First-gen iPad mini, iPhone 5c also see surges
iPad Air activations grew some 51 percent over the previous weekend during the course of Black Friday and the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend, according to new Localytics data. The figure is based on the number of new devices that appeared in Localytics tracking for some 20,000 apps. The iPhone 5c and first-generation iPad mini also did well, each growing by 26 percent.
New Kindle may be on the way with lighter design
Amazon may release a new version of its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader as early as the second quarter of next year, according to a new report. TechCrunch reported on Sunday that the online retail giant is prepping a new Kindle Paperwhite for release early next year, one with a number of hardware improvements and design changes. The new device could sport an e-ink screen with a resolution of 300ppi, providing visuals nearly 50 percent denser than the current model.
Newest Amazon e-reader gets Goodreads compatibility
Amazon has added Goodreads compatibility to its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader device. The feature addition will allow Paperwhite owners to rate books and share quoted passages directly to the Goodreads community. Users will also be able to import both print and digital books bought from Amazon into their Goodreads accounts.
Streaming to TV and second-screen functionality added in Fire OS update
Amazon has released the latest version of its Android implementation, Kindle Fire OS 3.1. The free update for Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets adds a number of updates, with the integration of Goodreads adding book rating and quote sharing through the community, friend update feeds, and the option to import both print and digital books bought from Amazon into the Goodreads account.
Local site prices Amazon US Kindle Fire HD under Australian retailers
Amazon has made a large push in Australia for its Kindle tablet line. The retailer has launched its Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets in the country, coming shortly after the Kindle Paperwhite became available in stores, and is accompanied by a regional version of the Kindle Store, with Kindle Direct Publishing also opening up in the territory.
Booksellers receive percentage for first two years
Amazon has launched a new program that aims to bring independent bookstores into the Kindle ecosystem. The online retailer promises to share 10 percent of e-book revenue for purchases made on Kindle devices sold through participating bookstores. A retailer's first order of Kindle readers or tablets is also covered by a buy-back guarantee, enabling any unsold devices to be repurchased by Amazon without penalty for up to six months.
Selected Kindle books to be sold cheaply before being officially released
Not content with just launching its Kindle MatchBook program in the United States, Amazon is now offering two more e-book services to its customers. Kindle Countdown Deals will offer Kindle titles at a discounted rate for a limited time, while Kindle First will let customers read specific titles before they are released for general purchase.
Free, cheap e-books provided to compliment physical book purchases
Amazon has launched its program that provides digital versions of books they already own in physical form, which can be read on a Kindle device or the Kindle app. Kindle MatchBook will provide Amazon customers in the US with Kindle titles that match books bought from the retailer in the past, with the Kindle copies being provided either at no charge or priced between $0.99 and $2.99 each.
Details app that recognises item or media, returns Amazon store page
Rumors of an Amazon-created smartphone have had a boost, thanks to a recently filed patent application. The unearthed filing for "User guided object identification" provides details for how a smartphone can recognize an object and then provide the user with an appropriate Amazon product page, a feature that was mentioned in a rumor from earlier this month.
Angular design of new Amazon tablets, added Mayday support button
Amazon has revealed its refreshed Kindle Fire tablet lines, including a revised Kindle Fire HD, and new lines with HD displays. The seven-inch Kindle Fire HDX uses a 1920x1200-resolution display while the 8.9-inch version will have a 2560x1600 version, with both models also having the chiseled and unique design with rear-mounted buttons revealed earlier in leaks.
New Kindle Fire render lacks webcam shown in earlier photographs
An image showing the possible new Kindle Fire has surfaced, this time in what appears to be a promotional render. The new image gives a clear view of the front face of the alleged Amazon tablet refresh, and follows earlier leaked photographs which showed the chiseled, angular nature of the back and side edges on the Kindle Fire HD.
Failure to update could cause users to lose books after iOS 7 upgrade
In an unusual move, Amazon has released what it calls a "required" update -- v3.9.2 -- for the Kindle iOS app. The company warns that without the update, installing iOS 7 on a device could force people to have to re-register in the app, and re-download any saved books. It's unexplained why iOS 7 would cause the personal data to be lost.
Over 10,000 ebooks available through program at launch in October
Amazon has announced a new program that will provide Kindle owners digital copies of books they already own. Kindle MatchBook will allow Amazon customers to get an ebook version of physical versions bought through the retailer in the past, with titles either being offered at no charge or for between $0.99 and $2.99 each.
