Archive for Kindle
Samsung has announced that they have reached terms with Amazon to have a custom built Kindle store for its flagship Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. The store will launch in two weeks and phone owners will be able to download 15 eBooks for free as part of the deal.
The plans for the custom version of the Kindle Store will launch exclusively for the S5 for the first few months and older phones will get the service later in the year. Samsung wants to make the new Kindle store a big selling point of the phone.
The free books will be available from a pre-determined list. Users will get four “prominent” titles a month to choose from and be able to select one to download for free and read.
Amazon already has an Android app that people all over the world use to install on their phones and tablets. The one for Samsung was built exclusively for the resolution and specific screen size. Likely, you will get a better experience with this iteration, than the stock one. Still, free books is fairly compelling and the Kindle store will be preinstalled on all S5 phones, which is good promotion for Amazon.
Kindle Direct Publishing is a self-publishing platform that individuals and small presses use to add their eBooks for sale on the Amazon bookstore. When customers purchase an authors books, normally they did not know about it until 24 hours later. Today in a bold move, Amazon has introduced live sales data that will inform authors in real time when their book is purchased.
Self-published authors can celebrate as Amazon introduced a brand new Sales Dashboard on the KDP Reports page to give you up-to-date reporting of paid, borrowed and free orders as they are placed in Kindle stores worldwide. The new dashboard also helps you track royalties earned as payments are processed for these orders.
You can filter the Sales Dashboard and Sales & Royalty Report by title, marketplace, and timeframe. The information you currently receive in the Prior Six Weeks’ Royalties reports is now available in the new Sales Dashboard and Sales & Royalty Report.
One of the great elements about the new dashboard is the immediate feedback for authors engaged in a marketing campaign. You will be able to track sales for just that book for a set number of days while you’re running the campaign, and decide if it was worth the effort or not.
Amazon has come up with an update to its Kindle app for Android. The update doesn’t introduce any new fancy features but brings about some interesting enhancements to the existing set up. The changes include the introduction of several new fonts to choose from, along with easy access to the table of contents when reading a particular book. The update also promises faster cover loading along with automatic brightness control. The issue of using the volume buttons for page turning has also been overhauled so that it now allows for better and more refined control.
Amazon rolled out an installment plan for a single tablet last December. It allowed users to make a small down payment and then a series of monthly payments until the balance was paid off. It looks like Amazon was happy with the way it all turned out, because they are making it a regular feature across their entire product line of Kindles.
Residents of the USA can put a down payment of 1/5 of the total cost of the Kindle Fire HDX or the Kindle Paperwhite. After it’s shipped out, you simply have to make a series of 5 small payments.
The basic Kindle can be yours for a minimum payment of $13.99 a month, which is something any kid can afford with a paper route or selling lemonade. To be eligible for this offer, you must reside in the United States of America, your Amazon.com account must have been active for at least two years and you must have a valid credit card associated with your Amazon.com account that expires no earlier than June 30, 2014. Residents of Florida and the District of Columbia are not eligible for this offer.
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 has suffered from a major PDF error since the unit was first unveiled last year. If you loaded in a PDF over 50 MB, you would often have a very slow experience and in some cases the rendering engine would crash. If you loaded in a file over 100 MB you could not even do anything with the e-reader before the whole thing just froze out. This obviously has been tremendously disconcerting for people who rely on the Kindle for any kind of complex document. It seems as though Amazon has solved this issue with a new firmware update for the Paperwhite 2.
We tested a couple of documents that used to always crash our e-reader before the new update, and we are happy to say they have full functionality now. If you have a penuche for academic, gaming, comics, or newspapers in a PDF form, the Kindle Paperwhite 2 is relevant.
The core PDF experience is dramatically enhanced now. The PDF files are tending to load quicker and overall navigation is smoother. Pinching and zooming is fairly robust now and does not stutter like before. In our video we show you some of the cool new enhancements, such as inertia scroll.
The Kindle is not the best six inch PDF reader out there. The Kobo Aura HD and Sony PRS-T3 do a better job in performance and advanced options. The one thing the Kindle has going for it, is that you can make notes, annotations, highlights, look words up in the dictionary or use the new auto translate feature.
OAXIS has followed up its earlier attempt at an e-ink smartphone case with a new take on the concept which was unveiled at the ongoing MWC event. The InkCase Lite adds a secondary 3.5 inch 360 X 600 resolution Mobius e-ink display at the rear. It comes with its own battery and CPU which means it does not have to poach on the resources of the smartphone it is clamped on to. Also, this makes the system easy to use as well as there are no tech wizardry to deal with. The cases just have to be fitted with the matching smartphone and those will be ready for use. These communicate with the smartphone via Bluetooth.
