lol .. " into a giant fuck-off web proxy"
Way too technical for me ;)
Amazon has refreshed its entire range of Kindle tablets, adding a seven inch $199 colour Android model, a keyboard-less 4GB Touch model at $99 and a non-touchscreen 2GB $79 version. It also took an aggressive step into TV and movie delivery, bundling free streaming with the new Kindle Fire and a taster for Amazon’s Prime movie …
I surely can't be the only one to realise that all these "speed improving" web proxies are just corporate investments to "leverage" our browser histories in the future. Let alone the forward-facing cameras on these fondleslabs that you never know when they are switched on ...
There'll come a time of reckoning, I tell ye all! (Credit cards accepted.)
As I suppose was to be expected, it is only available in the US at the moment. I was going to get my brother-on-law to order one for me, but according to the little video, it comes "pre-registered to your Kindle account", so it looks as if that may not work.
Very, very irritating.
While I was in the US I was able to use my UK Amazon account to order purchases to a US address, even while keeping my UK address as the billing address linked to my card. So you should be able to head to amazon.com, order whatever you want and have it delivered to your brother-in-law.
This IS an Amazon tablet, it is all powered by Android so most Android apps will work, however, what isn't clear is if the Google integration is still in place. i.e can it still run Gmail, Docs etc?
Also if you have an Android phone can you transfer apps you bought from the Google Marketplace to this? Or would you need to buy them again on the Amazon market?
It is pretty important really, if they do insist on creating their own walled garden, it is pretty un-android, and a major downside to me.
That said, they do look awsome, and I wants one.
you have similar phrases with different meanings too. The number of times I heard people in California the last 3 weeks on holiday say "Shut up" was ridiculous, apparently it's the new "no way" and means "I don't believe it", over here it means "stop talking" and is normally taken as very aggressive or rude.
They've missed all the tricks ... except perhaps the price.
We have android tabs ... we have e-readers, but who makes something you can browse the web and run (basic) apps but with an e-reader screen so it can be used anywhere?
Who makes one that's waterproof to answer all the people that say you can't take them in the bath?
Nobody at present can (mass) produce colour e-ink displays with a refresh rate suitable for apps (such as plants vs zombies) or movie playback.
This is (imo) the first really serious challenger to apple in the tablet arena.
As for the bath thing, use a "ziplock" freezer bag :).
Before people complain about the US prices, the quoted cheap prices are all for the ad-supported versions "with special offers" which aren't available in the UK yet. Sooner the better I say, I couldn't care less if the screen savers are adverts if it saves you £30-40 off the price. Anyway, I was just waiting for a touch enabled kindle to justify buying one. I can use it at work honest...
WhisperSync is a synchronization technology, not a delivery technology. It's what makes it possible to turn off your Kindle Touch at page 225 and have page 225 appear when you next open that book the Kindle app on your iPad. Strictly speaking, since WhisperSync only works when you're connected to the internet it won't do the handover if you're using your Kindle Fire or other 3G-less Kindle away from a WiFi connection, but it can be re-synced as soon as you return to any place you're likely to actually need it.
Just checked Amazon UK and US website....
So the new "basic" Wifi only Kindle (so no it's 3G data plan argument) is listed at $79 or £89...
So a 50% "UK Ripoff" surcharge taking $79=£50 at current rate + 20% VAT that's £60...
Sounds like I'll have to review my Amazon buying policy!
I see the "fire" uses crappy old conventional screen technology rather than lovely e-Ink. It's not really a Kindle then. Seems odd that Amazon want to dilute the brand having been so successful in building it up.
I also see that a 9.7" model still isn't available anywhere except the US. A pity, since there's a place for larger paper books so it seems perfectly reasonable that there might be a place for larger readers as well. (You can export the now-rather-old-model DX but you are charged every time you download a book, so I doubt anyone actually does.)
And yes, to the best of my knowledge a US dollar has *never* exchanged for less than a pound sterling, so at no point in the whole history of the world has $79=£89.
e-ink is currently monochrome only technology consumerside. this means it was never an option for the "fire". this means your gripe about the "fire" not being e-inked-up makes no sense. are you a daily mail journalist?
according to them the "fire" can *store* 17 million songs and 100,000 films.
It makes perfect sense once you realise that the Kindle is (or was) an e-Reader, not a PMP.
It marked itself out as best in class by a considerable margin largely because its screen was far more readable than some backlit LCD crud. This "fire" takes the brand and applies it to exactly what it wasn't.
...where's the new 3G model in the UK?
My biggest gripe with the current model is the keyboard - as in its not required for most readers and it makes holding the device pretty unituitive for the size.
This one looks a bit better but it'd have been better still if it just had the cursor keys at the centre.
However no 3G = no sale. I'm sure Amazon know that too so I suspect this has been rushed to beat the Apple marketing extravaganza about to descend in October.
The current Kindle has problems with wifi that requires a logon (as opposed to a key) and the whole point of the damn thing is that you can easily read books away from home. I'd assume its in Amazon's interests that this includes "new" books?
Hopefully its a temporary thing while they sort out carrier coverage. If it isn't then older Kindles are likely to increase in price by rather a lot......
Keep an eye out for how barnes and noble, sony and other e-reader manufactuerers respond. Might be a chance to pick up their products at a significant discount soon.