Paperwhite product page quickly pulled
Amazon appears to have accidentally listed its next-generation Paperwhite reader ahead of its formal announcement. A product page, which was spotted by Engadget and subsequently removed, notes that the device integrates a new display with higher contrast and improved reflectivity, along with a new lighting system to enhance readability in low-light environments.
Amazon launches Kindle store in Mexico, Gandhi chain to sell devices
Amazon has launched its Kindle store and Kindle Direct Publishing in Mexico, providing over 70,000 Spanish titles, over 1,500 being free, and over 2 million ebooks overall. The Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite has also gone on sale in the Gandhi bookstore chain, at a cost of MXN$1,400 ($105) and MXN$2,400 ($180) respectively.
Google moves to push pop-up compose e-mail window to all Gmail users
Google is updating its e-mail composition interface for all users, removing the old version entirely and replacing it with a pop-up version. The new e-mail creation window, already used by a number of users for some weeks now and set to roll out to everyone over the next few days, takes the form of a pop-up window in the bottom right corner, which Google says allows for users to monitor their inbox while writing new messages, with the added option of a full-screen mode for more workspace.
Provides quick access to same free samples from web, other apps
Amazon has updated the iOS version of its Kindle e-reading app to v3.9. Via the app's Library Search, users should now be able to search through Amazon's catalog of free book samples and download the content straight to a device. Amazon doesn't allow direct purchases of books in iOS however, as Apple claims a 30 percent cut of all in-app transactions. Instead titles must be bought via the web, the Kindle hardware, or one of the other Kindle apps for platforms like Android and Windows Phone.
Amazon shipping Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire HD to India later this month
Amazon has launched its Kindle e-reader and Kindle Fire HD tablets in India. Due to ship on June 27th, the Kindle Paperwhite and Paperwhite 3G will cost 10,999 rupees ($190) and 13,999 rupees ($240) respectively, while the Kindle Fire HD tablets are listed as 15,999 rupees ($276) for the 7-inch model, and 21,999 ($380) for the 8.9-inch version. The expansion to India follows a similar move by the retailer into China late last week.
Device launch follows rollout of Amazon Appstore in the region last month
Amazon has launched its Kindle range of mobile devices in China, with sales in the country following on from a wider Kindle Fire HD release. Both the e-reader and tablet versions of the Kindle catalog are represented in the country, with two versions of the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Paperwhite receiving prominent placement on the front page of Amazon's Chinese retail site.
Large-scale ebook reader returns to Amazon store
Amazon has brought its large-scale e-reader back on sale, after an eight-month absence. The Kindle DX, quietly discontinued by the retailer last October, has appeared back on the company's ebook-device roster, with the e-ink slate seemingly retaining all of the specifications and features that it had before its removal.
Publisher misses December goal
Subscribers to the tablet editions of Hearst Magazines publications have finally broken past the 1 million mark, says company head David Carey. The executive at one point said the company would have 1 million subscribers by the end of 2012, but ended up with a figure closer to 900,000. "I’m glad we got there," Carey remarks. "We were just 90 days late."
Japanese readers get added font
Amazon has updated the iOS Kindle app with support for Apple's VoiceOver feature. Once enabled through iOS' settings, VoiceOver can now read books and guide blind users through the app's interface using a synthetic voice. Text can be read character-by-character, word-by-word, line-by-line, or continuously.
KINDLEPW code gets a Paperwhite for $99
E-reader giant Amazon is holding a special promotion for its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, making versions of the device available for $99 with a special promotional code. The Kindle Paperwhite can be bought for $20 off by entering the coupon code "KINDLEPW" during the ordering process. The deal applies to any version of the Kindle Paperwhite, and it runs through April 30, 2013.
Vine confirms Android version of video app in the works
Popular video app Vine will be headed to Android in the future. Co-founder of the Twitter-owned app Dom Hofmann confirmed to The Verge it will be ported, following its successful launch on iOS devices. The app, which allows users to create six-second video clips for sharing on social networks, is also reportedly going to include the ability to tag friends to a clip, in order to foster more sharing between users.
Amazon cuts Kindle, Paperwhite price by $10 in Canada
Amazon has dropped the price for some of its Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite e-readers in Canada. The standard Kindle has dropped from $89 to $79, while the Paperwhite version, with its lighter screen and built-in light, sells for $129 instead of $139. The 3G-enabled version of the Kindle Paperwhite remains at $199.
