Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Kindle Fire Sale on HDX models thru' Tuesday night, Jan 21, 11:59 pm. Kindle for iOS update v4.1.1 fixes several problems. AT&T offers lower data plans, w/o contracts.

Amazon is offering another Limited-time offer of $30 off, this time on the Kindle Fire HDX tablets, the Big Game.
  "Enter code GameOn30 at checkout"

Note: This is for U.S. customers only and "while supplies last" and ends TONIGHT, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, at 11:59 pm.

For easy reference, am showing a reduced version of the small comparison table that shows only the HDX models, and their product pages have the general comparison table with more details.
  Note - See Terms for the sale.

  Also see below for added info on the new Kindle for iOS app v4.1.1 update that fixes some problems with previous update version 4.1, and in this one I'll include what the new feature enhancements are now that this update and fix is available.

Regular pricing bases plus Amazon links for the new HDX models
  Both of these models have Dolby Audio Dual Stereo Speakers and Dual band WiFi, as well as dual antennas also.

Starting prices are with special offers that they say will offer more savings than Lighting deals.
Kindle Fire HDX 7" - $229
  'Personal' HDX tablet
16, 32 or 64GB options
Display: 1920 x 1200, 323 PPI
Ram: 2GB
Front-facing, 720p camera
No HDMI-out: Use 'Fling' or Miracast
Quad-core 2.2 GHz processor
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" - $379
  'Does it all' HDX tablet
16, 32, or 64GB options
Display: 2560 x 1600, 339 PPI
Ram: 2GBfling
Adds 8MB rear-facing camera
No HDMI-out: Use 'Fling' or Miracast
Quad-core 2.2 GHz processor

For those who didn't see the last Kindle Fire sale blog article, here are some excerpts from December reviews.
ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes for Ziff-Davis's Hardware 2.0 area headlined an article that will surprise some but which reflects points made by several articles I cited in December:

  "Why the Kindle Fire HDX is a far better tablet than the iPad"
' Summary: I used to think that the iPad was the king of the tablets, but not any more. It's time to whip the crown away from Apple and give it to its rightful holder – Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX.

...what Apple bought to market Amazon has improved upon dramatically. '

He spells out the usual large pricing difference points as you increase storage size, as anyone who knows how important multimedia files are to tablets will realize.  But it used to be that people assumed the iPad would be superior in capabilities and that the Kindle Fire offerings were just made with less-expensive materials.
  Not so with the Yr 2013 line.  These currently set the standard for the combination of hardware and features now (although those who use Apple apps on their phones and love them will do well to get an Apple tablet to use those same apps on their tablet).  It's just that Apple is not keeping up because they don't feel they need to.

He continues:
' Side-by-side, the display on the Kindle Fire HDX blows away that of the iPad. Not only do colors look superior and more vivid, but also the brightness is better and the way blacks are handled – especially in video – is much more even. '

  He also finds it easier to use outdoors, with less glare in his case, and goes on to give reasons for the other reasons he gives that include:
  "Super-fast Hardware
  "Excellent WiFi range" (for him, it continues working well at the periphery of his system where the iPad starts having difficulties -- and this was true for other reviewers with even the previous HD models vs the Google Nexus tablets, although router-tablet settings sometimes need to be fine-tuned for the various brands and especially the newest techhnologies used by iPad Air, the latest Nexus and the HDX).
  "Superior on-screen keyboard"
  "Better Speakers"
  "Better email and calendar apps" (that does surprise me)
  "The Mayday button" (Help "in the palm of your hand"... "when you need it")

Note that he doesn't go into the Kindle Fire line's unique features as shown in previous articles here (and that includes especially useful parental controls and program features in general:
  1. Overview of New Features
  2. Things to Know about the new features

  Those two blog articles have clarifications for some points that have puzzled some.

In another article, in January, the Salt Lake City Tribune carries Bree Fowler's story for The Associated Press today on "Review: Kindle FreeTime gives parents peace" -- it's a brief one but many aren't aware of how well thought out these features are relative to the other current tablet offerings.  Since AP articles are well-circulated of course, it'll be getting more play today.

Note #2 - The HDX 8.9" does not often go on sale, relative to the smaller ones.  It's decidedly lighter than my 7" HD tablet and is a joy.
  My two favorite electronics (besides non-portable larger HDTV viewing) are the (1) Microsoft Surface Pro 2 laptop/tablet combo that runs ALL full Windows programs in the most speedy way I've ever experienced (but I won't link you to Amazon's 3rd party sellers for these as they are charging too much due to some shortages) and the (2) Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, which I recommend getting with at least 32GB storage.  It's great for both HD videos, including 16:9 format, magazines with reading-view and beautifully enlargeable images (as with the iPad), and two-page reading with larger fonts -- all while remaining very light now.

  I use my phone's "Internet sharing" to give the HDX its 4G used as WiFi when I'm outside and wanting to use my HDX that has no LTE/4G cellular network feature, as I didn't get that model because I already have a good data plan that allows me to share the phone's 4G -- but those who have one of the now popular Family Sharing plans with AT&T or Verizon will find an additional tablet adds only $10 to a current data plan.  LTE/4G capability itself (for the fewer who want it) costs an add'l $100~ on the Kindle Fires and about $130 on the Apple iPad -- that's before you add a data plan for it.

