Thursday, December 25, 2014

Amazon's holiday content, free, or on special sale only during this week. A few deals are -were- only until midnight Christmas Day.

Special sales announced by Amazon for this holiday week

On Dec 24, I focused on the 40 Android apps worth $220 available for free "until" December 26.  I don't know whether Amazon means until December 26 starts (which is the normal meaning) or until the end of December 26.  In the past, they've stipulated 11:59pm on a given date or they've used the word "through" a particular day.  So, to be certain you get the apps you want from these, aim for the end of Christmas day.

For those just opening new Kindle tablets and e-readers or those who have not looked at the free and low-cost specials available at any given time, there are ongoing specials for a day or for a month (or unstipulated "limited time") at Amazon.  These are listed and linked to at the recent Free and low-cost Kindle books article.  There are a lot of varied free offerings included in that article.

Today-only through tonight, special Goldbox deal
The ongoing daily Goldbox page is featuring for today and tonight (Dec 25, 2014) this Gold Box Deal of the Day: Up to 50% Off Digital Music, Books, Movies, Games, and Apps

Amazon added a "Kindle Book Sale: Up to 65% off" page of books at $1.99 each, which appear to be from the Kindle-Unlimited feature.
  This one started December 25, 2014 and is "through January 25, 2015."
  Note that some at Amazon are clearer by using "through" a given date rather than 'until' (which can be misleading.)

What Amazon calls its Kindle Book Deals for the current day, including the Daily deals, Monthly Deals and Countdown Deals (had never heard of the latter).  These include books with up to 85% discount.

  Amazon's press release adds that: "Starting December 25th and running through the New Year popular Kindle books from best-selling authors will be up to 85% off, including titles from James Patterson, David Baldacci, Rick Riordan, Sandra Brown, Kristin Hannah, Jeff Kinney and Barbara Freethy."
  These will change, though, daily, as to what is featured, from what I can see.

Amazon Device Deals - Amazon's statement on holiday specials for its Kindle tablets and eReaders
' Amazon Device Deals
For a limited time, customers can get $20 off Amazon Fire TV (now $79), $25 off Fire HD 7 (now $114), $20 off [basic] Kindle (now $59) and $20 off Kindle Paperwhite (now $99). '

Amazon's new pages for gifting of Digital Content
There are now pages dedicated to
. gifting Prime Content and
. gifting Kindle books.
  The benefits that come with the gifting for the recipient are described in their statement from the holiday press release:
Customers can easily gift friends and family all the digital content they love.

Give the gift of Amazon Prime and customers automatically get access not only to
  fast, free Two-Day shipping on millions of items,
      but they can immediately start streaming
  tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Instant Video,
  one million songs and
  hundreds of playlists with Prime Music,
  free unlimited Photo Storage with Cloud Drive,
  early access to select Lightning Deals and
  access to more than 700,000 books to borrow with the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
Learn more and schedule your gift delivery at

[The giftprime page clarifies that
    'If the recipient is already a Prime member, the gift can be exchanged for an Gift Card.
     The one-year gift membership does not automatically renew.' ]

Kindle books can be given as a gift to anyone with an email address, and
recipients can read a Kindle book gift on any compatible Fire or Kindle device, or free Kindle reading app.
Learn more at [which is actually Kindle book gifting].

Amazon Coins provide an easy way to give the gift of apps and games--simply choose the amount of Coins to gift, who[m] to gift them to and when to have them delivered.  Learn more at

And, in connection with Amazon Prime membership, Amazon's holiday week deals include the following in Amazon Prime Music, Amazon writes:
Prime members can also listen to a variety of popular holiday albums and songs on Prime Music without added cost, including the Christmas album from a cappella group Pentatonix--PTXmas (Deluxe Edition), Mariah Carey's fan-favorite and classic Merry Christmas album and the Christmas album from crooner Michael Bublé, among many more.

  Prime members can also explore a selection of hand-crafted holiday playlists on Prime Music including 50 Great Christmas Songs and Yule Love This as well as Prime Music Stations such as Holiday Classics, Holiday Favorites, Country Christmas and Relaxing Christmas for easy, ad-free holiday listening.

In addition, on [what's left of] December 25th, Amazon's Digital Music Store will offer top albums, including Ariana Grande--My Everything, Frozen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Imagine Dragons--Night Visions, OneRepublic--Native [+digital booklet], Sam Smith--In The Lonely Hour, and more for $3.99 as part of the Digital Gold Box Daily Deal at

Since I didn't get the Christmas Day Prime Music apps listed before the day but there are still 3 hours left on the East Coast and 6 hours on the West Coast, I'll stop here and get this up for those who are still exploring with their new tablets or eReaders.

