the U.S. is finally 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).

For the U.S., Here are October's four now, from releases due for release November.

(As a U.S. customer, I'm not allowed by Amazon UK to see their Kindle book selections.)

Credit: Thanks to Edward Boyhan for noting the Engadget report on BloombergBusinessweek's article.

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!

No comments:

Post a Comment

NOTE: TO AVOID SPAM being posted instantly, this blog uses the "DELAY" feature.

Am often away much of the day, and postings won't show up right away. Posts done to use referrer-links may never show up.

Usually, am online enough to release comments within a day though, so the hard-to-read match-text tests for commenting won't be needed this way.

Feedback and questions are welcome. Thanks for participating.

Technical Problems?
If you're having problems leaving a Comment, Google's blogger-help asks that you clear the '' cookies on your browser's Tools or Options menu bar and that will fix the Comment-box problems (until they have a permanent fix).

IF that doesn't work either, then UNcheck the "keep me signed in" box -- Google-help says that should allow your comment to post (it's a workaround to a current bug).
Apologies for the problems.

TIP: There's a size limit. If longer than 3500 characters or so, in a text editor, make two posts out of it.

[Valid RSS]