Apple released iOS 11 on September 19, 2017. iOS 11 has a feature which is not frequently mentioned but has important implications for many users. iOS 11 introduces support “High effectiveness” compression by using HEIC file format. Here you can read more about file extension HEIC.
As Black Friday is almost here Amazon already lined up some of its great deals on its Black Friday 2016 page. We will update this page during Black Friday week and Cyber Monday with most recent deals on Amazon store.
Amazon New Devices Deals
Let’s start with Amazon all times hit released several years ago but still one of the best devices for reading your e-books. It is all-new Kindle device. When first Kindle just hit the shelves in 2007 it was selling for outrageous $399 price (it seemed normal back then though when it was one of the first devices on markets). But now several years later you can get 8th generation all new device for just $49.99 this Black Friday. It sells regularly for $79.99. Yes it came down from $399 to $49.99. It is 8th generation and 8 times price difference now. So grab yours if you still don’t own one.
If you want to step up a notch it may be time to go for Kindle Paperwhite which has an amazing 1440×1080, 300 ppi E Ink Carta HD display. No matter how hard you will look there is a little chance that you will find pixels on this display. And if you like to read at night it has a built in light in its screen with brightness you have full control off. So you can read your Kindle Paperwhite at night without bothering your partner. Or you can lit up the screen to full brightness and use it as a low power light torch to get to the bathroom. And if you travel a lot you may want to get a 3G version of it. Now since we’re about to enter Black Friday pricing on Kindle Paperwhite also dropped. Version with Wi-Fi and special offers is available for only $99.99 now (regular price is $119.99). 3G version with special offers is $169.99 (a bit too much for 3G in my opinion but some folks really need it).
Now let’s get to more expensive options. Kindle Voyage is probably entering mass market now since its priced for Black Friday is just $169.99 which is border line affordable in my opinion. But you get glass screen and 6 LED lights behind the screen. It does adds up to brightness and contrast of the screen but given that Kindle Paperwhite already has superb contrast it is hard to make it better given that both devices share the same screen. But due to the glass screen and LED lights it is visually different from Paperwhite and has a bit more contrast. As a bonus Kindle Voyage has “PagePress” technology when you can press on the sides of the Kindle and page will magically turn. Overall it is a very comfortable device and it fills like a step up from Kindle Paperwhite. Though you will be happy with either device.
So quick recap.
- Kindle 8th generation is $49.99 (was $79.99). Biggest discount, great device.
- Kindle Paperwhite is $99.99 (was $119.99). $20 discount, probably best device Amazon ever released.
- Kindle Voyage is $169.99. Everything you may ever need from Kindle.
Amazon Refurbished Devices Deals
Refurbished device from Amazon is claimed to be: refurbished, tested, and certified to look and work like new.
So given this claim and that any Refurbished device from Amazon “Is subject to the same return policy as any new Amazon Device” you can order one with a piece of mind.
Deals on refurbished Kindles are actually very good this Black Friday. Certified Refurbished Kindle Paperwhite could be yours for $79.99 (new one is regularly priced at $119.99 and Black Friday deal for new one is $99.99). So $20 difference here.
Certified Refurbished Kindle Voyage is $119.99. New one on Black Friday deal is $169.99 .$40 difference here which is better than Kindle Paperwhite’s.
It is worth noting that Refurbished Kindle Fire HD 10 Tablet with 10.1 inch display, Wi-Fi and 16GB is on sale for $159.99. This is quite a good deal given that you will get full featured tablet with large screen.
Kindle Bundles Deals
If you’re looking for the Kindle Bundle (Kindle + cover) deals there are some good news for you too.
- Let’s start with Kindle for Kids Bundle with cover. This bundle includes Kindle Device we noticed above and All-New Nupro Kindle Case (8th generation). Amazon priced it at $69.99 which is 44% lower than regular $124.98 price.
- Kindle Essentials Bundle is available this Black Friday for $84.97 which includes Amazon Kindle 8th generation (regularly priced at $79.99) and Amazon Cover for Kindle (regularly priced at $29.99) and Amazon 5W power adapter (priced at $19.99).
- Kindle Paperwhite Essentials Bundle is priced this Black Friday at $139.97. It includes the latest Kindle 6″ E-Reader with Special Offers ($79.99), Amazon Cover for Kindle ($29.99), and Amazon 5W Power Adapter ($19.99).
