Category Archives: Amazon Kindle

Amazon Announces Premium Kindle And Budget Fire Tablet

Amazon Unveils High-End Kindle Reader and Low-Price 6-Inch Tablet

Amazon.com Inc. introduced a handful of new devices, including a $100 tablet aimed at the masses and a high-end electronic-reader that the company says is the closest e-reading experience to plain paper.

The $200 Kindle Voyage is the thinnest Amazon e-reader so far and has a magnesium body. Its flush display is much higher in pixel density and 39% brighter than Amazon’s $100 Kindle Paperwhite, making it easier on the eyes, especially in direct sunlight, the company said. The screen’s texture even looks slightly speckled, reminiscent of high-quality paper fiber.

I didn’t expect Amazon to go the premium route, even after I saw the Japan price for the Voyage was about US$250 (something I figured was a Japan Thing…).

And Amazon slaps down all the craptabs too.

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New Kindle Coming

Amazon Kindle Voyage with high-res display coming soon?

The first credible rumors of a thinner, lighter, higher-resolution Kindle surfaced many months ago.

I’ve been telling people it was coming. Now it’s confirmed.

According to the cached Amazon Japan page, it’ll be released — at least in Japan — on November 4th:

KindleVoyage001

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No À La Carte For Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is now live for customers in the U.S..

And there’s bad news for some people, including me, in the Terms of Service:

We only accept credit cards for payment of your membership fees. Please do not sign up for the program with a debit card. Also known as a “check” or “ATM” card, a debit card typically has the word “debit” printed on the face of the card.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Well that sucks. I was hoping I’d be able to buy a $10 Amazon Gift Card, have a binge-read for the month, then not have to pay for the months I wasn’t using it.

It isn’t like Amazon not to want all the money.

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Amazon Kindle “Roadshow” In China

Here’s Amazon’s first store:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s in Shanghai, and it exists only between July 18-20th [Google Translate].

It’s Amazon’s ploy to get people to fondle their devices so they might increase their sales in China.

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Kindle Unlimited Leaked

Whoa.

Same-day update: Amazon is testing “Kindle Unlimited,” an ebook subscription service for $9.99/month

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Amazon Phone Coming June 18th

Amazon will unveil its smartphone June 18th (probably)

Here’s the hype:

I can’t wait to see the reaction from all those who have been hyping iOS 8!

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Comic Book Writer Wakes Up, Weeps Years Too Late

Gerry Conway: The ComiXology Outrage

Now, I’ve heard some folks say that Amazon is just trying to avoid paying Apple’s “greedy 30% fee” for in-app purchases. This is such nonsense it almost doesn’t require a response, because there are people out there who have a knee-jerk reaction against Apple that goes beyond critical thinking, but in the hopes of reaching more open-minded readers who might be tempted by that argument, let me address it.

Apple charges 30% for in-app purchases of eBooks, music, video, games. Amazon charges 30% for digital distribution of eBooks, music, video, games. Same deal. Period.

There’s a long and fruitless debate to be had over whether or not Apple “deserves” to make a profit off its App Store. Anti-Apple deniers say no, and their arguments usually boil down to just a dislike of Apple making a profit (or what they consider a “greedy” profit). The fact is, Apple provides a storefront for developers to sell their apps, and as any store owner would, asks for a piece of the money the developers make as a result. Mall owners ask store owners to pay rent. It’s a normal business transaction. Happens every day. Apple’s App Store provides developers with access, and gives them three ways to pay for the privilege: developers can charge for the app directly (and Apple takes a cut, 30%, same as Amazon); developers can provide the app for “free” and Apple will place ads in the app (ad-supported payment, like Google search); or developers can offer in-app purchases (and Apple takes their 30% cut, one step removed).

Please, bitch. Please.

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Amazon Smartphone Sneak Peek

After years of rumors: This is Amazon’s smartphone

I’d be surprised if it was branded as a Kindle. This would be much more: “All of Amazon in Your Pocket.”

This is probably the biggest move ever made by Amazon and should really scare the living shit out of everyone who’s wide awake. It has repercussions that I’m not even going to try to list because that list would be huge.

The 3D is, of course, differentiation — but that could have vast implications for all UIs as well. People talk about kids and tablets encountering paper, trying to pinch-zoom photos. What happens when kids experience the 3D Amazon UI and have to go back to flat?

From a technical standpoint. it’ll be interesting to see if the infrared cameras work in bright sunlight. There’s more to those IR cameras than a 3D effect. Imagine your eyes being tracked to call up a contact and dial a number — hands free. Or to scroll through Twitter — hands-free.

The eye-tracking will probably send data to Amazon to tweak things — and to measure the effectiveness of ads. There’s a big privacy issue that will blow up.

It’ll probably sell out the first day it’s offered for sale.

Previously here:

This Is Why Amazon Will Do A Phone
The Amazon Phone Rumor Again
How Amazon Could Make Its Phone Free

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Amazon Fire TV Beats Chromecast With AllCast

Mirroring Android to Amazon Fire TV

The mirroring performance of the Fire TV is on comparable to the Apple TV (low latency, high quality). Chromecast (which uses WebRTC) has noticeable quality issues, on both audio and video.

I never actually got around to sending the audio output to the Apple TV, so the Fire TV implementation is the best of the 3 currently.

Summary of the three platforms:

Fire TV – Great audio and video quality. Works on any 4.4+ device.

Apple TV – Great video quality. Great audio quality, but I don’t have audio implemented yet.

Chromecast – Good video quality after 2 minutes, when WebRTC ramps the bitrate up. Terrible audio quality, not sure why. I think that it encodes the audio stream to be optimized for voice. Requires a hardware vp8 encoder, currently only available on Nexus 5.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Well, I didn’t know that about Chromecast with AllCast. Time to think about Fire TV.

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Europe Says No To Proprietary eBook Formats

L’Europe va mettre fin aux formats propriétaires pour les livres numériques

Europe will put an end to proprietary formats for digital books

While the European Parliament will be renewed in May, the European Commission, which will also be fully reconstructed by the end of the year, embarks on a surprising activism: she finally grabs the file interoperability digital books, with the aim of forcing retailers using proprietary formats to end these systems.

Amazon and Apple, the two market leaders, are directly targeted. Currently, a digital book bought on Amazon.fr can only be read on the Kindle, the e-tailer reading lamp, or one of its applications. Reading lamp which does not accept the open format ePub. It is the same with the iBook Store, Apple’s digital library, which does not allow the reading on the terminals of the Apple brand.

Assuming this isn’t an April Fool’s item, what will happen?

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