Monday, December 22, 2014

An alert just for those using newsfeeds to read the blog, re updated info for those interested in playing Flash videos on the Kindle Fire tablets (for pure Android tablets also)


Quick note to those reading news feeds - I updated the blog article on how to play Flash on the Kindle Fire tablets (most of it applies to pure Android tablets as well).  Also, the HBO-GO app was added to the Fire TV this week.

The news feeds don't bring updated older blog articles to the top, so this is just an alert, which I may delete from the main page, since this quick alert is just for newsfeed apps like Feedly, whose readers wouldn't see the update otherwise.





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How to Play Flash on Kindle Fire HD / HDX. Step-by-Step guide on How to Install Flash video for Youtube and other Flash-driven websites. Network TV full-episode changes. HBO Go app. UPDATED Nov 27, Dec 5-6, 2013, April 26, 2014, Dec. 22, 2014


How to install flash to play flash videos on Kindle Fire HDX and HD devices, for Youtube and websites using Flash
This blog article (originally Oct. 22, 2012), updated Nov 27, Dec 5-6, 2013, Apr 26 and December 22, 2014 ,is a companion article to How to Install non-Amazon apps on Kindle Fire HD.

  NOTE - The April 26 2014 blog update added info on a setting for those on Amazon Prime and who, for some reason, don't see a Flash option on their tablet screens.  The Amazon Instant Video setting for Web Player Preferences if viewing on tablets should be set to "Adobe Flash" rather than "Silverlight,: which is for desktop computers ...

  NOTE - December 2014
The earlier notes below cautioned that later versions of Dolphin (newer than the one linked to) are less reliable for Flash and there are, on some sites, conflicts with the the older Dolphin and later models of Kindle Fires.  While new dedicated TV broadcast apps can remove the problem of Flash with network TV programs, there is another app now that reliably plays flash media (even on medici.tv's complex streaming of classical music concerts and movies). Puffin Free Browser.  However, Puffin's intro cautions that it's limited to daytime use.

  "Puffin Free is the free version of Puffin family, and supports Adobe Flash during the daytime everyday (It usually starts from 8 am to 4 pm, but the duration is subject to change without prior notice)."

  Flashfox promises Flash but crashes on that medici.tv site and I've not tried other sites.

  HBO GO was added for FireTV this week.  (And as of today, there's a $20 off sale on the FireTV for the holiday, I guess.) See the updated info for the HBO Go app below

  NOTE: - The December 2013 update had to do with
(1) a recommendation of an older Dolphin browser version for the HDX line + advice on downloading the specific flash app-file recommended for Kindle HD and HDX (and Nexus tablets) and with
(2) the Network TV Full Episodes being available in dedicated app form now, with the Networks favoring their own apps for mobile-device watching (probably having to do with ad statistics) and restricting mobile-device access on web video versions.
(3) On Dec 8, I added the Adobe Flash Player History page.

  Where Dolphin web browser tended to work with a "user agent" setting of "Desktop" mode instead of "Android" in those cases, that workaround has been hampered by some new Network processes.

  The upside, of course, is that Network TV full episodes are now easily watchable via their dedicated apps, some of which are at Amazon's appstore and those that aren't can be downloaded by using 1mobile.com's appstore.

  (1Mobile now has over 800,000 apps available from GooglePlay, athough you'd search there for the NBC TV or CBS TV apps having the usual network logos and showing the highest number of downloads -- or you can just view and match their icons, app names and version #'s with the apps that are listed on GooglePlay itself.)

  TIP: Amazon's own browser can now handle NBC Full Episodes website video! (Nice job, Kindle Team.)

  TIP 2: Amazon's own browser currently handles Youtube well by taking you to the mobile version of that site, showing you a small version of the video selected from a search and, when you click on one, shows you a full screen version of it in decent quality w/o your needing to change (via a long-press) the Youtube video gear-wheel setting at the right-bottom of a video, to change the video quality.

  Youtube's mobile area was completely rewritten by Youtube to use HTML5 rather than Flash and in the recent past sometimes had a somewhat smaller selection of videos, but they are very similar now.  Amazon works with the HTML5 via their new experimental Flash-replacement streamer, which will be described further below.

  NOTE: The quality of streaming will be affected by the speed of your Internet connection.
  Providers of DSL home Internet access usually use a default, first-tier lower speed that's often about 1/6th the speed of cablemodem speeds, so if you love to watch Internet streamed material via WiFi network connections in your home, I do recommend cablemodem access like Comcast's.

  Apps already carried at Amazon's appstore:
  WatchABC, which includes viewing of LIVE ABC programs rather than just after the fact, is quite a boon and is much more stable now after some updates.  (I think that CBS app (available at 1mobile.com) requires a 5-day delay.)  Also carried at Amazon is "Xfinity TV" app, which Comcast users use for "On Demand" offerings.
  Amazon's appstore also carries PBS, Smithsonian TV apps, and other TV apps.  If you Search the Amazon store for "TV" you'll also see apps for Discovery; History; WatchESPN; RAI; and several others.

  In December 2014, Amazon added HBO GO to the Fire TV.  It won't be ready for the Fire TV Stick until the Spring.  It's been available for the Kindle Fire tablets for some time though, which means you can use the "mirroring" display feature in the Yr2013 HD and HDX tablets to watch HBO Go on the HDTV if you're an HBO subscriber and have a Yr 2013 or later Kindle Fire tablet.