- Kindle Voyage Essentials Bundle is priced now at $224.97. It includes the latest Kindle Voyage 6″ E-Reader with Special Offers ($199.99), Amazon Leather Cover ($59.99), and Amazon 5W Power Adapter ($19.99)
International Kindle Deals
If you’re shopping from outside of United States you need to check International Kindle Deals. Below are some details and pricing about them.
- All-new Kindle e-reader (8th generation) 6 inch is available for $69.99 (regular price is $99.99) this Black Friday.
- Kindle Paperwhite e-reader (3rd generation) 6 inch with 300 PPI high resolution display is selling for $119.99 this Black Friday. Regular price is $139.99.
- Kindle Voyage e-reader is selling for $189.99 which is $30.00 lower than regular $219.99 price.
This Black Friday Amazon is running some interesting bundle deals which include Amazon Echo and other devices. Let us give you a summary of what is available:
- All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – White + Philips Hue White Starter Kit for $99 (usually priced at $119.98). This bundle includes the All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) and Philips Hue Starter Kit so you can control your lights with your voice
- All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – White + Bose SoundLink Mini II Carbon for $213.99 (usually priced at $248.99). This bundle includes the All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) and Bose SoundLink Mini II (Carbon) so you can control your speaker with your voice
- Bose SoundTouch 10 (Black) + All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) for $213.99 (usually priced at $248.99). This bundle includes the All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) and Bose SoundTouch 10 so you can control your speaker with your voice
- All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – White + TP-Link Smart Plug for $69.99 (usually priced at $79.98). This bundle includes the All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) and TP-Link Smart Plug so you can control an appliance with your voice
We will update this section soon. While we’re still updating you could check Amazon Cyber Monday page.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite can handle quite a lot of books without breaking a sweat. But if your books are all about images even it can ran out of storage capacity rather quickly. To address this Amazon Japan issued a special version of Kindle which storage is 8 times more than typical Kindle Paperwhite 4GB. It has total 32GB of storage and improved performance to deal with complex images in manga books. Additional performance of this Kindle allows up to 33% faster page turning and display of multiple pages of a book side by side.
Here is a list of additional features that Amazon is offering on its Kindle Paperwhite 32GB model.
- 8 times of storage capacity. Allows readers to save hundreds of comics book and thousands of books on Kindle device.
- Rapid page turn. Advanced processing capability of new Kindle allows up to 33% page turning speed. Also you can quickly skip pages at a speed of up to 7 pages per second.
- Comics could be read on any device you own. Any books or comics you download will be available on all of your devices including smartphones and PC.
- High resolution display. 300ppi display delivers crips and clear images of cartoon images and letters.
- Two-page display format. To enhance viewing experience you can view books in two-page display.
- Built-in light in display allows reading in low light conditions without eye strain.
- Batter which lasts several weeks. You can enjoy up to 6 weeks of reading (with brightness set on 10 and using it for 30 minutes per day with wireless connection off).
Amazon Japan opened pre-orders this week for ¥16,280 (about USD 157).
It is not clear if this Kindle model will be offered in other parts of the world but it is pretty clear that it could be a very popular offering. Probably Amazon is just testing the market demand for it in Japan.
It used to be that publishing a book was a feat only achieved by the select few, and it was restricted to major publishing houses.
Ebooks have completely shifted the way we think of publishing. Anyone who can write and has some technology knowledge can publish via Kindle Direct Publishing.
Now, we can take it even further, and open up the publishing process to children. A child’s dream to be a writer can be a reality.
The Halloween Plan is a short story written by 10-year-old Claire Saguy, an avid Kindle reader and aspiring writer who is raising money for her school in Los Angeles. Schools are facing funding cuts all over the country. What a neat way to give back to her school and community.
The plot is a dilemma we all know well. Sarah, a 5th grader, has to go to her younger sister’s Halloween show, but would much rather go to her friend’s birthday party instead. Sarah and her friends team up to come up with a plan that will allow Sarah to come to the party without her mom knowing. The plan takes some twists and turns that could go either way.
The Halloween Plan teaches a lesson on the importance of honesty and good communication. It is a quick read, and the writing is quite good.
