Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Kindle Fire HD tablets said to have killer specs. Also, Viewing on a Kindle Fire your photos/videos in your Cloud area and uploading them there automatically

BGR has new details from "trusted sources" on the new Kindle Fire HD's expected in late Fall

BGR's Zach Epstein seems to have the scoop on what Amazon plans to launch in (now) "late September," saying that Amazon is reported to be "on track."

  Today's news include details added to the information on very high display resolutions described July 15 and repeated as background in their current report

  Their headline is "From kindling to inferno: Full specs for next-gen Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablets"

The specs (that unexpectedly include the very fast SpeedDragon 800 processor, etc.) look very similar to today's new Google Nexus except that the Kindle Fire HD would likely be keeping its popular HDMI-out port for direct connection to HDTVs (which some complain is missing from the Nexus), and their new back-facing camera is set to be 8 megapixels.  That camera is said to be included only on the 8.9" model (which will likely make it more popular than the first larger Kindle Fire HD) but not on the 7"HD  model -- this is according to BGR's "multiple trusted sources" who provided "the devices’ complete specs."

BGR is uncharacteristically exuberant in its descriptions. Examples:
' [Subtitled] Amazon to combine powerhouse specs and affordable prices in bid to scorch the competition '
. . .
If you think the new Nexus 7 is impressive, just wait until you see what Amazon is preparing to debut this fall.

If the current tablets are kindling, Amazon’s next-generation Kindle Fire HD tablet lineup is a full-blown inferno.
. . .
We’re told the tablet will be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) system on a chip, which includes four Krait 400 CPUs and Adreno 330 graphics.  Prototypes are said to be clocked at about 2GHz.

As with the Nexus specs, BGR's sources describe a device with 2GB of RAM, similar storage capabilities, though it seems they'll offer an additional, 64GB option in addition to the 16 and 32GB ones.

  As said July 15, the tablets are said to be both smaller and lighter.

  Again, they're reporting that Amazon is trying to keep similar price points to the current models' non-sales pricing.

The big difference with the Nexus
That would of course be direct access to the Google Play store apps (instead of getting them from places like as we do now for apps not in the Amazon Appstore).

Barnes and Noble, in May, was in a position where they needed to agree to Google's terms.  The Nook tablets were just not selling, due - partially - to a very limited ecosystem for multimedia tablets and also very limited customer support.  I don't know what Google's device customer support is like, but their Nexus users have seemed pretty happy, in general.  For most things, Google company humans are not easy to get on the phone, so this will be interesting to watch.

  What's not generally described was reported in an ABC news story about the kinds of terms Google requires for competing bookstore and app vendor access to the Google Play store.
' Typically Google requires official Android devices with the full app store to preload Google's own suite of apps, including Gmail, YouTube, Google Play, Music and Chrome.  As such, Barnes & Noble had to remove some of its own store apps to gain access, including its own music app.

[B&N VP] Hilt wouldn't comment on the terms of partnership when asked.  Barnes & Noble's Nook Store, which has millions of books and magazines, will still come preloaded on the tablets. '

  For those who want Google Play Store access, can we imagine Amazon giving up its own Music app or even its own browser, or appstore?  As it is, Kindle Fire owners can get the Chrome browser easily as a secondary web browser.  Apple and Amazon have cooperated in the past, so it's not totally impossible Google and Amazon could do a deal that's better for both of the companies.

  It's not likely, though, as Google books, Cloud, and Music are in competition with Amazon, and the Kindle Fires have been the 2nd most purchased tablets next to the iPad, while using an operating system built on top of Google's Android system.

 I've also read that the current Nexus doesn't yet have as robust a parental control setup.  The Kindle Fire interface is easier for most of its target consumer audience, which seems generally not much into setting up their own layouts and with a family-sharing focus.  The Google Play Store does make it easier for anyone to get those Google apps though.  I personally find it easy to get any apps I want from the secondary Google-apps stores like,, and others noted in blog entries on installing non-Amazon apps.

 It's good that Google will provide the device competition Amazon customers lost with the current halt of production on the Nook tablets.

  I like the Amazon ecosystem, its customer support, and recent improvements like the Cloud Photo feature this week that, on 2nd Gen Kindle Fires, automatically stores in your Cloud (by the Photo feature's default setting) any photos on your Kindle Fire.  Amazon customers get 5 gigs of free storage space for any type of file.  See the Cloud data storage page.  This is in addition to the 5 Gigs available, to Kindle owners, for 'Personal Docs'

Cloud Photo Storage and Viewing
 You can now view, on your Kindle Fire, all photos stored in your Amazon Cloud (the first generation Kindle Fire requires the Android app for that.

  In Landscape mode, the thumbnails are in varied, larger, sizes and easier to view.   In Portrait mode, they're smaller and are all the same size.  You swipe left or right to see Album contents and click on individual pictures to view those.  Again, the Kindle Fire 2nd Gen tablets automatically send copies to your Cloud area, by default, but you can change the Cloud Photos setting to avoid that if you prefer.