Ivona already provides vocal functions for Kindle Fire tablets
Amazon has announced its acquisition of Ivona, a company that has specialized in text-to-speech technology for the last 10 years. The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, sees Amazon take control of the firm and software that provides the text-to-speech functions for the Kindle Fire, as well as the tablet's Voice Guide and Explore By Touch functionality.
Whispersync for Voice, Time-to-Read reaches discontinued ereader
Amazon has released a firmware update for the Kindle Touch e-reader, effectively turning it into a Kindle Paperwhite, the device's successor. Update 5.3.2 includes a number of changes and features to the onboard software, including a new user interface, enhanced parental controls, and the ability to navigate graphic novels and comics.
Kindle products are top sellers on Amazon
Amazon released information on its sales during the holiday period on Thursday, noting that the e-retailer had claimed the top spot in customer satisfaction for holiday shopping. Amazon also noted that its Kindle products -- particularly the Kindle Fire HD devices -- were the best selling products on the site once again, though the retailer declined again to provide specific sales figures. Amazon's other Kindle products -- the Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite -- were among the retailer's top selling devices as well.
Two-day shipping, video streaming among perks
Amazon is now offering a free 30-day trial of its Prime service for new customers. All facets of the service are being included in the promotion, such as free two-day shipping for orders, and instant streaming of movies and TV shows. Subscribers can also borrow one free book from the Kindle library each month.
Short-form ebooks reach UK after period in US
Amazon has started to offer its short-form Kindle Singles in the United Kingdom. The ebook novellas, with word counts below 30,000, are already available in the online ebook store to purchase, with the initial offerings covering subjects such as video games, Christmas holidays, and an exploration into the history of James Bond.
Kindle hardware expected for local sales in near future
Amazon has set-up a dedicated e-book store in Canada, two and a half years after the company's first international e-book shop was opened in the UK. The addition of the Kindle Books store to the localized version of the website brings with it titles in the local currency, as well as recommendations for local writers.
Kindle Store, Google Play hitting Brazil
Amazon and Google have opened digital bookstores in the Brazilian market as of today, looking to capitalize on the growing popularity of e-books in South America's largest country. Amazon will be selling its digital books through its popular Kindle Store and is expected to begin selling its Kindle hardware in Brazil in the near future. Google, meanwhile has expanded its Play Store, which sells e-books and offers movie rentals for computers as well as mobile devices running its Android operating system.
Feature previously restricted to textbooks
Amazon has posted a new version of the Kindle iOS app, v3.5. The main change in the update is the expansion of X-Ray, a feature that lets readers scrutinize background information in a book. The iOS app previously limited X-Ray to textbooks, but now supports all genres. In a novel, for instance, readers can look up places, characters, and phrases.
Supplied sales information requested to remain confidential
Amazon has released details on its Black Friday and Cyber Monday Kindle sales, calling the two days the "best ever for the Kindle family." The figures are released at the same time as confidential sales figures for the company's UK operations were published by a parliamentary committee investigating its British tax affairs.
Backlit screens key to aiding, increasing reading speed
Research presented on Sunday at the 116th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology shows that backlit tablets, such as the iPad and Kindle e-reader, help patients who suffer from vision problems due to eye diseases regain the ability to read at a comfortable level. The discovery could aid millions of people who have lowered vision because of conditions such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. In the study, the iPad was found to score the biggest improvement in helping readers regain a high and comfortable reading level.
FreeTime prevents access to unsuitable content, limits usage
Amazon has released an update for the Kindle Fire HD. Alongside the optimizations to performance and functionality included in a usual software update, the change to version 7.1.5 adds in the Kindle FreeTime mode, a walled garden interface designed for children to use without the need for parental supervision.
Amazon touts Kindle use in education
On Wednesday, Amazon announced it was pushing to get its Kindle e-readers and tablet computers into the education sector, a move that will bring it into even stiffer competition with Apple, which has seen some successes in getting schools to look to its iPad as an educational tool. Amazon has been testing Kindles in kindergarten through 12th grade programs across the United States, and the company believes its services make the Kindle an ideal match for educators looking to manage content across devices.
Aging Kindle DX no longer offered for sale as a new item from Amazon
All signs point to Amazon quietly discontinuing its Kindle DX e-book reader. The price of the aging device was recently dropped from $380 to $300 and now, the device is no longer available from purchase as a new item from Amazon's site. The site doesn't list a date of the device's return to stock, nor does it have it listed in the comparison pull-downs anymore either.