A great short story for all ages, and just in time for Halloween. Hopefully Claire’s example will help encourage other kids hoping to become writers to publish their own ebooks as well. The lure of technology could be a great boost for literacy.
This generation of children are pretty tech savvy. There are a number of children’s books on the Kindle, some with interactive content sure to make the story more fun and engaging.
Today Amazon offers My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall just for $1.99
Most people know Penny Marshall as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. What they don’t know is her trailblazing career was a happy accident. In this funny and intimate memoir, Penny takes us from the stage of The Jackie Gleason Show in 1955 to Hollywood’s star-studded sets, offering up some hilarious detours along the way. My Mother Was Nuts is an intimate backstage pass to Penny’s personal life, her breakout role on The Odd Couple, her exploits with Cindy Williams and John Belushi, and her travels across Europe with Art Garfunkel on the back of a motorcycle. We see Penny get married. And divorced. And married again (the second time to Rob Reiner). We meet a young Carrie Fisher, whose close friendship with Penny has spanned decades. And we see Penny at work with Tom Hanks, Mark Wahlberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert De Niro, and Whitney Houston.Throughout it all, from her childhood spent tap dancing in the Bronx, to her rise as the star of Laverne & Shirley, Penny lived by simple rules: “try hard, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun.” With humor and heart, My Mother Was Nuts reveals there’s no one else quite like Penny Marshall.
Some words about the Author
Penny Marshall is an actress, producer, and director. From 1976 until 1983, she starred as Laverne DeFazio in the classic TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley. She went on to direct films such as Big (1988), the first movie directed by a woman to gross in excess of $100 million at the U.S. box office, Awakenings (1990), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and A League of Their Own (1992), which also made over $100 million in the U.S. More recently, she has directed episodes of United States of Tara (2009) and guest-starred on Portlandia (2011).
Also Amazon offers 3 books written by Francesca Simon, who is one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors and winner of the Galaxy Book Award in the United Kingdom. Each book in her best-selling Horrid Henry chapter book series contains four easy-to-read stories with hilarious illustrations by Tony Ross, and today only they’re just $0.99 each (80% off). Here is the list of the set:
1. Horrid Henry
Some words about the Author
Francesca Simon spent her childhood on the beach in California, and then went to Yale and Oxford Universities to study medieval history and literature. She now lives in London with her family.
Velocispider is a free game for 1 day only.
Part Spider, Part Velociraptor, it’s Velocispider!!! Take control of a heavily armed araknasaur in this retro arcade shoot-em-up.
Your delicious endangered eggs have attracted the taste buds of the evil CEO of the Robot Seafood Corporation. He will stop at nothing to feast on your eggs, defend them from his relentless army of aquatic robot beasts.
Protect your eggs through 20 levels of awesome retro arcade style action. Many different types of enemies will attack from many different patterns, keeping you on your toes the whole time. It is simple to pick it up and play for a few minutes, but so engaging that you’ll want to play the whole thing straight through!
Be careful: this game can take your real money from your pocket.
Wow, Amazon moved fast. Microsoft released it’s newest Windows OS, Windows 8, on Friday, and Amazon has already added a new Kindle app to go along with it. It is currently available in the Kindle Store along with the other Kindle apps, including one for Windows 7.
Windows 8 features a new “metro” style operating system that is suitable for both tablet and PC use. The traditional start button no longer exists. The programs are displayed right on the screen and are called apps. The design is geared towards touchscreens, but can be accessed with the keyboard and mouse.
Considering how much people don’t like change, it will be interesting to see how well this new OS fares in the market. The 10″ inch Microsoft Surface tablet is one to watch as it enters the increasingly crowded tablet market.
Amazon says that the Windows 8 Kindle app is available on “any Windows 8 device.” So I am assuming this means both the Surface Tablet and PC versions.
Kindle apps are available on for both PC and Mac, tablets such as the iPad and Android, and popular smartphones including the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7.
These apps are quite handy. Even if you don’t own a physical Kindle, you can still download these apps for free and purchase Kindle books. You take your reading from your Kindle to other devices without losing your place or bookmarks. It saves having to lug several devices around while you travel. It is quite convenient to sneak a chapter or two on my phone during lunch breaks.
Te only drawback I’ve seen is te Kindle Owner’s Lending Library books. I can’t download these books to any other devices besides my actual Kindle. I guess that isn’t surprising since it intended for Kindle owners only.