  Importing all your photo albums from Facebook to your Amazon Cloud so that you can view those at anytime on your tablets or phones is now lightning fast.
  Viewing those albums on your Cloud is also a speedy, ultra-clear experience (at least on a cablemodem ISP).  I have tons of images on Facebook, and the transfer of umpteen albums of many photos  to my Amazon Cloud area finished in a couple of minutes.

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links.
Updated Kindle Fire 2 Basic  7" tablet - $159
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB - $199/$229
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16/32GB - $269/$299
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G 32/64GB - $399/$499
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $69/$89
Kindle Touch WiFi - $99
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $119/$139
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi+3G - $179/$199
Kindle Keybd 3G - $139/$159, Free slow web
Kindle DX - $379 $299 (Yes)
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £69
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - ~£89 Refurb'd
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi
Kindle Paperwhite 3G, UK
Kindle Fire 2, UK
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB, UK
Canada - Kindlestore, CDN-$
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - $79
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $129
Kindle Paperwhite, 3G - $199
Kindle Fire HD 7" - 214.00
KFire HD 7" $214,  8.9" $284

*OTHER Int'l pages*
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $89
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Paperwhite WiFi $139, 3G/Wifi $199
KFire HD 7" $214,  8.9" $284

France Boutique Kindle
Deutschland - Kindle Store
Italia - Kindle Store
Spain - Tienda Kindle
Brazil - Amazon Brazil
China - Amazon China [?]
Japan - Amazon Japan

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  1. The new Nexus 7 does have HDMI out. It uses the micro USB which is SlimPort(TM) enabled. I guess you can plug a dongle in there and an HDMI cable into that. At least some of the dongles support simultaneous charging. So you don't need a separate port. I would imagine all of that will be available in some dock accessory.

    I'd be more willing to consider getting a Fire if they drop the silly app blacklisting. DropBox is in the Amazon Appstore. Why can't I get it for my Fire? Why make me side load, it is bad user experience. Ditto with alternative browsers, ePub reading apps etc.

    1. Tom, thanks. This is Part 1 of 2...
      There've been more than a few complaints the Nexus doesn't have a dedicated HDMI-out one specifically for that and which can be used easily with the power charger in, which many have reported doing with hotel TVs. Thanks for the info there's a workaround on it. It's still going to be available as an add-on cost with a dock accessory. Currently several things are not working as they should on the brand new Nexus but those will be ironed out with the next couple of updates, no doubt.

      For your type of constant exploration, I'd think that the Nexus would be a natural.

      Re the Kindle Fire, there is no "side-loading" of non-Amazon apps necessary anymore. I've straight-downloaded for almost two years and just installed from that exactly the way I do with any Amazon app.

      I just use the store links I give in my blog article on installing non-Amazon apps. This means going to download directly either at the vendor site (still not possible to download that way on the current Nook HDs) or to with its 250,000 Google Play apps (easiest link is in the article) or to places like er app stores that are recommended for apps that Amazon does not have, such as, iapknew or iapktop or slideme sites, etc.

      The normal Android checkbox to "Allow installation of unknown apps" is allowed by Amazon though it had always been hidden by B&N. I've used Dropbox for a couple of years too. I never transfer apps to the Kindle Fire with the 2nd Gen Kindle Fires I just download them.

      It's really not any bad user experience. It's just downloading something like the 1mobile store app just as others download the amazon appstore app. Then you use that and there's no side-loading at all. Maybe you have the 1st Kindle Fire in mind?

      I don't understand the problem or why some people feel they do have to sideload anything anymore. Amazon has as a focus of its own Cloud (which is now a big feature of theirs) so they don't encourage getting dropbox from their own store anymore than B&N would normally just put the Amazon appstore app into its own B&N appstore.

      But whereas you can't use the latest Nook HD tablet to get another vendor's app onto the Nook w/o rooting (except for their now contract-deal with Google because their own appstore failed and they gave up things for that deal), we can just go to any vendor app page and download it direct to a Kindle Fire and install it straight out.
      It couldn't be simpler except that you don't go to Google PlayStore to do it. You use either the vendor site or another appstore.

      - continued in Part 2 of 2

    2. Tom, this is Part 2 of 2
      I use 40% Silk (for the 'article view' when I want that and and 60% Dolphin or Chrome or Opera as browsers. Amazon's Silk no doubt lets them get more user info so they're not going to carry the other apps at their store to encourage others to use those.

      I got Mantano and Aldiko just from downloading straight. Once people know this I have feedback they love it (especially those who are not in this country and can't even use the Amazon appstore).

      No rooting, no additional support files. But if I were you and dislike Amazon not making Dropbox available in its own appstore for its own tablets when it's an alternative to its own built-in app for Cloud needs, I'd just get the Nexus (or the Apple iPad mini when it gets Retina at the end of the year, from what I read today).