  And then there's always Amazon Instant Prime viewing, which now includes downloadable files for watching offline, and Amazon keeps adding exclusive material on that feature while providing optional X-Ray background info on actors in the scene you're watching.

  Sidenote: One of my favorite new features is playing a favorite mp3 song from the Cloud or downloaded to my device and seeing the new x-ray'd lyrics scrolling down, with the current line highlighted.

TIP 3: - Amazon's new HDX tablets provide what has been described by major tech-site reviewers as the fastest and smoothest experience on tablets today.  If multmedia files are your focus and you want them accessible on your device to play offline, get a device with more storage than 16 GB.

  I didn't want to pay a few hundred dollars for a multimedia tablet (also, magazines are huge) and wind up feeling constrained, since I also have a lot of photos on mine, so I got the 64GB one and love the freedom from worrying about space, Cloud or no Cloud.
  I think of it as a built-in SD card space.  Still, a 32GB tablet will be enough for many users.

When shopping different makers and models and analyzing costs, note that a key competing tablet will cost an additional $100 to get to each higher level of storage space - to 32 and to 64GB - and that one does not play Flash on web sites created with Flash.

ADOBE and Flash Support
In October 2012, Youtube and other Flash video no longer worked on  newer Android devices like the Nexus tablet line and the Android-based Kindle HD's because Adobe stopped supporting Flash on later models of mobile devices.

  The workaround was to use a web browser that supports an Adobe flash player file that works with later mobile devices.  (Since all this No-Flash drama happened, Amazon has been working on its own workaround, at Youtube and with a growing number of web sites.)

  Many of us are able to view, using Amazon's own default Silk web browser, some of the main Flash-playing sites, even for network TV full episodes now, as mentioned, as Kindle Team has been working on Amazon's Experimental Streaming Viewer which works with a limited number of sites, but they are large, popular ones, and Amazon is expanding the number of websites that will be able to work with it.

  Here's my earlier introduction to the Experimental Streaming Viewer, with some initial tips that will help, though there may be some added web-browser setting changes needed via the browser menu for some.
  A KEY step is to enable "Accelerate page loading" setting in the Silk web browser menu (it's now the default setting on the HDX tablets), which automatically turns 'ON' the Advenced Setting of "Prompt for experimental streaming viewer."

Back to the Google-owned Youtube:
  A brief history of THAT dilemma brought on by Adobe's dropping of Flash support and explanation for the workaround has been moved to its own page because this article was so long that the RSS feed stopped working two weeks ago (Nov, 19).

  For Flash support, the Amazon Kindle Forum regulars have relied on the XDA Developer Site for the latest working file to be tested by knowledgeable XDA forum members and offered for download.

  Over the last year, Youtube's videos have worked sporadically for various devices, with intermittent Flash compatability with browsers using special Flash files, while Youtube developers worked to provide full HTML5 support (the eventual Flash replacement on all websites that keep up to date) in place of Flash.

  Amazon has now been able to improve Experimental Streaming Viewer so that Youtube videos can be viewed without any special work on the part of the user.

  (Just be sure to look at your web menu Settings option and choose to use that experimental feature with a check mark on that box.)

  Amazon does take you to the mobile version of Youtube as described above.  You see a large thumbnail of the video you're about to play and when you click on that, it plays full screen and automatically in HD if the video was done in HD and if your Internet connection is fast enough.


WORKAROUND and Step-by-Step GUIDE, for sites that need the Flash-player workaround
  Per Amazon's Kindle Forum discussions, Kindle Fire HD and HDX owners are using, as needed, three files that provide a good workaround, the same 3 files that Google Nexus owners need to get Flash video on Youtube since the Adobe Flash (Non)Support travails.

  Re those three files, linked below, FIRST do the following:
STEPS: (based on *~*Pineapple*~*'s guide from the forums:
Do the following on the Kindle Fire HD or Kindle Fire HDX tablets:
  • Go to the 'Home' screen.
  • Swipe down (lightly pressing and pulling down) from the top of the screen.
  • That gets you the Quick Settings Menu.
  • Click on "More" at the top right.
  • Go down the Settings list to "Device" and click on that.
  • Choose to "Allow Installation of Applications From unknown sources."

Installation files end in ".apk" ...

Then download and tap to install, to your Kindle Fire 2/HD, the files at the following links, with your new Kindle Fire HD or HDX tablet:
  1. the free file manager app, ES File Explorer

      [It's ALSO useful, in case of an install problem to get Easy Installer app, which can do a search for install-files and then shows them to you so that you can choose which one to install.
        Be sure to check Easy Installer's top-right Menu
          (3 vertical squares),
        click on 'Setting' and check the 'Scan Hidden Directories' box.]

  2. the specific Adobe Flash file offered at XDA Developers Forum
      Please read recommended alternate source just below.

      The XDA Developers Forum file links now lead to strange ad-crazy pages, one of which asks for your credit card info and one of which promises racy pictures.
      So, since the actual recommended file uploaded by XDA forum's "Recognized Contributor" stempox is the Flash File version that ends with ".27" and that file is directly available at Adobe's Archives with no download fuss:
      Here is the general Adobe Archive page for Flash Player files, and, more to the point, here's the direct Adobe link to that same file (Flash Player 11.1.for Android 4.0 (11.1.115.27) in Adobe's own archives.

