Posts Tagged amazon kindle

Audible Audiobooks Integrated with Amazon Kindle Mobile App


Amazon Kindle App There is still something pretty wonderful about plopping down under a tree or hanging out in your favorite chair and reading a book. Thanks to technology many of us have a huge book collection that doesn’t take up 3/4 of the house collecting dust. On the other side of the coin it can be difficult to find, or make, the time to just read. That is where audiobooks have come in and filled the void. They allow us to listen to the story we wanted to read without having to stop and actually read it. In 2008 Amazon purchase the popular Audible audiobooks company and now, 6 years later they are finally integrating it into the Amazon Kindle App for iOS and Android.

“We’re working hard to help customers find more moments each day to enjoy a great book,” said Russ Grandinetti, Senior Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “Integrating professional narration into our Kindle apps means you never have to put down a favorite book–start reading at home, get in the car and simply tap a button to continue listening without losing your place.”

Integration alone wouldn’t make this much a big deal. However, the integration lets you switch between audio and reading without losing your place in the book.

“We continue to hear from a growing number of Whispersync for Voice converts who tell us the innovation has profoundly changed the way they read–in fact, switching back and forth between reading and listening has become their preferred way of experiencing stories,” said Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz. “And the feature has gotten easier and easier to use, as this exciting integration into Kindle apps attests.”


I know there was a period of time a while back that I was listening to an audio book and then opened the digital copy. It was rather annoying to try and find where I had left off.

The new integration is part of the update that Amazon released today. In addition to the simple toggling between voice and reading, you can also expect a few other additions.

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- Switch between reading and listening when you add audio to a Kindle book
- Jump directly to previous locations from the progress bar
- Copy a word or phrase, paste into another program
- Multi-color highlights
- Improved notifications
- Improved cross-device sync

 

Be sure to hit the Play Store for updated app, if you don’t happen to have it installed yet, use the links below to go grab it.



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Amazon Kindle app for Android gets Audible integration

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With everything Amazon is doing these days it’s easy to forget that they got their start with books. Kindle e-book readers and apps are still their bread and butter. Today they updated their Kindle app for Android with an awesome new feature. Amazon is putting their ownership of Audible to good use by finally integrating it into the Kindle reading app. Users can now seamlessly switch between reading and listening to their favorite books.

Whispersync now works for voice as well, which means you can pick up an audio book right where you left off across devices. It also means your audio and text will always be in sync. Switching between the audio and text happens right inside the Kindle app. You can read while you’re relaxing at home and listen while you’re on the train. The only downside is not every book in Amazon’s library has an audio version, but it’s getting better every day. Do you use audio books more than actual books? How often do you read?

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Kindle for Android update improves Audible integration

Amazon has announced the latest improvement for the Kindle app — and this time around the update deals with Whispersync and Audible. Basically, this update means you’ll now be able to quickly switch from reading a book to listening to a book by tapping a button.

This comes by way of the Whispersync for Voice technology. This will allow readers to bounce back and forth between reading and listening — without worry about losing their place. This latest update simplifies the process of switching between the two formats. Of course, you will need to purchase both formats for this to be possible.

Amazon has said this functionality (dubbed, professional narration) is now available for more than 45,000 books. Those looking to bulk up their collection can use the Amazon Matchmaker service. Matchmaker scans your Kindle library and if available, will allow you to purchase the companion Audible version.

Prices for the companion audio versions start at $0.99 and will increase from there. A quick scan of a personal collection offers prices ranging from $1.99 to $12.99. Ultimately this seems like a solid way to enjoy a book — being able to read or listen depending on your current preference (or current location).

But on the flip side, it does seem like this option simply pushes people to buy the same content two times. Using Under the Dome by Stephen King as an example. The Kindle book is $7.99, but adding the audio experience means an additional $12.99. Anyway, those looking to take advantage of this easy switching should look for the latest Kindle for Android app update from the Play Store.

SOURCE: Business Wire

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Amazon Kindle App Gains Whispersync for Voice, Lets You Switch Between Text and Audio Seamlessly

In lieu of self-driving cars, audiobook narrations are a great way to progress through books while driving. But keeping track of your place between book and audio can become a bit annoying – in the book, you have to search for the page you’ve reached, and on the audio file, fast forward or jump around for the spot you left off. If you do your reading on Amazon’s Kindle app, though, that inconvenience is now a thing of the past with Amazon Whispersync for Voice. 

A feature previously exclusive to Kindle Fire devices, Whispersync for Voice lets you seamlessly transition between books and their companion Audible audiobook with the touch of a button. Your current page – audio or text – is synced across devices, meaning a lot less searching for your place and a lot more reading.

Amazon helpfully points out that your existing library can be scanned for companion audio using the Matchmaker feature. Audible audiobook upgrades are available for as little as $0.99, or $3.99 for bestsellers.

The new app is available today from Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

Play Link

Via: Amazon

Amazon Kindle App Gains Whispersync for Voice, Lets You Switch Between Text and Audio Seamlessly is a post from: Droid Life

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Samsung devices receiving custom Amazon Kindle store

Samsung_Logo_02_TA_CES_2014Samsung and Amazon have announced that Galaxy devices will be receiving a custom-built Amazon Kindle store. Launching in the next two weeks, the new store, device owners will receive up to 12 books per year, chosen from prominent books. That’s right, you don’t get to choose the books, but you’ll have the books chosen for you. Lee Epting, Vice President, Samsung’s Media Solution Center Europe, had this to say:

“We are delighted to be able to deepen our long-standing relationship with Amazon and offer Kindle for Samsung as the perfect app for reading on a smart device. With this service we demonstrate our commitment to creating and broadening key content partnerships that deliver rich and personalized experiences for our customers.” 

The app will debut on the new Galaxy S 5 and will be followed with Samsung devices running Android 4.0 and up. If you’re a reading enthusiast and own a Samsung device running Ice Cream Sandwich or newer, then this deal might be something worthwhile. While you won’t get to choose your free books, maybe you’ll find something worth reading regardless.

source: Samsung Tomorrow

Come comment on this article: Samsung devices receiving custom Amazon Kindle store

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Login with Amazon simplified sign-in arrives for 3rd-gen Kindle Fire users

Login with Amazon was first introduced about a year earlier. Amazon had been touting this as a secure sign-in solution that makes use of the OAuth 2.0 protocol. It had been pushed as something beneficial for developers and users. But flash forward till today and it seems Amazon has returned to ‘make things even easier’ for Kindle Fire users.

This latest update will be for those using one of the third-generation Kindle Fire devices. Specifically, the 7-inch and 8.9-inch HDX as well as the 7-inch HD. Amazon has said customers will no longer have to login each and every time they launch an app — provided that app is making use of the Login with Amazon setup.

