Kindle Fire Stories February 21, 2014

Image: digitaltrends.com

Image: digitaltrends.com

Amazon’s TV box, which the company is believed to have been working on for around a year, is to be launched next month, according to unnamed content distribution sources cited by re/code – ahead of the new version of the Apple TV box expected to be unveiled in April.

People I’ve talked to who are partnering with Amazon believe the company is aiming for a March rollout […]

Sources tell me Amazon’s box will be powered by Google’s Android operating system, which is also not a surprise — Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets use a “forked” version of Android …  expand full story

Kindle Fire Stories December 1, 2013

From 9to5Google:

kindle-fire-hdx-vs-ipad-mini

Amazon has never shied away from quietly mocking Apple’s iPad and that’s why this new Kindle Fire HDX commercial (via Amazon YouTube) and its distinctly British voice has us laughing. Calling it the “magical new iPad Air” in proper British tongue, the commercial is offset with the American accented intro of the 8.9″ Kindle Fire HDX.

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Kindle Fire Stories November 28, 2013

displaymate

DisplayMate, a company specializing in scientific display testing and calibration, gave the Retina iPad Mini third place in detailed lab tests of three leading 7-inch tablets, criticising Apple for “really bad planning” for what it considers to be out-dated display technology.

And finally… the iPad mini with Retina Display unfortunately comes in with a distant 3rd place finish behind the innovative displays on the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and new Nexus 7 […]

All of this reliance on IGZO is really bad planning… Right now there is a readily available display technology that has much higher performance than IGZO. It’s Low Temperature Poly Silicon LTPS, and it is used in all of the iPhones and in all of Samsung OLEDs (so it’s available in large quantities). Two innovative tablet manufacturers, Amazon and Google, have significantly leapfrogged Apple by introducing Tablet displays using LTPS (in the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and the new Nexus 7), and they are significantly outperforming the IGZO and a-Si displays in the current iPads. Apple is now lagging in displays, an area where it was once the leader…  expand full story

Kindle Fire Stories July 26, 2013

Apple wins brand of the year trifecta in first full year under Tim Cook

A Harris poll of almost 40,000 American consumers on more than 1,500 brands across 155 categories saw Apple retain Brand of the Year in three categories.

  • 2013 Computer Brand of the Year
  • 2013 Tablet Brand of the Year
  • 2013 Mobile Phone Brand of the Year

What really stands out is that in all three of the categories Apple brands are measured – Computer, Tablet and Mobile Phone – its Brand Momentum scores are in the top 30 of all 1,500 brands evaluated in the study, showing that consumers see this as a brand of the future.

The poll asks consumers to rate brands on Familiarity, Quality, Purchase Consideration, Emotion, Fit, Trust, Performance, Energy, Ubiquity, Future Outlook, Leadership and Popularity.

The top four brands in each of the three categories were:

Computers:

1 Apple Computers – 2013 Computer Brand of the Year
2 Hewlett-Packard (HP) Computers
3 Dell Computers
4 Sony Computers

Tablets:

1 Apple iPad Series – 2013 Tablet Brand of the Year
2 Kindle Fire Series
3 Google Nexus Series
4 Samsung Galaxy Series

Mobile phones:

1 Apple iPhone – 2013 Mobile Phone Brand of the Year
2 HTC Phone
3 Samsung Phone
4 LG Phone

The ratings may provide some comfort for those who feared Apple’s enviable brand popularity would suffer post-Steve.

Kindle Fire Stories May 9, 2013

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announcing new Kindle

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is working to expand its hardware offerings, this year, beyond the Kindle e-readers and tablets (like the Kindle Fire). According to the new report, Amazon is working on two smartphones, including a high-end model with a 3D display. Like other smartphones currently on the market, this display could be interacted with via a user’s eyes:

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Kindle Fire Stories March 1, 2013

Apple’s iPads are the hardest tablets to fix, but also need repairs the least

iFixit, the repair guide site that has been vocal about the lack of repairability in Apple’s devices, has released a new report that compares the repairability of tablets currently on the market. With the exception of the Microsoft Surface Pro, Apple’s iPad lineup lands at the bottom of the list with a 2/10 repairability score.

Among the issues with repairability for iPads: hidden screws complicate disassembly, excessive amounts of adhesive, difficulty removing batteries, and, for some models, a “high chance of cracking the glass during disassembly.”

The good news? Apple’s iPads are also the most reliable according to several studies, meaning there is much less of a chance that you’ll need a repair in the first place.