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Amazon's 40-free-apps bundle (worth $220) "Until December 26" - A few choice ones noted. Updated 12/24-25 - Added UK and Canada's pages

Amazon's offering a 40-Apps bundle: Apps that cost (total $220) but which are free through Dec. 26, 2014
  Though it's called "Free App of the Day Bundle" it's apparently free until the day after Christmas, which makes more sense.  I've edited the title.  But they say "until" rather than "through" so note that wording.

The Muscular System Manual app shown here might help with physiology classes, but the main reason I used this app's image as the lead is that the normal cost of this app is set for $64 but it's free for the next couple of days.

  I had not looked at most of the 40 apps to see what prices were but was curious about this educational one.

  WELL, they added, on the bundle-listing page, after I typed that, the prices for each app -- very helpful.

  For UK and Canada - (specific items shown for U.S. are also available on UK and Canada's bundle pages)
  The 40 free app of day bundle page in the UK
  The 40 free app of day bundle page in Canada

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 8th edition

  Normally $30.99.

Others that jumped out at me as possibly useful as well as fun
are shown below.

OTHER free apps until Dec 26 - 38 more, but a couple of noteworthy ones
Photo Transfer app - nornally $1.99.   From the product description:
  Get Your Transfer
Photo Transfer App allows you to easily transfer photos and videos from your Android device to your computer as well as exchange photos from and to another Android device, iPhone, or iPad using your Wi-Fi network.

  Androids and Apples
Upload multiple photos from your computer to your device. Transfer photos and videos from one Android device to another over Wi-Fi; no cables are necessary. Transfer photos from your Android device to an iPhone or iPad and vice versa.

Please note: to transfer photos from to an Android device to an iPhone/iPhone, both devices must have Photo Transfer App installed. Access to a Wi-Fi network is required for this application to work. Some public Wi-Fi networks, such as hotels or public spaces, may be configured to block communication between devices.

iReal Pro
- Music Book & Play Along
- normally $12.99
  This was "~One of Time Magazine's 50 Best Inventions of 2010~"

  Included in the product-images set is a video that shows you how to use it.
  I was impressed that not only can you choose the key of any song but you can also choose the type of rhythm to use when playing along with the piece.  From the description:
  Practice makes perfect. iReal Pro offers an easy-to-use tool to help musicians of all levels master their art. It simulates a real-sounding band that can accompany you as you practice. The app also lets you create and collect chord charts of your favorite songs for reference.

  “It’s the perfect technology for a practicing musician: high-quality digital audio, mixable, transposable into any key and completely mobile. Now every aspiring musician has a backup band in their pocket.” – Tim Westergren, Pandora Founder

• It's a Book:
Create, edit, print, share and collect chord charts of your favorite songs for reference while practicing or performing.

• It's a Band:
Practice with a realistic sounding piano (or guitar), bass and drum accompaniments for any downloaded or user-created chord chart.

Have a virtual band accompany you as you practice
• Choose from 35 different accompaniment styles. (More available with In-App purchase)
• 15 Jazz Styles: Afro 12/8, Ballad Even, Ballad Swing, Bossa Nova, Double Time Swing, Even 8ths, Gypsy Jazz, Latin, Latin/Swing, Long Notes, Medium Swing, Medium Up Swing, Slow Swing, Swing Two/Four, Up Tempo Swing
• 8 Latin Styles: Argentina-Tango, Brazil-Bossa Acoustic, Brazil-Bossa Electric, Brazil-Samba, Cuba-Bolero, Cuba-Cha Cha Cha, Cuba-Son Montuno 2-3, Cuba-Son Montuno 3-2
• 12 Pop Styles: 12/8 Rock, Bluegrass, Country, Disco, Funk, Reggae, RnB, Rock, Shuffle, Slow Rock, Smooth, Soul
• Personalize each style with a variety of sounds including piano, fender rhodes, acoustic and electric guitars, acoustic and electric basses, drums, vibraphone, organ, and more

Play, edit, and import any songs you want
• 1000s of songs can be imported from the forums in a few simple steps
• Edit existing songs or create your own with the Editor
• The Player will play any song that you edit or create
• Create multiple editable playlists
. . . View the rest of this at the product page

Also included are Root Explorer and Plex (the latter for those with Plex servers).

Also, the regular SINGLE free app of the day
  How the Grinch Stole Christmas - normally $4.99.

This Christmas bundle is definitely worth a look, and, again, they're available now through Dec. 26.