“Today we are making things even easier for customers using apps enabled with Login with Amazon on the latest generation of Kindle Fire devices. Starting today, mobile apps and games that use Login with Amazon on these Kindle Fire devices will no longer need to ask Amazon customers to sign in each time the app is run.”

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The first time a Login with Amazon app is run it will use the account registered to the Kindle Fire device to sign in. Naturally, the user will still need to click a few buttons, but the process should be much simpler as compared to creating an account, or entering a username and password each and every time.

There are similar sign-in solutions from Facebook and Google+, however the Amazon option should appeal to those using a Kindle Fire as they are likely already living in the Amazon world. That being said, this is something developers will need to enable before users begin seeing it live in apps. Developers will be able to get some additional details in terms of setup from the Amazon Developer Console.

SOURCE: Amazon

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Amazon streaming service and device could launch soon

Amazon has ben sending invitations out for an event next week, where it’s believed they will debut a set-top box along with a new streaming media service. The device, long rumored to be Amazon’s answer to Roku or the Chroemcast, has been given legs recently with the dicovery of a game controller. The streaming service is a bit different, and not Prime.


The event, scheduled for April 2, is only being touted as an “update to our video business” by Amazon. The mention of “video” is odd, but that may just be verbiage. Amazon doesn’t hold many events this large without having something improtant on offer, and usually hardware. We see these invites for Kindle events — not minor ones like an upgrade to a service.

In addition to a set-top box or dongle, we’re also hearing Amazon will be rolling out a free video service for their original programming. The service will be ad-supported, much like regular TV is with commercials. Such a service could but Amazon in a position to essentially offer cable to cord cutters, and make them a go-to for those who want to distribute their own shows. Amazon currently offers their own programming, but none have managed to capture the attention or excitement like House of Cards did for Netflix. Making the service free and ad supported could position it as one used by many more users instantly.

Come April 2, we’ll have our answer on what Amazon has in store for us. As they normally do, we expect that any device or service will be available same-day or shortly after. How do you feel about an Amazon streaming device? Would anything make you want one versus a Chromecast? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Amazon celebrates App Store anniversary in style

Amazon is celebrating the third anniversary of their App Store launch, and have some deals for you. If you use their App Store, some decent apps can be found at some pretty great prices — even free. For those interested in some free apps, Amazon has some pretty good ones for you.


When it comes to those apps marked down to free, amazon didn’t skimp. There are some apps that normally cost quite a bit — upwards of $12.99. The list, at the time we publish this article:

  • Runtastic PRO GPS Running, Walking & Fitness Tracker (normally $4.99)
  • Swype Keyboard (normally $3.99)
  • Worms 2: Armageddon (normally $0.99)
  • Worms 2: Armageddon — Kindle Tablet Edition (normally $0.99)
  • MONOPOLY (normally $4.99)
  • Sketchbook Pro (normally $4.99)
  • mSecure – Password Manager and Secure Digital Wallet (normally $9.99)
  • Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots (normally $0.99)
  • POLARIS Office (normally $12.99)
  • PrintHand Mobile Print Premium (normally $12.95)
  • Battle Maiden Yuko Runner (normally $10.00)
  • King of Math Junior (normally $1.99)
  • Dr. Panda’s Airport (normally $1.99)
  • Ski Safari: Adventure Time (normally $0.99)
  • SpinArt (normally $1.99)

There are also several apps discounted heavily in honor of the App Store making it to three years, so go ahead and search for one you might be looking for. There might just be a pleasant surprise. While nothing amazing is on the list, we are finding some really useful apps for free or discounted.

One thing is for certain — it’s a much better celebration that Google’s recent Play Store offering. Amazon has arranged some really nice apps for us to enjoy for little out-of-pocket. Too bad Prime prices are going up.

Source: Amazon

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Amazon Kindle app update includes faster load times, font choices, more

Amazon recently rolled out another update for the Kindle app. This one doesn’t have any major bump in version number, but it does appear to have brought along a decent sized list of changes, additions and improvements. To begin with — Amazon addressed the issue of speed with faster cover load times.

Another big addition this time around were the auto-brightness controls. These can be found using the menu icon in the upper right, and it sits alongside the text size, color and other personalization options. Simply put, you can now slide the brightness manually or opt for the auto-brightness mode.

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Staying in this same menu location and you’ll also find the ability to adjust the font. Otherwise, remaining items from the changelog include mention of a fix for the sensitivity issue on the volume button page turning, and easy access to the table of contents in the book. The table of contents can be accessed from the left-side navigation menu and will make it easier to move from chapter to chapter, search, sync and go to a specific location.

Lastly, Amazon also offered a few hints with this latest update. There was mention of how you can tap the center of the screen (while in a book) to access the options and settings. Similarly, while in the library you’ll be able to tap and hold any item. The Amazon Kindle app can be found in the Google Play Store.

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Kindle updated with handy new features, but may require a reinstall

The Amazon Kindle app for Android was recently updated, and brings a host of features that could prove very helpful next time you pick up your tablet or phone. Everything from organization to accessibility has been improved, and we will now get the option to rate a book before we leave. There is also one more really interesting feature Amazon is touting, making just about any book truly yours.

Kindle App


First, we can now organize books, documents, and magazines into collections. Have a few books on Baseball you want to keep together? Make a collection! For the visually impaired, Kindle has added functionality with Talkback and Explore by Touch, their haptic feedback service.

One of the minor annoyances is the inability to rate a book before leaving it, but that’s also changed with this update. Users can now rate a book before they’re done reading, a nice little service from Amazon which should increase reviews. We’re also supposed to gain the ability to turn publisher fonts on and off at will, but that feature doesn’t seem to be working on our test unit. That could be due to some odd issues, which are hazily noted in the recent reviews.

Reviewers are in a slight uproar about the update, saying it eliminates stored data (like your place in a book), and even forces a re-install. Before you update be sure to have all your info backed up accordingly, as we’re not sure how far reaching this is. Some are even noting they can’t re-register for the service, which is especially troubling.

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Amazon Kindle App Update Adds Collections, Font Options, And Book Rating Suggestions

unnamed (6)The ladies and gentlemen at Amazon would certainly prefer it if you read your Kindle books on a Kindle or a Kindle Fire, but for the several hundred million who have a regular Android phone or tablet instead, they’ve improved the eponymous app on the Google Play Store. Today’s update to version 4.3.0 adds a few much-needed features, most notably better organization for your growing collection of books and other documents.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Amazon Kindle App Update Adds Collections, Font Options, And Book Rating Suggestions was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

    

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Amazon Kindle Fire HDX gets an early holiday treatment with new installment plan

Amazon seems to be getting aggressive in trying to land its Kindle Fire HDX tablets into as many hands this season. Now it is offering up both the 7-inch and the 8.9-inch models with installment plans, a tactic that is has never used before, at least when it comes to its tablets.

