Kindle Voyage improves the nearly perfect Paperwhite

IMG_4795 It’s here! This is a photo of the box of my new Kindle Voyage. (And as a happy start ….. the box was wrapped in “frustration free” packaging.)

This Kindle comes with the usb cord, but no adaptor. I don’t view that as a problem, however, because after years of living with mobile phones, iPads and Kindles, well, I have quite a collection of those little plugs.

When you order a Kindle from Amazon, it arrives fully registered and ready to go. It takes maybe a minute or two to get through the setup, adding it to your wireless network, and adjusting the time.

I immediately downloaded the book I am now in the middle of reading, and it opened to my “last page read” within seconds.

The screen is absolutely brighter and sharper than the Paperwhite. The print is crisp and sharp. The Voyage is noticeably lighter, too. But the BIG draw for me …. was the side push buttons.

I do a lot of reading in bed, and much of that is done on my side (rather than on my back). This one-handed position makes screen-swiping nearly impossible. As much as I loved the Paperwhite, I missed the buttons on my Kindle of yesteryear.

And now the Voyage brings them back. Amazon has taken the just-about-perfect Paperwhite and moved it up a notch!

The push areas are on the side of the screen. They are not raised, they are not buttons. The area is indicated by a line and a dot on the edge of the screen. When you give the spot a push to turn the page, you feel an ever-so-slight vibration. It’s perfect. I can turn pages with the touch screen when I can…. and push the sides when I can’t. Perfect!

The on/off button is in the back (that’s different) and (to me) irrelevant. Other than that, most everything else feels very familiar if you have used a Paperwhite. Control panel at the top, touch controls, etc. The lit screen is as wonderful as ever (even brighter) and now adjusts automatically to the lighting in the room.

Bottom line…. if you have a Paperwhite and don’t miss the button-ability, I don’t think there is any reason to upgrade. The Voyage is better, but it’s not cheap, and a Paperwhite is still a great eReader.

But if you do upgrade to the Voyage….. you’ll love it!!

I’m not alone in my praise. (“Best eReader in the market” shows up in reviews over and over again.)

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Kindle Voyage review: Amazon’s e-reader is too good to be merely a Paperwhite 2

Review: Avid Readers Will Love Kindle Voyage

Amazon’s best e-reader yet

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Downloading Books and Audiobooks FREE directly to your iPhone or iPad

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 7.07.12 PMPreviously on this blog, I gushed about borrowing books from your local library for your Kindle. That post was over a year ago, and I still find it wonderfully exciting to sit in my home, browse through library books, and have them magically appear on my Kindle.

Recently, I tried another bit of library borrowing….. and I’m equally thrilled.

With the Overdrive app, you can download AUDIO books from your local library directly to your iPhone or iPad. Then you can take that audio book with you for a walk or to the gym. Wonderful! And all this is FREE.

It is quite easy to do.

First, of course, you must determine whether or not your local library participates with Overdrive. I’m guessing they do …. it seems quite popular. You can call and ask, or go to your library’s website and hunt around a bit. Chances are there will be an “ebooks” section, and you can see if they use the word “overdrive.”

Once you know your library participates, download the app.

You’ll be asked to “add a library.” I typed in my zip code, and my library magically appeared.

Sign in to your local library (probably with your library card number and a pin).

Find the book you want to download, and tap it to start the process.

All done! Your audio book is now on your iPhone and you are good to go.

From Skitch-19

From my experience, it is MUCH easier to browse books from my computer (rather than the phone). Once I’ve made my choice, I just “search” for it on the app on the iPhone, and tap it to download.

And so now…. from my local library, I can get books to read on my Kindle, and books to listen to on my iPhone. It’s a kid-in-a-candy-shop kind of experience to get books like this from the comfort of your own home.

It’s just as easy to download books to read to your iPhone and iPad with this app. I chose an audiobook because I don’t really enjoy reading on the small screen of the phone. (However…my iPhone 6 Plus …when it arrives… may change all that!).

Just to be clear: you can directly download books to read OR to listen to through this app.

Overdrive is free in the iTunes store

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Improving the Paperwhite: Amazon Introduces the Kindle Voyage

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 7.17.56 AMLast week the tech world was all abuzz about the new iPhones. In the middle of all that excitement, Amazon quietly released a bunch of new goodies. (at least it seemed like it was “quietly” to me….)

I know that many of my readers are HUGE Paperwhite fans (me, too!!!).

Honestly, I could not imagine how it would be possible to improve that device. It seems darn near perfect.

And yet, as technology moves forward, so do the devices, and Amazon has now ramped up their Paperwhite to a new level, and they are calling this NEW eReader the Kindle Voyage.

So how did they improve ‘perfect’?

1. It’s THINNER.

2. TWICE as many pixels as the Paperwhite, making the text super-crisp.

3. Added tapping sensors on the edge so that you can gently press to turn a page.
(I like love this. I missed my buttons.) You can still turn the page with finger swipes.

4. Automatic light sensors will adjust the light according to the light in the room. It will gradually decrease in a dark room, as your eyes adjust to the dimmer light.

5. General re-design, including a flush-front.

Wifi only, with special offers, costs $199. Removing the special offers hikes the price to $219. (I have the “special offers” appearing on my Paperwhite, and it really doesn’t bother me at all.)

I thought long and hard about this, because I really love my Paperwhite. I did not feel the need to level-up ……. UNTIL I saw that page-turning sensor. That is the one thing I have always missed on the Paperwhite. I am a bed-reader, and when you are comfortably reclining on your side, holding the kindle with one hand, it can be awkward and inconvenient to try and swipe the pages. It’s a nightly struggle to position the Paperwhite just right, and usually I don’t. I missed the old Kindle buttons on the earlier models.