      Also:
  3. Here's the Dolphin browser (v8.5.1), identified in the forum post as "APK Download," which supports that specific Adobe Flash Player file.
    (I've, in the past, used the most recent Dolphin browser HD (v10.0.3), with the earlier Yr 2012 Kindle HD as that had worked well for me with the older special Adobe Flash Player file.)
      HOWEVER, on the HDX 8.9" tablet I have, the older v8.5.1 Dolphin browser file, linked to above, works more smoothly with the current recommended Adobe Flash Player file.

    (If you want the the latest Dolphin browser despite that, you can get it from 1mobile -- To use any android appstore, you just download its store app, which will work like the Amazon store app).  The Dolphin makers continue to update that browser; HOWEVER, the one file that's recommended at the Amazon Kindle forum is the v8.5.1 linked to above, so it's better to just get v8.5.1 linked above to be sure, especially with the HDX tablet)

Once an install file (.apk) downloads, you'll receive a Notification that it's been downloaded.  Then, do the following:
When you receive notification that the Adobe Flash Player is downloaded, run or launch the ES File Explorer app if the Amazon Silk browser doesn't do it automatically.   So, ONLY IF needed:
  1.   Use ES Explorer file manager to look in the "Download" folder
        if an app doesn't auto-install.
  2.   You should see the Dolphin HD browser icon.
  3.   Tap it to install the browser.
  4.   If needed, do the same for the Adobe Flash Player file.

Dolphin HD Browser settings
When you've launched the browser, the usual Android Menu icon (it's square and looks like an air conditioner or a washboard) can be tapped to bring up several options.
  1. Tap on "More" (it has 3 lines).
  2. Then tap on the 3rd option, which is "Settings."
  3. Go down to "Web Content" and tap "Flash Player" -- the choices are:
    • Always on (videos will auto-run - easiest but it'll slow down some page loads and sometimes Flash routines will cause crashes, one reason Steve Jobs hated it).
    • On Demand (You'll tap a blank rectangle -- or one with a down-arrow in it -- to have it run only when you want that.)
    • Off (I see no reason to use this.)
  4. Other settings - ones I use, in case you wonder what might work:
      . Auto-fit Pages: ON
      . Default Zoom: 200% (Close up)
      . Open Pages in Overview: ON
ALSO, make sure Javascript setting, just below Flash, is On or Enabled.

Then, after installing the app files and making sure that the Flash setting is set to run Flash either Always or On Demand, you'll be able to switch to the Dolphin HD browser app when needing to see a video requiring Flash.

Very interesting additional Dolphin setting:
Getting back to the Main Settings page list, the FIRST one is "User Agent."   I tend to use "Desktop" there because I hate ugly, oversimplified mobile-device optimized pages, which are built for small smartphones.

 The webpages you visit with the tablet will tend to know you're a visiting Android, or Android device :-) and sometimes will not run Flash as a result.

  For example, SOME TV video pages will actually not allow videos to run on Android devices but will allow them to run for "Desktop" devices or on iPads.  This is where you can camouflage your device as a a 'Desktop' or iPad  :-)  
  Remember to change it back when needing to use the Android setting though.

Troubleshooting.   Restarts - I had an HD Youtube video close on me one night in October 2012 after a few seconds.  Twice, after I'd been running the browser with many tabs open.   When quite a bit has been run on a tablet, sometimes memory gets fragmented and there's not enough to hold what's needed in 'contiguous' mode and then an app will close.

 In case that might be the reason, I just powered off the device from the Home page, which will clean up the memory the same way our computers do upon power-off or restart.  After doing that, I had no problems with that same 9-minute Youtube High Definition video and played it full-screen a few times, using the Dolphin browser and the Adobe Flash Player file that members of the Kindle forums recommend.


Other app stores that are recommended when Amazon does not have a particular app   Besides 1mobile.com, popular ones are androiddrawer.com, m.getjar.com, iapktop.com slideme.org, handango.com, and others.  As with any appwstore, you can search for an app and download it to the tablet.   This is because Amazon has always allowed the option of installing appication files "from unknown sources" despite what you'll read on large tech sites (for reasons I don't understand, since they spend space talking about 'rooting' the tablets or doing 'modifications' on them and the normal mode requires none of that.  Just a checkmark on a box.

I always recommend though that people wait a few days before getting apps from any other sites, to see if anyone is having problems with malware (even at Google Play market, when Google allows access, but Google doesn't acknowledge Kindle Fire devices).  Google doesn't take as much time to vet apps as Amazon does, to test for both malware or incompatability.

  Amazon's appstore should be supported though.   Of course, if Amazon carries the app, it's definitely best to get it from Amazon because Amazon does a strong vetting of the apps they offer and because it's the way they make revenue from (now the highest-quality hardware) tablets sold at cost.   They also keep a copy of the app in your Amazon Cloud area, which is useful when you are getting another Kindle tablet or if you just need to re-install the file.  I think it's important to support the Amazon Android appstore, but I also think it's important that Amazon make more good apps available to us at a faster pace, and maybe they should have a suggestion box for the more popular requests.


***The actual ADOBE statement on Flash Player support (or not)
  for types of tablets and the Android versions involved

  is now part of the Adobe Flash Player History page.


