Amazon posted a major update for its iOS Kindle client this afternoon, bringing the app to version 4.1. The update includes a number of new features, like Flashcards for students, and several improvements for things like search, X-Ray and Dictionary.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes in 4.1 is the new Flashcards feature. It’s only available for print replica textbooks, but students can use the feature to convert important terms from X-Ray, or their own notes, into flashcard sets for studying… Read More
On the surface, Amazon is seemingly supportive of Apple’s iOS platform as the company updates its various iOS applications on a regular basis – even if it’s just a courtesy to its iOS-loving users who want to enjoy Amazon services on their iPhone and iPad.
Scratch a little deeper and all hell breaks loose.
For starters, the online retailing giant is waging legal battle against Apple over e-book price fixing. And given the two tech titans increasingly compete on hardware, software and services, it’s really no surprise Amazon’s marketing department is taking direct jabs at Apple users every now and then.
This February, for example, the company aired a much-flawed screen comparison video pitting its 1080p Kindle tablet against Apple’s better-than-1080p iPad with Retina display. This time around, an Amazon ad is challenging the e-reading experience on a tablet such as the iPad, versus that on the Kindle Paperwhite.
With the public release of iOS 7 on the horizon, users should expect to have to install a number of app updates over the next several weeks. Developers have a lot of work to do to prepare their apps for the big upcoming change.
Amazon took the first step this weekend, issuing what it is calling a ‘required’ update for its Kindle app. The company says that users of the popular e-book service must download the new version prior to upgrading to iOS 7… Read More
Folks with an iPhone or iPad invested in Amazon’s ebook service will be happy to hear that it has posted a solid update for its iOS Kindle client today. The update brings the app to version 3.9, and offers a handful of new features and improvements.
Perhaps the most noticeable change is the new Free Sample Search feature, which allows you to search through Amazon’s extensive Kindle library to download free samples. And the Bring Your Own Dictionary option pretty much speaks for itself… Read More
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s Google event which saw, among othergoodies, introduction of the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet with an improved 1,920-by-1,200 screen, the Kindle maker Amazon is now said to be refreshing its Fire tablet family around higher-resolution displays, too.
And as Apple and its Asian suppliers scramble to solve manufacturing challenges that continue to plague a second-generation iPad mini, Amazon’s top-of-the-line Kindle reportedly features a significantly overhauled display that packs 30 percent more pixels than the Retina iPad, into a smaller 8.9-inch screen compared to Apple’s 9.7-inch device. Ouch! Read More
Amazon has today released an update for its native Kindle iOS app, bringing the e-reader client to version 3.8. The update includes a mix of a handful of new features and numerous bug fixes and improvements.
Perhaps the most prominent enhancement in today’s release is the new line spacing options. You can now adjust the page layout to display text in one of three different spacing settings: normal, loose and tight… Read More
Amazon today announced a nice little update for its Kindle iOS app, bringing the title to version 3.7. The update includes a handful of bug fixes and improvements, but the biggest change has to be the new VoiceOver support.
Tapping iOS’ Accessibility features, Amazon has made it much easier for blind and visually impaired users to navigate their way around the Kindle app through the use of VoiceOver. More details and full change log after the fold… Read More
As Apple released its $329 iPad mini last year to compete with the growing crop of inexpensive seven-inchers, sales overtook that of the full-size model faster than Apple had envisioned. And because of it, the existing Android tablet vendors competing on the low to mid-end have been undoubtedly feeling lots of heat.
Amazon, which first legitimized the category with launch of the $199 Kindle Fire in September 2011, is reportedly about to up the ante with a $99 Kindle Fire version, a potentially disruptive move which will boost sales and popularize smaller, inexpensive tablets, but also put pressure on Apple and other tablet vendors to slash prices of their warez.
UPDATE: Amazon shoots down the rumor, says a $99 Kindle Fire is “not happening”… Read More
In addition to refreshing its Cloud Player software with a brand new iPad interface and other features, online retailer Amazon last night pushed an update to its Kindle client for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Hopefully you haven’t had a chance to hit the Update button yet, because Kindle version 3.6.1 for iOS has a nasty bug which will delete your entire book library on your device. Of course, all your purchases are still safely available in the Amazon cloud.
The company has acknowledged as much in the app’s release notes on iTunes. “There is a known issue with this update,” the note reads. “If you are an existing Kindle for iOS user, we recommend you do not install the update at this time”. There, you have been warned. The company issued a statement confirming that it’s come up with a fix and a new version is underway.
UPDATE: Kindle version 3.6.2 has just gone live on the App Store, fixing the account deregistering glitch… Read More
Amazon’s Kindle iOS app has been updated with three useful additions. First up, now you can pick between four color choices to highlight passages of text. Second, Amazon says that the brightness setting will now be saved across device sleeps. And last but not the least, the app now supports something Amazon refers to as Book End Actions, which is basically “sharing the accomplishment with friends on Facebook and Twitter”.Read More
New research shows number one tablet maker Apple shipped more iPads while also losing market share during the 2012 holiday fourth quarter. The company shipped nearly 23 million tablets during the period, a dramatic increase from the same time in 2011, when 15.1 million Apple tablets shipped.
At the same time, Apple’s overall share of the tablet market fell for the second quarter in a row, slipping to 43.6 percent from 46.4 percent during the third quarter of last year – and down from 51.7 percent a year ago, according to IDC.
