Kindle News

Amazon Kindle Fire HD gets update to 7.2.2

Just a few days ago, we told you that an update for Amazon Kindle Fire users was on the way. So you shouldn’t be too surprised when we tell you that the update, to software version 7.2.2, is now making its way to Amazon Kindle Fire units. As we told you the other day, the update brings with it the Kindle Free Time Unlimited capabilities that give your kids the chance to find appropriate content on the tablet. Designed for those in the 3 to 8 year old bracket, each kid will get an individual profile and home screen space. Apps have had commercials and social media removed and in-app purchases are disallowed. It’s almost like having a separate Amazon Kindle Fire for you and one for your children. Amazon Prime members must pay $2.99 for the service for one child, or $6.99 for the whole family. If you aren’t an Amazon Prime member, those prices jump to $4.99 and $9.99 respectively.

In addition, the content available with the service includes just about every movie or television show made for kids. Amazon has really come up with a feature that parents will find useful and kids will just love. In such a highly competitive tablet market, Kindle Free Time Unlimited can be the difference between parents buying an Apple iPad mini or deciding on an Amazon Kindle Fire HD instead. Those that decide on the Amazon Kindle Fire HD or the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 can receive one free month of Kindle Free Unlimited by clicking on the Kindle Free Time app before January 15th 2013

In addition to Kindle Free Time Unlimited, the update allows you to now take pictures using the front facing camera. And Swype has been added to the tablet allowing you to type by swiping your fingers over the virtual QWERTY keyboard. The update has rolled out OTA, so installing it should be a breeze. Look out for the new software which should hit your Amazon Kindle Fire at any time.

Amazon To Offer Unlimited Kindle Fire Content for Children

Amazon has just fired another shot in its battle to convince families to buy its Kindle Fire tablet (starting at $159). The company just announced Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, which it describes as an “all-you-can-eat content service built from the ground up just for kids.” The service requires a Kindle Fire device (it doesn’t work on iPads and Android tablets) and prices start at $2.99 a month per child for families that already subscribe to Amazon’s $79 a year Amazon Prime service (that also includes free 2-day shipping and access to free videos). A family membership is $6.99 a month for Prime members. Non-prime subscribers pay $4.99 per child or $9.99 for a family membership. Owners of the newest Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD get one month of FreeTime Unlimited for free

The new service is aimed at children from 3 to 8.

Kids will be able to watch videos, play games, use apps and read books from content partners including Andrews McMeel Publishing, Chronicle Books, DC Comics, Disney, HIT Entertainment, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Marvel, Nickelodeon, PBS, Rainbow and Sesame Workshop.

Amazon said that children wil be able to explore content on their own and “pick for themselves what to read, watch or play next.” Characters will include Elmo, Dora, Thomas & Friends, Cinderella, Buzz Lightyear, Lightning McQueen and Curious George.

Amazon has disabled any in-app purchases so parents don’t have to worry about their kids running up a bill.

Amazon said that it’s working with Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization that provides independent ratings of books, movies, television, apps, games, websites, and music.

The Windows 8 Kindle Application

If you own a Kindle device you know that the books you download are associated with your Amazon account so that you can access them on other devices as well. Kindle apps have made their appearance on several devices not manufactured by Amazon directly, including a Kindle reader for Windows and web browser versions. Kindle apps are available for all major smartphone operating systems and tablets as well.

It feels like a natural progression that Amazon has released a Kindle application for Windows 8 that users of the operating system can make use of to read their ebooks on a device running the operating system. You are asked to either create a new Amazon account or sign in to an existing account to get started. If you are an existing user, you will shortly thereafter see all your Kindle ebooks listed in the application interface.

If you have added books recently to your account, you may need to right-click and select synchronize to start a manual synchronization of books. Books include free and commercial Kindle ebooks that you have purchased.

You can click on any title on display here to start reading right away in a full screen interface. A right-click while doing so displays a slider at the bottom highlighting the current location in the text, and a tools menu at the top which you can use for a variety of information outlined below:

  • Library links back to the book library on the start page.
  • Back goes back to the page you have been reading previously.
  • Go to enables you to quickly jump to a page
  • View opens an onscreen menu that you can use to make changes to font size, margins, the color mode and the number of columns displayed while reading.
  • Bookmark and Notes/Mark enable you to bookmark pages and jump to them.
  • Sync jumps to the furthest page read on all devices connected to your Kindle account.
  • Pin to start allows you to pin the book to the start screen of the Windows 8 operating system.

You can go back and forward with a mouse click on the left or right side of the current page while reading or use the cursor keys for that instead. It is very likely that you can also use touch to do that on touch-enabled devices, but I could not test that.