SHORTCUT Links for this blog article that will be easier to remember:
  http://bit.ly/kfhdflash  
     OR   http://bit.ly/how-to-install-flash-player-on-kindle-fire-hd



RELATED posts on Kindle Fire HDs which are useful also for the Kindle Fire HDX line 
   (Descriptions of Kindle 7" features will apply to the 8.9" models also.)

    . Getting non-Amazon apps on Kindle Fires    
      (The basic models of each Kindle Fire tablet line
        have storage space limitations though.)
   . Google Maps, Street View and other apps on my Kindle Fire,
        via enabling one device setting
    . Downloading and playing YouTube videos on Kindle Fire HD.
      Also, TubeMate app for Youtube will download videos to play on your Kindle Fire,
      and BSPlayer app will play almost ANY video format.
    . Using the camera and Video, Panorama mode, Time Lapses
    . Add Wi-Drive pocketable disk/stream'g for Kindle models
        and for other tablet or phone devices,
        or, Portable wireless 320G Patriot Gauntlet drive/stream'g for 7" & 8.9" devices.
    . App for WiFi file transfers w/o cable.


For reference, here is the Current Global Listing of available Kindle devices.




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.

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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Amazon activity: #1 in tablet satisfaction survey ... Prime members get 4K Ultra-HD instant streaming at no added cost ... New 'Make an Offer' feature ... New Kindle for Android update v4.8 ... New Single by Patricia Cornwell ... New game from Amazon Studios w/ high ratings ... WHAT is the Amazon Echo ? .... Remaining holiday deals




Amazon tops Apple in Tablet satisfaction survey for first time

JD Power's Yr 2014 Vol 2 Study of U.S. Tablet Satisfaction had Amazon coming from way behind (in past years) to beat Apple out for the first time in the now popular tablet market.

The simple headline in their press release was "Amazon Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Tablet Devices"

  "The study, now in its third year, measures customer satisfaction with tablets across five factors (in order of importance): performance (28%); ease of operation (22%); features (22%); styling and design (17%); and cost (11%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale."

  From what I remember, Amazon, newer to the game, placed 5th or so in the past.  Apple led the field the first two years of this ongoing study.  The study may be of interest to some who are wondering whether or not to jump on the Holiday pricing Amazon has had in varying degrees the last couple of weeks.

  The mantra has always been "Isn't Apple the best?" As ever, if you have an Apple iPhone and love your iOS apps, it makes more sense to stick with Apple.

  Otherwise, you may want to try Amazon's now famous 30-day Full Refund "No Risk" policy on Kindles.  The return policy:
' You can return any Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet or Amazon Fire TV devices or accessories you purchased directly from Amazon.com for a full refund within 30 days of the day you received it as long as it's in new condition and the return is in accordance with our return policy. '
  (Within 60 days, it's an 80% refund, which I didn't know -- and I just noticed they mention buying from even an "Amazon kiosk" in a store -- so I guess store kiosks are now definitely a plan...

  One recommendation: I've long recommended (in the Reference column here), that the 32GB storage-space model be the minimum level chosen, even if it's somewhat more costly, because the more attractive or fun apps are heavily graphics-oriented or complex and take up a large amount of storage space and even will need temporary file space during the running of them.  The 16GB-option guarantees you'll be spending too much time figuring out which apps to swap in and out of the 'Cloud' (Amazon server space for your apps, books, videos, music) to be able to use what you want at a given time.  But if the budget doesn't allow that, then at least you CAN swap out one app to be able to enjoy another one.

Currently (Sunday the 14th), the middle-sized, faster-processor Kindle Fire HDX 7" 32 GB model is $199, a $40 discount, and featured on their pages when I went there tonight to check on pricing.

Amazon starts 4K Ultra HD streaming of video, at no added cost to Prime members
Prime members - US, with the new 4K TV sets will be able to view some movie and TV show videos at the new resolution standard at no added cost.  Here's Forbe's story, with details on which videos already include this.


Amazon institutes "Make an Offer" (similar to EBay's) on 3rd Party Marketplace products, mainly Collectibles and Fine Art
Now, if a 3rd party seller wants to use the new Make an Offer feature, you can make an offer and bargain with that store, in private -- it's not an auction.  Apparently, some vendors have wanted this flexibility, when unsure of pricing attractiveness etc.
' Amazon spokesperson Erik Fairleigh said Make an Offer, which is in pilot testing, is open now to all sellers across Sports and Entertainment Collectibles, Collectible Coins and Fine Art. To enable the feature, sellers can use the bulk template or 1-by-1 to update their items to display the "Make an Offer" tool.
. . .
Offers expire after 72 hours, and Fairleigh said sellers' ratings are not impacted in any way if they don't respond to offers. With each offer, the clock resets at 72 hours. And there's no limit to the number of offers and counteroffers.
. . .
However, the transaction is not complete until the customer checks out. '
And the minimum price for eligibility to use this feature is $100.  I imagine this pilot testing is for more general use of the feature later on, if successful.  In fact, InvestCorrectly writes that
' While the feature is only available for 150,000 items; now, Amazon’s announcement expressed a desire to expand the program in 2015. What this will mean for eBay and the future of online shopping will be interesting to watch. '
You can see what's available currently at Amazon's Make an Offer page


Google Play removes recent Amazon app for Android
Note that Amazon's app (with new mobile-appstore-access) was uploaded by Amazon to Google September 9 and was apparetly fine at the time, but Google updated its policies on September 25 and as of that date, Amazon's app was breaking policy and was removed by GooglePlay and Amazon, which seems fair enough to me.  Amazon then replaced it with the plain Amazon Shopping app, that has no built-in appstore.


