Amazon and Pottermore have announced that the entire Harry Potter book series--all seven books--will be available on the Kindle Lending Library beginning June 19, bringing a huge slice of legitimacy to the service.
“We’re absolutely delighted to have reached this agreement with Pottermore. This is the kind of significant investment in the Kindle ecosystem that we’ll continue to make on behalf of Kindle owners,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “Over a year, borrowing the Harry Potter books, plus a handful of additional titles, can alone be worth more than the $79 cost of Prime or a Kindle. The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library also has an innovative feature that’s of great benefit for popular titles like Harry Potter -– unlimited supply of each title -– you never get put on a waiting list.”
There’s some good news for all you bookworms out there that enjoy reading in Spanish! Amazon has launched a dedicated section of the Kindle Store that features best sellers, such as The Hunger Games, in Spanish. The Spanish catalog also features best selling Spanish authors such as Jose Emilio Pacheco and Sergio Pitol. The selection isn’t only geared towards adults, as kids will have the option of reading Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go! in Spanish as well.
Amazon says that, “All of the Spanish-language Nielsen best sellers available as eBooks in the United States, and 65 of the top 100 Spanish-language print best sellers from Amazon.com.” Furthermore, the Amazon Kindle Store features the most Spanish reading content when compared against other ebook stores, and will continue to grow as the market matures.
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Looking for a good deal on the Kindle Fire? Today is your lucky day, because Amazon is selling off Fire refurbs for $139. That's $60 less than the price of a new model, and $30 less than what the company typically charges for refurbished units. You also get a one-year warranty on the tablet to boot.
For all the Harry Potter fans out there, your days of lugging books around has ended. The Harry Potter series is now available for download from Pottermore, alongside Google Play, Amazon, Sony Reader, and B&N Nook. The eBooks are compatible with all major ereaders and can be downloaded in bundle packs from the site. The titles start at $7.99 and go up from there. You have the option of buying the whole bundle for $57.54, but of course, you can also purchase them individually. The books are offered English (US & GB), with Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and French coming soon.
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Here at Gear Live, we have a love affiar with Amazon. They've got our credit card numbers, our accounts are Prime, and the Kindles flow like wine. However, unless you choose overnight shipping, you still have to wait for the items you purchased. It's a small price ot pay for the convenience, but for some, instant gratifiction is what's missing. That may even be changing with Amazon, as the company will be venturing into the brick and mortar store business.
Those lucky enough to live in the Seattle area (that's us!) may soon be seeing an Amazon store popping up at a local mall. Amazon is exploring the idea, kind of a trial and error run, to see if they have a profitable market in physical stores. Amazon wants to provide an Apple-like store experience for consumers who want to buy a Kindle, for example. This is a brilliant move on Amazon’s part, as the Kindle currently is not under its full control in retail, being left to the whims of a retail associate at Target or Best Buy who likely don't know much about it.
With the Kindle Fire being one of the biggest tablets to rival the iPad this holiday season, it is no surprise that we are seeing an update so soon into the New Year. The Kindle Fire update 6.2.2 brings full screen browsing to the Silk broser, as well as a handful of performance tweaks to the Amazon device. Of course, as it is with all software updates, some minor bugs in the software were also fixed. If you are one of the many that have rooted their Fire, you might also want to note that your increased user ability will be taken away. This update can be applied over the air or by visiting the official Kindle Fire site to manually download the update right now, and if you don't have one, you can pick up the Kindle Fire for $199.
If you've got a Kindle Fire and have been waiting for the opportunity to to install a full-on version of Android, you may want to look into the newest hack that's just been released that allows you to install Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the Amazon tablet. Yep, you read that right - thanks to an early Ice Cream Sandwich port based on CyanogenMod 9 that was put together by JackpotClavin, you can turn your Kindle Fire into a real Android tablet, with some caveats, as you'd probably expect.
I've been using my Kindle Fire since it came out, and while I'm still waiting for CyanogenMod9 to come out and let me actually put Ice Cream Sandwich on my Kindle Fire, I've been relatively happy with the performance.
The main interface tweak added to the Kindle Fire is the ability to remove items from the carousel on the home page. This is a small but useful way to keep your most commonly used apps organized and, if necessary, make sure other users don't see whatever naughty things you might have been perusing.
That's the only change to the main screen; you still can't organize your apps into categories or customize your menu beyond adding and removing items from favorites and the carousel. I use my Kindle Fire for several different things, and it would be great to organize my apps by categories like Online Content, Books, Network Tools, and Games. The Fire still has Amazon's default seven tabs and single app list organized alphabetically or by date.
[Editor's Note: Andru Edwards of Gear Live and the Ask Andru column joined us on this week's GeekWire radio show and podcast to share his top picks for technology gifts this holiday season. Here's a rundown of his choices, just in time your last-minute shopping.]
Kindle Fire: Amazon's $199 tablet is often compared to the iPad, but in many ways it's more appropriate to compare it to the iPod touch, based on the price and feature set. If you want a cheap tablet that can ship to you by Christmas, the Kindle Fire is it. There are some bugs. In terms of responsiveness and the accuracy of its touch interface, the Kindle Fire doesn't always live up to Apple iOS devices, but for $199 you're not going to find anything else that has this feature set, and many of the bugs will be fixed by software updates.
Crayola ColorStudio HD: This $29.99 accessory is a digital marker for the iPad, turning the Apple tablet into a virtual coloring book when used in conjunction with a companion app, with music and animations. With the digital marker, kids can do more with the iPad than just play games. They can be color, they can make their own coloring book pages. Input styles include crayons, markers and paint. Features include Facebook sharing and printing through Apple AirPrint.
The Kindle Fire ($199 on Amazon) is undoubtedly a success in terms of the sheer amount of sales that the tablet has seen since its launch. However, many customers have complained about the various small issues that, when added up, can make for a frustrating experience. Things like unresponsive touch gestures, and lagginess in the UI. The good news is that Amazon's been listening, and its set to release the first over-the-air update for the Kindle Fire in under two weeks to address many of these issues.
Kindle Fire is the most successful product we’ve ever launched – we’ve already sold millions of units and we’re building more to meet the strong demand. As with all of our products, we continue to make them better for customers with regular software updates – in fact, in less than two weeks, we’re rolling out an over-the-air update to Kindle Fire that will improve performance, touch navigation, and give customers the option to choose what items display on the carousel.
Sounds good to us. In the past, Amazon hasn't really been the best in terms of Kindle software updates, but the Fire is a full-on tablet, and thusly people expect more out of it than they do its e-Ink couterparts. Anything you're hoping gets fixed in the update?
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