And so I am going to try it. Amazon’s generous return policy makes this a no-brainer for me, because if I don’t like it, I can easily return it. No harm, no foul.

To my surprise, MANY people must be ordering this, because when I tapped the “buy” button on Friday (just a short time after the quiet launch) …. I was told that I won’t be receiving my Kindle Voyage until NOVEMBER 28! :shock: (when it first went on sale, the shipping date was in October!). Wow. I guess the market is strong for this new eReader.

Amazon has also released 4 other products.

1. A Fire HD tablet for only $99. Cheapest tablet available.

2. Fire HD KIDS Edition. “If they break it, we replace it. No questions asked.” If there are Kids in your life, this is worth a closer look.

3. FireHDX 8.9 Big improvements to this tablet.

4. Basic Kindle. Touch screen. No light, but lots of other features. $79

For further information on all of these products, just go to Amazon. They are all displayed on their home page with links to more details.

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Another Great Discounted Book Source: Early Bird Books

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Nothing better than great book deals!

In other posts, I alerted you to eReaderIQ (which I absolutely LOVE) and BookGorilla.

And now…. another discount-alerter for your browsing pleasure. :)

Early Bird Books will send you an email each morning with several book deals. Some expire quickly, some may be on sale for weeks, so check the expiration date. These books are limited to ones that are published through Open Road, so the model is a bit different from the other discounters.

It’s always fun to have bargains delivered to your inbox!

Just click on Early Bird Books to subscribe.

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New Feature: Goodreads now has “Previews”

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I spend a lot of time browsing on Goodreads. I find it is a wonderful place to find my “next great read” by learning from others, reading reviews and looking at the bookshelves that individuals have created.

And now, just last week, they have added a new feature, further enhancing the browsing experience.

You can now PREVIEW any book that has a Kindle edition. Yay!

from the Goodreads blog:

Don’t judge a book by its cover…judge it by what’s inside with our new Preview feature, which launches today! With Preview, you can sample the story before committing to the whole book. Now our U.S. members can get a taste of their next amazing read right on the Goodreads website.

Just click on the book, and notice the PREVIEW button. Tap that button and a significant preview opens on your screen.

From Skitch-18

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Since we have (for years) been able to preview Kindle books on Amazon, I would often go back and forth between Goodreads and Amazon. Happily this back-and-forthing is no longer necessary. I am delighted. :)

At the moment, this feature is only available in the US.

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The Evolving Kindle (in 5 seconds)

I found this GIF at GadgetLove

You can see the evolution of the Kindle, getting better with each new incarnation.
Kind of cool, I think. :)

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Rumor? or Real? Amazon about to offer a New eBook Subscription Service

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The internet (the part that is interested in ebooks, anyway :) ) is abuzz today with the most-likely-true rumor that Amazon is about to launch a new service.

This looks like it will be a new Netflix-ish subscription service with digital ebooks and audio books…… an “all you can eat” approach …. for $9.99 a month.

It isn’t available yet. As a matter of fact, it hasn’t even been confirmed, yet. But the stories about it are everywhere.

When (if) this launches, I’ll be sure to post the details. But in the meantime, here are some links to many of the stories flooding the internet, today:

Amazon Tests ‘Kindle Unlimited,’ A Netflix For Ebooks And Audiobooks

Amazon Appears to Be Testing All-You-Can-Read Kindle Ebook Subscriptions

Amazon’s Prepping a “Kindle Unlimited” Subscription Service For Books

Amazon is working on Kindle Unlimited, the ultimate subscription service for readers

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A Question for Readers …….

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 8.09.29 AMThis is the time of the year where my Kindle is always within reach. I take it everywhere.

I read a lot. My favorite kind of book is historical fiction, “Pillars of the Earth” being a great example. And if it is really good … I like it LONG (because I’m always sad when a great book comes to an end. :( )

I know a lot of the readers of this blog are also voracious readers.

Here’s a question that I saw on twitter the other day:

What was the LAST BOOK that you recommended to someone?

Hmmmm. Interesting question! Not any-old recommendation. Not your favorite book. But the LAST book that you recommended to someone.

My answer: The last book I recommended to someone was The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure. Set in France during the occupation, a reluctant architect designs intricate hiding places for Jewish citizens. It is a page-turner!

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How about you? What was the LAST BOOK that you recommended to someone?

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Your Opportunity to Get an Invite to Amazon’s June Launch Event

Amazon will be making an announcement … a launching announcement …. soon. June 18, to be exact.

Speculation is that it will be a NEW device. An Amazon SmartPhone? That seems to be the most popular guess.

Here is their video “hint” about the device-to-be-launched:

If you’d like to go to the launch event, you have a chance. Amazon will be including customers at their party (not just media types and developers).

Just follow this link and fill in your email and reasons why you would like an invitation. (Keep in mind that it will be held in Seattle.)

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It’s my Blog-aversary!

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This week marks my anniversary of TWO full years of blogging.

TWO years!

I find it hard to believe.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of my readers for your continued support and encouragement.

For now I plan to continue. After all, new iPhones are just around the corner, followed (most likely) with a new OS, new tweaks, new and updated apps, maybe even a new Paperwhite ….

As the tech keeps coming, I’ll keep on bloggin’!

From Millan.NetFrom Millan.NetFrom Millan.NetFrom Millan.NetFrom Millan.NetFrom Millan.Net

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