Amazon now has a new Kindle App for Android out, v4.8, a couple of days ago.
' What's New
4.8.0
• Use X-Ray for Books and Textbooks to look up places, characters and terms
• Receive push notifications from Kindle - customize your experience in Settings
Improved library search
• Make flashcard sets to review textbook material
Control audiobook playback while reading the Kindle book
• Several experience improvements and bug fixes

About app permissions
https://amazon.com/help/kindleforandroid/permissions

  Support
http://amazon.com/help/kindle
http://amazon.com/fb/kindleforum '

  If you've never installed the Android app before,
• go to Amazon's Kindle for Android app page
• Select "Download now"
• Follow the instructions to download the app to your device
• After installing the Kindle reading app, you'll need to register it to your Amazon account.

Kindle reading-app Updates - Where?
  . Kindle for Android Phone update page at Amazon appstore
  . Kindle for Android Tablet update page at Amazon appstore
  . or, if Google play was the original source anyway, Android Updates from Google play.


New follow-up Exclusive "Single" by Patricia Cornwell
I tweeted about this when it came out and forgot about blogging it but think some of her readers might be interested in this further investigation of the Jack the Ripper case.


A new game that costs but is highly rated

Saw this a few weeks ago when it was new.

 For a game that costs $6.99, Tales from Deep Space gets unusually high ratings, at 4.7 stars currently.

  However, it's "played [exclusively for now] on 2013 and newer Fire tablets.

Co-op: Play as E and CASI either solo or co-op on two Fire tablets over wi-fi.  Multiplayer co-op available exclusively on Kindle Fire HDX and all 2014 Fire tablets
."
 For "all ages" but most likely for the younger set.


What is "The Amazon ECHO" ?
I've been following this closely, as it's in a sort of paid pilot testing -- and the 'paid' part is working for Amazon, it seems, because those who've received it tend to be raving about how much fun it is and some would pay more.  Since it's offered for some time on a "By invite" only, to those expressing interest in it, it's not likely to be ready for Christmas release, as shipments seem to have eased.

  I want to do a write-up Monday night on the reception of this unit by actual users with some very funny postings, but until then here are links, from this blog's Reference column, that you can explore:
Amazon Echo - $99 for Prime
   Echo-tests video + discussions Thread 1, Thread 2
    ZDNet actually got one. ZDNet review: "A Perfect 10"

Remaining Holiday Deals
In the meantime, here is a repeat of the holiday and some regular deals, from a blog entry last week, while we're still in the now long holiday season.

DISCOUNTS ON ACCESSORIES Amazon's current pages (some, ongoing) on accessories for Kindle e-Reader and Kindle Fire
  1. Up to 50% (higher discount than usual) on cases for Kindle eReaders
  2. Up to 50% on cases for Kindle Fire (Gen 2) and Kindle Fire HD tablets but NOT HDX tablets
  3. Accessories for all Kindles, with some discounted.

For larger discounts, there are the ongoing pages:
  For US
Goldbox and Lightning Deals which sometimes include bigger one-day sales and
Select-Outlet Deals
Warehouse Deals
Other warehouse deals - more gift oriented
Your Amazon coupons

And since it's still that time of the year, Amazon (and every other store) is having seasonal sale after sale.
12 Days of You Know What -- is now 7 remaining days :-)
  Amazon's "12  7 more Days of Deals" (general) - a page to bookmark if still in shopping mode.  There's also a related [several]-days of Deals that's focused on deals for the home.

  For UK and Canada:
UK - Today's Deals
Seasonal Discounts and Sales - UK
Warehouse Deals - UK

Recently-built Kindle Outlet Store - US
A few months ago, Amazon put together a Kindle Outlet Store to feature their certified refurbished Kindle devices at a somewhat lower cost.

That's it, from my accumulated notes ...



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!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Amazon Studios wins Golden Globes nomination with Transparent series ... Best Books of the Month ... 12 Days of Deals.


FIRST, Saw today that Amazon Studios received a Golden Globes nomination for its free-with-Prime Instant series "Transparent"

From VARIETY:
' SURPRISE: ' Transparent” makes history for Amazon.

It was a huge morning for Amazon Studios as the critically acclaimed “Transparent” landed noms for comedy series and lead actor Jeffrey Tambor.  That’s the first recognition for the upstart digital player from a major awards show, and well deserved for Jill Soloway’s semi-autobiographical dramedy. '
I've read nothing but raves, for months, for that apparently groundbreaking series, which is free watching for Prime members.


12 Days of You Know What
Today, Amazon starts its "12 Days of Deals" (general) - a page to bookmark if still in shopping mode.  There's also a related 12-days of Deals that's focused on deals for the home.


"Best Books of the Month" feature
I received an email last week about Amazon's "Must-reads" for December (see table below) as chosen by their editors.

These are selected from the larger selection of Best Books of the 2014 (which I Tweeted and Facebook'd but had not blogged.
  Here's the link for Kindle book versions.

The email described "December must-reads, carefully selected by Amazon Books' editorial team ... books from best-selling authors to historical nonfiction picks and even a Kindle Single (a type of e-book published through Amazon.com)..."