The front page links to the Amazon Kindle store, but that is far from ideal as it is launching the store in the default system browser instead of the application interface. Another thing that is missing is the ability to add local ebooks to the app so that you can read those ebooks using the application as well.

All in all an app that will probably only be used by Kindle owners who also own a Windows RT tablet as it is not possible to install the PC reader software on RT versions of the operating system.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD Sales Increase After iPad Mini Revealed

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD line of devices have witnessed increased sales since Apple’s reveal of the all new iPad Mini. According to the company sales for its moderately priced $199 tablet shot up following Apple’s Wednesday press conference.

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Kindle Paperwhite To Be The First Japanese-Language Kindle

One of the more overlooked announcements from Apple’s event yesterday was that the iBooks now has support for Asian languages. Chinese, Korean and Japanese are all available in native right-to-left format with their own stores to support the titles available in these countries. It seems the announcement has forced Amazon’s hand to announce their own Asian expansion.

Amazon announced today that the Kindle Store is now available in Japan with the Kindle Paperwhite being the first device to natively support the Japanese language. The device will have access to over 50,000 Japanese-language Kindle books and over 15,000 manga titles. The Wi-Fi Paperwhite will be available for a relatively cheap 8,480 yen ($106) and the Wi-Fi/3G version will retail for 12,980 yen ($162).

“After twelve years of selling print books on Amazon.co.jp, we are excited to offer the millions of Amazon.co.jp customers the new Kindle Store, with the largest selection of the books people want to read, the largest selection of Oricon best sellers in books, bunko, and manga, and over 50,000 Japanese-language titles—all available to anyone with a Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire, Android phone, Android tablet, iPhone, or iPad,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Kindle Paperwhite is the Kindle e-reader we have always wanted to build—it has 62% more pixels and 25% higher contrast than the previous generation Kindle, built-in front light, perfect for reading in bed or in sunlight, even thinner, with 8 weeks of battery life.”

The Japanese Kindle store will launch on October 25. The store will feature a number of exclusive titles from some of Japan’s most prolific authors including Arimasa Osawa and Yusuke Kishi. Amazon is also going to be pushing manga in a big way by making the latest volume of Neon Genesis Evangelion exclusive to the Kindle Store.

The Kindle Fire HD is already available in Japan, but the Kindle Paperwhite is their first stab at offering eReaders in the country. Tablets are growing in popularity in Japan thanks to the iPad, but it’s hard to tell if eReaders will have the same success. The exclusive title are definitely a good first start.

Kindle DX Removed from Amazon’s Website

The Amazon Kindle DX has gone through a few iterations since it was initially released May 6, 2009. It featured a 9.7 inch e-Ink screen that mainly appealed to people who read complex PDF documents or need a bigger screen. In 2010, the international edition was released to over 100 different countries and the Kindle DX Graphite was issued in July of 2010. The Graphite was the company’s flagship large screen reader with better contrast and an accelerometer to automatically switch the orientation. The hefty price-tag and unwieldy nature ensured that it would never garner the mass market appeal that Amazon had originally envisioned. Today the company removed all official product listings from the website and the only way to purchase one is via third parties.

One of the biggest drawbacks on owning a Kindle DX was the lack of features implemented via firmware updates. There hasn’t been a single new update issued in almost two years and many people saw the six inch line take all the glory. With the advent of the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD line of e-readers and tablets, there is no reason to continue selling the DX. Amazon has never disclosed whether it will introduce a follow-up, and it is extremely unlikely that they will ever release another e-reader larger than six inches.

Kindle DRM Removal

Kindle (.azw / .prc / .mobi) is an extraordinary format among others. It is established by amazon and only available for Kindle readers. Once we have paid for the goods we want to use them anywhere, not the standalone device—kindle. Besides, drm is another bugaboo that kindle possesses to refrain us to transfer the books to other places. The two factors have become the great barrier in front of us for choosing a free reading way.

But things are always tending to access to an ideal method. Epubsoft Kindle DRM Removal has brought an exciting news on this problem. Kindle DRM Removal can help us quickly and easily remove Kindle ebook DRM protection with only 1-click. It produces a new AZW file that users can convert to EPUB/PDF/TXT/RTF format ebook using Calibre,  read them on iPad, NOOK, Sony Reader or other device without limitation, user also can print converted Kindle ebooks. All in all, It is very easy to use, to decrypt the ebooks, you need only one click. And it is ensured that the files will remain unabridged without any quality and content loss.

