eReaders

New Kindle Fires Bring Android Fragmentation to Amazon!

Look at the image above, which is for VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables (Kindle Tablet Edition) from the Amazon App Store. Yes, I know with teenage boys I should be done with Veggie Tales, but I still enjoy them and with the $0.99 sale … just shaddup. Anyway, in the image you will see it is the ‘Kindle Tablet Edition’. Based on this I simply clicked ‘BUY’ and then later in the day I grabbed my Kindle Fire HD and went to install the app – but it wasn’t listed. It showed up when I searched the store from…


Amazon’s Brilliant Kindle Credit Email

If you purchased any eBooks published by a major publishing house in the last few years, you probably received an email from Amazon, or will receive one from your bookstore of choice shortly. As a result of the Department of Justice ruling on Agency Pricing, the publishers who agreed to the settlement owe us all some money. The exact formula isn’t clear, but according to the email from Amazon it’s safe to expect $0.30-$1.32 per book: We have good news. You are entitled to a credit for some of your past e-book purchases as a result of legal settlements between…


Liquid-Armor Invisible Nano-Coating Tech Screen Protector for Tablets and eReaders Review

all photos by Kevin Stanford Like many who ordered an iPhone 5 when they were first available, I didn’t have any kind of case, screen protector, or protective skin on hand when mine arrived. I did have a review sample of Dynaflo’s Liquid-Armor, however. Nano-coating tech? What’s that all about? I was ready to find out! Included in the package are one 0.33 ounce bottle of Liquid-Armor fluid, an 8″ x 8″ microfiber cloth, and a second, smaller (bonus) microfiber cloth The Dynaflo site says that the Liquid-Armor system – Provides scratch-resistant surface for normal wear and tear. – Screen…


The Kindle Fire HD, a Gear Diary Video Chat

iPad-junkies Mike and Dan both purchased the 16GB version of the 7″ Kindle Fire HD. Dan got his on release day, Mike the following Monday; unlike with the Google Nexus 7 there is no attempt to use ONLY the Kindle Fire as a ‘daily driver’. Following on with their Nexus 7 chat Dan and Mike jumped on video to talk about the Fire, the Amazon ecosystem and how two devoted iPad-users are finding the newest Android tablet. Let us know what you think about the Kindle Fire HD, and about our video!


Kindle Fire HD Quick Hands-On Review and Comparison to Fire and Nexus 7

Last year Amazon stunned the world with the $199 Kindle Fire, melding a 7″ tablet that was a solid front end for Amazon with a decidedly budget price. A few of us at Gear Diary bought them, but whether they remained varied quite a bit based on usage. Since then there have been some other 7″ tablets but only one worth noting – the Nexus 7. Now Amazon is back with the next entry – the Kindle Fire HD. Let’s take a quick look and see how the three titans of 7″ tablets compare! The Hype: World’s most advanced 7″…


Did Amazon’s Kindle Announcements Out-Apple Apple?

My day job is in client facing sales and service, so I spend a great deal of time making sure I present my message correctly. First, we establish the basic facts. Then there’s a discussion of what they mean, implications, risks, etc. Finally, these all lead to the conclusion and (ideally) the implementation of whatever solution we think is best. While my presentations are far, far less flashy than a big tech announcement, I still like to see how companies hype up their products, especially since that showmanship does overlap with my own skills and job needs. Normally, Apple announcement…


Amazon’s New Kindles, a Video Gear Chat

Now that Amazon’s new Kindle announcements have had a few days to settle in, there’s a lot to consider for the future. Will the Kindle go from cheaper and cheaper to free? Will the iPad mini exist and unseat the Kindle Fire? And how will Barnes and Noble respond? Dan and I had a long chat today, and we covered all of the above and more! Check it out below, and then let us know in the comments if you agree, disagree, or if you have your own predictions for the future of eBook readers!


Amazon’s Hardware Announcements Showcase Their Software Advantage

Amazon may only release Kindles once a year, but when they do, it is worth noting. Last year, they rolled out the Kindle Fire, and this year they not only upgraded the Fire line, they also answered the NOOK with Glowlight, addressed head-on their hardware and software priorities, and basically nailed every expectation out there. So what does it all mean? What I found most interesting about yesterday’s announcements were Jeff Bezos’ remarks about hardware. Basically, he said that Amazon isn’t interested in making money on hardware; they want to sell us goods and services. Every device they sell is…


Check Out the New Kindle Commercials

Amazon took a huge step forward in their hardware offerings with new a new Kindle and multiple new Kindle Fires. Do you think these are worth upgrades? Do they excite you enough to order or are you waiting to see what the iPad mini has to offer? Let us know in the comments.


Refunds Coming from the eBook Pricing Settlement

If you purchased an eBook in the last three years, I have some good news! There’s a shot that the publisher owes you a few cents if that title was priced according to the “agency model”. You’re rich! A whole shiny nickel just for you! According to Businessweek: States including Maryland, Ohio and Texas said they reached a $69 million settlement with three U.S. publishers over alleged price-fixing for electronic books. The agreements were made with Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers LLC and Simon & Schuster Inc., according to statements from attorneys general in states also including Colorado and Florida….