Title
Author
Release Date
Anthony Horowitz
12/9/2014
Molly Guptill Manning
12/2/2014
Richard McGuire
12/9/2014
Haruki Murakami
12/2/2014
Joshua Davis
12/2/2014
Scott Saul
12/9/2014
José Saramago
12/2/2014
Sven Beckert
12/2/2014
Jim Shepard
12/1/14
Anita Diamant
12/9/2014
Viv Albertine
11/25/2014



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
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Friday, December 5, 2014

Free and low-cost Kindle books: Search-link options for December for contemporary, non-classics + other bargain pages (UK+Canada also) + Kindle discount-alerts by customers + Kindle Unlimited Audible w/ Whispersync



December 5, 2014
- This includes a quick reminder that the free Kindle book search options in the reference section (right-column of blog) were updated for December.

Regular readers of the blog are aware of the following links, but I repost them (and often add new ones) each month or two, for those who are new to the blog or are looking for a refresher on what's available.

These include some less-known links for avid bargain Kindle book hunters

    November 2014  December 2014.
    Also, all currently free non-classics sorted by:
    Publication Date   Bestselling    High ratings

  There are only a few shown on the first few days of any month, and these include pre-orders due that month -- most of these are listed as "free preview" of whatever chapters chosen, some are short stories, and a few (overnight) not-entire-family-safe titles may show up. Since this is Dec. 5, the listing will include more already available, full books

    Highly rated, under $1

    In addition, Amazon still quietly carries: "Mostly 99c Kindle Books" page, which is a different Amazon listing from the one for highly rated Kindle books under $1.

    Amazon Top 100   (Also, UK-only)

    Amazon's own Limited Time Free Promos.


Two ongoing pages you may want to bookmark
1. Free Kindle Non-Classics - includes the above bargain links among other ones
2. KINDLE SUPPORT info
  This has an "Often Asked" section which has a lot of good info in it. Updated 7/2/14, 2:50pm


Also for newcomers to the Kindle or to this blog, here are the special monthly book deals for December 2014 -- where to find them, etc.

DECEMBER 2014's monthly Kindle Books deal, for $3.99 or less (See UK listing here.)

For those who want to quickly look first at only the ones that are star-rated at 4 or above, here is Amazon's page for exactly that.

  On the main monthly Kindle book deals page, separate categories are highlighted, using Amazon's usual horizontally-scrolling pick-lists, for the following topics highlighted on the main page. They link to "See all" at the bottom of each horizontally-scrolled category row [ I'm adding direct links to the full category listings ]:

  1. History and by Avg Customer Rating
  2. Science Fiction & Fantasy and by Avg Customer Rating
  3. Biography and Memoirs and by Avg Customer Rating
  4. Literary Fiction Deals and by Avg Customer Rating
  5. Religion and Spirituality and by Avg Customer Rating

  6. Whispersync for Voice and by Avg Customer Rating     Newer


        The Whispersync category has sometimes shown up with an explanation that the corresponding audio book is also sold at the monthly-deal price, if wanted.
  ' Now you can seamlessly switch between reading featured Kindle books and listening to them without ever losing your place...
  First, purchase the Kindle book for $3.99 or less. Then add the narration from Audible for $3.99 or less to enable the feature. '
  The Whispersync category is back on the main Monthly Deals page (there are about 54 of these Whispersync-ready books in December's deals).  They're also included in the overall scrolled monthly deals that can be sorted by several options at the bottom of that main page.

Note that the new Kindle Unlimited subscription program includes many of these as part of Kindle Unlimited so that there's no added charge for the Audible book.

The main monthly deals page also tends to show, on the right, two vertically-scrolling categories:
  1. A list of Bestsellers
  2. Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense highlighted + more in the linked full list w/ sorting options)
      Here's that fuller listing by Avg Customer Rating

THEN, at the bottom of the new main monthly Kindle book-deals page, they offer the FULL current monthly listing, defaulting to sorting by "New and Popular" and there are 108 in all, currently, but the number may vary.

  Here's a direct link to that Full-listing (US), sorted by "New and Popular" for the month, so
    it's a good one to bookmark if you just want to jump to that) and
    you can choose another sort option for this full listing, such as
        Avg Customer Rating or by Price: Low to High

These options should make it easier to find books of interest to you.

The pricing for December's group of Kindle books ranges from $1.99 to $3.99 (no 99-cent ones for this monthly deal.

  The Kindle books you'll see on this special monthly-deals page  (UK version here) are new for December.

(US Link: amzn.to/mkbooks-1to4,  UK Link: amzn.to/100kbooks-1to4uk)


The ongoing Kindle Daily Deals page
for any given day usually shows a lot of books since it includes children's books, a couple of genre-specific deals, and the monthly daily deals as well.




DISCOUNTED / Price Dropped Kindle eBooks III - the ongoing Kindle Forum message thread
  This is an ongoing message thread in which Kindle owners share information on recent drops in pricing on specific Kindle books, often with some added info by the person posting it.

  Here's a link to the thread, which includes many books with huge price drops.  I'm starting at a December 1 posting page that includes books that are still on sale today, Dec. 5 (some are highly rated). The first posting is on "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien" which was $9.99 in print but is $2.99 on Kindle at the current time.

  The books discussed in this forum thread tend to be very short-term discounts.