Payments a result of suit settlement with three publishers
As a result of a possible settlement between the Department of Justice and three publishers involved in a lawsuit regarding e-book price fixing, owners of Kindle e-readers will receive refunds on past e-book purchases. Amazon told Kindle owners on Saturday that they could receive a refund of between $0.30 and $1.32 per book for books purchased between April 2010 and May 2012.
Skype WiFi iOS app updated
Amazon has announced that the Kindle Owners' Lending Library will be launching in the UK, Germany, and France later this month. The lending service gives Amazon Prime members access to over 200,000 books that can be borrowed for free as frequently as one book per month, with no due dates. Any independent authors or publishers using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) who enroll their books in KDP Select can be included in the in the UK, Germany and France libraries, as well as the existing US library.
Twice number of planned Kindle Fires
Asian supply companies say they've received enough orders to build over 10 million iPad minis in the December quarter alone, according to the Wall Street Journal. For comparison, the contacted suppliers add that the figure is roughly twice what Amazon has ordered for Kindle Fire tablets, perhaps Apple's closest competition in the tablet realm. Last week the Journal noted that production of the smaller iPad is already underway.
Amazon takes on Google Nexus 7
After dominating the e-book reader market and making a successful foray into the Android tablet arena, Amazon recently expanded its mobile device lineup. Price was arguably the most significant factor driving Kindle Fire sales, however the budget tablet has since been overshadowed by competing devices with superior specs for the same price. Is the new seven-inch Kindle Fire HD "the best tablet at any price," as Amazon claims? We'll attempt to find out in our full review.
Barnes & Noble cuts price of Simple Touch to tackle new Kindle
Barnes & Noble has dropped the price of its Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight e-reader by $20. The price cut puts the Barnes & Nobles premiere e-reader at the same price point as the new Kindle Paperwhite, which also starts at $119. However, the key differentiator between the two is the Kindle Paperwhite requires an additional $20 fee if users want to avoid Amazon advertising.
E-retailer's Kindle Fire cuts in on Walmart's turf
After exhausting its current inventory of Amazon products, Walmart will no longer carry Amazon's Kindle tablets and e-readers. This according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters, as well as confirmation from a source familiar with Walmart's operations. The decision, making Walmart the second major retail chain to stop carrying Kindle products, is said to be an attempt on Walmart's part to curb competition from Amazon's e-retail unit.
X-ray feature available for movies
Alongside Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Paperwhite hardware announcements, the company announced plans to expand its Whispersync and X-ray features. The company's synchronization service, which has been available for text e-books, has been revamped with additional support for audiobooks and Android games.
No sign of 10-inch tablet in new minute-long TV spot
While only some aspects of tomorrow's expected Kindle and Kindle Fire revamp press event are known, some confirmation of rumors came in the form of an unexpected TV ad from Amazon during Wednesday's football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants. In it, glimpses are seen of a new, brighter and backlit E-Ink Kindle Touch reader as well as shots of what may be the second version of the Kindle Fire. The ad could be seen as a harbinger of a major PR campaign around the new devices.
Paperwhite display to sport higher contrast
New images have emerged that purportedly show off the next version of Amazon's Kindle Touch e-reader. The images, obtained by The Verge, show that Amazon's popular reading device has undergone a number of design changes. Should the new Kindle Touch match the leaked images when it debuts next week, it will sport a darker body, much higher contrast in its screen, and a higher resolution than its predecessor.
New tools aid with print replica textbooks
Amazon has posted a new version of its Kindle app for iOS, v3.2. On the iPad the app now offers three different margin sizes, which alter the amount of whitespace. Both the iPhone and iPad interfaces have gained a quick highlighting tool, and better brightness adjustment, including a more responsive slider and refined font hues.
Total includes purchases, downloads, and borrows
Amazon announced today that its catalog of Kindle-exclusive titles had been downloaded more than 100 million times. The online retailer's total includes books that were purchased, downloaded, or borrowed from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Amazon's Kindle-exclusive catalog includes more than 180,000 titles.
Stock reduction ahead of Amazon press conference
The Kindle Touch is currently not available on the Amazon.com store, leading to suggestions that it may be replaced by something new. Pages for both the Wi-Fi and 3G editions display the message "Currently unavailable. We don't when or if this item will be back in stock" while other Kindle products remain unaffected by shortages.