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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Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

How to Play Flash on Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets - Yr 2012 models. Links to guide for Later models. Step-by-Step guide on How to Install Flash video for Flash-intensive websites. Tips on streaming video. Updated Nov-Dec 2013, April 2014, Dec 2014, Jan 2015

How to install flash to play flash videos on Year 2012 Kindle Fire HDX and HD devices for websites using Flash video but not offering the alternative HTML5 method after Adobe stopped active support of Flash on mobile devices

* (See the LATER guide for How to install Flash on Kindle Fire HD and HDX Yr2013-2014 Kindle Fire tablets.) *

This blog article (originally Oct. 22, 2012 and updated Nov 27, Dec 5-6, 2013, Apr 26, December 22-27, 2014, and January 3-9, 2015, is a companion article to How to Install non-Amazon apps on Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets.

The following works best for Kindle Fires before November 2013.

WORKAROUND and Step-by-Step GUIDE, for Yr2012 Kindle Fire tablets for sites that need the Flash-player workaround, to function as expected (show videos, do customized Flash routines).

For these older models
  Per Amazon's Kindle Forum discussions, Kindle Fire HD and HDX owners are using, as needed, three files that provide a good workaround, the same 3 files that Google Nexus owners need to get Flash video on Youtube since the Adobe Flash (Non)Support travails.

  Re those three files, linked below, FIRST do the following:
STEPS: (based on *~*Pineapple*~*'s guide from the forums:
Do the following on the Kindle Fire HD or Kindle Fire HDX tablets:
  • Go to the 'Home' screen.
  • Swipe down (lightly pressing and pulling down) from the top of the screen.
  • That gets you the Quick Settings Menu.
  • Click on "More" at the top right.
  • Go down the Settings list to "Device" and click on that.
  • Choose to "Allow Installation of Applications From unknown sources."
Installation files end in ".apk" ...

Then download and tap to install, to your Kindle Fire 2/HD, the files at the following links, with your new Kindle Fire HD or HDX tablet:
  1. the free file manager app, ES File Explorer

      [An EASIER alternative file-manager app for just installing app files (*.apk files) is Easy Installer, which does a search for install-files on your tablet and then shows them to you so that you can just choose which one to install without searching in file folders.

      The first time you use Easy Installer -- be sure to tap its top-right Menu: (3 vertically-aligned squares)
      Tap on 'Setting' and check the 'Scan Hidden Directories' box so that it can find hidden apk files.

    So, if preferring an easier experience when just installing new apps downloaded from non-Amazon stores, use THIS file manager instead of ES Explorer where that is mentioned here.]

    Most recommend ES Explorer, which drops files into the usual "Download" folder, because you can control a lot more in connection with your files if you use it regularly, but it can be more than some care to see for just an app-install job. I use the Easy Installer for app-installs and ES Explorer for other file management functions.

  2. the specific Adobe Flash file offered at XDA Developers Forum
      Please read recommended alternate source just below.

      The XDA Developers Forum file links for the Year 2012 file now lead to strange ad-crazy pages, one of which asks for your credit card info and one of which promises racy pictures.
      So, since the actual recommended file uploaded by XDA forum's "Recognized Contributor" stempox is the Flash File version that ends with ".27" and that file is directly available at Adobe's Archives with no download fuss:
      Here is the general Adobe Archive page for Flash Player files, and, more to the point, here's the direct Adobe link to that same (unmodified) file (Flash Player 11.1.for Android 4.0 ( in Adobe's own archives.

  3. Here's the Dolphin browser (v8.5.1), identified in the forum post as "APK Download," which supports that specific Adobe Flash Player file.
    (I've, in the past, used the most recent Dolphin browser HD (v10.0.3), with the earlier Yr 2012 Kindle HD as that had worked well for me with the older special Adobe Flash Player file.)
      HOWEVER, on the HDX 8.9" tablet I have, the older v8.5.1 Dolphin browser file, linked to above, works more smoothly with the current recommended Adobe Flash Player file.

    (If you want the the latest Dolphin browser despite that, you can get it from 1mobile -- To use any android appstore, you just download its store app, which will work like the Amazon store app).  The Dolphin makers continue to update that browser; HOWEVER, the one file that's recommended at the Amazon Kindle forum is the v8.5.1 linked to above, so it's better to just get v8.5.1 linked above to be sure, especially with the HDX tablet)

  When you receive notification that the Adobe Flash Player is downloaded, run either the ES File Explorer (files will be in the "Download" folder usually) OR the Easy Installer app to find and install it.
  Tap the filename to install the file (in both cases).

Dolphin HD Browser settings
When you've launched the browser, the usual Android Menu icon (it's square and looks like an air conditioner or a washboard) can be tapped to bring up several options.
  1. Tap on "More" (it has 3 lines).
  2. Then tap on the 3rd option, which is "Settings."
  3. Go down to "Web Content" and tap "Flash Player" -- the choices are:
    • Always on (videos will auto-run - easiest but it'll slow down some page loads and sometimes Flash routines will cause crashes, one reason Steve Jobs hated it).
    • On Demand (You'll tap a blank rectangle -- or one with a down-arrow in it -- to have it run only when you want that.)
    • Off (I see no reason to use this.)
  4. Other settings - ones I use, in case you wonder what might work:
      . Auto-fit Pages: ON
      . Default Zoom: 200% (Close up)
      . Open Pages in Overview: ON
ALSO, make sure Javascript setting, just below Flash, is On or Enabled.

