Thursday, April 14, 2016

The new KINDLE OASIS arrives and it's a luxury/premium model. What are the added features? Physical page-turn buttons, lightness, a cover that charges the Kindle - giving 'months' per charge, enhanced page consistency. (UK, Canada, Int'l also) UPDATED Apr 16-17 with added info.

So, the new Kindle Oasis is almost here.

This luxury edition item with charging case
will be released on April 27, 2016.
(UK: here,  Canada: here, Int'l: here)

What's new? (Also see Updated info.)
For one thing, physical, dedicated page turn buttons are back !

The nicely-sized 'handgrip' side is wider and thicker, while the other side of the Oasis is slimmer.

  HOWEVER, when you want to hold it with the other hand, you can just turn it around and the Oasis will auto-rotate the page orientation to match.

Amazon claims that "the tapered, ergonomic handgrip shifts the center of gravity to your palm, to rest in your hand like the spine of a book. Perfectly balanced for one-handed reading,"

It's now, overall, both thinner and lighter than previous Kindles.

Almost an inch shorter, it's a bit wider to get a more secure handgrip, and when you measure the thinness against earlier models, the NON-page-turn buttons side is at least twice as thin, which is hard to believe.

Oasis (UK: here, Canada: here, Int'l: here) comes with a removable leather charging cover included, which "boosts battery to last months."  Color options are black, merlot, or walnut.  I've read that without the battery cover, the battery life is shorter than on the earlier, larger Kindle e-Ink readers, but most use their Kindles with a protective cover and this will give battery life lasting "months" instead of "weeks" as with the earlier Kindles.

The product page explains that you can "charge the Oasis and cover simultaneously while snapped together and plugged in.  When on the go, the cover will automatically recharge the device ...Plus, a new hibernation mode minimizes power consumption when your Kindle is inactive, extending battery life to its fullest capacity.

 I haven't seen an Amazon-product option that isn't in leather (some don't want to buy animal skin) but I imagine 3rd party covers will be available, although I haven't seen if they'll be able to use Amazon's battery-charging technology.

 Amazon describes the cover as one that "fits closely around the bezel, waking Kindle Oasis when opened and putting it to sleep when closed.  Twelve magnets form a secure attachment between device and cover, while still easy to detach when the lightest possible weight is desired."

Without the cover, the Oasis weighs 4.6 oz. vs 6.3 oz. for Voyage and 7.2 oz. for the Paperwhite 3.
Display resolution is the same for all three of these, at 300 dpi.

The new Kindle doesn't have automatic light adjustments but it does have 10 LEDS vs 6 in the Voyage and 4 in the Paperwhite 3.  Amazon explains that the 60% increase in lighting brings " enhanced page consistency" -- a feature that some Kindle users will appreciate when even the slightest variance has bothered some in earlier versions.

Storage capacity is the same at 4 GB.

They promise "Sharp, dark text" (which I hope they apply to the HOME page as well, since their latest update to the older Kindles lightened the font colors for the Home page and therefore reduced the contrast -- I'm still hoping they'll fix that).  
"All fonts have been hand-tuned at the pixel level for maximum readability."

The CURRENT price showing as of today (prices can change from time to time) is $289.99, and if you want 3G cellular network capability in addition to the default WiFi, that's an additional $70 (or $359.00).

As with all the other Kindles, the default configuration includes "Special Offers," which can be good offers or sometimes just ads on the lock screen.  To get the Oasis or any Kindle with NO Special Offers on the lock screen, it's an additional $20.

Comparison of Kindle E-Readers
Here's a link to Amazon's COMPARISON CHART of Kindle e-Readers (UK: here, Canada: here, Int'l: here) as of April 14, 2016.

Who might find this premium model worth a look?
While responding to a comment just now, it occurred to me that commuters who need to stand and hang onto a strap for long rides might find it easier to hold onto this Kindle with only one hand (no stretching the hand for screen taps to turn pages). It'd be less likely to cramp the hand.