Kindle DRM RemovalVersion 4.5.3 for Windows
Kindle DRM Removal for MacVersion 4.5.3 for Mac

Key Features:

  • Easily Remove DRM from kindle azw.
  • Keep all original contents of the azw files.
  • Easy-to-use operations and high conversion speed.

System Requirements:

  • Processor: >750MHz Intel or AMD CPU
  • Free hard disk space: 100 MB or more
  • RAM: 256 MB or above

User Guide

How to remove drm from Kindle?

Step1: Download and install Epubsoft Kindle DRM Removal.

Step2: Run Kindle DRM Removal, click “Add” button to select ebook files. Default ebooks download location:

Windows: “My Documents\My Kindle Content”

Step3: Click “Start” button, it will create a new ebook file without DRM in seconds.

Step4: Click “Open” button to view the converted file.

After removing DRM from Kindle files, you can input these files on any mobile device supported azw formats. You can also convert the ebook using Epubsoft EBook Converter or Calibre. Then you can read these ebooks on other e-reader below.

  • Apple iPad/iPad 2/iPad 3 (using iBooks)
  • iPhone and iPod touch (using Lexcycle Stanza, Glider or iBooks on iOS 4.0+)
  • Android devices (using WordPlayer, FBReader, Aldiko)
  • Bookeen Cybook Gen3, Cybook Opus
  • iRex Digital Reader 800, 1000
  • Ctaindia’s eGriver Ebook Reader
  • Barnes & Noble nook
  • PocketBook Reader
  • Sony Reader
  • BeBook

Kindle for PC

As it is known by all of us that Amazon released a Kindle for PC app, which is available as a free 5.17MB download for Windows 7, Vista, and XP. It is of great resemblance like Kindle for iPhone app. Kindle for PC syncs your Amazon e-book downloads and shows them on your computer for convenient reading either when you’re away from your svelte e-book reader or if you chose not to buy it in the first place.

Though kindle is a nice handy device, the application is also necessary I think. Kindle for PC app does the job we want it finish for us. Except for other benefits, it syncs your last read page with Whispersync as well as  Kindle notes and promises to utilize Windows 7’s touch technology. It is also capable for us to share the joy of pinch-zoom, turning pages with finger swipes. Amazon is reportedly working on the ability to create notes and highlights on your PC and a search function. We are truly looking forward those elevated changes.

 

 

Is Amazon phasing out the Kindle DX?

The tech world took to the announcement of Amazon’s latest two Kindles, the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite, with enthusiasm, but not every Kindle model is riding the wave of good tidings.

Amazon’s Kindle DX, the extra-large reader introduced in 2009, may finally be experiencing an official phase out.

The signs became clear Monday, as all evidence of the Kindle DX, including Amazon’s official Kindle comparison tables and Kindle product box images, was apparently scoured from the web.

Tellingly, the Kindle DX is no longer being sold directly by Amazon, either, and there’s no indication that it will ever return, though third-party sellers on the website still offer it.

Awaiting Amazon’s clarification

TechRadar has reached out to Amazon for comment on what’s going on, but for now the evidence appears to speak for itself.

We’ll update this post if and when Amazon decides to officially announce the death of the Kindle DX – or refute this rumor entirely.

There are still reports that a second-generation Kindle DX is for sale through Amazon, though its software and hardware is said to be severely out of date.

It’s truly unclear what all this means, so hopefully Amazon decides to speak up soon.

Death of the Kindle DX

The Kindle DX hasn’t been updated since 2010, so Amazon’s apparent move to discontinue it isn’t entirely unexpected.

The 10-inch reader reportedly never quite caught on, due possibly to its sheer size and general unwieldiness.

Monday’s reports of the Kindle DX’s discontinuation come hot on the heels of a massive discount on the reader, which went from $379 (UK£239, AU$369) to $299 (UK£186, AU$291) within a week.

The price drop may have well been a final effort on Amazon’s part to empty its shelves of Kindle DX stock before discontinuing the device forever.

However, some hardcore Kindle DX fans may still hold out hope for a Kindle DX Paperwhite, an extra-large reader with up-to-date tech, though Amazon’s given no indication of such a product’s existence.

We can still hope, right?

Kindle Paperwhite Video Review and First Impressions

I’ve been having fun testing out the new Kindle Paperwhite since it arrived so I thought I’d better go ahead and take some time to write down some initial first impressions and put together a video review showing the Kindle Paperwhite in action for those of you eager to know more.

The video gives a complete walkthrough of the new features and shows the Paperwhite’s screen next to the $69 basic Kindle (pictured together above), the GlowLight Nook Touch, and the Sony PRS-T2 with the lighted cover to get some perspective on the new screen and the nature of the frontlight.