Well, there is definitely no shortage of reading options. It will be interesting to see how the competition heats up this holiday season.
In Steve Jobs’ biography, he repeatedly stressed the importance of creating fewer, top of the line products, rather than a slew of mediocre ones. Apple has always thrived on branding and staying ahead of the game.
It surprised me that the iPad Mini is not only real, but it is named exactly what rumors called it. Is Apple getting too predictable? Now we have a big variety of sizes for tablets and smartphones in the Apple lineup. Most people can reconcile having both an iPad and an iPhone, but can you do that for the iPad Mini and the iPhone?
I don’t see it taking the hold of the 7″ tablet market like the original 10″ iPad currently has on the larger tablet market. Obviously, price is one factor. The iPad mini is $329, whereas the Kindle Fire HD, Nook Tablet, and Nexus 7 are all $199. So, they will attract different types of consumers.
For thee moment, I don’t think the Kindle Fire HD has too much to worry about from that end. The Nexus 7 is proving to be a solid competitor, but competition is good because it make the devices strive to get better and better with each generation.
It used to be that the major tech giants excelled in different areas. Google held the monopoly on search engines, Amazon was the pioneer for ebooks, Microsoft reigned over the PC market, and Apple took control over computers, and later music.
Now, they’re all trying to one up each other by creating competing products. This can be quite overwhelming for the consumer! Maybe it is best to just let them duul it out, and see what the winners are.
As far as choices go, longevity is a good thing to consider. The Kindle Fire is in its second generation, and has ironed out some issues that the first generation had. The new Kindle Fire family includes better display, better designed hardware, and a camera. Amazon also has a good sized marketplace with a free app every day.
For the 10″ inch tablets, the iPad still dominates that market, and has had a couple of years to improve. Apple of course has a huge appstore, and includes a number of business apps.
Only time will tell what the winners will be in the tablet market. It is sure to be a wild ride.
The Kindle Paperwhite is reclaiming the top of the e-ink reader market with positive early reviews.
The Kindle Paperwhite is Amazon’s newest generation Kindle that includes front-lit lighting designed to enable readers to read at night, or in darker settings without eyestrain.
Notable improvements over predecessors
The e-ink quality is better, leading to sharper text and images.
The screen is designed to create a reading experience closer to that of reading print books. This was the original goal when Amazon first developed the Kindle. The touch screen isn’t as sensitive. The Kindle Touch would skip chapters or pages sometimes if I so much as breathed on it.
The device itself is smaller, more streamlined, and includes a grip back cover similar to the Kindle Fire.
Then, last but not least, there is the built in light, designed to spread evenly across the screen and give off a cool ambiance that does not hurt the eyes.
The Audio Controversy
Not including audio is mostly an author or publisher issue. It knocks out consumers who rely on audio to read. For example, readers who are blind, or others who just prefer audiobooks over text-based books.
While it isn’t an issue with the majority of readers, including audio is a good feature to work on for future software updates or Kindle generations if Amazon really wants to reach out to the broadest audience possible.
Here’s what reviewers are saying about the Kindle Paperwhite
“I’ve been very impressed with my new Kindle. The screen and light are absolutely gorgeous and the page turns are much faster than my old Kindle Touch. Although I know that it isn’t heavier than the last version it someone feels more substantial and solid than the older version. I am a little disappointed1111111111111 that they took away audio capabilities, but I rarely used that anyway. Overall a fantastic upgrade that I know will keep me reading!”
“Its amazing. It actually looks like a real white paper with black ink text. I have used Sony eBook reader, nook touch and older kindles in the past, but the dull gray screen was something which always made eBooks inferior to a real paper book. No more. In my opinion, this is a quantum leap!”
Today Amazon offers The Zurich Conspiracy by Bernadette Calonego just for $1.99
Thirty-something Josefa Rehmer is as smart and ambitious as they come, qualities that have earned her the enviable position of events manager at Loyn, an exclusive Zurich leather accessories company. But when Werner Schulmann is appointed to be her new supervisor, Josefa’s professional ambitions are dealt a serious blow. After all, it was Schulmann’s sexual harassment that nearly derailed her career years earlier. Unable to stomach the thought of working for such a man, Josefa resigns, abandoning Loyn for another local firm. But when Schulmann is murdered and Loyn’s CEO commits suicide, Josefa begins to suspect that something other than sexual impropriety is plaguing her former company. She sets out to uncover the truth and soon realizes the two deaths are just the tip of the iceberg. As she digs deeper, Josefa finds herself caught in a complex and dangerous web of blackmail, corporate espionage, and murder. And if she’s not careful, she will be the next one to take the fall. This dramatic tale of corporate intrigue doubles as an intricately plotted thriller about the darkest side of office politics and the people who will do anything to come out on top.