      I use both the Amazon Cloud and Dropbox and also Box, so I am pretty happy with that. But it depends on how Amazon fixes or doesn't fix its current problems with the [x].4.5 Kindle Fire 2nd Gen software update (not offered manually) interfering with Flash video that will determine whether I get a Nexus next time or the new Kindle Fire HD. At least their customer rep answers to people asking on Kindle Forum indicate this was inadvertent and they're working to resolve them. They're also trying to add support for Flash pages as a built-in feature.

    3. To me side loading is anything I have to bypass Appstore to get. I want curation: I don't want to be the person testing apps to see if they will work on my device. I want automatic updates (I see the 1mobile app has update notification). I want access to full (paid) versions. And if a developer has gone to the trouble of listing their app in Appstore, I want to be able to get it.

      If an app is not in Amazon Appstore, there is no alternative but to side load. That's fine, and it is good that you can do that (as opposed to Nook tablet). My issue is that Amazon blacklists apps and says they are 'not compatible' with Fire. That is dishonest communication, something Amazon usually does not do. And I'm sure Mantano, Aldiko etc. would prefer to be able to sell the full versions of their apps to Fire users, having gone to the trouble of listing their apps in Appstore.

      Anyway, you're right: I am leaning towards Nexus or retina mini at this point. But that will be a tradeoff, because the Kindle reading app is not as good on those platforms as it is on Fire, and that would be (I think) one of the apps I'd want to use most.

    4. Tom, I'm fairly different in wants I never want to depend on one store, and not one appstore, certainly. The X's on the purchase box normally mean they either aren't compatible or Amazon has not bothered to test them for compatability since they don''t want to sell them because of their own products (which is fine with me).
      They are known for considerably more testing for both malware and Kindle Fire compatability than Google is, and the latter started doing testng work only recently. I also don't love that it's hard to get a human there for problems that occur. But they're leading the way with hardware now.

      I'm stymied by the use of the word "sideload" coming to mean the exact thing as "download" word we've always used for transferring directly from a server site to our devices.
      'Sideload' was originally meant for loading from the side of your device (USB usually) and now even with more arcane mode of WiFi transfer from computer to mobile device. There's no 'side' - it's direct but the key is that some want only one source. That's understandable

      'Sideload' should keep the meaning that it cannot be direct but 'to the side' in some way - something more difficult than a straight download.

      But with your strong feelings, I can't imagine you considering a Kindle Fire no matter the specs or even the more full-featured Kindle book reading on that tablet. I DO read on KFire too without missing the e-Ink that much, in fact, but I haven't minded when reading on my Samsung's less fully-featured Android app.

      I never liked the current Nexus when I saw it in stores, but I'd be tempted on the new one if Amazon doesn't come through with some aspects important to me, like allowing other browsers with Flash support as they have.

      I'm really big on web video viewing and don't like it when that doesn't work. But that means they have to fix the current planned update and stick with the idea that customers can choose this, even if they have to get the app elsewhere.

      If they make things possible, I'm okay. But if they want us to depend only on their experimental streaming of flash sites, which they're trying to get right, I won't be there. I want freedom to use other browsers and THEIR flash support, But I also like a lot of what the Kindle Fire HDs have offered and I mmight not even -get- a new model.
      Sometimes the only reason I do is because I need to talk about it for the blog.

  2. Also I believe that the Nexus has some content control features. This is from Google "You can also manage access to apps and content to create an experience that’s appropriate for each member of the family."

    I love the screen on my 8.9 Fire, but I have never gotten used to the carousel and keyboard. So despite being firmly entrenched in the Amazon ecosystem, I don't think I'll get another one unless they come up with some killer features. BUT--I also won't be jumping ship until someone comes out comparable a 8.5 to 9" model (7" is too small for me). I was excited for Samsung's models until I noted the specs--they should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. Jazz, yes. What I said was "doesn't yet have as robust a parental control setup" because I read that the content control setups were showing problems for reviewers (website reviewers and customers writing in comments sections), but of course those will be ironed out. They're just newborn pains.

      I don't mind the Carousel except that it's too Gigantic but I do like accessing quickly one of the last few things I was doing, whether web, book, app, or photos/videos, and I don't look beyond that. I also REALLY like Favorites because I can access within -whatever- I am doing (pausing the current activity) and then it returns me to where I was before I used a Favorite, midstream.

      The keyboard is TOO Cranky! Too easy to make mistakes on it -- this is true of my HP laptop/notebook 11.6" too, which is otherwise very good, which is why I suddenly found myself here on my desktop after hours on the laptop.

      I'm surprised, too, at Samsung's specs! I still enjoy the 10.1 Galaxy even though it's not HD but of course it's the last of the tablets to be picked up for use here. I use the 8.9" at home and the 7" when I leave the house. It's a great size for portability.

      I tend to use the Dolphin browser, which lets me tap to the size font I want and wraps the rest accordingly. But Kindle Fire's 'Article View' can come in handy, ALTHOUGH it is done in a fixed-size font which is usually a bit small for me when using the 7" so again, am more often on Dolphin.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  3. Thank you for info about Kindle Fire HD tablets!!!


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