And Tom Semple mentioned earlier that people going away (camping etc) to places with no electricity will find it useful. Then there are the few who see uneven lighting even on the Voyage and post that they're very bothered by it (while others don't notice, so it's a matter of how your eyes see).

That's it for now.  Are the premium features attractive to you?  I'll be back to update this as I find out more.

UPDATES - 4/16 and 4/17, 2016

Mashable's Lance Ulanoff
offers interesting points, not mentioned on the product page, from his conversations with Amazon.

• While the screen is only 3.4mm thick, the grip side with page-turn buttons houses the e-reader’s CPU, storage and battery.

• The body is made of an electroplated polymer for added strength.

• The Oasis appears sharper and brighter due, Amazon explained, to a wider white gamut and with "brand new" lighting and screen refraction.

• "The lighting now flows in through the side and is spread evenly over the screen by something Amazon called a 'cylindrical refractive pattern.'  What I noticed is that, even at its brightest, I could not see the actual LEDs.

• There's very little distance between the screen and the glass surface and you can feel as if you're touching the 'print.'

• Amazon explained that they chemically strengthened the glass after cutting it down to size rather than before.  This helps prevent weak spots.

• The page turns, for him, were quicker, without noticeable flashing.

• As mentioned above, the battery life without the cover attached is about two weeks.  The cover doesn't add much weight, he feels, describing it as 'relatively light, and brings the battery life to about 9 weeks

Ulanoff also describes how this cover works.  See that and more at the full article.

  ALSO The best Kindle Oasis photos I've seen for a good idea of what the new model AND cover look like are at The Verge article by Nick Statt.

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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

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, April 10, 2016

How to find your Amazon pages, including your personal, password-protected webpage of Kindle book annotation, with added social features. Kindle tips on updated older e-Ink eReader software update v5.6.1.1 features

Quick solutions

Contact Us

A few tips before I do a recap of current news

While getting back to the blog to update it with recent news (the new Kindle coming any day will be addressed in the next blog article), I was trying to find a couple of Amazon management pages for my various settings, but it took forever to find some of them, so I decided to make up a table of them to make it easier for me and for some of you (see chart at left or at the top of the Kindle Edition of this blog for Kindle eReaders) and will add more links later on.

E-Ink Kindle Reader 'Reading Progress' - where is it?
This was one of the more common questions asked after the big required update on older Kindle e-Ink eReaders, including the Paperwhite 1.
  It turns out that this is now located under the Aa fonts and screen-display icon.
  But you can directly access it within a Kindle book by just tapping the bottom left of the page to activate it

 : Aa icon features screen sometimes freezes on some devices
  Some have gotten past this by Resetting the device (which includes a normal re-start or a memory-clearing 20-second hold of the power button to reset it). The 'Reset Device' showing on the Home/ Settings/Device Options/Menu screen used to say 'Reset to Factory Default,' which can remove your non-Kindle books and documents, so that should be used only as a last resort.

  But some have been able to get the Aa features screen to stop freezing tendencies after merely tapping Home and then Sync and Check for Items.

  The general features of older e-Ink v5.6.1.1. software update
  This particular software update version is for Paperwhite 1 and older Kindles.  The newer Paperwhites and Voyage have v5.7.x.x. software with slightly different features.

    In June 2015, I made a blog article that described v5.6.1.1 update's general features newly available at that time, and users of Paperwhite 1 or older Kindle e-Ink eReaders may want to take a look at those since not much was said about those general features during the recent required update for those of us who had not installed the update when it came out in 2015.  Amazon then delivered this update to these older non-updated Kindle.

 Those who did not, for some reason, get this update over the air should see the recent blog article with info on how to manually install it.

  I'm adding, below, an earlier article I posted about a little-known, hugely helpful feature, written YEARS ago but still germane.