Very interesting additional Dolphin setting:
Getting back to the Main Settings page list, the FIRST one is "User Agent."   I tend to use "Desktop" there because I don't like oversimplified mobile-device optimized pages, which are built for small smartphones.

  But more important, the webpages you visit with the tablet will tend to know you're a visiting Android, or Android device :-) and sometimes will not run Flash as a result.

  For example, SOME TV video pages will actually NOT allow videos to run on Android devices but will allow them to run for "Desktop" devices or on iPads.  This is where you can camouflage your device as a a 'Desktop' or iPad  :-)  
  Remember to change it back when needing to use the Android setting though.

Then, after installing the app files and making sure that the Flash setting is set to run Flash either Always or On Demand, you'll be able to switch to the Dolphin HD browser app when needing to see a video requiring Flash.

Troubleshooting.   Restarts - I had an HD Youtube video close on me one night in October 2012 after a few seconds.  Twice, after I'd been running the browser with many tabs open.   When quite a bit has been run on a tablet, sometimes memory gets fragmented and there's not enough to hold what's needed in 'contiguous' mode and then an app will close.

 In case that might be the reason, I just powered off the device from the Home page, which will clean up the memory the same way our computers do upon power-off or restart.  After doing that, I had no problems with that same 9-minute Youtube High Definition video and played it full-screen a few times, using the Dolphin browser and the Adobe Flash Player file that members of the Kindle forums recommend.

Other app stores that are recommended when Amazon does not have a particular app   Besides, popular ones are,,,, and others.  As with any appstore, you can search for an app and download it to the tablet.   This is because Amazon has always allowed the option of installing appication files "from unknown sources" despite what you'll read on large tech sites (for reasons I don't understand, since they spend space talking about 'rooting' the tablets or doing 'modifications' on them and the normal mode requires none of that.  Just a checkmark on a box.

I always recommend though that people wait a few days before getting apps from any other sites, to see if anyone is having problems with malware (even at Google Play market, when Google allows access, but Google doesn't acknowledge Kindle Fire devices).  Google doesn't take as much time to vet apps as Amazon does, to test for both malware or incompatability.

  Amazon's appstore has been growing fast the last year.   Of course, if Amazon carries the app, it's definitely best to get it from Amazon because Amazon does a strong vetting of the apps they offer and because it's the way they make revenue from (now the highest-quality hardware) tablets sold at closer to cost.
  They also keep for you a copy of each Amazon appstore app you download, in your Amazon Cloud area, which is useful when you are getting another Kindle tablet or if you just need to re-install the file.  I think it's important to support the Amazon Android appstore, but I also think it's important that Amazon make more good and updated apps available to us at a faster pace, and maybe they should have a suggestion box for the more popular requests.

Amazon Prime Instant Video setting needing a change for tablet-viewing
NOTE - The April 26 2014 blog update added info on a setting for those on viewing Amazon Prime Instant Video and who, for some reason, don't see a Flash option on their tablet screens.

  The Amazon Instant Video setting for Web Player Preferences if viewing on mobile devices should be set to "Adobe Flash" rather than "Silverlight,: which is for desktop computers.
  I imagine that Kindle Fire tablets are optimized for Amazon's own Instant Video feature or vice versa.

  HBO GO was added for FireTV in December.
  See the updated info for the HBO Go app below.  HBO GO has been available for some time with the Kindle Fire tablets, and until now, if you also had a FireTV and wanted HBO Go on that, you'd have to use the tablet to 'mirror' it to an HDTV.  That' no longer necessary.

NOTE: - The December 2013 update had to do with
(1) the recommendation of an older Dolphin browser version for the HDX line + advice on downloading the specific flash app-file recommended for Kindle HD and HDX (and Nexus tablets) and with
(2) the Network TV Full Episodes being available in dedicated app form now, with the Networks favoring their own apps for mobile-device watching (probably having to do with ad statistics) and restricting mobile-device access on web video versions.
(3) On Dec 8, I added the Adobe Flash Player Non-Support History page.

  Where the Dolphin web browser tends to work best on tablets with a "user agent" setting of "Desktop" mode instead of "Android" in those cases, that workaround has been hampered by some new Network processes.

  One upside, of course, is that Network TV full episodes are now easily watchable via their dedicated apps, some of which are at Amazon's appstore and those that aren't can be downloaded by using's appstore.