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With this new payment option, the price of the tablets will be split into four. The 7-inch tablet will have an initial payment of $57.25 while the 8.9-inch model will start at $94.75. The rest of the price will then be split into three equal installments to be paid at 90 days, 180 days, and 270 days. For comparison, the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX sells for $229 and the larger 8.9-inch has a price tag of $379. Those who fail or refuse to pay the remainder of the balance will have their devices deregistered or their Amazon accounts shut down, which will make it very inconvenient for them to keep on using the device.

This installment plan is designed to ease the burden off buyers’ wallets and make the tablets more enticing. And, really, what’s there not to like? The Kindle Fire HDX is a formidable rival to Google’s 2013 Nexus 7, a tablet that is considered by many as the tablet of tablets. In fact, TIME Magazine has ranked the Amazone Kindle Fire HDX at seventh place in its Top Ten Gadgets of 2013. Of course, those who are not fond of being locked into Amazon’s ecosystem will have to look elsewhere this season. If you’re still on the edge about it, you can take a peek at the summary of SlashGear’s review here.

This is not the first time Amazon has resorted to price cuts in order to attract buyers. Just last Monday, the retailer giant gave a one-day sale on the tablet, selling the 16 GB 7-inch model for $182.20 instead of $229 and the 16 GB 8.9-inch tablet down to $229 from its original price of $269.

VIA: SlashGear

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Amazon touts record Kindle sales, launches StoryFront for short form fiction

Following the kick-off of the holiday shopping season, Amazon is once again talking record sales for the Kindle family of devices. Coming as the first in a pair of announcements, Amazon has said this “holiday shopping weekend was the best ever for Kindle.” And amongst the Kindle family, the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and Kindle Fire HD topped the list.

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While this announcement may sound similar to previous years, there is also another bit, with another similarity to earlier years. Despite word about how well the Kindle family of devices sold during the holiday weekend, Amazon has yet to offer anything in terms of numbers. A breakdown between devices would be interesting to see, but at this rate even an overall total would be nice.

That said, the second announcement is one all of these new Kindle users may want to take note of. Or for that matter, an announcement that any Kindle owner (old or new) will want to pay attention to — it is about more content. Amazon Publishing has launched StoryFront. This goes along with the earlier announcement for the digital literary journal Day One.

In fact, it was said that StoryFront comes as part of the continued success of Day One. Amazon describes StoryFront as being a “new imprint offering high-quality short fiction across genres.” Further details from Amazon point towards StoryFront including a “variety of works” and even including some that were originally published in Day One. Some of the initial StoryFront titles include the following;

  • “Sheila” by Rebecca Adams Wright, the first story published in Day One
  • “A Bite of Strawberry” by William Lashner, featuring the long-awaited return of defense attorney Victor Carl
  • “Museum of Literary Souls” by John Connolly, a page-turner that blurs the lines between fact and fiction
  • “Farmer One” by Christian Cantrell, a dystopian adventure set in a future gone utterly awry
  • “The 12 Days of Christmas,” a series created by authors Gemma Halliday, Kim Law, HP Mallory, Kathleen Bacus, Diane Kelly, Susan Donovan, Kyra Davis, Amanda Brice, Angie Fox, Robin Kaye, Jana DeLeon, and Leslie Langtry

The prices will vary from title to title, however what we are seeing has these listed at $0.99 and $1.99. Lastly, for those looking to get in on the holiday buzz, Amazon has a Twelve Days of Festive Fiction selection available. These are described as being a “12 Days of Christmas series” that “delights with contemporary romance and romantic suspense short stories” and are priced at $1.99 each.

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What’s the best Android tablet to buy as of December 2013?

Earlier this week we talked about what the best Android phone to buy this month was, and now it’s time to go over the best Android tablets your hard-earned money can buy leading up to that glorious Christmas day. This space doesn’t move quite as fast as smartphones, but we’re about ready to head into what should be an interesting holiday season with a few new tablets leading the way.

5 – Nexus 10 by Samsung

The Nexus 10 is quite old, and is rumored to be supplanted by an updated offering at some point in the near future, but as it stands it’s still one of the better tablets to buy. A lot of that is on price and principal — who can say no to a Nexus device? And who can say no to a Nexus device with these specs for $400?

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The specs I’m referring to include a 10.055-inch 2560 x 1600 display, Exynos 5 Dual (which is an ARM Cortex-A15 dual-core chipset with Mali T604 graphics), 2GB of RAM, 16-32GB of internal storage, WiFi + MiMo, Bluetooth, NFC, and more. And the fact that it’s already on Android 4.4 KitKat should allow you to buy one of these bad boys with confidence.

4 – LG G Pad 8.3

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LG’s G Pad 8.3 jumps to number four this month, and for good reason. Spending a bit more time with the tablet reveals LG really did get the whole “feels just right in your hands” thing just right. Ergonomics aside, the G Pad 8.3 is one fine tablet on all of its other merits, too, with a Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8.3-inch 1920 x 1200 display, 16GB of internal storage, a 5 megapixel camera and more. It looks great, too, which isn’t something we would have said about LG’s offerings from a couple of years ago.

3 – Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

In our Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition review, Rob Jackson noted some pitfalls of the entirety of the experience, the biggest of which being a laggy user interface when flipping through MyMagazines or trying to use popup apps.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014

That was enough to keep it out of our first spot, but not nearly enough to kick it out of our top 5. The Note 10.1 2014 edition reads like a fantastic device on paper, with specs being comprised of the following:

  • 1.9GHz Exynos 5420 quad-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM.
  • 16GB or 32GB options for internal storage
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 2MP front facing camera
  • MicroUSB 2.0
  • MicroSD slot
  • 8,220 mAh battery and more

Samsung still has yet to address these issues with any sort of software upgrade, so it has taken a backseat to a couple of other worthy devices this month. If you just have to have the S Pen experience and don’t mind parting ways with $550, though, you can’t go wrong here.

2 – Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

The HDX line of Kindle Fire tablets is the latest in Amazon’s series. This changes the game up quite a bit by Amazon’s standards, a company whose modest first step into the tablet arena has since been bested with better offerings each year to follow. The HDX comes in 7-inch and 8.9-inch flavors, giving users a decent balance between screen real estate and portability.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX includes 2560 x 1600 resolution, storage options of 16-64GB, 4G LTE, a quad-core 2.2GHz processor (likely a Snapdragon 800), and more. As we all know by now, though, it isn’t the specs Amazon is hoping will win your hearts.

