It’s Sunday, the time of the week when Talk Android brings you a report on some of the very best applications we’ve been using over the course of the past seven days. Today we’re focusing our attention on a fantastic reading service, a great photo-editing tool, an incredibly easy-to-use QR scanner and last, but not least, an addictive survival game.
Using the Amazon Kindle app as your go-to reading application just got a whole lot more useful due to version 4.6’s enhancements. The only addition not available to everyone is immersive full-screen mode as that is a capability that launched with Android 4.4 KitKat. Everything else is fair game and most of it is simplification changes. For example, the screen orientation lock can be toggled by tapping the bottom right corner of a page. The system brightness can be accessed through the reader’s settings. And audio playback can be controlled from the lock screen of the device.
Hit the break for download links.
We just received an email from Amazon letting us know about the latest update to the Kindle for Android app. The biggest new feature is Kindle Format 8 (KF8) support. What is KF8? Here’s how Amazon describes it:
Kindle Format 8 is Amazon’s next generation file format offering a wide range of new features and enhancements – including HTML5 and CSS3 support that publishers can use to create all types of books. KF8 adds over 150 new formatting capabilities, including drop caps, numbered lists, fixed layouts, nested tables, callouts, sidebars and Scalable Vector Graphics – opening up more opportunities to create Kindle books that readers will love.
Along with KF8, Amazon has added access to over 1,000 children’s books and comics, including Batman, Superman, Curious George, and Brown Bear. Also, your Android device can now receive documents from your Email-to-Kindle address directly from the cloud.
Download Kindle for Android from the link or QR code after the break.
Looks like Foxconn will be an OEM behind the upcoming Kindle Fire 2. With this decision, Amazon also takes on selection and certification of the components that will be used. Hopefully this proves beneficial to consumers. It will undoubtedly lower the cost per unit for Amazon. The original Kindle, maufactured by Quanta, was based on the existing design for the Blackberry Playbook. As we know, this ultimately led to Amazon losing money on each unit, but it appears to have been worth it in the long run. With full control over what will make up the Kindle Fire 2, Amazon should be able to keep it cheap without damaging their profit margins. So far all signs point to a formal unveil soon with a possible launch for the device beginning in May.
A lot of folk have had negative things to say about the Kindle Fire and it appears that Amazon is listening. As Amazon has had to reorder stock for the device it appears that it is selling quite well, but given the feedback, people have had less than great things to say about the tablet/e-reader.
While some issues are hardware related, such as power button placement and a lack of volume rocker buttons, an abundant amount of complaints were software and performance related. Given our review on it, it appears that performance might be a big issue down the road, so having performance issues right out the gate would hurt the Kindle Fire in the long run.
Great news for folks in the UK as well. This update should be implemented into the tablet already when it’s released abroad in early 2012. Those with the U.S. version won’t have to wait so long as a company spokesperson told the New York Times, “In less than two weeks, we’re rolling out an over-the-air update to Kindle Fire.”
With that being said it appears that Amazon is taking your feedback and given that it’s said that there are 3-5 million units sold, that feedback is quite important. What about you guys, are you having performance issues?
Ever since Amazon announced that they would be entering the tablet market it was rumored that they would be bringing different tablet sizes to the table. This rumor became more reputable when Amazon announced the 8.9-inch version of their Kindle Fire. Well it appears that a 10.1 inch version may also be in the works. According to Digitimes:
“Amazon is developing 8.9- and 10.1-inch next-generation Kindle Fire models and has selected an 8.9-inch model for launch by the end of the second quarter of 2012 due to LG Display’s and Samsung Electronics’ promotion of 8.9-inch panels and to avoid competition with 9.7-10.1-inch products offered by other vendors, the sources said. Foxconn will begin ODM production of 8.9-inch Kindle Fire in the middle of the second quarter of 2012, the sources indicated.”
Digitimes is known for receiving information from component producers in regards to the kinds of parts that each OEM orders. For the most part they deal with information regarding displays. So it is safe to say that they are a good indication of what’s coming down the line.
It appears that Amazon is working on bringing their next-generation Kindle Fire to arrive second quarter next year, in the 8.9-inch variety. Given that the Kindle Fire is an e-reader/tablet crossover and promotions offered by LG display and Samsung Electronics, not jumping straight to the 10.1-inch tablet makes sense. However, there’s no word as to when an Amazon 10.1-inch tablet will debut. This information only leads to more questions as to what Amazon is up to, and given that Amazon may also be entering the smartphone market at some point, the questions continue to pile up.
We’ve been expecting a 7-inch Amazon tablet to hit this fall with a 10-inch version in the works as well. Being called simply the Amazon Kindle it will display content in color from a 7inch capacitive touch screen. What I found most disappointing about this news from the source article is that the new Kindle will not be the Android tablet your used to. It will be strictly more of a Kindle interface instead of just your normal Android OS. Siegler over at Techcrunch reports to have gotten his hands on one for about an hour. There are no pictures to share here, so we’ll just have to take his word for it. Hit the break for the full story.
The Amazon Kindle app for Android has been updated bringing a much needed home screen update. On top of the new tabbed style home screen experience, you can see a new recommendation bar at the bottom in the shot above (guess I need to figure out how to use my Droid X while working out). There are also some bug fixes included with the update along with in-app upgrade notifications. Grab the Amazon Kindle app right here from our handy apps database or use the QR code below.
The Amazon Kindle Android app has received an update today, which is now available on the Android Market. The updates include full voice text search throughout the book, the ability to add notes and highlight passages which can be shared across other devices, a Wikipedia search function, and a lock-mode, which allows the user to lock the screen in either landscape or portrait position.
The voice search function alone is worth the upgrade, but when combined with all of these other great new features, the Kindle Android app just keeps getting better.
[thanks to everyone that sent this in]