What is even better this time is that OAXIS has stated they have enhanced the scope of the smartphone case this time, which means the InkCase Lite will be compatible with all smartphones currently available. That no doubt is a tall ask but at least the better known devices should come under the purview of the new case. In its first avatar, the InkCase Lite was limited to just the iPhone 5, Galaxy S4 and the Note 2 device which attracted a fair bit of criticism.
However, no matter how exciting the concept might sound, there is also no denying the fact that the add-on case does add some bulk to the smartphone. The lack of suitable apps to make the most of the secondary e-ink display also negated all the good things that the e-ink display could have introduced. The best we can have right now is EpiReader which can be used to read ebooks on the e-ink display. The EpiReader can also be used to engrave the display with a favorite quote. Similarly, the app InkCase Photo enables users to fillup the e-ink display with a photo while InkCase Sports can be used to make the display work as a sports timer. The Singpore company has also stated they are making available the InkCase/Lite SDK for developers to explore other ways to make the most of the secondary e-ink display.
Pricing remains a mystery right now, even more so now that the case has been made compatible with more smartphones this time. In any case it can’t be expected to be cheap either given the InkCase i5 now costs $149. With dedicated e-ink readers such as the Kindle ($69) or the Kindle Paperwhite ($119) being much cheaper than that, the choice could boil down to a cheaper but a bigger full-fledged ebook reader or a smaller and hence more portable smartphone add-on that costs a bit more.
Amazon is all set to unleash its Prime services in the UK which will enable Britishers to avail of unlimited access to Amazon’s video library, next-day deliveries and ebooks downloads all as part of a single package that cost £79 a year. The online retail giant said the above mentioned cost is 35 percent cheaper if users subscribe to LoveFilms and one day delivery schemes separately. In any case, the above move will bring curtains down to LoveFilms which will cease to exist post Feb 26 which is when Prime Instant Video takes over. However, existing LoveFilm subscribers can still continue to pay £5.99 to rent or buy TV shows or movies as they have been doing, while allowing them the option to walk out of the contract or re-join anytime they want. However, when the term expires, new renewal will cost £79 instead of £49. Also in doing so, they won’t have additional Prime benefits such a quick deliveries and access to ebooks.
The above move is aimed at bettering similar schemes offers by Apple while also posing a direct challenge to the likes of Netflix, Sky and BT. Amazon has stated they also plan to produce their own programs for which the retails giant has already earmarked millions. Netlix already boasts of the hugely successful series House of Cards.
“We’ve worked hard to offer the best selection of TV shows and movies for Prime Instant Video.
“We also added high definition video and introduced apps for popular devices like Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Samsung and Sony TVs and iPads and iPhones,” said Tim Leslie, Vice President of Amazon Instant Video for the UK and German.
Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon Prime, said: “Millions of customers in the US have streaming video included as part of their Prime membership and they tell us they love the combination of unlimited delivery, the ability to borrow Kindle books, and access to thousands of movies, TV shows and exclusive videos.
“We are delighted to be bringing that same combination of services to the UK, providing members truly unique benefits they can enjoy every day of the year.”
Meanwhile, Amazon by post services remains unchanged though it remains to be seen how long before users will be asked to make the digital switchover.
We’re a day late with the digital comics best-sellers due to some technical difficulties, but here’s what’s topping the digital charts on Monday evening.
1. The Walking Dead #121
2. Injustice: Year Two #3
3. Batman #28
4. All-New X-Men #23
5. Superior Spider-Man #27.NOW
6. Justice League of America #12
7. Avengers, vol. 5 #26
8. Superman/Wonder Woman #5
9. She-Hulk #1
10. Wolverine and the X-Men #41
It’s business as usual at comiXology, with this week’s new comics from Marvel and DC dominating the top ten. The one non-Big Two comic is the latest issue of The Walking Dead, from Image, which tops the chart, as usual. The third issue of Tom Taylor’s digital-first Injustice: Year Two takes the second slot; this is consistently one of the best-selling digital comics across all platforms. For those who keep score, DC has four comics on the chart and Marvel has five.
1. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
2. Hyperbole and a Half
3. Injustice: Year Two #3
4. The Walking Dead #121
5. Stephen King’s N
6. The Walking Dead, vol. 2
7. Big Nate: I Smell a Pop Quiz
8. The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel
9. The Sworn Sword: The Graphic Novel
10. Injustice: Year Two #2
The Kindle list echoes the comiXology list a bit but leans heavily toward mass-market properties: The Walking Dead, in graphic novel and single-issue form (graphic novel readers are starting at the beginning, while single-issue readers grab the latest one) and two Game of Thrones tie-ins.
1. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
2. Injustice: Year Two #3
3. Smallville, Season 11 #1
4. Superman: The Man of Steel #1
5. Green Lantern #1
6. MAD Magazine #1
7. Superman #1
8. Batman Beyond #1
9. Animal Man #1
10. Legends of the Dark Knight #1
This week’s Nook chart is very similar to last week’s, with DC’s 99-cent first issues filling out the ranks after the obligatory volume of The Walking Dead and this week’s issue of Injustice: Year Two.