It’s the deep integration with their various services, including Prime Instant Video, MP3, Cloud Storage, Kindle e-Books, the Amazon Appstore, and a whole lot more. Content is king in Amazon’s world, and it’s something they have been very good at for quite some time. This is definitely one of the better buys of the holiday season, especially for a starting price point of $229.

1 – Nexus 7 2013

This 7-inch ASUS-made wonder slides in at the number 1 spot thanks to that nice 1920 x 1200 resolution (323 ppi), quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset clocked at 1.5GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16-32GB of internal storage, 5 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera, dual-band WiFi N, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and more.

New Nexus 7 hand wm

Google really does make it a bit unfair with their willingness to throw profits aside and offer this device up for dirt cheap, but that doesn’t make us feel reluctant or guilty for awarding the Nexus 7 2013 the top spot anyway. Oh, and did we mention you can get KitKat on this thing?

Honorable Mentions

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

It’s not quite as powerful as the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 or 8.9, but the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD still holds its own where it counts. Amazon couldn’t care less about the profit from device sales here, though, which is why it’s so cheap at a starting price of just $140. As with the HDX, it’s all about apps and services for Amazon. Specs include 1280 x 800 resolution, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8-16GB of internal storage, 10 hours of battery life and more.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Samsung’s Note series has become the go-to for performance and features in the tablet space, so the more weildy of the bunch — the Note 8.0 — deserves a bit of recognition in the top 5. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0′s HD resolution and quad-core chipset are quite nice, and that all-important S-Pen functionality pushes this as one of the better “small” tablets to consider at the point of sale.

ASUS Transformer Pad TF701T

This is the latest product from ASUS that will allow you to transform your tablet into a netbook. The Transformer Pad TF701 is a 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 device with NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 processor on board. This powerhouse also includes a 5 megapixel rear camera, a 1.2 megapixel front camera, HDMI-out and more. And when you dock the tablet inside the dock, you’ll get a combined 17 hours of battery life (which is much more than any of today’s Netbooks can claim).

Tablets to look forward to

Here are just a few tablets to look forward to in the weeks and months to come. None of them are available for purchase yet, and some aren’t even official, but it’ll give you a good idea of what to expect once that ever-difficult purchasing decision arises this holiday seasons.

ASUS Padfone Infinity

This marvelous phone/tablet combo pack is set to launch sometime soon. ASUS was one of the first companies to make our “use a powerful phone as the guts of a tablet” dreams come true, and now they’ve gone and outdone themselves with the announcement of the Padfone Infinity.

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The phone bit includes a 5-inch 1080p HD Super IPS display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of internal storage with microSD, 13 megapixel rear camera with a 2 megapixel front camera, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi N, 2,400mAh battery and more.

Dock the phone into the rear of a device that has a 10.1-inch HD display and a huge battery, and you’ve got yourself one of the most powerful tablets, as well. Sounds pretty damned good to me, and worth keeping an eye out for once ASUS makes these available.

Motorola DROID tablets

Motorola has a tablet or two launching soon. We’re not sure what they are. We’re not sure how they’ll look. We’re not even sure when we’ll be seeing them. All we know is that they’ve confirmed some tablets are in the works, and that one of them will most certainly be headed straight for Verizon’s DROID lineup. With the great work they’ve done with the Moto X and the latest DROID phones, Motorola definitely gets a good deal of our attention.

What say you?

And that’ll do it for our list of the best Android tablets to buy. Things should be even more interesting by the time we put the next installment out, but take some time to go over the list for December, and think about where you stand on it. Feel free to disagree — we all have our own thoughts and opinions about these sorts of things, so you won’t be hurting our feelings! We want to hear all about it in the comments section below, so have at it!

PS: don’t forget that you can talk all about these tablets, and more, over at AndroidForums.com. Be sure to make an account and join the millions of folks currently driving some very healthy discussion over there.

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[Deal] Amazon offers deep discounts on the Kindle Fire HD 16GB and Kindle Fire HDX 7″ for Cyber Monday

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It’s Cyber Monday, so get ready for some hot deals on your favorite technology. Amazon is kicking things off by discounting two of their most popular tablets by $50. The Kindle Fire HDX 7″ is going for $179 (regularly $229) and the Kindle Fire HD 16GB is only $119 (regularly $169). This is only for today, Cyber Monday, so don’t hesitate. Full presser and links after the break.

Kindle Fire HD 16GB / Kindle Fire HDX 7″

Cyber Monday Starts Early—Amazon Announces Two Unprecedented Limited-Time Deals on Kindle Fire Tablets

$50 dollars off two of our most popular tablets

Kindle Fire HDX 7”—normally $229—now just $179

Breakthrough price now even lower—all-new Kindle Fire HD 16 GB now just $119

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 1, 2013– (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Amazon today announced two special deals on Kindle Fire tablets. Starting now and through Cyber Monday, customers will receive $50 off two of our most popular Fire tablets: just $119 for the all-new Kindle Fire HD 16 GB, normally $169 (nearly 30% off); and just $179 for Kindle Fire HDX 7”, normally $229 (over 20% off). These deals are available on Amazon.com while supplies last. Customers can order Fire HD 16 GB at www.amazon.com/firehd16GB and Fire HDX 7” at www.amazon.com/hdx-7.

“The new Fire tablets are the best tablets we’ve ever built—the reviews from press and the feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Neil Lindsay, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “We’re excited to be able to offer $50 off Kindle Fire HDX 7” and the all-new Kindle Fire HD 16GB for Cyber Monday.”

The new Kindle Fire HDX 7” features a stunning exclusive HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, twice the memory, and up to 11 hours of battery life, as well as exclusive new features like X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the revolutionary new Mayday button.

The all-new Kindle Fire HD includes an HD display, high-performance processor, dual speakers, exclusive features, and all the benefits of the Amazon ecosystem at a breakthrough price.

 

 

Come comment on this article: [Deal] Amazon offers deep discounts on the Kindle Fire HD 16GB and Kindle Fire HDX 7″ for Cyber Monday

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Two year old Amazon Kindle Fire gets an unofficial Android 4.4 ROM

Kindle Fire Android 4.4

The Amazon Kindle Fire from 2011 receives very little support from Amazon, which isn’t a surprise as manufacturers usually follow an 18 month update cycle. However, this hasn’t stopped third party developers from cooking up custom ROMs for the now forgotten tablet. Today we have one such ROM courtesy of a developer named FuZZ__ over at XDA, which brings Android 4.4 goodness onto this device. It’s not fully functional of course and comes with its own set of bugs and glitches, but it has certainly increased hope among users that there could be something fruitful in the coming days.

The ROM is built using CyanogenMod 11 which is based off the Android 4.4 source code. The stock browser seems to be nonfunctional at this point, which is not a major concern as there are plenty of other browsers which can be used.

