Wal-Mart has decided to stop selling Kindle e-readers and tablets in what is no doubt a bid to slow the juggernaut that is Amazon. Kindle devices are increasingly becoming the center of Amazon’s digital strategy, thanks to the deep integration with Kindle e-books, Audible audiobooks, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon MP3, Amazon Cloud Drive, the Amazon Appstore for Android, and much more.
This move follows a similar decision by Target last spring, and seems to imply that brick and mortar stores are becoming afraid of these devices that are, in a sense, merely a gateway to a competitor’s digital storefront. While Wal-Mart and Target will end up missing out on sales of the hugely popular Kindle tablets and e-readers, the companies hope to benefit in the long run. Of course, it’s unlikely that this move will actually hurt Amazon. If you’re going to buy a Kindle, why wouldn’t you go directly through Amazon? Even the “I need the device soon” argument doesn’t carry much weight when the retailer offers such fast shipping on the devices.
I certainly don’t know anyone who’s purchased a Kindle in a physical store. Do you?
As expected, Amazon has announced that its Appstore for Android will open for business in Europe this summer. The Appstore will initially be launched in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, but Amazon plans to expand the store globally “in the near future.”
Developers can already begin submitting apps for inclusion in the European marketplaces, and “those already participating in the program will automatically have their apps made available for sale internationally by default.” The Mobile App Distribution Portal has already been updated to allow developers to set list prices by marketplace, select countries where apps will be sold, etc. Amazon has also changed the rules which govern how much revenue app developers take in. “Starting on July 1, developers will earn 70 percent of list price on each paid app sale,” said Amazon’s press release. ”This is a change from the prior terms under which developers earned either 70 percent of the app’s sales price or 20 percent of list price (whichever was greater).” Additionally, Amazon is giving developers better control over which apps are available to Amazon customers.
Amazon has finally given customers the ability to clear the furthest page read for Kindle ebooks. This change was made with little fanfare, but it’s a welcome and much needed improvement.
The Amazon Kindle is a great line of e-readers, made even better by the ability to sync your furthest page read using Whispersync. This allows you to seamlessly switch between devices–be it an e-ink Kindle, the Kindle Fire tablet, or a Kindle app on smartphones and computers–without missing a beat. Unfortunately, the very feature that makes this so great is also a massive hassle when trying to read something slightly less linear, like a textbook or a book with a lot of footnotes. Rather than helping you return to your last read position, the Kindle would attempt to force you to the back of the book. To make matters worse, there was no way to fix it aside from calling customer service and begging them to reset it. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.
To clear the furthest page read for a particular Kindle book, simply head on over to Manage Your Kindle on Amazon.com and find the book in question. The Actions menu for each item now has an option to “clear furthest page read.” Confirm the change, and you’re done! The next time you open up the book, Amazon will use that position as the new furthest page read.
It would be great if Amazon took things a step further and added the option to the Kindle OS too. In the meantime, we’re just thankful that we no longer have to call support to read a textbook.
[Amazon via Omar Shahine]
Amazon’s latest Gold Box Deal of the Day is none other than the Kindle Fire, the company’s first full-color tablet running a heavily modified version of Android. The device typically retails for $199, but today’s deal drops the price of refurbished models from $169 to $139, 40% off the cost of a normal Kindle Fire.
The 7-inch tablet’s biggest selling point is its deep integration with Amazon’s web services like the Amazon Appstore for Android, Amazon Prime, Amazon Cloud Drive, Audible, and, of course, Kindle. When it comes to Android tablets, it’s one of the best on the market.
The Amazon has certified the refurbished Kindle Fire, guaranteeing a good experience with the device. In addition to looking and working as if it were brand new, the Certified Refurbished Kindle Fire comes with a one-year warranty. It’s a fantastic deal, but those interested will have to act fast. There’s only 17 hours left as of this writing, but it could end sooner if Amazon runs out of stock.
[Amazon Gold Box]
Microsoft announced the availability of a Hotmail app for the Kindle Fire in a blog post on Tuesday. The company developed the free Hotmail Kindle app in conjunction with SEVEN to provide a dedicated app for syncing email, contacts, folders (including subfolders), and more via the popular Exchange Active Sync protocol. This is a huge improvement over the Kindle Fire’s built-in POP3 email app.
This news comes three and a half months after the Redmond software giant released a similar app on the Android Market. The Kindle Fire, as some people may or may not be aware, runs a heavily modified version of Android. It’s so heavily modified, in fact, that our sister site Pocketables said ”it doesn’t even resemble an Android device.” As a result, the Kindle Fire version required “some updates to [the] previous Hotmail app for Android to ensure it worked well.”
The free Hotmail Kindle app can be found today on Amazon’s Android Market.
[Amazon Android Market via Inside Windows Live]