The first thing that struck me about the Kindle Paperwhite’s screen is that it really is a lot whiter than regular E Ink ebook readers and is definitely a step up from the GlowLight Nook Touch in terms of how even the lighting is and the overall contrast.

In short, I’m a big fan of the frontlight and will probably use the Kindle Paperwhite as my primary ebook reader because of it, but the lighting isn’t as perfectly uniform as I’d been hoping.

At the bottom of the screen there’s a faint wavy shadow where the four LED lights are located, and in certain lighting conditions there’s sort of a bluish shadow toward the upper center of the screen. Otherwise the lighting is very even. And during the day and in brighter lighting the shadows are almost invisible; they are more noticeable in lower lighting, like a dark room when reading at night. It seems to depend on the amount of ambient light.

The second thing that struck me about the Kindle Paperwhite is the odd fact that the light can’t be completely turned off. It’s always on, even at the lowest brightness setting. The only time the lights turn off is when the Kindle is turned off.

That makes it very hard to directly compare the screen with other ebook readers to get a feel on overall screen contrast and clarity with the new HD screen and the fact it has not one but two layers over the screen—the frontlight light guide layer and the capacitive touchscreen layer.

The only thing that really stands out when comparing the Kindle Paperwhite side-by-side with the $69 basic Kindle is that fonts are slightly sharper and clearer on the Paperwhite, especially smaller fonts. Text is slightly bolder on the basic Kindle, but is rougher around the edges.

Overall I’ve been impressed with the Kindle Paperwhite and its new screen. The lighting isn’t perfect but it’s close. I like how much whiter the screen is than without the frontlight at all, even during the day in regular light.

I’ll post a full review and some comparison reviews over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more.

How Good Is the Kindle Paperwhite?

The Kindle Paperwhite has been landing in the hands of reviewers everywhere, and the consensus is this: the product is very good indeed. In its category, says Bloomberg, “the Paperwhite lays fair claim to the title of best-in-class.”

First, a quick reminder on what the Kindle Paperwhite is. It’s a six-inch monochrome E Ink reader, weighing about 7.5 ounces. It’s got space to store about 1,100 books on the device. And the $119 device (or $179 if you want 3G) is the first Kindle with a built-in light.

Let’s see what the reviewers are saying, component by component. First, take the screen. The screen has higher resolution than its predecessors, crisply rendering text and art. The Verge calls it “one of the best E Ink displays on the market,” or possibly “the best thanks to that new lighting.” Amazon says the pixel count is up by 62 percent. A number of reviewers agree that the built-in light feature outstrips that of the Nook with GlowLight from Barnes and Noble. Though the Paperwhite’s screen is lit continually–it can be manually adjusted depending on ambient light–Amazon says that you’ll still get two months of battery power assuming 30 minutes of reading a day.

It’s worth dwelling for a moment on that lighting technology, the most novel feature here. Engadget takes a nice look at the tech, and provides comparison photos of the Paperwhite with and without the light at the top setting. Essentially, there is an optical fiber that is laid across the display; a nanoimprinted light guide helps provide the even distribution of light that so many reviewers are marveling about.

 

Another cool feature reviewers are loving is the novel software that comes with the new Kindle. As a lifelong self-flagellating slow reader, I’m personally most interested in the “Time to Read” feature Amazon has put together. As your Kindle learns your reading habits, it can give you a personalized estimate of how long it will take you to finish a given book. I’d love to compare my number with that of my friends to get a real sense of whether I’m actually as slow of a reader as I think I am.

Since your only real competitor here is the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, Mashable’s table comparing specs is particularly useful. Despite the assertions of some reviewers that the Paperwhite is a hands-down winner, there are some meaningful differences you might want to check out. Though the Paperwhite wins in some categories–pixel density, by far, for instance–there are some aspects of the Nook that remain appealing–its in-store support at B&N stores, for example, and the fact that it’s marginally lighter.

Ultimately, your decision may come down to which ecosystem you’re betting on, or which you’d rather support. Publishers have made the case that people concerned about the book industry ought to be shopping at Barnes and Noble more often; I’ve chronicled my own anxieties surrounding my Amazon addiction (I own a Kindle, and have long ordered books on Amazon) and have since signed up for a B&N membership that enables me to have books delivered for free overnight to my home in Brooklyn, which I’ve made distressingly ample use of (see “What the Nook Means”).

I’m all for preserving a balance of power in publishing, but the Paperwhite’s specs and enthusiastic reviews are compelling. To win over users like me who are rooting for B&N to stay afloat, but still take their gadget purchases quite seriously, the Nook’s next iteration had better match or exceed Amazon’s latest offering.