Some words about the Author
Bernadette Calonego was born in Switzerland and grew up on the shores of Lake Lucerne. A voracious reader from an early age, she fed her imagination with stories such as The Leatherstocking Tales, Ivanhoe, Treasure Island, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. She was just 11 years old when she published her first story, a fairytale, in a Swiss newspaper. She went on to earn a teaching degree from the University of Fribourg, which she put to good use in England and Switzerland before switching gears to be a journalist. After several years working with the Reuters news agency and a series of German newspapers, she moved to Canada and began writing fiction. She has published stories in Vogue, GEO, and SZ Magazin and is the author of three novels. She lives near Vancouver.
Gerald Chapple is a prize-winning translator of German literature. He received his doctorate at Harvard and went on to teach German and comparative Llterature at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He has been translating contemporary German-language authors for more than 35 years. His recent prose work includes two books by the Austrian writer Barbara Frischmuth, The Convent School and Chasing after the Wind, completed with co-translator James B. Lawson; Michael Mitterauer’s probing history of Europe from 600 to 1600, Why Europe? Medieval Origins of Its Special Path; and Anita Albus’s wonderfully idiosyncratic book On Rare Birds. Bernadette Calonego’s gripping thriller set in Zurich marks his return to longer works of prose fiction and his debut for AmazonCrossing. After choosing early retirement, he lives in Dundas, Ontario, with his wife, Nina, an architectural historian, and two labradors. When he’s not translating, he can usually be found studying birds, butterflies, and dragonflies, reading, or listening to classical music.
Master Gardener Pocket Guide is a application with can help you with your garden. It is free today only in the Amazon Appstore. This app doesn’t have great reviews, but you can try it.
Master Gardener Pocket Guide, by SageMilk, is an Android app designed especially for gardeners who are enthusiastic about lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, and gardens. With this handy tool you will learn more than 650 gardening and horticulture terms through quizzes, a dictionary, and flashcards. Hundreds of full color photos well help you to identify and classify plants and related diseases.
- Create your own flashcards and multiple-choice questions
- Customize a glossary of plant terms
- Send multiple-choice quiz questions to friends
- Post your scores online for global ranking
- Keep up to date with recent news and articles with the gardening newsfeed
Still Alice by Lisa Genova is a fictional account of a 50 year old Harvard psychology professor with early onset Alzheimer’s. It is available in both Kindle and paperback editions. This book has won numerous awards and had a long run on the New York Times Bestseller List.
I discovered this book while searching through Goodreads recommendations. Goodreads has introduced me to a lot of different authors and genres I would never have heard of otherwise.
It is simple, yet poignant. The book is written from the perspective of the Alzheimer’s patient as opposed to the more common caretaker viewpoint. So, the reader gets a first hand glimpse into the daily tasks and emotions from the patient herself.
Most people think of Alzheimer’s as affecting only the elderly. In a majority of cases those people are beyond retirement age. Before Alzheimer’s struck, Alice held a jam packed schedule full of lectures, research, and teaching. The aggressive disease took all of that away from her. It not only takes a toll on her life, but on her family and friends as well.
The writing itself is really direct, with no frills. Sometimes there is a bit of disorganization in the flow of the plot, but in a sense, it represents Alice’s train of thoughts.
Still Alice has glowing reviews. Many of the reviewers suggest that everyone affected by Alzheimer’s in some way should read it. I also saw multiple reviews saying how accurate Genova’s depiction of the disease is. The fictional account has a loose connection to the author because she is a Harvard educated neuroscientist herself.
“Wow! This book is so realistic and, for me, a real tear-jerking read. I teach high school and I have always told my students that if a book can draw you in, make you live vicariously through a character, and somehow help you with life experiences, then it’s a good book. This book did that for me and so much more.”