While the ROM is far from being perfect, it’s certainly worth a try since the tablet has almost reached end of life status. Head over to the link below to flash the CM 11 based ROM on your Kindle Fire, but make sure you are aware of all the risks involved in the process.

Source: XDA

Via: Android Community

The post Two year old Amazon Kindle Fire gets an unofficial Android 4.4 ROM appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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Amazon launched WorkSpaces, brings Android app with it

The new Amazon WorkSpaces was quietly introduced yesterday to little fanfare. Essentially, it’s a virtual machine for an existing for existing environments. Users can access their stuff via the Amazon cloud, and work remotely. It’s a very sneaky B2B service, and one that could garner Amazon a lot of enterprise customers.

Amazon WorkSpaces


One way users enjoy working when mobile is via their mobile devices. With Amazon being the more widespread interface, Amazon was smart to release their Amazon WorkSpaces app for Android. It’s free to download, and from what we can tell, looks the part. The interface looks clean, and appears simple to use with a touchscreen device. It mimics your desktop, on your Android phone or tablet, from anywhere.

This doesn’t quite make much sense for the consumer, though. You’ll have to be running IT on a corporate scale, and the service is said to run between $35 and $75 monthly. Of course, if you’ve already got a system in place and want to use an Amazon WorkSpace, the utility becomes sublime. Amazon is touting that the service works on any mobile device, and even hints that it could work with wearables in the future.

Between an Amazon WorkSpace and various mobile devices, we see this as something that could catch on widely. With BYOD becoming a popular option for employers, and tablets catching on in the workplace, it’ll be exciting to see just how services like Amazon WorkSpace catch on.

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Calvin and Hobbes now available as eBooks

Fans of Calvin and Hobbes can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The beloved comic strip, which ended its run on the last day of 1995, has yet to find itself a digital place to land. Now three books in the series will be available to eBook customers everywhere.

Calvin and Hobbes


Landing on iBooks, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble Nook, the three books are priced on average between $11-15 each, with pricing varying between outlets. With no access to iBooks from an Android device, the best pricing seems to be with Nook. The Essential Calvin and Hobbes is listed at $9.49 currently, with the other two book — The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes and The Indespensible Calvin and Hobbes — checking in at $10.49 each.

The Kindle editions are $1.50 more for each book, which is still a good price. The print editions are roughly the same cost, and the massive The Complete Calvin and Hobbes collection can be found in print. There is no word on why the entire collection wasn’t made via eBooks at this time. It could be an issue with publishing rights, or syndication.

The comics have been available on gocomics, but only in strip form. This represents the first time the books have been available to eReaders, but for Android fans, the books are sadly missing from the Play Store right now. We hope that situation is rectified shortly.

VIA: The Verge

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Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch now shipping

Amazon announced the Kindle Fire HDX back in September. At that time we learned this model would be available in a 7-inch and an 8.9-inch variety. The Kindle Fire HDX 7 began shipping back in mid-October and as of today, the 8.9-inch model is shipping. That said, given these had been previously announced and available for pre-order, the details may sound familiar for some.

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The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX is priced from $379 (for the 16GB model). There is also a 32GB and 64GB model available and those are priced at $429 and $479 respectively. Those prices are for the WiFi only model with special offers. You can also opt to ditch the special offers for an additional $15 extra. Amazon also has a 4G LTE model coming for Verizon Wireless and AT&T, however those are still in the pre-order phase with a shipping date of December 10th.

Aside from the internal storage, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 has a display resolution of 2560 x 1600 with a PPI of 339. The tablet is powered by a quad-core 2.2GHz processor and has Adreno 330 graphics and 2GB of RAM. Users can also expect a 720o capable front-facing camera for video chatting and an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and 1080pHD video recording. Aside from using the front-facing camera for video calls with friends and family, Amazon also has Mayday.

Mayday is a feature first introduced with these tablets and provides on-device tech support. While Mayday is limited to the Kindle Fire HDX at the moment, it does mean you can get free support direct from Amazon. And better yet, the support is available 24 x 7 and 365 days a year. Another highlight of the Kindle Fire HDX is the weight. Or in this case, the lack of.

Amazon has this listed as weighing in at 13.2 ounces, which is said to be 34 percent lighter as compared to the previous generation. Bottom line here, if you have been waiting for the 8.9-inch model of the Kindle Fire HDX to begin shipping, your wait has come to an end. Well, that is unless you want the LTE model. And otherwise, the Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch remains available and priced from $229.

SOURCE: Amazon

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Ellipsis 7 tablet by Verizon announced for $249, WTH?

Did you all know Verizon was making their own branded tablet? I must have missed the memo on that one somewhere. Apparently Verizon thought they should jump on the device making bandwagon and created the Ellipsis 7 tablet. It is a 7 inch tablet that Verizon will carry and start selling on November 7th for $249.99.

Verizon Ellipses 7 Android tablet

So, what is in the Ellipsis 7?  It will be full of Verizon software and sport 4G LTE radios, which means contract.  It will have Amazon Kindle, Redbox Instant, Plants vs. Zombies and Verizon Messages ready to go out of the box. It houses an unspecified quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, 8GB onboard storage (with a micro SD card expansion slot) and the resolution is 1280 x 800 (216 ppi). It is launching with Android 4.2.2 and has a 4,000 mAh built-in battery. (The Verge).

The remainder of their announcement does lead to more interesting thoughts though.

The Ellipsis 7 is the first product from Verizon Wireless in the Ellipsis family.

Sounds like Verizon might be getting into the hardware game pretty heavily. No doubt there will be more tablets and potentially phones to come out of big red. Fairly interesting approach for a carrier.  If I was a betting man, I’d say it will be pretty locked down and OTAs will be bleak.

Anyone out there going to check it on the 7th?

Via Verizon

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Amazon celebrates FAA gadget ruling with Kindle push

Following a committee recommendation that arrived in September, the FAA officially announced that mobile devices would soon be available for use in “all phases of flight.” While not every airline and flight has officially come on board, we have seen select airlines and flights begin allowing wider use. This likely comes as good news for frequent travelers, however it looks like Amazon is also in the mood to celebrate.

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Of course, by celebrate, we mean Amazon is attempting to use this FAA decision to help push some additional Kindle sales. To that point, Amazon has announced a one-day Kindle sale. This sale means a 15 percent discount on most Kindle models and will be available today, November 4, 2013. Those looking to take advantage will need to use “ThnksFAA” as the promo code during the checkout process.

“We’ve been fighting for our customers on this issue for years, and we are thrilled by the FAA’s recent decision—this is a big win for customers. Delta and JetBlue have already started flights with the new rules—we’re excited to see which airlines are next,” said Drew Herdener, Vice President, Amazon.

