Thursday, October 15, 2015

Amazon news: Kindle for iOS v4.12 ... Amazon Cloud Drive v1.2 ... AT&T increases data cap. Also, Things to know: Clarification of Prime Rule changes a couple of months ago ... Manage your Prime acct page ... Amazon Video compatible devices. UPDATED Prime-sharing info 10/15/15.

These are some items I'd noted that probably aren't widely read but should be of some interest to users of Amazon devices and to Prime members.  Most are links to information for those interested, and I've filled in some basic details given in a response to CNet questions.

It had not been clear who can share or what content in Prime Sharing.
I've updated Prime-sharing information below.  (originally posted 10/14/15)

LINKS for new info:
1. What's new in Kindle for iOS v4.12

2. Android and Kindle app for Cloud Drive, v1.2 adds file and folder deletion from the device finally.

3. AT&T Increases Data Cap In Face Of $100 Million FCC Fine.  This should be of interest to those who bought Fire Phones or tablets with cellular network access and have contracs with AT&T.

Manage your Prime page
I didn't know there was a page for managing your Prime membership but ran across it recently.  This briefly describes each Prime membership feature and offers quick access to each, with control over aspects of some of those features shown on the 'Help' pages for each feature.

Amazon Prime Rules - the actual changes that occurred earlier and were or are misunderstood by some.
There was initial misunderstanding as shown in Techcrunch's article at the time -- this is included just to show what some were unhappy about due to some misreading, but I made a comment at the bottom of the article, clarifying what actually was changed, rather than what was described in the article.  What they did change was previously having prime-shipping shareable with 4 other people in a 'household' (the latter interpreted widely by customers) while video-streaming was NOT shareable at all.

Now they've made a Households feature or category.

 This is comprised of up to six members.
  • Two adults, each with their own Amazon account.
  • Up to four children, who don't need Amazon accounts in order to be a part of the household

  Within this feature is "Family Library" -- two accounts can be linked and their books *shared* on your Kindle and "other compatible Amazon devices and media apps."

  Probably more important for some is that another adult household member without a Prime account can share another adult household member's eligible Prime benefits now, including video streaming.

  Another customer confirmed the added benefit.  I still see some misunderstanding in this area.  What they did remove was multiple-sharing of *free-2-day shipping*, which is now available only to another adult member of the Prime member's household (both must share one credit card each and therefore must really trust each other), although Amazon is "grandfathering in" those already sharing Prime under another member's account.  Once any of those people leave the 'household' the slot for someone sharing the benefits disappears.

  What I explained in two Comments to the article:
' Andrys Basten · Blogger at Kindleworld
Actually, my understanding had been that all along, "Amazon previously allowed anyone with an Amazon Prime subscription to share its shipping benefits and a few others, [BUT *NOT*] including Prime Instant Video access, with up to four other “household” members."

In other words, they could share the free 2-day shipping benefits with up to 4 others sharing the same household (and street address, although I don't think the latter was strictly monitored) but they could not share the Prime Instant Video with anyone at all.

The recent addition of the "Amazon Household" feature allows the Prime Instant Video to be shared with another adult in the household now [and, it would appear, up to 4 children in that household].'
' First, with 'Household' they =added= the perk of being able to share a Prime Instant Video benefit with another adult in the same household.  That's new.  There's no scaling back on that particular benefit.

Updated info 10/15/15
CNET received responses from Amazon to the initial brouhaha over what was felt to be a downgrade of Prime benefits.
' For instance, Amazon Households requires the two adults on the account to be able to share credit cards -- a change made to let those users share purchased television shows. However, having shared credit cards may not sit well with dorm roommates or distant friends.

Despite the concerns raised, [Amazon spokesperson Julie] Law said the changes were not made for financial reasons. "It was how do we allow people to share more of their benefits -- particularly Prime Instant Video -- among a family," she said.

She added that Amazon doesn't actively seek out people skirting the rules on their memberships. So, not only are those grandfathered accounts still active, but also users who have shared one account log-in with multiple family members will likely still be able to do that without getting a nasty call from CEO Jeff Bezos.

"This change isn't related to those types of outliers," Law said about people using their accounts fraudulently. "This change was related to our most active Prime shoppers...It's something we wanted to offer our customers for a long time." '
See more at cnet's full article.  [End of updated info]

  Similarly, for about 7 years+ they've allowed (although publishers dislike this) people to have their Kindle devices under another person's account, in order to share the Kindle books in that account, and in that case, the guest device could then order as well, with the acct owner's credit-buy setup -- so 'trust' between members sharing was a large requirement there also, which discouraged sharing between people who aren't at least close friends.

  One might have access to the other adult household member's credit cards with 'Household' sharing program but for a second adult in that household -- the trust thing matters and they're less likely to use the other person's credit card without permission.  The video publisher streaming contracts are much tighter than the ebook ones (which are already quite tight). Amazon has had a history of trying to find ways to make sharing somewhat easier than publishers want but not so blatantly easy that the publishers would object and withdraw their content. '

The Consumerist, usually hard on Amazon, had a good article explaining that Amazon was NOT 'cracking down" on shared prime and described what the changes actually were and the probable reason(s) for it.

Amazon Video compatible devices page - Just one more useful reference page.