  That forum topic link is to a specific post to start, in this case, a book alert on Dec. 1, as mentioned.  You can browse previous posts or days, or keep up with ongoing alerts after that, because Amazon keeps track of the last message# that you read, so that you can start from there next time.
 While many of the better deals seem to be around $1.99-$4.99, there usually are a decent number of larger-publishing house deals included (primarily price-matching) that tend to end in a DAY, so you'd need to double-check the current pricing of ANY Kindle books that interest you to see if the discounts are still active.

  Again, Kindle book prices are discounted for only a very short time, too often, and are promos, and that's another reason to watch the list.  Most of the large-publisher discounts last only one or two days even when they originate the discount.


DISCOUNTS ON ACCESSORIES Amazon's current pages (some, ongoing) on accessories for Kindle e-Reader and Kindle Fire
  1. Up to 50% (higher discount than usual) on cases for Kindle eReaders
  2. Up to 50% on cases for Kindle Fire (Gen 2) and Kindle Fire HD tablets but NOT HDX tablets
  3. Accessories for all Kindles, with some discounted.


For larger discounts, there are the ongoing pages:
  For US
Goldbox and Lightning Deals which sometimes include bigger one-day sales and
Select-Outlet Deals
Warehouse Deals
Other warehouse deals - more gift oriented
Your Amazon coupons

And since it's the that time of the year, Amazon (and every other store) is having seasonal sale after sale.
Here are are a few general links for those:
CYBER Monday Week

  For UK and Canada:
UK - Today's Deals
Seasonal Discounts and Sales - UK
Warehouse Deals - UK

Canada - CyberMonday Wk


Recently-built Kindle Outlet Store - US
A few months ago, Amazon put together a Kindle Outlet Store to feature their certified refurbished Kindle devices at a somewhat lower cost.



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. )
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Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

Friday, November 28, 2014

That new free Washington Post app on Kindle Fire HD/HDX tablets - what happens after 6 months? and other details. A couple of Fire OS update feature tidbits for older HD/HDX tablets. Updated for tip on getting larger text displays with Screen Magnifier setting.


The new Washington Post app for Kindle Fire HD/HDX tablet owners exclusively (for now)

Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, bought the Washington Post with his own money in early 2013, so it's not really a surprise to see the new Washington Post app that's been added to the apps store (which already has the less-colorful Washington Post Classic app.

  Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablet owners have free, unlimited access to articles on this app for 6 months, and the app will be available for Android and iOS tablets next year (which isn't far away).

  I've used it for a few days now and am really enjoying it.  I also subscribe to the e-Ink reader version of the NY Times Latest News, which has about 7-10 headline news stories in full each day, with updated versions through the day, for $1.99/month.

I don't review many products at the Amazon customer reviews page, and when I do, it's usually only because I really like the product or, rarely, when I want to caution others about problems.

  I did write an Amazon review for this app and will include my review in this blog article.  There's high interest in what happens after the 6 months is over, and the review covers that also, so here's my initial take on this new feature.

  (By the way, as mentioned earlier, older Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets are getting a Fire OS software update that includes new features first seen in the current Fire tablets, and I really like that, while using an app, I can swipe right-edge-to-left to see the other apps that I can just switch to that way.  And now I see that 'Firefly' is on it ... just tried it on a less-known CD and it worked instantly.  I'll write more on the updates this weekend.)


From my review at Amazon:
Am editing this to move subscription info to the top after seeing high interest in what happens after the first 6 months. I'd found their explanation under Settings/Frequently asked Questions. It explains that it's free for 6 months, and then AFTER that, there'll be an OPTION to continue for another 6 months for $1 for the entire *additional* 6 months if we decide to subscribe afterward. So, no automatic opt-in after the first 6 months.

... If we do choose to purchase the optional *additional* 6 months for $1 payment at the Amazon apps store, this action will automatically opt us into a full-price subscription after the 2nd 6-month term is completed, which will be $3.99 per month.

I like the layout. Quality images in high-resolution head the full-text, meaty articles in easy-to-read, well-spaced text - an especially clean look in comparison to most news apps. There are usually additional photos and apparently sometimes a video although I haven't run into one in my two days of quick browsing. Am reading with an older Kindle Fire HDX and have no speed problems.

You get morning and evening editions, "with updates for major breaking stories."

I especially like the responsive pinch-zoom in and out. You can change the layout, that way, between one- and two-page reading and enlarge a story for eyes that require larger print, with great control over the size of photos and text.

You can save articles (tap the ribbon tab at top right) and the saved articles will be listed at the bottom of the table of contents at the left (accessed with the Menu icon or a swipe from left).  However, since the edition changes at least twice a day, I'd save a story if you don't have time to read it right away, as some stories will be dropped as new ones come in. Saved articles can still be read after the issue has been replaced with the current one. A great feature.

If you like a lead photo, you can tap it to select it and tap it again to isolate it and even do a screenshot to save it for personal use. You can pinch-zoom other photos to see them even more clearly, since the quality of images is fantastic.

Each time you open the app, you get today's news, in the current edition, so that solves any storage problem, as a graphics-heavy daily newspaper app is of course very large. (This will be somewhat slower-loading on the Yr 2012 models.)

There are of course ads, as with paper newspapers, but the ads don't interfere with story space and are separate, at intervals.

Very easy to navigate, and it's fast, smooth, and beautiful. Kudos to the app developers.

The NY Times app option to read more than 10 articles a month is currently $20/mo., so I personally find the $4/mo. after the first year, for all articles, a decent price.