Apple ended the year with 48.1 percent year-over-year growth while number two tablet rival Samsung saw its growth more than double. A combination of Android and Windows-based tablet sales helped push the South Korean firm’s share of the tablet market to 15.1 percent, up from 7.3 percent in 2011… Read More
Are consumers loosing trust that Apple will keep personal information private? That’s the implication from new rankings showing the iPhone maker fell out of the top 20 most-trusted firms in 2012.
The firm fell to number 21 after being among the top 20 companies viewed as protecting customer data. Mozilla, the maker of open-source web browser Firefox claimed the number 20 spot, according to privacy watcher Ponemon Institute.
Consumer credit firm American Express again took the number one position in the 2012 privacy rankings. Computer maker Hewlett-Packard and Amazon, creator of the Kindle, ranked number two and three. Amazon improved its ranking, rising to third place in 2012, up from the fifth spot in 2011. Although Apple had ranked as high as number 8 in 2009, confidence in the firm’s privacy stance has been shaken over the past year…
Apple will open an iBookstore in Japan during 2013 with a handful of local publishers supplying their electronic books. Unlike Apple, rival tech giants began selling e-books in the Asian nation last year. However, multiple reports disagree on the timing. One local report suggests as early as January, while another tech news site calls that “far too optimistic”. Although the iBookstore has been in Japan since 2010, it has offered only public-domain titles due to reluctance by Japanese publishers, who feared e-books would cut into sales of traditionally printed books… Read More
Before PC demand dwindled, software giant Microsoft was happy with licensing its Windows software to computer makers. Now that we are taking the first steps into the post-PC era, the Redmond firm still wants its profit. But how do you charge a $50 per-tablet royalty fee when the device itself costs $199?
Enter the $499 Surface, says one independent analyst. While Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire both sell for $199, the Surface carries the much higher price tag because Microsoft stubbornly refuses to give up the 30 percent profit margin it’s accustomed to receiving for Windows and Office software licenses… Read More
Since its debut last year, the Kindle Fire has garnered quite a bit of attention in the tablet space. Despite Amazon’s reluctance to release actual sales numbers, there’s no doubt that the slate has made at least a small dent in Apple’s majority marketshare.
And now it looks like Amazon is ready to take on Apple and others in the smartphone space as well. A new report today adds to previous rumors that the online retailer is working on a handset, claiming it’s already in production, and set for launch next year… Read More
It looks like another win by Amazon against so-called “agency” pricing model employed by Apple’s iBookstore and other digital bookstores. Following the lead of a US court, the European Union (EU) Thursday announced that the iPhone maker along with four publishers will relent after all.
Specifically, Apple and publishers reportedly have agreed to lower e-book prices on competing stores, including the Kindle store operated by Seattle-based Amazon. Apple, along with Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Macmillan, signed the agreement because it wanted to avoid fines that could have topped an astounding $15 billion.
As part of the settlement, Apple’s so-called “most-favored nation” clause – that barred publishers from offering lower prices on competing stores – gets suspended for five years… Read More
When it comes to China, much of the conversation centers on smartphones and tablets. Amazon is attempting to change that picture, opening a Kindle store to compete against home-grown e-book companies. One problem: there isn’t a Chinese-language Kindle available, yet.
So, Amazon, which competes against Apple, is offering iOS e-reading applications, as well as versions for Android devices. Although Chinese regulators approved the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire in June, Amazon is still working on content deals with Chinese publishers.
Apparently, the aim of the store is to establish the Amazon Kindle brand name. Local e-commerce giant China Dangdang has offered ebooks since 2011, building a library of 100,000 titles, reports say… Read More
After updating its Kindle e-reading app for the iPhone and iPad last month with the X-Ray for Textbooks feature, the online retailer Amazon today refreshed the software, having added the useful X-Ray for Books capability. Basically the “bones of the book”, as Amazon puts it, X-Ray for Books helps you learn more about notable characters, places and phrases with nice descriptions from Shelfari.com and Wikipedia. In addition to this feature, the new Kindle app also boasts Manga image rendering improvements, per iTunes release notes. The new Kindle app is still a free universal binary and it looks great on all iOS form factors, including the iPad mini… Read More
The people with the smile on the box had no reason to smile when their company, the online retail giant Amazon, yesterday posted third-quarter results today, reporting its first loss in nine years. Even as revenue increased by 27 percent annually, Amazon lost $274 million during the third quarter on net sales of $13.8 billion, up from $10.9 billion a year earlier.
In the year-ago quarter, Amazon reported a net profit of $63 million. Total operating expenses increased from $10.8 billion to $13.8 billion. Amazon attributed the loss to its investment in online deal site LivingSocial.
It’s also understandable that a low-margin, high-volume nature of Amazon’s content and books businesses affects earnings. The company is also vulnerable to exchange rates, online shopping growth and fluctuations in consumer spending. And in announcing its first-ever loss, Amazon even took jabs at Apple’s iPad in – wait for it – the official press release… Read More
Amazon refreshed its Kindle lineup last month ahead of Apple’s September 12 iPhone 5 announcement. One of the easily overlooked software features the online retailer also brought out: X-Ray for Books, Textbooks and Movies. In a nutshell, the X-Ray feature intelligently retrieves additional information when you tap an on-screen object, like a movie character, book passages, glossary and what not, also pulling related data from Wikipedia and YouTube to enhance your e-reading experience.
Likewise, X-Ray for Movies lets you learn more about the movie’s cast and characters by just tapping the screen, which produces relevant content by cinema site IMDb. In today’s update to its free Kindle app, Amazon is bringing X-Ray for Textbooks to iPhones, iPads and iPods… Read More