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!


  1. It is weird that Amazon Prime Video can be shared with a non Prime Household member, but for 'streaming only'. But I checked: it is true. I can download, the other account cannot.

    I'm still waiting for Kindle for iOS to support iOS 9's Slide Over and Split Screen features. And I suppose for Instant Video to support iOS 9 PIP, though I would not use that as much. Split Screen should be useful for a number of use cases: reading + taking notes, having two documents open at the same time (with two different apps of course), reading with a browser open to do searches, etc. It is really silly that it has taken this long for Apple to come up with this, having been the first to introduce windowing to the masses with the first Mac. And their claims to 'productivity' are hollow when you compare any iPad (including forthcoming iPad Pro) to something like Surface Pro/Tablet. Their insistence on relegating cursors to the Mac OS platform and touch screens to the iOS platform seems quaint or at least arbitrary.

    1. Tom, I guess it was a way to put a close non-Prime household member more or less on the Prme member's 'account' for streaming on their own devices at least. It's a real plus in my own mind, and it makes sense to me that the 2nd, non-Prime person wouldn't get the extra member-feature of downloading it and having it available offline. They're hoping the other member will be enticed, by the streaming, to go for a Prime acct to get that downloading and offline capability.

      In a way, they cut benefits-sharing from 4 others to 1 other where 2-day shipping is involved but added the video-streaming capability on separate devices for that one added member as long as they are in the same household (and the two trust each other with their separate credit cards). Good move to grandfather-in the 'others' already getting free 2-day shipping. It was always hard to explain why household spouse/partner on someone's account could not stream videos.

      I agree that Apple's choices are really odd on the limits they set for their devices.

      Definitely like the idea of the Split Screen feature, though I enjoy that I can just highlight an area and add a note to it while still seeing part of the page in the backdrop, even on my HD 7 from 2012... (My Windows phone is another matter, since it doesn't even highlight! much less give me a dictionary -- but Windows phone users are something like 2% of the market?)

      But, yes, having 2 apps in view at the same time is ideal.

  2. Andrys, Can you help me figure out what is going on with the Kindle 3G service. I no longer see it listed as an option for a new Kindle purchase but it seems to be included on some Kindles. Have they changed their policy on this service?

    1. Gordon, apologies for being away from the blog. I missed seeing your post earlier. Will be back after I check a couple of things...

    2. Ok, Gordon -- I've gone to check, and the front product page of the Paperwhite and Voyage models don't mention 3G at the top, but they do discuss 3G if you scroll down. It's more an option that's not featured now. If you do a 'Find' or 'Search' on the product page for '3g' you'll find the info.

      Also, it's now more of a 'configuration' option that's shown these days only after you click on the orange "Customize and add to cart" where you can add 3G for an additional $70, for example.

      I used my Kindles reference table at to check what I have for current products and it showed that 3G was available, so I clicked on it and then did the search/find and I also clicked on the cart option which now includes "Customize" for options you might want...

      Hope that makes it clearer.

    3. I think part of the reason the feature is de-emphasized on the header is that most have smartphones now that provide the 3G , and accessing mainly-text webpages (which is all that we can stand to use on an e-Ink evice) uses very little data, so there is now less call for a 3G E-Ink Kindle.

  3. Thanks very much for that, Andrys. I bought our daughter-in-law a Kindle Paperwhite two years ago and it's been a big hit. Although it's still working I'm beginning to wonder if it's time for an upgrade. What are your thoughts on that? Would she see a big difference, if, say, I were to replace it with a Kindle Voyage?

    1. Arcata Arts, I had and still have the Paperwhite 1, and I ignored the upgrade to Paperwhite 2. However, with the display resolution difference of Paperwhite 3, I decided I -would- upgrade this time and did, and I love the differences, though it won't seem that large a one for some who just want to read and wouldn't care about the differences.

      But I did a blog entry on the visual difference (which was a big one for me though I still like the Paperwhite 1 well enough if not comparing it to the new one), but it's also slower and the screen whiteness of the new Paperwhite is far more uniform in lower light, so I use the Paperwhite 3 only and have kept the earlier model as a loaner.

      Your daughter-in-law would probably see the difference. I did an article with photo comparisons between Kindle Paperwhite 1 and Paperwhite 3.

      That's at

      Now, if she has a Paperwhite 2 there won't be as much difference in speed or uniform whiteness of screen although there'll be the same difference in clarity of text that I see between the '1' and '3' models.

      The Voyage is said to have an even more uniformly white screen and has a faster processor. Display resolution is the same as the Paperwhite 3, so the premium paid for the Voyage would be for a bit more speed and somewhat more contrast between text and background from what I've heard from others.

      I'm very happy with the Paperwhite 3 though ! Mainstream reviewers consider the Voyage the Rolls Royce. But then even in cars, I'm very happy with my Toyota Camry :-)

      Hope that helps. Apologies for being so late to get to the mail !!!

  4. Your'e right. Thanks. Did you get my note on the upgrade question? Do the current generation of Kindles offer a significant advantage to the original Paperwhites? I'm wondering if I should upgrade my daughter in law's first gen. PW. She is an avid reader.

    1. Again, sorry that I didn't get to the mail for awhile. Hope my earlier response tonight helped...


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]