If you're an avid news reader, or even a light one (it's well-organized for quick access to categories of interest), this is a no-brainer, for at least the first 6 months.

Suggestion to developers: A somewhat darker font would be easier on the eyes that are often already fixed on LCD screens for hours. Grayish text is 'in' but Black fonts give more contrast, more like a book or newspaper.

Additional tip for screen displays when wanting even larger font
You can go into Settings/Accessibility and choose to turn Screen Magnifier to ON.

Then you can quickly tap 3 times on the display when the largest text size isn't quite large enough for you.  You'll see a blue border that'll indicate you're in Screen Magnifier mode.

That will magnify that area. And at that point, you can pinch zoom with two fingers to enlarge or reduce the area and scroll from left to right.  The 3 quick taps are position-sensitive, so you can tap at the left if you want info from the left margin to definitely be shown first in resulting enlargement. Same idea for right-margin text, although the easiest thing is to 3-tap in the middle and then pinch-zoom in and out.

When you want to go back to normal view, tap quickly 3 times again (or turn the tablet to portrait mode if you're in landscape orientation -- and of course vice versa).

I use this a lot for fixed screens where double-taps don't lead you to max enlargement (as can be done with browser screens).



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!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quick Alert for special deal on one print book, starting tonight, at 9pm PST (no e-books or Audible)


Special sale starting tonight

I received an email alert that "...With Black Friday two days away, Amazon has announced another great deal starting at 9pm PST tonight where customers using the promo code HOLIDAY30 will receive an additional 30% off of purchase for one book, not including eBooks or Audible Audiobooks. The offer is available for a limited time and starts at 9PM Pacific Standard Time tonight.

For additional information (starting at 9pm) and a full list of Amazon Black Friday deals, visit www.amazon.com/blackfriday.

IF we can apply this to any print book, that would be a good deal, but we won't know until 9pm PST, which is fairlylate for Easterners.



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!

Alert: Black Friday Amazon device deals include UNlocked GSM Fire Phone including add'l 1 yr of PRIME, for $199 total, not locked into any cellphone services provider ... plus Kindle device deals thru' wkend or Cyber Monday


In case you didn't see these yet, there are some unusual deals for the next few days.

Received an alert from Tom Semple, who drew my attention to the unusual offering of an UNLOCKED model of the Amazon Fire Phone, which includes 1 year of Prime (for new membership or additional year for Prime members).
  (List price $449 - States taxes are based on the $199 price, per Tom Semple's exploring.

  This is especially good (and economical, as unlocked phone prices go) for those who did not want to be locked into using AT&T.

  He also saw that "Amazon Amazon helpfully enumerates all of the 'compatible' GSM carriers" but that he will just use its WiFi capability with the features, which is how I use my old Samsung Galaxy 2 phone, which is older and now like a very small tablet for me that saves my cellphone battery when WiFi is available.

The 99 cent deal that goes with a specific 2-yr data plan is still a current one.


The listing from Amazon for Black Friday and extended through the weekend

Black Friday deals for Amazon devices beginning tomorrow. These deals will extend through the holiday weekend. Deals include 

·          Kindle for just $49  (11/27-11/29
·         New Bundle : 6 months of Kindle Unlimited plus a Kindle for $79;
          also available for Kindle Paperwhite for $129 (11/27-11/29)
·         $119 Kindle Paperwhite for $99 (11/27-11/29
·         $99 Fire HD 6 for $79 (11/27-11/29
·         $139 Fire HD 7 for $109 (11/27-12/1
·         Fire phone is now available unlocked with a no contract price of $199 through Cyber Monday
          (11/25-12/1

Amazon's details and wording are below:


Kindle (deal running 11/27-11/29)
All-new Kindle - featuring a touchscreen display, a 20% faster processor, and twice the storage. Kindle e-readers are lightweight and easy to hold, measure battery life in weeks, not hours, and allow for reading with no glare even in bright sunlight. 
Kindle Paperwhite (deal running 11/27-11/29)
Kindle Paperwhite is one of Amazon’s most popular Kindles, with a touchscreen that has no screen glare in bright sunlight, a battery that lasts for weeks, not hours, and a built-in light that allows you to read without eyestrain.
Kindle Unlimited/Kindle Bundle (deal running 11/27-11/29)
Better together: Get the $79 Kindle and 6-months of Kindle Unlimited for just $79 or Kindle Paperwhite and 6-months of Kindle Unlimited for just $129. Kindle Unlimited offers unlimited reading from over 700,000 books, including best sellers like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Landing page:
Fire HD (Fire HD 6 deal running 11/27-11/29; Fire HD 7 deal running 11/27-12/1)
The new Fire HD tablets are available in both 6” and 7” and five color choices - black, white, cobalt, magenta, and citron. The new Fire HD, features a quad-core processor, front and rear-facing cameras, an HD display and a world-class ecosystem of exclusive features, services, and content.
Fire phone (deal running 11/25-12/1)
The Fire phone is now available unlocked.  The unlocked Fire phone works with GSM carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Metro PCS and Cricket and for a limited time only is only $199. Fire phone includes a full year of Amazon Prime membership for access to Amazon’s vast digital ecosystem and unlimited photo cloud storage as well as exclusive features like Mayday, Second Screen and X-Ray.

Since this is an alert, will get this off.

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!

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