Monday, August 10, 2015

A special Kindle eReader limited time sale. Amazon Software Updates - some alerts and workarounds - tablets and eReaders. Amazon is working on resolving video display problems on some tablet updates. Updated free Kindle book search-links for August.

AMAZON Software Updates

First -- CURRENT, Limited Time Sale - $20 off the recent-discounted prices on Kindle eReaders

"Limited-Time Offers: $20 off Kindle $79 $59 and Kindle for Kids Bundle $99 $79"
On the basic Kindle eReader (7th Generation), Amazon has been discounting the price from $99 to $79.  There's an additional $20 off, for a limited time, bringing the temporary price down to $59.  This basic eReader is not front-lighted the way the Paperwhite and Voyage models are, and the special features are fewer, but it's for those who just want an inexpensive, simple eReader.

The "Kindle for Kids Bundle" offers the same basic Kindle model but with "2-Year Accident Protection, Blue Kid-Friendly Cover" added, for the temporary price of $79.  The features, bought separately would normally cost $139 or so.

There have been a number of silent software updates recently, automated and over the air, although the update-files are available for manual installs if they're wanted earlier.  However, in the case of the update for Kindle Fire and Fire tablets, OS software version 4.5.5, there have been reports of problems with videos not displaying in Youtube and other websites after the update.

Note that these are considered updates made available for "general improvements and performance enhancements" but they include no new features.

  Mine came over the air on August 6, and I haven't experienced the problems with videos that others have, and it could be because I added a Flash file that's used by the alternate Dolphin browser but which may be helping even when using Amazon's default 'Silk' web browser.   I also made sure my video settings at Amazon are are for 'flash' (for my tablets) rather than "Silverlight."  All this is explained in the blog article on how to get video working on webpages that are, for some reason, balking at delivering video content to the tablet.

  Customers at the Kindle Forums have been discussing notes sent to and received from Kindle device support staff. While some have luck with the appropriate software update files, others began experiencing video problems after theirs was installed over the air by Amazon.  BUT, Amazon will sometimes place a newer update file on their update pages without changing the update version number.  The one I received on my Year-2013 8.9" Kindle Fire HDX at first hesitated to show videos but resolved itself within a few minutes.  The "Settings / Device / System updates" area on the tablet shows no newer update since August 6.

  The software update files, while helping some with the video-play problem (on webpages and youtube) did not help others, and some even found that after their tablets had gone into sleep mode, something changed, and videos were working again after waking up the tablet  So, I'd wait before doing anything.
  Amazon support reps tell customers requestiong help that it'll take only a couple of days to fix the problems.

  Another tip given by "angry old man" at the forum advised:
  "Amazon told me to clear the Appstore data.  I did it and my device will stream now.
   Just go to the settings at the top of the screen, hit "more" [or "Settings" if a later model] subject "Applications," "installed applications" [or "Appstore" directly if a later model], select Appstore, and hit Clear Data."

[On my somewhat later Yr 2013 HDX model, there is no appstore data to clear, but I do choose the setting of "Off" for "Collect App Usage Data" and maybe that was why I didn't experience the video problems associated with app data that has required 'clearing' in some cases.  Amazon would prefer to have the setting enabled to collect data on how apps are used, but I prefer to keep my use simple.]

UPSHOT - I recommend NOT doing anything about the update file(s) until Amazon resolves this, as they are well aware of the problems.  It could be that older Kindle Fire models are more affected by it.

Kindle eReader software updates reports that there are also updates for

Amazon Kindle 5th Generation -- Firmware 4.1.3

the older Amazon Kindle Touch (released after Kindle Keyboard 3) -- Firmware

It's difficult to identify the Kindles affected, considering Amazon's odd device-name decisions, and I'm showing the models affected using the software-updates page, but AGAIN, I would do nothing and let Amazon install these automatically, since these are just for general improvements and performance enhancements and I don't think they're worth installing manually.  I've not seen forum messages about any problems with these.

 You can check your model's device software version against these version numbers.  Remember that you can always call Kindle Support at 1-866-321-8851 when you need help on your devices.

ECHO Updates and PRIME household sharing changes (the latter misunderstood by some mainstream tech columnists).
I'm doing separate blog entries for these.

August's free Kindle books (contemporary or non-classics)
    July 2015  August 2015.
    Also, all currently free non-classics sorted by:
    Publication Date   Bestselling    High ratings

  For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
Temporarily-free books - Non-classics
USA: by:
   Publication Date  
   Bestselling   High-ratings

UK: PubDate   Popular
The Kindle Daily Deal
What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care
Highly-rated under $1,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
Most Popular Free K-Books
U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
   Top 100 free
   Top 100 free
USEFUL for your Kindle Keyboard(U.S. only, currently):
  99c Notepad 1.1,   99c Calculator,
  99c Calendar,   99c Converter

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button

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-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. Amazon can cut prices all it wants for epaper Kindles. I'm not interested.

    My Kindle 3 does text-to-speech. No newer model does. I might be interested if Amazon added Bluetooth keyboard support for note-taking and Bluetooth mouse support for page turning. But there's no evidence Amazon wants to make any such improvements.

  2. Bookerly also available for older kindles.

    1. Yes, thanks. That was part of yet another set of software updates, for other models, made available 8/11 and I'm set to do a blog entry on it when I get something else out of the way, tomorrow morning.


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