1. The Walking Dead #121
2. The Walking Dead: Compendium One
3. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
4. The Walking Dead, vol. 2
5. The Walking Dead: Compendium Two
6. The Walking Dead #120
7. The Walking Dead, vol. 9
8. The Walking Dead, vol. 19
9. The Walking Dead, vol. 3
10. The Walking Dead #119
The Walking Dead sweeps the iBooks chart; in fact, the first non-Walking Dead book doesn’t appear until the number 13 slot (and it’s—surprise!—Injustice: Year Two #3). OK, this is not terribly surprising, given that the new season just started, but it’s interesting how iBooks users deviate from readers on other platforms: Not only are all three of the different formats (single issues, trade collections, and compendiums) represented, but the readers of the trade collections are buying both old and newer volumes.
The world is getting filled up with malware and viruses that target the Android ecosystem. It is becoming increasingly harder to download an app and it not be filled with tracking code, cookies and malicious code on your smartphone or tablet. What about e-readers? Can they also get viruses or are they somehow immune?
Amazon has been selling e-ink based readers since 2007 and most have run on the Linux operating system with special Kindle code. The operating system is in a partition that can’t be seen from the PC and is very hard to attack. Although ,there is some malware that can attack it, you are unlikely to run into any in the normal course of using the Kindle because the web browser doesn’t support most of the common flash or java code that commonly gets attacked.
The entire line of Kindle e-Readers could feasibility carry a virus on the USB drive, resulting in a computer becoming infected when you plug it into it. As it stands, the Kindle itself could not be infected.
Norton, the makes of Norton Security and Anti-Virus recently stated “Some E-readers use the 3G wireless network that cell phones use, and stripped down Web browsers to connect over the Internet to e-book stores. Some devices also let you connect to a laptop or desktop computer to upload or download files. As a result, it’s conceivable an e-reader could inadvertently catch a virus or worm from an email message, file or Web page. There haven’t been reports yet of this happening, but that doesn’t mean the threat won’t increase as eBooks become more popular. The reason is that hackers normally write viruses to target Windows-based computers because so many people use them, and since the number of people using Kindles and other e-readers is tiny by comparison, attacking these devices may not be as attractive right now to hackers.”
The common reader that uses a Kindle, has little to fear from an often cruel and unjust world. You will not get infected by a rogue eBook purchased from the Amazon store or blast out emails to your contact list. Now the Kindle Fire line of tablets, that is another story.
The e-Reader continues to enjoy modest growth and peoples love affair with reading on the go, continues. Anyone who has ever ravenously devoured a trilogy of books, one after the other can attest, e-readers are far easier on the eyes than a tablet. When it comes to e-readers, people have fonder memories of their experiences, than any other device.
e-Reader sales peaked in 2011 when Sony, Nook, Kobo and Amazon were heavily competing against each other in a very hot sector. At the end of 2011 28 million e-readers were sold and sales have been sliding ever since. Only 15 million devices were sold in 2013 and 19.9 million units in 2012. Research firms are optimistic about 2014 sales, due to a bunch of new markets opening. Honestly though, e-Readers are very mature now, with only a handful of top players that make money doing it.
When it comes right down to it, e-readers are one of the few tech devices on the market that are future-proof. Many people have a Kindle 2 or Kindle 3 and are quite happy with their purchases. I personally know about a hundred people that are enamored with their PRS 650, which is about four years old now. New e-Reader models often have barely noticeable differences between the previous generation and the current one. We often see faster page turns, a faster processor and more RAM. Aside from the front-lit technology that came out a few years ago, there is seldom a compelling reason to buy another e-reader.
We asked the question what your favorite e-reader memory was, on a recent Facebook entry. Here is what we got; Julie Semple Stam mentioned “It was when I knew for sure that I preferred e-books over paper ones. I was stuck reading a paper book and touched a word and couldn’t figure out why the definition didn’t pop up. I started laughing and had to explain to the others in our lunchroom what I had just done.”
Ruth Soukup said “When the Kindle first came out several years ago, I turned up my nose. After all, I was a purist. I love real books, I insisted. I want to feel them in my hands while I’m reading and see them on my shelf when I’m done. I liked the visual reminder of what I’ve read, liked the experience of reading a BOOK, not some silly electronic gizmo.
But then, about three years ago, I was doing some research on a particular topic and the only books I could find on the subject were Kindle books. After hemming and hawing for a while, then searching around some more and still finding nothing, I finally broke down and ordered the cheapest Kindle option I could get (only $69!)
To say it changed my life is not an exaggeration.