Coming out on top of iFixit’s list is the Dell XPS 10 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. iFixit explained its methodology:

A device with a perfect score will be relatively inexpensive to repair because it is easy to disassemble and has a service manual available. Points are docked based on the difficulty of opening the device, the types of fasteners found inside, and the complexity involved in replacing major components. Points are awarded for upgradability, use of non-proprietary tools for servicing, and component modularity.

Kindle Fire Stories February 5, 2013

Amazon compares Kindle Fire HD to iPad’s Retina display in new TV ad (Video)

Amazon has not been shy about comparing its Kindle Fire devices to iPads. When it released its earnings report in October, Amazon compared the two devices spec by spec and noted the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD has 193 percent more pixels than the iPad mini. Amazon’s latest advertisement for its Kindle Fire boldly put the 8.9-inch HD model up against a full-sized Retina iPad. While noting both offer “stunning HD” and “you may not be able to tell the difference,” Amazon ended the ad by highlighting the $299 price point of the Kindle Fire as being significantly under the latest $499 iPad with Retina display. With Amazon knocking an additional $30 to $50 off the Kindle Fire HD this week, you can grab one for $250 less than an iPad 4.

While the price might be compelling, most reviews (including our own) agreed the Kindle Fire’s software is keeping it from being a true competitor to the iPad and pure Android tablets.

Our newest commercial shows iPad with Retina Display and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ side-by-side. Both have large, stunning HD screens. In fact, you may not be able to tell the difference… but your wallet definitely can. Meet the new, larger Kindle Fire.

Kindle Fire Stories December 17, 2012

Amazon smartphone reportedly in production, set to go on sale in mid-2013

Rumors have been in the air for several months that claim Amazon will compete in the handset space with its own offering, much like it did with its Kindle Fire line of tablets. According to a new report from the Taiwan Economic News, the Internet retail giant has selected the infamous Foxconn to manufacture the handset. Additionally, Amazon is said to have ordered 5 million units and will launch the device at $100 to $200 sometime in the second quarter or third quarter of 2013.

The Kindle Fire line of tablets, which has software based off Android with many custom additions (and even more subtractions), has done wonders for Android’s tablet marketshare, helping the platform close the seemingly insurmountable gap with the iPad. Amazon was the first to offer a tablet at such a low cost, selling in seemingly big numbers. However, no specific figures have ever been given. Many saw the $199 Kindle Fire as a cheaper alternative to the $499 iPad, but things may change this holiday season with the iPad mini now available at $329.

With its large online marketplace and bevy of apps on its Amazon Appstore, we wouldn’t put it past the company to be a serious competitor in the handset game—at least for the Android devotees and the relatively small footprint of countries where Amazon operates/offers content. (via Engadget)

Kindle Fire Stories December 4, 2012

Gmail iOS 2.0

Gmail version 2.0: Google has just released a major update to its Gmail iOS app, introducing multiple account support, a new look that appears to be partly inspired by its Sparrow acquisition, search predictions and much more. The update also brings interactive Google+ posts support, an infinite scroll inbox, new welcome screen, and  the ability to respond to Google Calendar invites. Google walked through some of the new features of the overhauled Gmail app in a blog post noting the app was six months in the works:

Six months ago, our team set out to completely rebuild the Gmail app for iPhone and iPad to give you you a faster, sleeker, and easier experience on iOS. The result? Version 2.0. With version 2.0 of the app, you’ll get a totally new look and feel, plus a bunch of improvements like profile pictures in messages, numerous new animations from swivels to transitions and infinite scrolling in the message lists.

[tweet https://twitter.com/gmail/status/276023586265919489]

Kindle version 3.5: Amazon previously rolled out its X-Ray feature, which used to be exclusive to Kindle devices, to iOS devices back in October. At the time, it was only making the feature available for textbooks on iOS. Today, Amazon has updated the Kindle iOS app to extend the X-Ray to all books. The update also includes “Manga Image Rendering Improvements”:

• X-Ray for Books – see the “bones of the book”. X-ray helps you learn more about notable characters, places, and phrases with descriptions from Shelfari.com and Wikipedia. • Manga Image Rendering Improvements

Uber version 2.1.0: iPhone 5 support and localizations:

-Uber app now supports iPhone 5. Also in this release are Dutch localization, and an enhanced look for top riders.

Netbot for App.net (iPhone): Tapbots updated its Netbot client for App.net today with some new features and improvements. The iPad edition is available here.