Otherwise, the discount applies to the Kindle, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HDX 7, which with the discount in place, means prices of $59, $118 and $195 respectively. Notably missing is the newest (2013) generation of the Kindle Paperwhite. That one remains at $119 or $179 if you are looking for the 3G-equipped model.

We do question if this was also a move to push some older inventory out the door. Regardless though, the discount should be welcomed for those who have yet to get a Kindle, or for those who are eying a newer model. And in the case of the Kindle Fire HDX 7, that was a fairly recent introduction. That was announced in September and we also spent a bit of hands-on time with that model.

In addition to this “today only” discount, Amazon has had a few Kindle related announcements in recent history. They have announced the availability of the Matchbook program as well as the Kindle-only “Day One” publication and Kindle First which gives early access to upcoming book releases.

SOURCE: Amazon

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Amazon Kindle First brings promise of reading “next month’s new releases today”

Amazon has announced Kindle First today. Kindle First will allow Kindle users to download and read an ebook up to a month ahead of the general release. Basically, this is providing early access to new ebooks. For Amazon Prime members, you will be able to download and read these books for free and those without Prime, these ebooks will be priced at $1.99.

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While this all sounds good so far, there are some limitations. To begin with, these ebooks will be titles that are being published by Amazon Publishing. And on top of that, there will only be a small selection of titles to pick from each month. Or in other words, you may not be able to score a free (or $1.99) ebook each and every month depending on your preferences.

That being said, the process is simple and there is support for all Kindle devices — including Android devices using the Kindle app. Amazon has set up a Kindle First page that breaks down the process, which is really nothing more than picking the book you want and then downloading it to your device to begin reading. And to make sure you don’t miss out on any future releases, Amazon has set up a monthly email.

The titles available this month include Things We Set on Fire by Deborah Reed, We Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor and Sue Carswell, No Place for a Dame by Connie Brockway and Silent Echo by J.R. Rain. Also, just to clarify, regardless of whether you are Prime and get these for free, or choose to stay non-Prime and pay the $1.99 — once these have been downloaded they remain in your collection.

Anyway, while the non-Prime price seems to be attractive, this really appears to be adding yet another perk for Prime members. Not to mention, offering another reason to choose Kindle, whether you have a hardware device or are using the Android app.

Otherwise, in recent Amazon news, we also saw a new Kindle-only publication launch earlier in the week. That one was called “Day One” and promises to showcase one short story and one poem each week. Day One launched with an introductory price of $9.99, but will eventually settle in at $19.99 per year.

SOURCE: Amazon Kindle First, Business Wire

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Amazon rolls out Matchbook program

For eBook fanatics, getting hardcover books can be frustrating. The point of reading on a mobile device is so we won’t have to deal with big, clumsy books. For those that may have purchased books in the past, the cost of upgrading can be prohibitive. Today, Amazon announces the rollout of their Matchbook program, designed to get us on-board with e-reading.

Kindle Matchbook


If you’re unfamiliar, Amazon’s program is aimed to get those who may have purchased a hardcover or paperback book via Amazon the digital replacement, at a discounted price, or sometimes free. Starting at $2.99 and scaling down in dollar increments, Amazon wants to limit your out-of-pocket cost to go digital.

They also want you tied into their system, and using their app. Amazon is quick to point out that their app is available anywhere, so you definitely won’t go wanting once you go digital. With an already robust eBook catalog, Amazon may just have most of your physical book purchases available for you digitally.

Amazon will look up your purchase history via the Matchbook page, and tell you which books are eligible for digital. Of course, they won’t know what you purchase outside of Amazon, but it’s a great feature for those who may have lost a book, or just don’t want to lug them around.

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Amazon puts out “Kindle Hits” Bundle, 6 titles for Free

Amazon Kindle App Bundle Angry BirdsIf you happen to have yourself an Amazon Kindle device, then today is a good day for you in the Amazon App Store. Amazon has released a “Kindle Hits” bundle today that brings you 6 great titles for free. The titles bring in a savings of $23.94 if you choose to pick up all 6. Here is what you have a chance to snag.

Not too shabby for free. The offer also includes a little bonus. For each app you download you will also receive 20 Amazon Coins credited to your account.

If you have nothing better to do today, grab your Kindle and head to the App Store and snag some of the mentioned titles for free. Enjoy.

 

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Amazon Kindle Fire HDX has a blueish tinge to screen edges, some users say

Users of the new Amazon Kindle Fire HDX tablets have been noticing a strange issue. The screen seems to have a blue-ish tint all the way around the screen, which can be distracting. To their credit, Amazon is aware of the issue and supportive of unhappy customers, but it’s a problem that could have a big impact.

Kindle Fire HDX

The problem is pretty simple, and shown nicely in the video below. While a little bleeding of light is normal, this is a bit different. In the Amazon forums, many users are reporting the issue, with one noting a MayDay representative told them it was an “optical issue”, not a hardware fix. That was a bit different from others who noted Amazon was willing to swap devices until the problem was fixed, and was telling them it was a hardware issue.

One Amazon user noted this issue was prevalent on the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite until the newest version was released. Strange that on one hand, Amazon has fixed the issue with one series, but the other is seeing issues. If the same manufacturer makes both tablets, it’s stands to reason that it really is a hardware issue.

This shouldn’t dissuade you from trying one of the new Kindle tablets out, but it is definitely something to keep an eye out for. Nobody has reported issues with swapping or returning devices yet, so it seems Amazon — and their partners — are committed to finding a fix and making customers happy.

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Amazon phone could be limited to Prime members

Bloomberg is reporting that those rumored HTC Amazon devices we’ve heard so much about lately may come with heavy strings attached. The news agency is saying that the devices (plural) could be sold to Prime members only. It may sound limiting, but could be a winning strategy for Amazon moving forward.

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While we’ve long heard Amazon is working on some form of smartphone, but often have little more to go on after that fact. Wild rumors fo a 3D device pop up now and again, though nobody is willing to comment or relay info regarding specs aside from things like eye tracking cameras or the 3D display. Amazon is said to be working with HTC, though that poses a question regarding HTC’s involvement in the OHA.

While the Amazon Kindle family of tablets definitely works best with a Prime membership, it’s not mandatory. Bloomberg didn’t note whether the rumored smartphones would be sold only to existing Prime members, or require a Prime membership.

While it’s still only rumor, we find it plausible that Amazon would insist on a Prime membership for a free smartphone — or even a series of membership options for multiple devices. Much like Google sells the Nexus devices at near-cost, so does Amazon with their Kindle tablets. At the end of the day, smartphones and tablets are conduits to consumption, and Amazon’s marketplace is hard to beat for media.