  (1Mobile now has over 800,000 apps available from GooglePlay, athough you'd search there for the NBC TV or CBS TV apps having the usual network logos and showing the highest number of downloads -- or you can just view and match their icons, app names and version #'s with the apps that are listed on GooglePlay itself.)

  TIP2: Amazon's own browser currently handles Youtube well by taking you to the mobile version of that site, showing you a smaller version of the video selected from a search and, when you click on one, shows you a full screen version of it in decent quality w/o your needing to change (via a long-press) the Youtube video gear-wheel setting at the right-bottom of a video, to change the video quality.

  Youtube's mobile area was completely re-written by Youtube to use HTML5 rather than Flash and in the recent past sometimes had a somewhat smaller selection of videos, but they are very similar now.  Amazon works with the HTML5 via their new experimental Flash-replacement streamer, which will be described further below.
Silk CAN handle Acorn.TV (British TV shows) well in 'Automatic' reading-view setting.
With the Flash file recommended here, it is more reliable.  but that file is not necessary for the 'mobile' reading-view setting, though the 'automatic' setting is recommended.

  The current Chrome Beta browser at 1mobile appstore also runs with the current recommended Flash file, as long as you don't click the Chrome browser menu setting for "Request desktop site.  Oddly, the Dolphin combo recommended here does not run videos.

  NOTE: The quality of streaming will be affected by the speed of your Internet connection.
  Providers of DSL home Internet access usually use a default, first-tier lower speed that's often about 1/6th the speed of cablemodem speeds, so if you love to watch Internet streamed material via WiFi network connections in your home, I do recommend cablemodem access like Comcast's.

  Apps already carried at Amazon's appstore:
  WatchABC, which includes viewing of LIVE ABC programs rather than just after the fact, is quite a boon and is much more stable now after some updates.  (I think that CBS app (available at requires a 5-day delay.)
  Amazon's appstore also carries PBS, Smithsonian TV apps, and other TV apps.  If you Search the Amazon store for "TV" you'll also see apps for Discovery; History; WatchESPN; RAI; and several others.

  In December 2014, Amazon added HBO GO to the Fire TV.  It won't be ready for the Fire TV Stick until the Spring.  It's been available for the Kindle Fire tablets for some time though, which means you can use the "mirroring" display feature in the Yr2013 HD and HDX tablets to watch HBO Go on the HDTV if you're an HBO subscriber and have a Yr 2013 or later Kindle Fire tablet.

Amazon's own Instant Prime Viewing
  And then there's always Amazon Instant Prime viewing, which now includes downloadable files for watching offline, and Amazon keeps adding exclusive material on that feature while providing optional X-Ray background info on actors in the scene you're watching.

TIP 3: - Amazon's new HDX tablets provide what has been described by major tech-site reviewers as the fastest and smoothest experience on tablets today.  If multmedia files are your focus and you want them accessible on your device to play offline, get a device with more storage than 16 GB though.

  I didn't want to pay a few hundred dollars for a multimedia tablet (also, magazines are huge) and wind up feeling constrained, since I also have a lot of photos on mine, so I got the 64GB one and love the freedom from worrying about space, Cloud or no Cloud.
  I think of it as a built-in SD card space.  Still, a 32GB tablet will be enough for most users.

When shopping different makers and models and analyzing costs, note that a key competing tablet will cost an additional $100 to get to each higher level of storage space - to 32 and to 64GB - and that one does not play Flash on web sites created with Flash.

ADOBE and Flash Support
In October 2012, Youtube and other Flash video no longer worked on  newer Android devices like the Nexus tablet line and the Android-based Kindle HD's because Adobe stopped supporting Flash on later models of mobile devices.

  The workaround has been to use a web browser that supports an Adobe flash player file that works with later mobile devices.  (Since all this No-Flash drama happened, Amazon has been working on its own workaround, at Youtube and with a growing number of web sites.)

  Many of us are able to view, using Amazon's own default Silk web browser, some of the main Flash-playing sites, even for network TV full episodes now, as mentioned, as Kindle Team has been working on Amazon's Experimental Streaming Viewer which works with a limited number of sites, but they are large, popular ones, and Amazon is expanding the number of websites that will be able to work with it.

  Here's my earlier introduction to the Experimental Streaming Viewer, with some initial tips that will help, though there may be some added web-browser setting changes needed via the browser menu for some.
  A KEY step is to enable "Accelerate page loading" setting in the Silk web browser menu (it's now the default setting on the HDX tablets), which automatically turns 'ON' the Advenced Setting of "Prompt for experimental streaming viewer."

