Tag Archive: Kindle


Amazon said in a message on its homepage on Monday that it was running a one-day, 15-percent-off sale for its new line of Kindles to celebrate the Federal Aviation Administration’s recent reversal of a longtime policy that banned airplane passengers from using electronic devices during takeoff and landing. Nick Bilton, the New York Times journalist who had pushed for the change, received a shout-out from Jeff Bezos in the prepared remarks for Amazon’s third-quarter earnings report.

E-Reader vs. iPad

Q:

My wife started reading e-books downloaded from the library on her iPad 2. Indoors the print is very readable, but it loses some of the sharpness in bright light. Some of her friends suggested the Kindle Paperwhite as a better reader in all types of light. What is your opinion?

A:

All current color tablets use a screen technology that washes out in sunlight and can become almost unreadable in direct, bright sunlight. The Kindle monochrome e-readers, including the Paperwhite, use a different technology that does well in all kinds of light. However, I have never noticed any degradation of screen readability on iPads or other quality color tablets in bright indoor light.

Q:

Is it fair to say that the iPad Air, like its predecessors, is designed more for content consumption than content creation, and that someone who really needs a computer but also wants a tablet (and can’t afford both) would do better with something like the new Surface?

A:

The iPad can be a fine productivity and creativity tool, with or without an accessory keyboard, depending on the app you are using. Business email and calendars, or the editing of office documents, work fine on the iPad, as do many drawing applications. You can even sign legal documents on it electronically. However, if you are looking for all the functions of a PC, a full Windows 8 tablet like the Surface 2 Pro would be a better choice, because it runs all the programs a Windows computer does.

Q:

In the new Mac OS X operating system, Mavericks, it appears it is not possible to sync Notes, Contacts and other data using iTunes via a cable connection. Is this true?

A:

Yes. Apple says: “In Mavericks, OS X syncs Contacts, Calendars and Notes using iCloud.” (That’s Apple’s Internet cloud service.) The company adds that, if you make changes to your data and don’t have access to the Internet, OS X will sync the data the next time an Internet connection is available.

Email Walt at mossberg@wsj.com.

Amazon’s Q2 Is a Miss

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JOE KLAMAR/AFP/GettyImages

First quick look at Amazon’s earnings numbers, and it’s a miss.

The online retail giant posted a loss, at an EPS of minus two cents on revenue of $15.7 billion.

Though Amazon’s net sales rose 22 percent compared to the year-ago quarter, it’s a disappointing miss against analysts’ expectations that the company would post earnings per share of four cents to six cents on $15.74 billion in revenue.

“This past quarter, our top 10 selling items worldwide were all digital products – Kindles, Kindle Fire HDs, accessories and digital content,” CEO Jeff Bezos said in a canned statement. (Of course, with no actual sales numbers on the amount of Kindle products sold – as always.)

Not a ton of color in this release as to why Amazon missed, nor are there any notes on AmazonFresh, the company’s experimental grocery delivery service. Hopefully, CFO Tom Szkutak will address these points on the conference call with analysts coming up shortly.

Shares of Amazon were trading off around two percent on the news, at around $297 per share.

AmazonBasics Multi-Tip Stylus for Kindle Fire and Touchscreen Devices (Black)

  • Innovative 3 Premium Coated Tip (5mm, 6mm, 7mm) Design For Kindle Fire and Other Size Touch Screen Devices
  • Constructed With High Quality Aluminum for Extremely Durability
  • For Use with All Capacitive Touch Screen Smartphones and Tablets
  • Built-In Pocket Clip for Easy Storage. Easily Attaches To Pockets, Books, and Luggage
  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

The AmazonBasics Multi-Tip Stylus for Kindle Fire and touchscreen devices replaces finger-touching with three different size tips. Use your stylus for work, for fun,
or when your fingers aren’t the best choice.

The Multi-Tip Stylus offers the right size
tip for any touch-screen device

AmazonBasics Multi-Tip Stylus features
three different size tips.