– Added support for Stream Marker – Added Unified Stream option – Added support for img.ly as an image service – Performance improvements for older devices – Better support for image annotations

Foursquare version 5.3.5:  expand full story

Kindle Fire Stories October 31, 2012

When Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller unveiled the iPad mini on stage earlier this month, he didn’t discuss the speaker on the new device. There were rumors that the iPad mini might include stereo speakers, but tech specs on Apple’s website only list a “built-in speaker” for iPads. Adding to the rumors that iPad mini might actually have a mono speaker, Amazon posted a comparison of the new iPad and its Kindle Fire HD tablet, listing dual stereo speakers vs a mono speaker as one of the the Kindle’s advantages. A curious 9to5 reader wanted to find out what speaker Apple is actually including in the device and was able to get an email response direct from Phil Schiller.

Hi Mr. Schiller, 

I understand the tech specs about iPad Mini online should cover everything, but the tech specs online neither confirm or deny the rumors of iPad Mini’s speakers being stereo. Is it possible to get confirmation from the man himself as to whether these are mono or stereo?

Schiller responded: expand full story

Kindle Fire Stories October 27, 2012

Amazon sold a record number of Kindle Fire HDs the day after the iPad mini was announced

According to Amazon, it was unfazed by the announcement of the iPad mini by Apple earlier this week. In fact, the company sold a record amount of $199 Kindle Fire HDs on Wednesday since being available on the market.

AllThingsD reported:

In response to a question about how Kindle sales were faring following Apple’s iPad mini announcement on Tuesday, Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener reported they were selling better than usual. “Wednesday was the $199 Kindle Fire HD’s biggest day of sales since launch and up 3x week over week,” according to a statement emailed to AllThingsD.

For those keeping tabs, the Kindle Fire HD features a 7-inch IPS display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 11 hours of battery life, and a weight of 13.9 oz.

Price presumably played a factor.

Kindle Fire Stories October 25, 2012

Tim Cook clarifies Apple’s position on 7-inch tablets

Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook just clarified, during Apple’s fiscal Q4 earnings call, that the iPad mini is not a 7-inch tablet because Apple does not “think they’re good products.”

Cook specifically stressed the 7.9-inch screen size of the iPad mini provides 35 percent more screen area than the 7-inch competition:

“(…) referencing all comments Steve made before about 7-inch tablets: Let me be clear, we would not make one of the 7-inch tablets. We don’t think they are good products, and we would never make one. Not just because it’s 7 inches, but for many reasons. One of the reasons…is size. I’m not sure if you saw our keynote. The difference in just the size between 7.9—almost 8—versus 7 is 35 percent. And when you look at the usable area, it is much greater than that. You know, it is from 50 percent to 67 percent. The iPad mini has the same number of pixels as iPad 2 does. You have access to all 275,000 apps in our App Store. So, iPad mini is a fantastic product. It is not a compromise product like the 7-inch tablets. It is a whole different league.”

Follow 9to5Mac’s live blog for more minute-by-minute details from the call.

[tweet https://twitter.com/llsethj/status/261588725874696192]

Kindle Fire Stories October 9, 2012

New report suggests iPad Mini to be available with Wi-Fi only; 10-inch iPad to be updated for UK 4G network

Apple’s new iPad mini is expected to be announced Oct. 17; and with that launch date swiftly approaching, we have seen our fair share of rumors and leaks. A report from The Guardian today refuted a prior claim, claiming the 7.85-inch iPad mini will not include 3G or 4G and will stick with Wi-Fi instead.

Industry sources indicated to the Guardian that they do not expect to see 3G-capable versions of the iPad mini. That would allow Apple to produce it comparatively cheaply and to limit the top price of the product, while retaining mobile broadband connectivity for its pricier iPad line.

Being Wi-Fi only, it would put the iPad mini in-line to be a direct competitor with the Google’s Nexus 7 that also lacks 3G or 4G. The Amazon Kindle Fire was also without wireless capabilities until it received a refresh last month. Being without cellular connection would keep the iPad mini down on price. However, it seems like something Apple would at least make an option in fear of losing potential customers look to access data on-the-go. 

Kindle Fire Stories October 8, 2012

Analyst predicts iPad mini to outshine iPad 3, declines to give specifics

AllThingsD is out with a fresh report this morning about the iPad mini supposedly “outshining” the new iPad.

AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski summarized Tokepa analyst Brian White’s thoughts, citing “chatter from Apple’s overseas supply chain,” and he said the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is not “cutting corners” despite trying to keep the iPad mini’s price on-par with Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. White mentioned the iPad mini possibly being even “slicker than the new iPad.”