  NEW reduced-priced AT&T Data plans.
  One hitch is that they've added plans that include less Internet web data for those who don't need the larger plans.  I have a 4GB/month plan but found that although I use my phone to access email, enews, restaurant infoo and I also have a feature that allows me to share my phone's 4G with my tablets if I need to when no WiFi network is available, I actually use well under 500MB a month of 4G/LTE cellular network access.  That surprised me.  I don't watch movies when I'm out.  That helps.

NEWLY UPDATED Kindle reader app v4.1.1 for iOS
The Amazon Kindle Forum made an announcement on January 6 that the Kindle Reader for iPad, update v4.1 was ready.  However, there were many reports there (and at iTunes) that it was not working for many and caused crashes.  Some had uninstalled it and then re-installed it at iTunes and *sometimes* that had helped (and it did work well for some).

In that same announcement forum thread, users getting the v4.1.1 update this week say that, for them, it HAS fixed the problems with crashes, and large book collections are supported again by the new update and functioning well.  One glitch is that a downloaded book may not appear on the device quickly, but if you close the app and then re-open it, the book will show up.  Customers are much happier with this version.

  You can read the customer reactions and advice to other customers at the Amazon Kindle Forum's Kindle for iPad update-announcement thread, which has the listing of enhancements.
  For convenience, since the app is working well again, I'll add this info here now (emphae mine):
' Megan H. - Forum Moderator says:

We're pleased to announce the latest version of Kindle for iOS is now available in the Apple App Store.

Kindle for iOS version 4.1 brings new features to students (flashcards), multiple improvements to the reading experience based on customer feedback, and stability & performance improvements.

New to Students (US/Print Replica Textbooks Only)

* Flashcards for print replica textbooks: Students can now convert important terms from the X-Ray for Textbooks feature or their notes and highlights into flashcard sets for studying. Students can keep track of concepts or terms that have been mastered and those that need more practice, allowing them to improve their recall of the subject.

* Improved in-book search: Search in print replica textbooks is now faster and more powerful. Search terms based on the words in the book are suggested to students as they type. Results are almost instantaneous. Students will love the speed and convenience.
New to Readers

* Notebook Filters: Readers can now easily filter bookmarks, notes, highlights, and even specific colored highlights, making annotations much easier to find. Customers can also navigate directly to the annotated passages for context.

* Page Footers: Readers can now see page numbers or time left in book on the lower left-hand corner of the page. Readers can switch between page #, time left in book or a blank footer by simply tapping on the text or empty area. A setting is available to turn off the page footer if customers prefer.

* X-Ray Update: Readers who want to go deeper into the story will appreciate the updated experience. X-Ray characters and terms can now be sorted by relevance, alphabetically, or in order of appearance in the book.

* Dictionary Redesign: The Dictionary Interface has been updated for iOS7 and makes it easier for customers to switch between alternate language and purchased dictionaries.

* Stability and Performance Improvements

New to the Library - Collections multi edit capability

* Collections Refinements: From the library view, customers can now see which collections a book already belongs to and can add to or remove from multiple collections using multi edit. Readers will find it easier to manage their collections. '

  ADDED NOTE: I found this added paragraph on the Amazon iPad app page (emphases mine).
' About the Latest Version of Kindle for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
* Kindle for iOS 4.1 is optimized for OS 7.0
* Features Flashcards for Print Replica Textbooks on Kindle for iPad

Important: iPad, iPhone and iPod touch with iOS 6.0 or greater are able to download the latest version of the Kindle reading app.  Devices running iOS 5.0 will get an option to download the last compatible version. '

  As I've mentioned recently - Even when there is no startling news, I respond to questions in the Comments areas of the blog entries -- and the Q&A entries are always shown in summary form and linked to, latest first, on the blog's right-hand column (used for information that's ongoing or for reference materials on topics of interest to many who visit the blog).  So, check "Latest Comments" (in the info/reference column on the the right side of the page whenever you're curious what people are asking and the responses made.
  There is a lot about installing non-Amazon apps on the Kindle Fire as well as playing Flash on the HDX models.

That's it for now, as I need to get this off for the new sale that ends tonight.

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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  1. I am unable to see apps on my fire hd that even after setting device to allow unknown content. This applies to getjar and banking sites. Even tried using easy installer. Any ideas?

    1. I should add that you should use the steps in "How to install non-Amazon apps" on the Kindle Fire HD/HDX. That's at http://bit.ly/kwt1123.

  2. tazz49, it depends on whether or not you use "m.getjar.com" as recommended and then get the mobile store app there (if you want to use getjar). My main recommendation in this article is to use 1mobile's apps site, which I link you to. m.getjar.com is finicky. Easy installer would be used only after you downloaded the app IF the app doesn't automatically install.
    You must have a store app downloaded and installed in order to get any apps downloaded though. Could you follow the steps I mention and then see if you have better luck?.

    1. taxx49, I should also add that the 4:17 am note I added was meant to come after my first response to you... Hope you have better luck after trying the steps in the article.

  3. And now there's 4.1.2 - more 'stability'

    1. As ever, thanks, Tom. Especially since I've been away from the blog. I see v4.1.2 is showing itself to help those who were still with large-collections probs.


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