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Travel to Mars with our kids’ book of the week! Commando Kidz: The Red Planet by Brenda Elkin

Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction! The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

The greatest scientific invention of modern times. Capable of curing humanity. But more adept at controlling it… Chas Murrell’s international spy thriller YEARN TO FEAR

Smart. Sexy. Sassy. There’s so much to love with this 10-in-1 Romance BOXED SET ALERT! Too Much To Love by Summer Cooper and Scarlet Wilder

Author Michelle Cox is today’s Giveaway sponsor! Go to Giveaway Central to enter and check out “A Child Lost: A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel

Dealing with ghosts is easy. It’s dealing with the living that keeps her hiding in the shadows… Dead Wrong (A Cree Blue Psychic Eye Mystery Book 1) by Kate Allenton

This is a mission that will test Chase’s faith in both himself and God… The Shroud Key: Chase Baker Thriller #1 by Vincent Zandri

7-in-1 BOXED SET ALERT! Get lost in the world of the Doyles. Dangerous men with big hearts… The Doyles Complete Series: A Dark Boston Irish Mafia Romance by Sophie Austin

Winner of the Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller! The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Author Tara Eldana is today’s Giveaway sponsor! Go to Giveaway Central to enter and get the scoop on our weekly giveaways where you pick the prize!

FREE TODAY! Here’s a treat for fans of the Highlander TV series! Eternity (The Immortals Book 1) by Maggie Shayne

Develop the power to learn and master any skill! Learn, Improve, Master: How to Develop Any Skill and Excel at It by Nick Velasquez

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Amazon Announces Updates for Kindle for iOS, Kindle Cloud Reader, and Kindle for Android Apps

Amazon’s Kindle team has just released updates across our Kindle for iOS, Kindle Cloud Reader, and Kindle for Android apps. Here’s what Amazon says about them:

Kindle for iPad, Kindle Cloud Reader, and Kindle for Android now support children’s books, comics, and graphic novels. Children’s books come to life with brilliant images, fixed layouts, and Kindle Text Pop-Up for supported titles to magnify text for easy reading on any size screen. Comics and graphic novels are presented in Kindle Panel View for supported titles, showcasing the artwork in a panel by panel experience that reads as the author intended. Over 1000 children’s and comic book titles in full color are now available on Kindle Fire, Kindle for Android, Kindle for iPad, and Kindle Cloud Reader.

In addition, Kindle for iOS adds library search by title and author, and iPad users receive a cleaner reading experience with smaller margins to help you focus on the author’s words. Kindle for Android Tablets and Kindle Cloud Reader also now include a two-page view for widescreen displays.

We hope you enjoy the new updates!

Calculator for Kindle – Another Astonishingly Quick and Powerful 99-Cent Kindle App from Seven Dragons

If you happen to have Notepad, Converter, Flip It, or Tic Tac Toe on your Kindle, then you may not know it, but there is a good chance that you are a fan of the amazing Seven Dragons app development team, which happens to be led by my colleague Abhi Singh, who is an occasional Kindle Nation sponsor. I’ll admit that although 99% of my Kindle use is involved with reading, I really appreciate how easy the Seven Dragons tools make it to get the most out of my Kindle in other ways.

And now they’ve come out with a truly elegant Calculator tool that may astonish you with all it can do — and all for a one-time charge of just 99 cents!

Here are the main features as described by the Seven Dragons team, and some hidden functionality that I would never have expected in a Kindle Calculator app!

  1. Easy to Use.
  2. Fast. No images so it loads in a few seconds on all Kindles. Moving around in the app and moving the cursor around are also very fast.
  3. User Friendly. There’s an Undo feature that lets you ‘undo’ steps. Use DEL key to delete digits one at a time. Use the history page to refer to your last 10 calculations and the last 10 numbers you saved in Memory.
  4. Flexible. Choose from 3 font sizes and two themes. There are shortcuts displayed next to the buttons to help you – you can choose to hide them.
  5. Clear & Easy to Understand. Help in the Calculator App (Menu > Help and Menu > Shortcuts List) explains each function and lists the shortcuts available to you. The Kindle Calculator help documents listed below walk you through how to best use Calculator for Kindle.

It’s a simple and fast app that lets you do all your calculations on the Kindle.

Please Note: Kindle lets you do calculations by typing in 5 * 6 and pressing Enter/Search. The first search result is the answer of the calculation. Having a dedicated Calculator app lets you do things in an easier way and it provides various additional benefits described below and in the Help Videos. If you don’t want to spend $1 on a Calculator app you can perhaps get by with the in-built Kindle method.

Kindle Calculator – Help Documents

Please choose ‘Kindle Format’ if you want to read on your Kindle. PDF and Word formats are the ones to choose if you want to read Help on your PC.