Kanex Sydnee Smart Recharge Station for iPad Review

Our new computer lab will be ready for our students when they return this fall. That means our pre-school will have four or more iPads and our grade school students will, eventually, have access to a dozen or more iPads. That’s all good and well except for the fact that all those iPads need to be recharged. Sure we could get a power strip and put AC adapter and cable after AC adapter and cable into it but that would be bulky, ugly and inconvenient. The alternative would be a multi-iPad charging station. A few exist but most are big and…


Storybundle Brings Indie eBooks, Readers, and “Pay What You Want” Bundles Together

When I was a kid I was a voracious reader. Obviously I still am, but when I was 11 my parents had a harder time keeping up with my reading habits. I distinctly remember being over the moon with excitement the day my mom signed me up for “The Science Fiction Book Club”, a discount mail order service that got me several free books as gifts with membership, plus a new book each month! In fact, I think I still have some of those books in a box in my parent’s basement. Anyway, I can’t help but consider the legacy…


In Apple’s World, “Amazon” Might As Well Be a Four Letter World

Someone at Apple needs to keep their finger off the big red button. No, not the nuclear codes, the one that rejects anything related to Amazon. Yes, Apple has been relatively quiet lately, but they once again angered the ebook world with another head scratcher of a rejection, this time for a guide to self-publishing. Pretty hard to discuss self publishing and NOT discuss Amazon, but that’s how Apple’s reviewers wanted it handled. According to Teleread and Holly Lisle, the self publishing writer whose work was rejected: Lesson 6 includes my “Amazon River” technique, in which I show students how…


Writing, Self-Publishing, and Self-Editing

Self-publishing has been the great equalizer in writing. Suddenly authors who weren’t getting the time of day from traditional publishing could package their books and other collected works without a middleman, and sell right to the masses. However, as anyone who has shopped around for ebooks has noticed, self published titles are a mixed bag. Some are great, and some are…not so great. Forbes has noticed that too. They shared a pretty funny Twitter conversation with author Lou Morgan after he found an old manuscript of his from his teenage years. Morgan talks about how embarrassed he is by his…


Should eBooks and Privacy Be a Concern for Us?

Here’s another reason for eBook haters to complain about the digitization of the written word — your reading habits are no longer secret. While it is not surprising to assume Amazon, B&N and Kobo are watching what you read, the Wall Street Journal has a very detailed account of just how much is being watched. From the Journal: Publishing has lagged far behind the rest of the entertainment industry when it comes to measuring consumers’ tastes and habits. TV producers relentlessly test new shows through focus groups; movie studios run films through a battery of tests and retool them based…


Will The Nexus 7 Tablet Impact the Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet?

When Google announced the Nexus tablet, I was surprised to see they didn’t seem to be aiming for the iPad. With a $199 starting price and a 7 inch form factor, Google is clearly taking aim at the devices that have defined the Android tablet market thus far; e-reading based tablets like the Kindle Fire and the NOOK Tablet both run off Android, but use their own proprietary app and content stores, and Google wants a piece of that pie! So I posed this question to the other Gear Diary editors:      Carly: How much will the Nexus tablet pull…


Geoff Morrison’s “Undersea” Only .99 On Kindle!

I am always on the hunt for a good book, especially during the summertime. Once on a week’s vacation to the beach I blew through 12 books! Needless to say, I try to bargain hunt for new titles. So Geoffrey Morrison’s book “Undersea”, for only .99 on Kindle, has caught my eye! Here’s the description: In a world flooded and irradiated by a nearly forgotten cataclysm generations passed, all that remains of civilization clings to life in two war-torn, city-sized submarines. For fifty years, the only peace between them has come from separation. Now, young councilwoman Ralla Gattley has uncovered…


ReAuthored for New iPad; from Dead Tree Book to iPad Case

We’ve seen a lot of cases for the iPad (and there are many more to come). Some follow a familiar theme, while others are more unique. The case we are looking at in this review is one of those “more unique” ones. It comes from a company called ReAuthored, and it gives new life to old books even as it protects the “book-killer” that is the iPad. The iPad cases they offer are approximately 11″ high, 8.5″ wide and .5″ deep. They weigh about a pound. Why are the dimensions and weight just “approximate”? Simple. ReAuthored cases are made from…


Us+U Swivel Portfolio for Kindle Fire Review

Sarah has had a Kindle Fire since Christmas, and she loves it. She uses it for reading, watching movies, and playing games. For a while her primary case was one she found at Brookstone that was clearly a repurposed Blackberry Playbook case. So Sarah was very excited when we had the chance to check out the US+U Swivel Portfolio! US+U is not just a typical case maker though. They give 3% of the net revenue from each case to various charities, meaning purchasing this case does more than outfit your Fire, it does something good for the world at the…


The Worst Solution Ever for “Show Rooming”

If you listen to traditional retailers, online websites like Amazon are hurting them through what’s called “showrooming”, where the retail store becomes a place for consumers to check out items, but buy them online instead. There’s a lot of debate over the solutions (Target pulled all their Kindles, for example) but Rich Adin at The Digital Reader has the worst suggestion I have ever seen: Of course, there is no practical way to prevent such comparison shopping by consumers. A b&m retailer can fight back by no longer carrying any Amazon-branded merchandise, which is the approach Target took, but that…


Search and Replace Meets the Kindle, the NOOK, and Tolstoy

Public domain titles are a tricky area for ebooks. On the one hand, a bit of digging can get you a free copy of a title easily. But paying a nominal amount sometimes means a better quality copy, with typos and other issues properly corrected. Unless, of course, you bought “War and Peace” for your NOOK. According to Poynter, a company named “Superior Formatting Publishing” put out a copy of “War and Peace” for the Kindle. Then they made one for the NOOK. In a mind-boggling bit of sloppiness, they did an automatic search and replace every time “Kindle” appeared,…