This is info I thought would be useful for new Kindle owners, but I've found that oldtime Kindle users don't tend to know it exists, and definitely students involved in the pilot programs at universities don't seem to know either, judging from some reports.

If you check your Menu button/Settings/Menu button (again) options, you'll see one for "Enabling" or "Disabling Annotations Backup."  These are for the personal highlighting and notes that you can make on any regular books purchased from Amazon which are then, if you authorize it, BACKED UP to your own private, password-protected webpage at Amazon.  (PDFs on the Kindle have no annotation features.*)

The Kindle User's Guide is the first book placed on your Kindle (by Amazon) and is also readable on the Net and downloadable to your computer in PDF format for reading on your pc or Mac).
  Be sure to check the parts on how to highlight and make notes (as well as everything else it can do).

  But highlighting is as simple as going to the start of the highlighting and clicking on the 5-way button and using that 5-way to go to the right or down (or across a page turn) until you see where you want to end the highlight.
  Then you press the 5-way button again. That's it.

  There can be confusion at times with the cursor as to whether you want to start a search or just see a dictionary summary definition for a word or start an annotation -- but if the highlighting doesn't work, press "Back" button (my favorite or most-used button) to get back to where you were and start again.

SIDE-NOTE on the much-appreciated BACK button
The "Back" button is also used when you jump to another Location in the book or to a search result for the book or when you decide you want to look up a detailed definition of a word your cursor is on.

  The key word is "jump."  When I Search a word or phrase in a book, to see where it occurs elsewhere in that book, the Kindle gives me 6 search results (depending on the size of the chosen font) on the first page of results and I can choose to click on any or all of them -- BUT to get BACK to where I was in the book, I then press the "BACK" button and I'm back where I was before the Search and 'jump' to the results page.
  It's the same when you click on a link to another part of the book; you press 'BACK' to return to where you were before the 'jump.'

  I read a lot of non-fiction, so I do use this feature a lot.  A big help for any Kindle user is the ability to check your previous annotations for a book, on the Kindle, where they are shown to you via the "My Notes & Marks" option when you click the "MENU" button at bottom right of teh kindle.

  The highlighting and notes feature is especially useful for those in book clubs or for those who are taking a class that uses the book.

  But what's the easiest way to print them out for use elsewhere, if you don't just bring your Kindle and go through it that way?

  Your private books-annotation webpage at Amazon.  Again, it's password-protected so only you should have access to it.  I think that's part of the agreement with Amazon too.  Each of us can get to that page by typing or you can just bookmark it when you get there.  Be sure to click on "Your_Highlights" when you land on the main page.

 When you put in your password, you'll be brought to your list of purchased or free books from Amazon and you can sort them by title or author.  Click on a link for one of your books, and you'll see a group of about 5 highlighting entries and notes you made for the book (if you did).   If you made more annotations than are seen on that page, you'll see, at the top, a list of pages numbered for more of your notes, which you can click on to see the rest of your notes.

  BUT an additional great feature is that you can click near the bottom left of that group of annotation results, on the link to "See all your highlights and notes on one page."  And that's the way I look at them.

Here's a link to an actual web page showing some highlighting entries for a specific book I bought (and haven't finished yet).  The book is a fascinating take on what it's like to actually win an election and enter the White House and all that comes with that.

* PDF books: you can ask Amazon to convert a copy of any of these by emailing it to [you] with the word "Convert" in the Subject field, and they'll send for free a converted copy back to your email.  From there you can move it to your Kindle with the USB cable, putting it into the 'documents' folder of the Kindle.

The larger text, reflowed to fit into a 6" screen will be easier to read, but the original layout tends to be lost when the PDF is complex.  For single column documents it's usually fine though -- plus your inline dictionary will work for these (not for actual PDFs), as will book-searches with multiple-results Kindle style, text-to-speech, and highlighting and notes.  Annotations for books purchased from non-Amazon sources are not backed up to the Amazon server nor are the annotations for those though.

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!

[Valid RSS]