BTW was really excited at the though of a £50 or £60 e-reader, was thinking of getting two or three for presents this Christmas. Not anymore.
I suspect the the real point of Silk is to reduce the amount of data that needs to be streamed to the device, thereby making it cheaper for amazon if they were to offer a similar one-time payment world wide 3G plan like they have with the kindle. Very much a plus for network providers as they will have less pressure on their data networks with Silk optimized web access. Lets see if they release a 3G version of Fire. Looking good though :)
The $79 Kindle is ad-supported. That's not the version we're getting over here.
What we're getting is the $109 version without ads. That works out at ~£70 at today's exchange rates. Add 20% VAT and the price rises to £84, so it's only £5 dearer than the US equivalent - and some of that might be swallowed up in import duties etc.
The Fire uses Amazon Cloud, which according to The Guardian is only available in the US for legal reasons. They think the unavailability of the Touch versions in the UK is something to do with Whispersync.
The touch screens employed by other readers require something to be attached above the display. That reduces clarity a little, which is really important when you're trying to sell to people who value the printed page. I guess they've gone infrared because it looks over the screen from the edges. It also needn't necessarily be one of those cheap trip-the-wire things they had in the 80s, since doing it optically with two or three 1d cameras is now completely viable economically.
The $79 Dollar model is Advert supported, I think the £89 UK model will be Ad free so it's equivillant to the $109 Dollar version in the US.
$109, by my reckoning that works out as £84 when you add in the VAT so £5 extra from somewhere but not as much of a rip off as everyone has been saying.
"The cheapest Kindle on sale this morning sets you back $139, or $189 for the 3G model. The floor now drops to $79 and $149."
Is this a quote from Jeff?
The old 3G model is $189 without ads, that's the same price as the new 3G touch without ads. With ads the old 3G model is $139, $10 cheaper than the new model.
My guess is they'll kill off the old model in favour of the touch screen model, I guess that's a good idea the keyboard doesn't get much use so it just takes up space.
Has anyone seen the new basic model in action? How do you find books on the store when there's no keyboard? I guess it's a case of: left, left, left, click (A), right right down down click (space) I'd stop being such a cheapskate and pay the extra $20 to get the touch screen.
Unsurprisingly there's no 3G on the fire, it's one thing giving away free 3G for an e-ink device but on a colour tablet with a proper web browser you're going to incur some serious charges. It'll be interesting to see how locked down the tablet is. If it's a fully functioning Android tablet with the only condition being you have to get all your apps through Amazon it might be worth it.
And drive Android into the primary position as a platform for app development on tablets. I suspect it's a game changer in tablets.
Some analysts are saying it dilutes the platform but I think that's just analysts showing their usual prediction skill deficit.
Pity it's US only though - I'd snap one up at that price if it worked here in Australia.
The best improvement from my point of view is the colour display. When I bought my current Kindle, I had intended to use it to replace my IT bookshelf so that I could carry it around with me. Nobody enjoys carrying around that five centimeter thick MySQL book. This worked well until I got to replacing my Snort manual.
The e-book was a conversion of their printed manual... with absolutely lovely blue on grey program listings. With suitable adjustment to the black/white Kindle, I could just make out that there was some kind of text on the big grey blob where the listings were supposed to be. Couldn't read it though. It was also unreadable on the PC version of the Kindle. Amazon refunded the price of the book with no questions asked. I also complained to the publisher - who said "sorry, bye.".
So the colour feature is important for e-reader library support as well as entertainment. The journals and magazines that I get can now be moved over to the new Kindle. This is going to save me a fuck-off (new UK term) amount of shelf space and even more importantly a fuck-off amount of weight.
As for movies - there's a two meter section of blank wall available in my office for a nice led display of useful size. Connect that to an eight core Xeon server and you have a useful entertainment system. I could claim that it was to replace flip-charts or something. The new Kindle is more on the lines of one of those tiny "keep the kids happy" portable DVD players.
Given that colour ePaper isn't available yet, I would personally choose a monochrome ePaper book reader over a colour LCD type display every day of the week. As you found out there are limitation on the format, but there are so many cases where the ePaper display is better to live with, for a book reader.
Publishers need to get used to working with the Kindle format. It isn't always just a case of dumping all the words from the book into the Kindle file. Where fancy formatting is used in the book they need to make sure it comes through OK.
I'm reading Iain M Banks' The Algebraist at the moment. The story keeps changing track mid chapter. In the printed book there are markings on the page to show these. They are missing from the Kindle version, so you get sudden jumps from one part of the story to another, without any warning.
It is to be hoped that Kindle publishing gets better at handling these sorts of issues.
I've been really impressed with my Kindle overall because it seems a really focused product that seems to do the one job it sets out to do really well.
I hope future versions stick to that ethos.
Never mind if £89 = $79 or $109, I like the look of the new entry level Kindle as a pure ebook. I've got the current v3 Kindle and the keyboard is just an annoyance ... takes up space that you use perhaps once every week or two ... and even when you do since it has no numbers or symbols you still end up using arrow keys to find the symbol you need on a pop-up menu. That said, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the Fire arrive in the UK, hopefully at a "sensible" price ... given $->£ conversion on the current 3G Kindle then I'd assume something around £150-160 seems to be what to expect.