The problem with most ebooks is you can’t exactly give them with a friends or pass them onto your children when you’re done. But Amazon might actually address that with a new patent to sell used ebooks. Unfortunately you can’t just buy an ebook and own an ebook and do what you want with it. So basically the patent means Amazon could own the rights to letting people resell the digital pages or audio files they have stored in their tabler or e-reader. You know, like Craigslist for your old Kindle copy of The DaVinci Code (50 cents or best offer!) Or a garage sale for 50 Shades of Grey on your iPad. (Sorry, I want at least $1.17 for that, but I’ll throw in these gardening gloves.) Except you’d have to go through Amazon, rather than selling digital books in your own digital yard sale, so to speak.

Read the full story at Gizmodo.

To determine the current distribution of Web usage among leading tablet devices following the holiday season, Chitika Insights sampled U.S. and Canadian tablet ad impressions running through the Chitika Ad Network. The data used to compile current market share was drawn across the time range of January 19-25, 2013.

The share of North American tablet traffic coming from users of Kindle Fire tablets grew from 4.88 impressions per 100 iPad impressions (as reported in December) to 9.48 impressions, or 7.7% of the market as a whole. Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy, and Barnes & Nobile Nook tablets also saw smaller gains this past month, with all three now constituting a combined 6.7% of North American tablet Web traffic.

In its post-holiday mobile device report (using data from December 1-27, 2012) Chitika measured Kindle Fire usage share within their network at 7.51% and it has remained relatively the same at 7.7% one month later. Similarly, the iPad was at 79% following the holiday season, and has recovered slightly to 81%.

Chitika: Share of U.S. and Canadian Tablet Web Traffic, January 19-25, 2013

Chitika: Share of U.S. and Canadian Tablet Web Traffic, January 19-25, 2013

Read more in the full article here.

Kindle Fire HD vs iPad Mini

A few years ago, almost no one had a tablet. These days, tablets are nearly as common as air. As they’ve risen in popularity, so has the number of options you have when buying one.

One of the more recent trends in the world of tablets has been the smaller form factor. No longer are we required to lug around a full 9.7″ iPad or a 10.1″ Motorola Xoom. Instead, we have a wide variety of 7″ tablets that tuck nicely into your jacket pocket or purse.

The two most popular on the market are the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad Mini. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking to just own one, which should you go with?

iPad Mini

iPad Mini: The Good

The iPad Mini is everything you’ve come to know and love from the full-sized iPad, shrunk down to a 7″ form factor. The first version of the iPad Mini is essentially a shrunk-down iPad 2 – the last model before Retina display took its grasp on the iDevice world. The screen isn’t as sharp as it is on newer iPads, but the iPad Mini 2nd Gen (which will be out sometime in 2013) will have Retina. (Rumor Mill Guaranteed).

The iPad Mini’s biggest strength is its app catalog. It’s able to run every app in the App Store, which is far and away the number one reason to buy an Apple tablet over any other brand. Whether you’re talking productivity, games or anything in between, the best apps almost always go to Apple first, and then make their way to Android.

Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire HD: The Good

On a tighter budget? The Kindle Fire HD 7″ is $199 – two thirds the price of the iPad Mini’s $329 entry point. With more hardware power (and with a much better screen!), the Kindle Fire HD packs far more punch than Apple’s 7″ tablet. If you’re looking for bang for your buck, you absolutely get it here.

The Kindle Fire is, essentially, an Amazon digital content portal. Whether you’re talking about Kindle eBooks, Amazon mp3, Amazon Instant Video or Amazon’s own app store, everything Amazon is known for in the digital content realm is at home on the Kindle Fire. (Amazon actually takes a slight financial hit for each Kindle Fire it sells, with the ultimate goal to make that up in content sales.)

Where One Succeeds, The Other Fails

The iPad Mini has more content available for you to browse. It has more games, it has more productivity apps and it has more eBooks (you can download a Kindle app to it, as well as a Nook app, Kobo app, etc.). The higher price point brings with it serious advantages.

