My thoughts on Amazon’s 2014 lineup of Kindles
e-Reader Reviews / September 18, 2014

Last night Amazon announced its 2014 lineup of Kindle ereaders and tablets.  I will direct you to Amazon’s main Kindle page to get the full specs. Looking at the eIink ereaders first Amazon announced that the basic Kindle now comes with a touch interface.  This will retail for CAD79.  This looks a really nice entry into the ereader market and you could do a lot worse. At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the new Kindle Voyage, which is smaller, lighter and with a higher resolution than ever before.  It includes page turn functionality in the bezel – something many people seem to have been requesting – as well as enhanced reading features such as an expanded X-Ray, greater integration with GoodReads.  This all seems excellent, but it does come with a hefty price tag.  The Kindle Voyage retails from USD 199.  It has optional 3G. However, for us Canadians, we’re out of luck.  The Kindle Voyage is not yet available on the store.  I asked customer service and was told that they had no timeline for when it might be available.  It is available in the UK, Germany and Japan so why not Canada?  I seem to…

Amazon announces new Kindle Fire HDX
e-Reader Reviews / September 28, 2013

A few days ago, Amazon announced the updates to its Kindle Fire line of tablets.  Here is the page with the details. Naturally, it has an improved screen, and processor.  No surprises there.  What’s more interesting is that they announced a major update to the Kindle Fire OS, to called Mojito.   Some of the new features in Mojito include: Mayday button.  This is the most innovative of the inventions and allows you to be connected to a video chat with an Amazon tech support person.  Your tech will have the ability to view and control your screen to assist you.  This could be a godsend for the novice user.  Amazon is at pains to stress that the agent can only see your screen, not you to alleviate privacy concerns.  This is a very interesting feature and one I think could really differentiate Amazon tablets from the others in a saturated marketplace. On the other end of the scale, Amazon is touting better enterprise support.  This includes support for data encryption, Kerberos integration so that users can browse corporate intranets and VPN clients.  This is interesting. So far, Amazon has placed itself securely in the consumer market – I’m really…

Audible and Canadian Kindle Fires – Progress!
e-Reader Reviews / August 17, 2013

This evening when I went to download my latest Audible read to my Canadian Kindle Fire, I got a big surprise.  A message popped up advising me that I could now listen to and shop for audiobooks natively from my Kindle Fire and that I should uninstall the Audible app.  I did so and found that my audiobook played in a new, integrated player. I also noticed that individual Audible audiobooks now appear in my carousel and can be added individually to the Favourites drawer rather than just the Audible app itself.  Being a Kindle, of course they’re trying to sell you things, and I see that when I view an audiobook in the carousel, I now get recommendations for other audiobooks. Searching the Kindle is now integrated with my Audible library.  Searching for an audiobook will find it in your Audible library ready for downloading. It seems that they’re not quite there yet with the integration though.  Audiobooks doesn’t appear in the top menu bar, and clicking on one of the audiobook recommendations doesn’t take you anywhere yet.  Clicking on Shop still only shows three options available to Canadians: Books, Games and Apps. At this point Audible books are…

Kindle Fire in Canada – Full Review
e-Reader Reviews / June 17, 2013

I have now had my Kindle Fire fir several days now and this is my update to my initial impressions.  Once I got over my disappointment in the lack of Audible integration for Canadians, I began to really enjoy the device. My other two tablets are an iPad 3 and a Nexus 7. I find the smaller form factors of the Nexus and the Kindle Fire very comfortable to use. Until  now, my main tablet of choice has been my iPad 3.  I use it around the house, and if I’m travelling I take it with me.  However, I find it’s rather bulky to carry around, and I usually end up taking my Kindle Paperwhite too, as I really don’t enjoy reading books on the iPad.  I really don’t use my Nexus very much at all. Perhaps the the best way to approach this review is to discuss how the tasks I usually undertake on my iPad translate to the Kindle Fire. I don’t use the iPad for work/production related activities.  There are many apps I use on my iPhone to check a few quick things. Checking email I was able to import all my personal accounts – two Yahoo…

Kindle Fire HD in Canada – First Impressions
e-Reader Reviews , Tech Reviews / June 13, 2013

Today the Kindle Fire launched in multiple countries including Canada, and one was delivered to my door for your reviewing pleasure. My initial impression is that, although the device is nice, for Canadians it is still very, very limited.  It is a lovely device, but the Amazon services which distinguish it from the other tablets out there are sadly missing. There is still no support for Amazon’s music or movie store or Amazon Instant Video for Canada.  iTunes movies will not play on the Kindle Fire due to DRM.  Through the movies for Flixter though you can view any movies you have on your UV account.  They do not have the cool X-Ray for Movies feature that gives you details of the actors in a movie when you hit pause. For the last few years, iTunes music has been sold without DRM so can easily be copied to the music folder and will be available in the music section of the Kindle Fire. For me, personally, I was very disappointed that the Audible integration is missing for Canadians.  The whole Audiobooks section is missing from the top menu, and although Whispersync for Voice continues to work, immersion reading is not available….

Amazon releases Kindle Fire in Canada
e-Reader Reviews / May 23, 2013

Today a friend alerted me (thanks Stèphane!) that Amazon has sneaked its 7inch Amazon Kindle Fire tablet into the Canadian store for pre-order.  I have put one on pre-order for your reviewing pleasure.  I may return it as I did the Kobo Aura, but I do want to check it out.