August 28, 2014

Amazon Unveils $199 Kindle Fire Tablet

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UPDATE: Here’s an Interesting “Reference” Feature Mentioned in the Official Product Launch Announcement:

Amazon invented X-Ray, a new feature that lets customers explore the “bones of the book.” With a single tap, readers can see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari, Amazon’s community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Amazon built X-Ray using its expertise in language processing and machine learning, access to significant storage and computing resources with Amazon S3 and EC2, and a deep library of book and character information. The vision is to have every important phrase in every book.

We’ve heard X-Ray will first be available for a few thousand titles when the Kindle Fire becomes available in November.

If this sounds similar to Amazon’s “Inside the Book” feature, it should.
Example: Take a look at all of the data Amazon makes available about The Jungle by Upton Sinclair under the “Inside the Book”  header about halfway down the page. Make sure to click on the text stats link. Interesting!

UPDATE: View the Kindle Fire Introductory Video

From Bloomberg:

The Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch display and sell for $199, compared with $499 for Apple’s cheapest iPad, Amazon executives said in interviews with Bloomberg Businessweek. The device, a souped-up version of the Kindle electronic- book reader, will run on Google Inc.’s Android software, the Seattle-based company said.

From an In-Depth (7 page) Article (via Bloomberg BusinessWeek):
Includes comments from Jeff Bezos.

To demonstrate the Kindle Fire, [Jeff] Bezos pulls up a chair. He proudly shows off a lightning-fast Web browser that runs on Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing engine and Amazon’s version of the Android app store, with over 10,000 games, e-mail programs, shopping guides, and the like. Bezos pauses briefly to exhibit his dexterity at a game called Fruit Ninja, zapping watermelons and kiwis that fly across the screen, and appears to momentarily lose himself in the effort. “I do find it strangely therapeutic, uncomfortably therapeutic,” he says.

There are some limitations to the Kindle Fire. Unlike the iPad 2, it doesn’t have embedded cameras or a microphone, and there’s no 3G cellular connection, only Wi-Fi. Its diminutive size, which makes it so handy for stashing in a coat pocket, also makes it unlikely to satisfy more than one antsy kid on a long car ride.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Official Product Launch Announcement:
Introducing the All-New Kindle Family: Four New Kindles, Four Amazing Price Points

See Also: Live Coverage of the Amazon Product Launch (via Engadget)

See Also: “eBooks, Privacy, and the Library”
We talk about the new OverDrive/Kindle service.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.