  Amazon has now been able to improve Experimental Streaming Viewer so that Youtube videos can be viewed without any special work on the part of the user, using Youtube's mobile version of the site.
    (Just be sure to look at your Silk browser's web menu Settings option and choose to use that experimental feature with a check mark on that box.)

The Alternative Flash Support File, when needed
  For needed Flash support otherwise (to be used with the Dolphin browser instead), the Amazon Kindle Forum regulars have relied on the XDA Developer Site for the latest working files to be tested by knowledgeable XDA forum members and offered for download for use with given device models.  That's the source of these two files for the Yr 2012 Kindle Fires.

***The actual ADOBE statement on Flash Player support (or not)
  for types of tablets and the Android versions involved

  is now part of the Adobe Flash Player History page.

RELATED posts on Kindle Fire HDs which are useful also for the Kindle Fire HDX line 
   (Descriptions of Kindle 7" features will apply to the 8.9" models also.)

    . Getting non-Amazon apps on Kindle Fires    
      (The basic models of each Kindle Fire tablet line
        have storage space limitations though.)
    . Google Maps, Street View and other apps on my Kindle Fire,
        via enabling one device setting
    . How to play Flash on Year 2013-2014 Kindle Fire tablets
    . Downloading and playing YouTube videos on Kindle Fire HD.
      Also, TubeMate app for Youtube will download videos to play on your Kindle Fire,
      and BSPlayer app will play almost ANY video format.
    . Using the camera and Video, Panorama mode, Time Lapses
    . Add Wi-Drive pocketable disk/stream'g for Kindle models
        and for other tablet or phone devices,
        or, Portable wireless 320G Patriot Gauntlet drive/stream'g for 7" & 8.9" devices.
    . App for WiFi file transfers w/o cable.

For reference, here is the Current Global Listing of available Kindle devices.

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, December 14, 2014

Amazon activity: #1 in tablet satisfaction survey ... Prime members get 4K Ultra-HD instant streaming at no added cost ... New 'Make an Offer' feature ... New Kindle for Android update v4.8 ... New Single by Patricia Cornwell ... New game from Amazon Studios w/ high ratings ... WHAT is the Amazon Echo ? .... Remaining holiday deals

Amazon tops Apple in Tablet satisfaction survey for first time

JD Power's Yr 2014 Vol 2 Study of U.S. Tablet Satisfaction had Amazon coming from way behind (in past years) to beat Apple out for the first time in the now popular tablet market.

The simple headline in their press release was "Amazon Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Tablet Devices"

  "The study, now in its third year, measures customer satisfaction with tablets across five factors (in order of importance): performance (28%); ease of operation (22%); features (22%); styling and design (17%); and cost (11%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale."

  From what I remember, Amazon, newer to the game, placed 5th or so in the past.  Apple led the field the first two years of this ongoing study.  The study may be of interest to some who are wondering whether or not to jump on the Holiday pricing Amazon has had in varying degrees the last couple of weeks.

  The mantra has always been "Isn't Apple the best?" As ever, if you have an Apple iPhone and love your iOS apps, it makes more sense to stick with Apple.

  Otherwise, you may want to try Amazon's now famous 30-day Full Refund "No Risk" policy on Kindles.  The return policy:
' You can return any Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet or Amazon Fire TV devices or accessories you purchased directly from for a full refund within 30 days of the day you received it as long as it's in new condition and the return is in accordance with our return policy. '
  (Within 60 days, it's an 80% refund, which I didn't know -- and I just noticed they mention buying from even an "Amazon kiosk" in a store -- so I guess store kiosks are now definitely a plan...

  One recommendation: I've long recommended (in the Reference column here), that the 32GB storage-space model be the minimum level chosen, even if it's somewhat more costly, because the more attractive or fun apps are heavily graphics-oriented or complex and take up a large amount of storage space and even will need temporary file space during the running of them.  The 16GB-option guarantees you'll be spending too much time figuring out which apps to swap in and out of the 'Cloud' (Amazon server space for your apps, books, videos, music) to be able to use what you want at a given time.  But if the budget doesn't allow that, then at least you CAN swap out one app to be able to enjoy another one.

Currently (Sunday the 14th), the middle-sized, faster-processor Kindle Fire HDX 7" 32 GB model is $199, a $40 discount, and featured on their pages when I went there tonight to check on pricing.

Amazon starts 4K Ultra HD streaming of video, at no added cost to Prime members
Prime members - US, with the new 4K TV sets will be able to view some movie and TV show videos at the new resolution standard at no added cost.  Here's Forbe's story, with details on which videos already include this.