Something like a prepaid, two to five year Prime membership for this “free phone” scheme sounds interesting. While we get a free phone, we’d be tied into Amazon for five years or so. If we dislike the device, we don’t even have to use or keep it — we’d be tied to Amazon, not a device or rate plan. If the real endgame is consumption, that could be a winning strategy for Amazon.

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What’s the best Android tablet to buy as of October 2013

Earlier this week we talked about what the best Android phone to buy this month was, and now — for the first time ever — we’ll be going through the best Android tablets your hard-earned money can buy. This space doesn’t move quite as fast as smartphones, but we’re about ready to head into what should be an interesting holiday season with a few new tablets leading the way (including one we’ve just reviewed this morning). Let’s hop to it!

5 – Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Samsung’s Note series has become the go-to for performance and features in the tablet space, so the more weildy of the bunch — the Note 8.0 — deserves a bit of recognition in the top 5. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0′s HD resolution and quad-core chipset are quite nice, and that all-important S-Pen functionality pushes this one of the top as one of the better “small” tablets to consider at the point of sale.

4 – Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

Just announced by Amazon, the HDX line of Kindle Fire tablets is the latest in Amazon’s series. This changes the game up quite a bit by Amazon’s standards, a company whose modest first step into the tablet arena has since been bested with better offerings each year to follow. The HDX comes in 7-inch and 8.9-inch flavors, giving users a decent balance between screen real estate and portability.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX includes 2560 x 1600 resolution, storage options of 16-64GB, 4G LTE, a quad-core 2.2GHz processor (likely a Snapdragon 800), and more. As we all know by now, though, it isn’t the specs Amazon is hoping will win your hearts. It’s the deep integration with their various services, including Prime Instant Video, MP3, Cloud Storage, Kindle e-Books, the Amazon Appstore, and a whole lot more.

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Amazon also introduced a unique feature for customer support this go-round. The “Mayday” button, as it’s called, will give users the ability to connect to a customer support representative who can help with any trouble you might be having with your Kindle. The rep can manipulate the device remotely, and you two will be connected via both video and voice for a more personal experience.

Amazon’s goal is be hit 15 seconds or less for a response time whenever that button is hit, which would be a much more pleasant wait time than most companies can say they offer. This thing comes in all sorts of different shapes, sizes, storage and connectivity options, so be sure to read our initial announcement post for the full breakdown on all of that (and don’t forget to check out what makes the latest Kindle Fire OS 3.0 so great in this one).

3 – Nexus 10

The Nexus 10 is quite old, and is rumored to be supplanted by an updated offering in the weeks to come, but as it stands it’s still one of the better tablets to buy. A lot of that is on price and principal — who can say no to a Nexus device? And who can say no to a Nexus device with these specs for $400?

The specs I’m referring to include a 10.055-inch 2560 x 1600 display, Exynos 5 Dual (which is an ARM Cortex-A15 dual-core chipset with Mali T604 graphics), 2GB of RAM, 16-32GB of internal storage, WiFi + MiMo, Bluetooth, NFC, and more. Of course, its status as a Nexus devices means it should be up and runnong on the latest version of Android for as long as it can stand it.

Nexus 10 Google Play WiFi

Indeed, owners are currently enjoying Android 4.3, something not many others can say right now. And you can bet your bottom dollar that it’ll be one of the first tablets to get Android 4.4. Kit Kat whenever Google sees fit to fully unveil that, as well.

2 – Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition

We thought this device might sneak into our #1 overall spot this month, but the Galaxy Note 10.1 hasn’t exactly been the greatest of sports in all the departments that matter. In our Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition review, Rob Jackson noted some pitfalls of the entirety of the experience, the biggest of which being a laggy user interface when flipping through MyMagazines or trying to use popup apps.

Galaxy Note 10.1 Air Command

That was enough to keep it out of our first spot, but not nearly enough to kick it out of our top 5. The Note 10.1 2014 edition reads like a fantastic device on paper, with specs being comprised of the following:

  • 1.9GHz Exynos 5420 quad-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM.
  • 16GB or 32GB options for internal storage
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 2MP front facing camera
  • MicroUSB 2.0
  • MicroSD slot
  • 8,220 mAh battery and more

That said, for a starting price of $550 with 3GB of RAM and a quad-core processor, we simply can’t forgive the sluggishness that showed up in our testing. It has great S-Pen driven features and it’s good enough for second best, though it probably won’t move further beyond that until Samsung releases a software upgrade that gets some of that lag under control.

1 – Nexus 7 2013

We’ve finally arrived to the coveted #1 spot. I hope this selection wasn’t too obvious. It’s a Nexus Tablet. It’s $230. And it has a spec sheet that will make anyone stand up and take notice. This 7-inch ASUS-made wonder slides in at the number 1 spot thanks to that nice 1920 x 1200 resolution (323 ppi), quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset clocked at 1.5GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16-32GB of internal storage, 5 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera, dual-band WiFi N, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and more.

New Nexus 7 hand wm

The Nexus 7 2013 was the launchpad for Android 4.3, which is currently the latest version of Google’s beloved mobile operating system. And thanks to its status as a Nexus device it will most certainly be seeing Android 4.4 Kit Kat (whatever that turns out to be) ahead of the rest of the pack.

Google really does make it a bit unfair with their willingness to throw profits aside and offer this device up for dirt cheap, but that doesn’t make us feel reluctant or guilty for awarding the Nexus 7 2013 the top spot anyway.

Honorable Mentions

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

It’s not quite as powerful as the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 or 8.9, but the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD still holds its own where it counts. Amazon couldn’t care less about the profit from device sales here, though, which is why it’s so cheap at a starting price of just $140. As with the HDX, it’s all about apps and services for Amazon. Specs include 1280 x 800 resolution, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8-16GB of internal storage, 10 hours of battery life and more.

Tablets to look forward to

Here are just a few tablets to look forward to in the weeks and months to come. None of them are available for purchase yet, and some aren’t even official, but it’ll give you a good idea of what to expect once that ever-difficult purchasing decision arises this holiday seasons.

ASUS Transformer Pad TF701T

This is the latest product from ASUS that will allow you to transform your tablet into a netbook. The Transformer Pad TF701 is a 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 device with NVIDIA’s Tegra 4 processor on board. This powerhouse also includes a 5 megapixel rear camera, a 1.2 megapixel front camera, HDMI-out and more. And when you dock the tablet inside the dock, you’ll get a combined 17 hours of battery life (which is much more than any of today’s Netbooks can claim).

ASUS Padfone Infinity

This marvelous phone/tablet combo pack is set to launch sometime soon. ASUS was one of the first companies to make our “use a powerful phone as the guts of a tablet” dreams come true, and now they’ve gone and outdone themselves with the announcement of the Padfone Infinity.