According to the report:

Not much to go on, I realize. But White’s supply chain sources have been solid in the past, and here at AllThingsD we too have been hearing promising things about the iPad mini’s design, which sources say demands a lot of the companies manufacturing it. This is something White has been hearing, as well, and he thinks it could make the device hard to come by initially. “The new ‘iPad Mini’ is more challenging to produce than prior iPad iterations,” he says. “We believe supply will initially be constrained.”

It is interesting that White has travelled around talking to Asian suppliers and can claim the iPad mini will upstage the original iPad, but he cannot offer one specific detail on how this will happen. Perhaps he is held to secrecy on these topics.

Kindle Fire Stories October 6, 2012

Anyone who has ever misplaced an iPad and felt a sudden urge of panic —or better yet, anyone who has ever watched an iPad’s battery drain without access to power while on a long trip— can now rejoice, as there is a solution to both problems in one, nifty case.

Wireless NRG developed a renewable charging resource for the iPad by simply converting the sun’s rays, indoor lights, and practically any other luminescent substance into a perpetual stream of free energy. The high-end, portable charging case, dubbed “KudoCase,” launched earlier this summer for $199.95 with a slew of innovative accessories. But that’s not all…it responds to whistling. If your iPad is ever lost at a friend’s house, just whistle. The KudoCase will set off an alarm. Yeah, I know—awesome.

Anyway, enough jibber-jabber—check out the hands-on review below.

KudoCase Video Overview

(The 1080p version is processing; coming soon.)

 

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Kindle Fire Stories October 2, 2012

Pew: Apple loses share but still over half of all tablets owned in 2012

A new survey by research organization Pew Internet & American Life Project depicts how Apple’s iPad slid from 81 percent in 2011 to 52 percent in 2012, in terms of U.S. adult tablet ownership, due to lower-priced Android slates steadily gaining traction.

Pew’s Journalism website elaborated:

Over the last year, tablet ownership has steadily increased from 11% of U.S. adults in July of 2011 to 18% in January of 2012, according to PEJ data. Currently, 22% own a tablet and another 3% regularly use a tablet owned by someone else in the home. This number is very close to new data, released here for the first time, conducted in a separate survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project on July 16 through August 7 2012 that found 25% of all U.S. adults have a tablet computer.

The growth in tablet adoption is likely related to the advent of the lower-priced tablets in late 2011. Overall, about two-thirds of tablet-owning adults, 68%, got their tablet in the last year, including 32% in 2012 alone. That has lessened Apple’s dominance in the market. Now, just over half, 52%, of tablet owners report owning an iPad, compared with 81% in the survey a year ago.

Android-based devices are now at 48 percent overall: approximately 21 percent own the Android-forked Kindle Fire, 8 percent own the Samsung Galaxy, and the remaining is a mix. It is worth noting Android would only hold 27 percent without the $199 Kindle Fire.

The survey did not include Google’s Nexus 7 or Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD, however, as they were not yet introduced. The final numbers also mirror world sales data, according to Pew, which place the iPad at 61 percent and Android at 31 percent.

Check out Pew for more related information on smartphone ownership and operating system loyalty.

Kindle Fire Stories September 14, 2012

Cheap! Amazon new 7-inch Kindles now on sale starting at $159

From 9to5Toys.com

Amazon just opened the floodgates to its forked-Android powered Kindles (7-inch only so far).

The original with some beefed up internals is just $159.  The new HD version (which closely matches up with the Google Nexus 7) is $199 for 16GB and $249 for 32GB.

(Or you could wait a month and probably not hate yourself :P)

Kindle Fire Stories September 4, 2012

Amazon adds ‘The Hunger Games’ and more EPIX content to Prime Instant Video in latest licensing deal

Amazon has consistently bulked its Prime Instant Video service with many Hollywood studio and cable network agreements since the Kindle Fire launched last year, and now it is announcing a new multi-year licensing deal with EPIX studio in the United States.

The agreement adds thousands of fresh and old titles, as well as original programming, from Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, Liongates, and other EPIX partners. The beefed catalog more than doubles Prime Instant Video’s previous content offering, which provides instant, unlimited streaming to paid Prime members on the Android-powered Kindle Fire or other supported devices like the iPad.

A few of today’s content additions include “The Avengers”, “Iron Man 2”, “The Hunger Games”, “Transformers Dark of the Moon”, “True Grit”, and more. It is worth noting Amazon plans to hold a product launch event on Sept. 5 in Los Angeles; the glitzy location could suggest more content deals are coming down the pipeline.