To my utter surprise, I absolutely loved reading books on my Kindle. In the years since, I have ordered two more Kindles for my own family, and have given them as graduation gifts to three of my college-bound nieces and nephews. I went from wondering how anyone could give up real books to wondering how I ever lived without one. After giving it some serious thought, I realized there are seven main reasons I now love reading my Kindle even more than regular books”
Michele Friedman provided an amusing antidote “Rolling over on my first Kindle in the middle of the night and breaking it which forced me to immediately get out of bed at 3 am and call Amazon to see how I could either fix it or get another one ASAP. They sold me a new one at a huge discount and had it to me within a day or two and sent me prepaid labels to send my old one back to them. I can’t live without my Kindle.”
Sanket Dhingra weighed in “Haven’t got to do this myself even though I have a Kindle, but experienced someone else doing it. This dates back 2 years when Kindle wasn’t even being sold in India at brick and mortar stores. A guy actually brought one to Delhi Metro tube and many asked him what sort of tablet is that. He was amazed when I told him I like Kindle too and am planning to get one. He was relieved to finally find someone he didn’t have to explain.”
Friend of Good e-Reader, Ryno Bones had a bit different of an experience ” One of my friends gave me a Kindle 2 about four years ago. Had a couple of mediocre books on it so I immediately connected it to Amazon to spend a few bucks on books I knew I couldn’t live without. Nothing happened. Kept getting errors. Finally called Amazon’s tech support about it. Turned out the dang thing was stolen. To save face I bought a Kindle 3.”
Three of the four charts are oddly skewed this week, with Hawkeye, DC comics, and The Walking Dead each taking over a different top ten.
1. Forever Evil #5
2. Ms. Marvel #1
3. Earth 2 #20
4. New Avengers, vol. 3 #14
5. Loki: Agent of Asgard #1
6. Hawkeye #11
7. Hawkeye #6
8. Hawkeye #9
9. Hawkeye #10
10. Hawkeye #8
Marvel dominates the comiXology top ten this week, taking eight of the ten slots; they had two #1 issues, including the much-hyped appearance of Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, and 99-cent sale on Hawkeye helps as well.
1. Hyperbole and a Half
2. Stephen King’s N
3. Injustice Year Two #2
4. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
5. Fables, vol. 1
6. Big Nate: I Smell a Pop Quiz
7. Injustice Year 2 #1
8. The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel
9. The Walking Dead #120
10. The Sworn Sword: The Graphic Novel
The Kindle top ten is always an interesting mix; Hyperbole and a Half continues to dominate, and below that there’s a mix of genres and formats—The Walking Dead in collected and single-issue form, two Game of Thrones tie-ins, two issues of the second season of Tom Taylor’s Injustice… Kindle readers are nothing if not eclectic.
1. Naruto, vol. 64
2. Smallville, Season 11 #1
3. Superman: The Man of Steel #1
4. Green Lantern #1 #1
5. Mad Magazine #1
6. Superman #1
7. Batman Beyond #1
8. Animal Man #1
9. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
10. Legends of the Dark Knight #1
After weeks of stasis, the Nook chart has moved quite a bit. It’s dominated by 99-cent single-issue DC comics, at least one of which (Mad Magazine #1) used to be free, so it may be that its position on the chart reflects a lot of free downloads.
1. The Walking Dead #120
2. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #16
3. Injustice Year Two #2
4. The Walking Dead, vol. 19
5. The Walking Dead #19
6. Injustice Year Two #3
7. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
8. The Walking Dead, vol. 2
9. The Walking Dead, vol. 17
10. The Walking Dead: Compendium Two
Down at the iBookstore, it looks like The Walking Dead have taken over; gone are the multiple issues of My Little Pony that usually share the space. It’s interesting that while the first volume of The Walking Dead charts reliably on the Kindle and Nook platforms, only in iBooks do the more recent volumes pop up. It looks like they are up to date on Injustice Year Two as well, but that issue #3 is a pre-order.
Amazon has been selling eBooks in Brazil since 2012 and the only way you can buy the e-readers is if you purchased them through a 3rd party. Today, Amazon has announced they will begin selling their entire line of Kindle readers in Brazil.
The Brazilian Kindle division is being run by Alex Szapiro, a former Apple executive who is charge of deployment. According to industry figures, Brazilians bought 435 million books in 2012 worth $2 billion. Szapiro said ebooks were about 3% of total book sales.
Amazon is foregoing their massive warehouse distribution network that they own and operate in the USA, with their foray into Brazil. Instead, the physical distribution from online orders will be shipped from external partners, which currently are unknown.
Often, high import fees make e-readers inaccessible for your average reader. This is the main drawback of selling phones, tablets or e-readers in Brazil. We have word that the basic Kindle model will cost BRL 299, while the most expensive one, the PaperWhite 3G, costs BRL 699.