The iPad Mini’s OS is also more flexible. The Kindle Fire runs a modified version of Android, which doesn’t run every Android app that’s out there. This is not a huge problem, but it is something you must consider. When the first-gen Kindle Fire came out, it could really only be thought of as an eReader, but Amazon is dedicated to making the Kindle Fire platform iPad competitive, so more and more apps are becoming available each and every day.

Amazon has most (though not all) of the apps you’d want, all available for download through your device or on Amazon.com. Plus, Amazon has a daily “free Kindle Fire app” on its website, which provides a paid app every day for free. One click and it’s yours.

What’s the Bottom Line?

The iPad Mini is a fashion accessory with complete iPad 2 capability in a 7″ size. If you want an iPad, nothing else will do. However, if this is a secondary device (if you already had an iPad, for example, and this is for the kids), the $199 Kindle Fire is a lot of hardware for the money and, head-to-head, it has more horsepower than the iPad Mini.

Just keep in mind, later this year, when the iPad Mini 2 comes out, it will blow the Kindle Fire HD out of the water. Fashion or Function? It’s your choice.

FINAL TALLY SHEET:

Best Hardware: Kindle Fire HD (The specs do not lie!)

Best Software: iPad Mini (No argument)

Best Overall Value: Kindle Fire HD (Nerd/Geek bragging rights)

Best Overall Fashion Accessory: iPad Mini (Fanboy bragging rights)

Everybody wants a ‘tablet’. Everybody wants to do this, that or the other thing on their tablet. What is the number one item on your holiday wish list? A tablet. They are popular, they are convenient and there are options. Whether you play for team iPad, prefer team Android, have your fingers crossed that Microsoft finally has things figured out, refuse to bail on team BlackBerry, or have your sights set on some other flavor entirely… there is a tablet out there for every body.

We are taught as children that having focus is a good thing. Does the same theory apply to our electronics? So in a sea of possibilities, are some choices better than others?

If you love to cook and spend all sorts of time in the kitchen, perhaps a single-use tablet like the QOOQ would serve you well. It is beautiful and would look lovely on your counter; but despite being a wealth of recipes with related culinary tips, tricks and techniques, the QOOQ is a very expensive cookbook with a price-tag of USD $399. Now it’s true that they throw in at the end of the product description that you can also check your email and do a few other social networking type tasks, but don’t be fooled –this is a proprietary device. While they invite you to add your own recipes to the QOOQ, they are also equally interested in selling you their content… along with a line that makes you feel like every other tablet is just too delicate to be considered ready for prime-time kitchen use.

What they don’t mention is that there are countless protective cover, case and stand options available for those renegades willing to risk taking their other multi-purpose tablets into the kitchen.

Are there instances when single-purpose tablets make sense? Certainly. If you consider the highly-successful line of eReaders out there it is enough to prove that theory. If you are wanting a replacement for carrying around bulky and heavy hard-cover novels in your purse, a basic Kindle, Kobo or Nook device will be your work-horse; the batteries last for what seems like forever and being honest I’m much less worried about taking a USD $79 eReader with me to the beach or pool-side.

Other single-purpose tablets are out there, with more hitting the scene every day. Each manufacturer will try to explain why you can’t continue to successfully live your life or run your business without their product. In many cases, their claims prey on the inexperienced user who isn’t aware that you can put a waterproof case with a handle on an iPad or just how easy it would be to add a keyboard or use a mounting bracket.

So why should you choose an iPad (appreciating that this argument is also applicable to the BlackBerry Playbook, Microsoft Surface and many of the full-featured Android tablets as well)? The answer is easily summarized with a single word: potential. Between the considerable number of apps available (in every genre covering virtually any topic you can imagine) and the equally considerable selection of accessories, you can transform your device into something well protected in the kitchen yet sleek and portable for the boardroom with very little effort. Plus, when you upgrade you can bring your apps along with you to the new tablet (not to mention it seems reasonable to trust Apple will still be around at this time next year).

The moral of the story? Buyer beware. Despite the fact that your mother, friend, uncle, brother’s neighbor may be the best chef out there, they may be able to take advantage of the considerable library of apps and accessories available to multi-purpose tablets without the other limitations.

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