Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Amazon's $25,000 Shopping-Spree Sweepstakes details ... Great AppleWatch selection aid ... Firefly coming to smaller Kindle Fire HD's 6 and 7"

Amazon's $25,000 Shopping-Spree Sweepstakes
Just saw this today -- the feature was announced yesterday, to feature the Amazon appstore offerings.

  US residents 18 years of age or older are invited to enter the Giveaway ("Sweepstakes") to win $25,000 in Amazon.com Gift Cards.

  The sweepstakes period is from March 9 through April 15 at 11:59pm PDT.  I asked for and received clarification that although the announcement is "specifically targeted" to users of the Android for Phone app because it's the ONE way you can be automatically entered into the sweepstakes - when you download, from Apps and Games category, any app -- paid or free.  

  There are two ways to get a chance at the big prize.
  While the Giveaway announcement page mentions that "Apps & Games are now available for download from within your Amazon App for Android Phones," they've been available all along but they're alerting us to the automatic sweepstakes-entry when using the app to download one app from the appstore during the sweepstakes period.  Here's a link to the Official Rules page.

  To enter, use one of the following two methods:
  1.  If you have an Android phone, fill out the short entry form at the bottom of the Sweepstakes page, which will take you to a page that will launch or begin downloading the latest version of the Amazon Android for Phones App (available only from the Amazon appstore store and NOT from GooglePlay store).  Then:

     "From within the Amazon App for Android Phones, navigate to Apps & Games and download any app or game – paid or free.

  2.  "Alternatively, you may enter by mailing a (postage pre-paid) 3x5 card with your name, address, e-mail address and phone number to Appstore Sweepstakes, 2202 US Highway 41 N, Unit E, PMB 172, Henderson, KY 42420.  Mail-in entries must be postmarked by April 15, 2015 and received by April 22, 2015. All other entries must be received by 11:59:59 p.m. (PT)   on April 15, 2015.

 Limit one (1) entry per person using only one (1) Amazon.com account or e-mail address, regardless of entry method.  You may not use multiple customer accounts to enter the Sweepstakes, and entries submitted through multiple accounts will be disqualified.

  Worth the time to make an entry.  With the automatic app-download entry, Amazon will count only the first app-download.

Apple Watch launched yesterday.

Is it for you?  Here's a bit of help.  
   Just before posting this blog entry, I saw this in my news feed, and it's such a hilarious selection-aid that I think others might enjoy it also.

New: Firefly feature coming to Kindle Fire HD 6-7" and HDX 7" tablets
   The larger Year-2013 and 2014 Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablets received this feature earlier.
   What is 'Firefly' though?

It's a visual search on a mobile device that, when you take a photo of an object or use the microphone on a sound you're hearing, analyzes what is seen and/or heard and tries to identify it, whether it's a video, a song, a CD album, artwork, or a general everyday product.

  I have an 8.9" Kindle HDX and have the Firefly app "listen" to music and analyze  a movie showing on my TV and it was able to identify both.

  Amazon first put their Firefly feature on the Amazon 3D Fire Phone.  Despite the unusual features of that phone, the complex phone interface was reported to be confusing for many consumers and -- with the dilemma of phone and data plans that would need to be put in place or replaced with a purchase of a different phone -- it did not see much interest from consumers at the price initially chosen  (AT&T nixed the additional option of a scaled down budget version, I read, but is now 99c with a data plan).

  However, the Firefly feature impressed reviewers and owners of the phone.  Slashgear gives a good description of the phone's Firefly capabilities and also the more limited version coming to the smaller tablets.
' Snap up a photo of a thing and Amazon will analyze it and point you to the corresponding product on its virtual shelves ... consider all the other things that Firefly can do.  Scan a business card and it will be able to analyze the text there.  Show it a video on TV and it can identify what TV show or film it is.  And, as of last December, it can even recognize about 2,000 artworks.

That functionality ... is the one that is coming to Kindle Fire HD tablets in the US, the UK, and Germany.  Those include the super wallet friendly, and also least powerful, Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7.  It seems, however, that not all of Firefly's scanning abilities will make it, with only song, movie, and product search mentioned to make the cut. '

  At about the same time Slashgear did a review of the small, inexpensive (and of course somewhat limited) Fire HD 6.

  PC Authority also reviewedthe Fire HD 6 as well that week.  Both reviews are balanced ones.

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  1. Hi There,

    I am looking to buy a KINDLE Voyage or Paperwhite - for reading but also I want to be able to access the online materials for a course at this time. - is this possible over WiFi and/or 3G? I live in Ireland and Ireland appears to be listed as a country with 3G enabled access for Amazon Kindles.
    I have contacted the Kindle amazon Support - online chat and a fellow there advised that I will not be able to do any browsing only to look up the Kindle store (and to download from there ) or Wikipedia.
    Is this right? or will I be able to do basic browsing?

    thank you

    1. Anca, the Voyage and Paperwhite use 3G for only the Amazon store and Wikipedia. The WiFi can be used to browse the web where you are, but with eInk the browsing is VERY slow. If the online materials are mostly text and not dependent on large graphics, then it's possible to do this over the WiFi capability.

      Basic 3G browsing of the web is/was possible only on the older and much slower Kindle Keyboard 1, 2, and 3 models. The later models limit 3G to the store and Wikipedia but are not bad for text-mainly sites if using WiFi.

      Re the older models, I show what was possible for the keyboard models though slow, at http://pbase.com/andrys/kindle

      Hope that helps.


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