The full press release is below.

Kindle Fire Stories August 24, 2012

Amazon adds ‘Parks and Recreation’ to Prime Instant Video, with more popular NBCUniversal content

Amazon, NBCUniversal Cable and New Media Distribution announced an agreement today that will bulk the online retailer’s Prime Instant Video selection with hundreds of award-winning TV episodes.

Amazon’s Instant Video touts 22,000 movies and episodes for Prime members to stream on the Android-powered Kindle Fire or other supported devices like the iPad. A few of today’s catalog additions include “Parks and Recreation”, “Parenthood”, “Friday Night Lights”, “Heroes” and “Battlestar Galactica”.

Check out the full story at 9to5Google.com.

Kindle Fire Stories August 14, 2012

We received a number of tips over the last few weeks from sources that we have reason to believe hold knowledge about Apple’s plans on the upcoming iPad mini. A recurring theme of late is that the iPad mini will “look like a big iPod touch” with smaller bezels along the sides in portrait mode and separate volume buttons and not a “rocker” and a mic on the back.

In addition, we received a number of different iPad mini back plates with the best quality being these from case maker Devicewear.

We were not confident enough to post the above information alone (but did make the atop mockup), but the very reliable John Gruber chimes in today with many of the same bits of information.

Here is a gallery of all the iPad mini images and mockups we have obtained to date: expand full story

Kindle Fire Stories August 1, 2012

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Just 24 hours after Hulu started popping up on Apple TV, we now see Amazon’s Instant Video Store in the App Store for iPad. It looks like a full app capable of not only streaming Prime content for free (with the$79 a yearl Amazon Prime membership, but the first month is free) as well as being able to download content for offline viewing. Also, Season Pass is available for TV shows, and episodes are available the morning after the show airs on TV. The app will also resume where you left off watching from Kindle Fire, PS3, PC, Mac, or hundreds of models of connected TVs and Blu-ray players with Amazon Whispersync.

Interestingly, no iPhone version yet.

I can confirm that Airplay only works for audio in streaming video so you can’t stream to an AppleTV, yet. Also, I am able to stream my purchased movies but offline downloading doesn’t appear to be working at the moment (update: 8 hours later, 1 movie has finished downloading).

Amazon’s Cloud Drive got updated just yesterday as well, but with the proximity to the Hulu announcement, we’re thinking this might be Apple’s move more than Amazon finally building the app. On the other hand, perhaps the $199 Google Nexus 7 is signaling a big shift – that Amazon doesn’t need to build its own hardware and it can just produce software for the variety of tablets out there.

Full App Description below: expand full story

Kindle Fire Stories July 31, 2012

Amazon Cloud Drive’s gets ‘scan and match’, higher bit rates, much more

A huge update today from Amazon:

Amazon Cloud Player is a service that enables customers to securely store music in the cloud and play it wherever they are on a Kindle Fire, Android phone, Android tablet, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Mac, or PC. Amazon Cloud Player now has more benefits, including:

  • Faster music import for Cloud Player using scan and match technology
  • Upgrade of matched files to high-quality 256 Kbps audio
  • Delivery of future Amazon MP3 purchases directly to Cloud Player
  • Delivery of eligible past Amazon MP3 purchases to Cloud Player without having to import them
  • Ability to edit song and album information (such as title and track number), and the ability to import that information for matched files directly from Amazon’s catalog
  • Support for more music file types

Kindle Fire Stories July 23, 2012

Since the first credible rumors of a 7.85-inch iPad started surfacing last October, we have been trying to wrap our heads around what is coming. Beyond what is already reported, our sources haven’t had much to say…yet.

But that gives us some time for some broad Mini iPad speculation:

A 7.85-inch iPad with a 3:4 screen ratio is not the same thing as a 7-inch 16:10 Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire. For better or worse, it is much bigger. Take these drawings from @trojankitten that were popular a few weeks ago:

Better, of course, being more screen real estate. While that will not help much for video content, which is generally in the 16:9 format, web pages will look better, Maps will be bigger, and, perhaps most importantly, books will be easier to read. Worse is that it is going to be much harder to fit in your pocket. In fact, as tight as the Nexus 7 is in those skinny jeans and purses, I am going to go ahead and say this form factory will be close to impossible to fit in pants pockets. So, forget that.

So, what is this thing good for?

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Gang of Kindle Fire tablets including 10-incher outed by Staples President, due soon

A long-rumored refresh of Amazon’s Kindle Fire line was outed by Staple CEO Demos Parneros… More at 9to5Google.com

 

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