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The phone bit includes a 5-inch 1080p HD Super IPS display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of internal storage with microSD, 13 megapixel rear camera with a 2 megapixel front camera, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi N, 2,400mAh battery and more.

Dock the phone into the rear of a device that has a 10.1-inch HD display and a huge battery, and you’ve got yourself one of the most powerful tablets, as well. Sounds pretty damned good to me, and worth keeping an eye out for once ASUS makes these available.

Motorola DROID tablets

Motorola has a tablet or two launching soon. We’re not sure what they are. We’re not sure how they’ll look. We’re not even sure when we’ll be seeing them. All we know is that they’ve confirmed some tablets are in the works, and that one of them will most certainly be headed straight for Verizon’s DROID lineup. With the great work they’ve done with the Moto X and the latest DROID phones, Motorola definitely gets a good deal of our attention.

What say you?

And that’ll do it for our list of the best Android tablets to buy. Things should be even more interesting by the time we put the next installment out, but take some time to go over the list for October, and think about where you stand on it. Feel free to disagree — we all have our own thoughts and opinions about these sorts of things, so you won’t be hurting our feelings! We want to hear all about it in the comments section below, so have at it!

PS: don’t forget that you can talk all about these tablets, and more, over at AndroidForums.com. Be sure to make an account and join the millions of folks currently driving some very healthy discussion over there.

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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 2013 teardown reveals modular components, high repairability

With their self-professed love of the burning element, the folks over at iFixit had a blast playing with fire. The new Amazon Kindle Fire HD, that is. A look inside Amazon‘s refresh of the venerable e-reader-slash-tablet device reveals what makes it tick and how easy it will be to put out the flames of a damaged unit.

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Last week, Amazon took off the veils from its new line of Kindle Fire HD tablets and sneaking in somewhat inconspicuously is the new non-HDX 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. In a way, this 2013 model mixes the old, such as the 7-inch 1280×800 resolution display, with the new, like a faster 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, all encased in Amazon’s new unique design showcased on all its new tablets.

Taking apart the Kindle Fire HD 2013 was, fortunately, not much of a daunting task. The rear case was somewhat difficult to open but eventually yielded after much coaxing. The use of Torx T5 screws all over the device meant that there was only need for a single non-proprietary screwdriver. Some of the parts, for example, the headphone jack, the micro-USB port, and the power and volume buttons were surprisingly modular, making it easier to replace when things go downhill.

There was a generous amount of adhesive used on the 4440 mAh battery, making it probably the trickiest to remove. The heart and soul of the Kindle Fire HD resided in the motherboard, secured at the top with a few screws. EMI shields protected some of the more sensitive components, such as the 1 GB Micron LPDDR2 SDRAM, which itself was believed to cover the 1.5 GHz TI OMAP4 processor underneath. The display, which was manufactured by LG, was not fused to the glass panel, making it easy to separate. The glass, however, was glued to the front frame but can still be removed with some amount of heat.

All in all, the teardown experience seemed to go smoothly, making iFixit give it a score of 8 out of 10 in repairability, just one point higher than its rival, the 2013 Nexus 7. While most of the components were held together by screws, there was some amount of adhesive used in some key places, but nothing that a bit of poking or some heat couldn’t fix.

SOURCE: iFixit

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Amazon patents “Firetube” moniker; TV service, or maybe internet

Amazon has recently filed a trademark application for the name “Firetube”, which is as curious as it may be ominous. With no other bits of information to go on, we wonder why Amazon — which filed for the trademark in the US and Canada — would want that name.

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We’ve long heard discussion of an Amazon TV service, but those were vague rumors. While it makes sense that Amazon, which is keen on delivering as much media to you as possible, would try to involve themselves in your TV viewing, there is no precedent for them to do so as of now.

“Firetube”, though, sounds comical enough to be real. Let’s not forget Amazon added “Fire” to “Kindle”, so they’ve got a propensity for tongue-in-cheek device naming. Firetube is also pretty catchy, and rolls off the tongue easily.

Like Seth Weintraub of 9 to 5 Google, our first inclination was that Firetube was meant for their strongly rumored phone lineup, but it seems unlikely. Amazon’s reluctance to make their media services Android available and Chromecast friendly is another hint that they might have their own device in the works, so we’ll be interested to see if Amazon tosses something out by christmas.

They did support Google TV at one time, but recent reviews in the Play Store suggest they’ve abandoned that service. Perhaps we’ll see a streaming device/service soon, or maybe there is more to their tinkering with spectrum frequencies than they let on. Firetube is a good moniker for a proprietary internet service, too.

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Amazon said to have two smartphones in the works; one 3D, one free

We’ve been fielding reports for quite some time that Amazon has a phone in the works. These tidbits of information have been leaking out for some time, and often contrast one another. First we hear about 3D phones, then a free model, which gets us back to center and a basic phone, much like their Kindle tablets.

Amazon

The latest info suggests Amazon is working on two different models, not a single device. The first, which gets us back to that 3D rumor all over again, sounds a bit like 3D displays on steroids. According to reports, this will be able to track your head movement, and display images to you in 3D, regardless of your facial orientation to the screen. You could coyly pull your phone out of your pocket, turn the screen on, and the icons would face themselves to your downward gaze on a tilted device, making them appear as though you were looking at your phone straight on.

The 3D would also allow users to peek “around corners”, and see things from other screens on your phone. This 3D phone, code named “Smith”, would also have the ability to recognize objects and find them on the Amazon market place for you. How is all this accomplished? A post on Hacker News suggest the device will have four front-facing cameras, one at each corner.

The second phone brings us around to that persistent “free phone” rumor we keep hearing, but have a hard time believing. While Amazon has denied any such device would be free, or ship in 2014, there is no reason to doubt their interest in smartphones. Conflicting reports have Amazon losing engineers, or shifting them around, which could be an effort to keep things under wraps: if everyone knows a little bit, nobody can offer much info.

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Where we take issue is the execution. With a free phone, there would almost have to be some kind of long-term deal for Prime service in place, meaning Amazon just amortized your money for you, which isn’t necessarily “free”. A 3D device would have to support a radically altered UI and OS, and many already find the walled garden of Amazon’s Os restricting. Four cameras and a screen that can accomplish 3D may also be bulky, and Amazon isn’t quite known for slight hardware.

Be that as it may, we’d still love to see what Amazon can do in the smartphone space. Their hardware may be a tad bulkier, but it’s always solid. Their OS might be restrictive, with it’s lack of Play Store support, but it’s great for media consumption — and who knows, maybe they’ll adopt Play Store support at some point. Right now, we’d be excited to see these devices come to light. As disruptive as Amazon can be, it tends to work out best for consumers, and that’s what’s important.

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