Amazon institutes "Make an Offer" (similar to EBay's) on 3rd Party Marketplace products, mainly Collectibles and Fine Art
Now, if a 3rd party seller wants to use the new Make an Offer feature, you can make an offer and bargain with that store, in private -- it's not an auction.  Apparently, some vendors have wanted this flexibility, when unsure of pricing attractiveness etc.
' Amazon spokesperson Erik Fairleigh said Make an Offer, which is in pilot testing, is open now to all sellers across Sports and Entertainment Collectibles, Collectible Coins and Fine Art. To enable the feature, sellers can use the bulk template or 1-by-1 to update their items to display the "Make an Offer" tool.
. . .
Offers expire after 72 hours, and Fairleigh said sellers' ratings are not impacted in any way if they don't respond to offers. With each offer, the clock resets at 72 hours. And there's no limit to the number of offers and counteroffers.
. . .
However, the transaction is not complete until the customer checks out. '
And the minimum price for eligibility to use this feature is $100.  I imagine this pilot testing is for more general use of the feature later on, if successful.  In fact, InvestCorrectly writes that
' While the feature is only available for 150,000 items; now, Amazon’s announcement expressed a desire to expand the program in 2015. What this will mean for eBay and the future of online shopping will be interesting to watch. '
You can see what's available currently at Amazon's Make an Offer page

Google Play removes recent Amazon app for Android
Note that Amazon's app (with new mobile-appstore-access) was uploaded by Amazon to Google September 9 and was apparetly fine at the time, but Google updated its policies on September 25 and as of that date, Amazon's app was breaking policy and was removed by GooglePlay and Amazon, which seems fair enough to me.  Amazon then replaced it with the plain Amazon Shopping app, that has no built-in appstore.

Amazon now has a new Kindle App for Android out, v4.8, a couple of days ago.
' What's New
• Use X-Ray for Books and Textbooks to look up places, characters and terms
• Receive push notifications from Kindle - customize your experience in Settings
Improved library search
• Make flashcard sets to review textbook material
Control audiobook playback while reading the Kindle book
• Several experience improvements and bug fixes

About app permissions

  Support '

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

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

New follow-up Exclusive "Single" by Patricia Cornwell
I tweeted about this when it came out and forgot about blogging it but think some of her readers might be interested in this further investigation of the Jack the Ripper case.

A new game that costs but is highly rated

Saw this a few weeks ago when it was new.

 For a game that costs $6.99, Tales from Deep Space gets unusually high ratings, at 4.7 stars currently.

  However, it's "played [exclusively for now] on 2013 and newer Fire tablets.

Co-op: Play as E and CASI either solo or co-op on two Fire tablets over wi-fi.  Multiplayer co-op available exclusively on Kindle Fire HDX and all 2014 Fire tablets
 For "all ages" but most likely for the younger set.

What is "The Amazon ECHO" ?
I've been following this closely, as it's in a sort of paid pilot testing -- and the 'paid' part is working for Amazon, it seems, because those who've received it tend to be raving about how much fun it is and some would pay more.  Since it's offered for some time on a "By invite" only, to those expressing interest in it, it's not likely to be ready for Christmas release, as shipments seem to have eased.

  I want to do a write-up Monday night on the reception of this unit by actual users with some very funny postings, but until then here are links, from this blog's Reference column, that you can explore:
Amazon Echo - $99 for Prime
   Echo-tests video + discussions Thread 1, Thread 2
    ZDNet actually got one. ZDNet review: "A Perfect 10"

Remaining Holiday Deals
In the meantime, here is a repeat of the holiday and some regular deals, from a blog entry last week, while we're still in the now long holiday season.

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

For larger discounts, there are the ongoing pages:
  For US
Goldbox and Lightning Deals which sometimes include bigger one-day sales and
Select-Outlet Deals
Warehouse Deals
Other warehouse deals - more gift oriented
Your Amazon coupons

And since it's still that time of the year, Amazon (and every other store) is having seasonal sale after sale.
12 Days of You Know What -- is now 7 remaining days :-)
  Amazon's "12  7 more Days of Deals" (general) - a page to bookmark if still in shopping mode.  There's also a related [several]-days of Deals that's focused on deals for the home.

  For UK and Canada:
UK - Today's Deals
Seasonal Discounts and Sales - UK
Warehouse Deals - UK

Recently-built Kindle Outlet Store - US
A few months ago, Amazon put together a Kindle Outlet Store to feature their certified refurbished Kindle devices at a somewhat lower cost.

That's it, from my accumulated notes ...

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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Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Amazon Studios wins Golden Globes nomination with Transparent series ... Best Books of the Month ... 12 Days of Deals.

FIRST, Saw today that Amazon Studios received a Golden Globes nomination for its free-with-Prime Instant series "Transparent"

' SURPRISE: ' Transparent” makes history for Amazon.

It was a huge morning for Amazon Studios as the critically acclaimed “Transparent” landed noms for comedy series and lead actor Jeffrey Tambor.  That’s the first recognition for the upstart digital player from a major awards show, and well deserved for Jill Soloway’s semi-autobiographical dramedy. '
I've read nothing but raves, for months, for that apparently groundbreaking series, which is free watching for Prime members.

12 Days of You Know What
Today, Amazon starts its "12 Days of Deals" (general) - a page to bookmark if still in shopping mode.  There's also a related 12-days of Deals that's focused on deals for the home.

"Best Books of the Month" feature
I received an email last week about Amazon's "Must-reads" for December (see table below) as chosen by their editors.

These are selected from the larger selection of Best Books of the 2014 (which I Tweeted and Facebook'd but had not blogged.
  Here's the link for Kindle book versions.

The email described "December must-reads, carefully selected by Amazon Books' editorial team ... books from best-selling authors to historical nonfiction picks and even a Kindle Single (a type of e-book published through"

Release Date
Anthony Horowitz
Molly Guptill Manning
Richard McGuire
Haruki Murakami
Joshua Davis
Scott Saul
José Saramago
Sven Beckert
Jim Shepard
Anita Diamant
Viv Albertine

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

Send to Kindle

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

Friday, December 5, 2014

Free and low-cost Kindle books: Search-link options for December for contemporary, non-classics + other bargain pages (UK+Canada also) + Kindle discount-alerts by customers + Kindle Unlimited Audible w/ Whispersync

December 5, 2014
- This includes a quick reminder that the free Kindle book search options in the reference section (right-column of blog) were updated for December.

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

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

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

  There are only a few shown on the first few days of any month, and these include pre-orders due that month -- most of these are listed as "free preview" of whatever chapters chosen, some are short stories, and a few (overnight) not-entire-family-safe titles may show up. Since this is Dec. 5, the listing will include more already available, full books

    Highly rated, under $1

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

    Amazon Top 100   (Also, UK-only)

    Amazon's own Limited Time Free Promos.

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

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

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

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

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

  1. History and by Avg Customer Rating
  2. Science Fiction & Fantasy and by Avg Customer Rating
  3. Biography and Memoirs and by Avg Customer Rating
  4. Literary Fiction Deals and by Avg Customer Rating
  5. Religion and Spirituality and by Avg Customer Rating

  6. Whispersync for Voice and by Avg Customer Rating     Newer

        The Whispersync category has sometimes shown up with an explanation that the corresponding audio book is also sold at the monthly-deal price, if wanted.
  ' Now you can seamlessly switch between reading featured Kindle books and listening to them without ever losing your place...
  First, purchase the Kindle book for $3.99 or less. Then add the narration from Audible for $3.99 or less to enable the feature. '
  The Whispersync category is back on the main Monthly Deals page (there are about 54 of these Whispersync-ready books in December's deals).  They're also included in the overall scrolled monthly deals that can be sorted by several options at the bottom of that main page.

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

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

THEN, at the bottom of the new main monthly Kindle book-deals page, they offer the FULL current monthly listing, defaulting to sorting by "New and Popular" and there are 108 in all, currently, but the number may vary.

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

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

The pricing for December's group of Kindle books ranges from $1.99 to $3.99 (no 99-cent ones for this monthly deal.

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

(US Link:,  UK Link:

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

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

  Here's a link to the thread, which includes many books with huge price drops.  I'm starting at a December 1 posting page that includes books that are still on sale today, Dec. 5 (some are highly rated). The first posting is on "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien" which was $9.99 in print but is $2.99 on Kindle at the current time.

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

  That forum topic link is to a specific post to start, in this case, a book alert on Dec. 1, as mentioned.  You can browse previous posts or days, or keep up with ongoing alerts after that, because Amazon keeps track of the last message# that you read, so that you can start from there next time.
 While many of the better deals seem to be around $1.99-$4.99, there usually are a decent number of larger-publishing house deals included (primarily price-matching) that tend to end in a DAY, so you'd need to double-check the current pricing of ANY Kindle books that interest you to see if the discounts are still active.

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

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

For larger discounts, there are the ongoing pages:
  For US
Goldbox and Lightning Deals which sometimes include bigger one-day sales and
Select-Outlet Deals
Warehouse Deals
Other warehouse deals - more gift oriented
Your Amazon coupons

And since it's the that time of the year, Amazon (and every other store) is having seasonal sale after sale.
Here are are a few general links for those:
CYBER Monday Week

  For UK and Canada:
UK - Today's Deals
Seasonal Discounts and Sales - UK
Warehouse Deals - UK

Canada - CyberMonday Wk

Recently-built Kindle Outlet Store - US
A few months ago, Amazon put together a Kindle Outlet Store to feature their certified refurbished Kindle devices at a somewhat lower cost.

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!

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