Kindle Calculator Help Documents include –

  1. All Kindle Calculator Help files in 1 file – Kindle Calculator Help (Kindle Format), Kindle Calculator Help (PDF), and Kindle Calculator Help Files (Word).
  2. How to use Kindle Calculator – Using Kindle Calculator (Kindle Format), Using Kindle Calculator (PDF), and Using Kindle Calculator App (Word format).
  3. Kindle Calculator Sample Calculations (How to use each function) – Kindle Calculator Calculations Guide (Kindle Format), Calculator Calculations Examples (PDF format), and Kindle Calculator Examples (Word Format).
  4. Kindle Calculator Questions & Answers – Kindle Calculator Q&A (Kindle Format), Kindle Calculator Q&A (PDF), and Kindle Calculator Q&A (Word).
Please feel free to email us at booksummit@ymail.com (or to leave a comment below) if you have any further questions.

Kindle Calculator – Help Videos

Please check the Kindle Calculator Videos page which covers various features of the Calculator Kindle App.

That page misbehaves sometimes. Tomorrow I’ll add video links to another site that’s more stable (Vimeo).

Kindle Calculator – Availability

Kindle Calculator Works with: Kindle 2, Kindle 3, Kindle WiFi, Kindle DX, Kindle DX 2. Basically, every Kindle except the Kindle 1 (original model).

Kindle Calculator does not work with: Kindle Reading Apps such as Kindle for PC. It does not work with Kindle 1. It is not available if you live outside the US (right now Kindle Apps are not available internationally).

Another New Kindle App Expands the Power of the Kindle: Converter (Easy Conversions for Kindle)

The folks at Seven Dragons keep coming up with great apps for the Kindle, and they’ve done it again with Converter, a cool 99-cent Kindle app that will convert just about any unit of measurement under — or beyond — the sun into the metric medium in which you are working.

You may not know exactly how this app is going to help you over the course of the next year, but spending 99 cents now to get it onto your Kindle will mean that you won’t come up short when you need it. Seven Dragons has come up with four apps so far — Converter, Notepad and two games — and one of the things that distinguishes their work is that they are all very sleek and fast on Kindle.

They also do a great job of presenting their products, and I don’t mind cribbing off their work to share these with you:

(Ed. Note: They’ve sponsored their apps on Kindle Nation before, but this post is not sponsored – it’s just what I think. –S.W.)

 

 

It’s Here At Last! NOTEPAD: The Kindle App That We Have Been Waiting For

Finally, a fast, easy-to-use Kindle App that’s a time-saving convenience rather than an invitation to waste time!

Notepad (A Note Taking Tool for Kindle) – Just 99 cents on Kindle!

With respect to active-content “apps” that we can run on our Kindles, I am a man of at least two minds. I’ll stipulate to the fact that every now and then after a spell of reading I enjoy playing a game to clear my mind. But for the most part I am a Kindle purist, and I use my Kindle for the purpose Jeff Bezos intended when he put it on this earth: Reading. Reading books by reading, reading books by listening, and reading and/or listening to magazines, newspapers, blogs, manuscripts, reports, and memoranda. For all of these purposes m I love my Kindle. For Solitaire, Texas Hold ’em, and Hangman? Not so much.

Now the good folks at 7 Dragons, led by Kindle Review founder Abhi Singh, have launched a brand new app — Notepad — that I will use every day to set down, keep, and check notes, reminders, lists, directions, and other written annotations that I will be able to access both on my Kindle and — with a quick USB transfer — on any computer. It was launched in the Kindle Store early this morning and as I write this it has already garnered six 5-star reviews, and it would be fair enough to consider this a seventh.

As I have written about various uses for the Kindle for well over three years now, I’ve occasionally noticed times when we tried out various Kindle features — using email and the web come to mind — more to see if we and the Kindle could do certain things than because doing such things was particularly convenient. But here’s a tool that does not slow you down at all, and integrates seamlessly with reading on the Kindle.

There are some excellent videos on its many features here, and some detailed, helpful support pages here, so I won’t burden this post with a lot more detail, but a few things are worth highlighting:

  • It uses text and text files. You can transfer notes to PC or text files to app.
  • It amazes me how fast the typing is with this app.
  • There are 2 Font types and 6 font sizes.
  • There is a wide array of menu-driven options for searching, saving, sorting, and backing up your notes.

I’m going to post about it as well at Kindle Kids’ Corner because kids will be able to make great use of the app for saving homework assignments, phone numbers, email addresses, addresses, and gift lists. (Don’t you want your kids to remember what you want for your birthday?)

And I’m happy to say that, as you can see in the screenshot at the right, I’m using it to plot out this week’s Kindle Nation weekly email newsletter.

(This is a sponsored post. We accept only Kindle-related sponsorships and exercise discrimination in selecting the best of those, so we hope you will consider our sponsors’ ebooks and apps.)

Coming Soon: Kindle for iPad and Other Tablets

As we’ve been saying, Kindle Apps are coming soon for tablet computers like the iPad, the Dell Mini 5 “Streak,” and other releases, and this morning Amazon has added one more official indication with a new page on the Kindle site. No big surprises here, but here’s what Amazon has to say about the coming apps:

Experience the Beautiful User Interface

  • Get the best reading experience  available on your tablet computer including the iPad. No Kindle required
  • Tailored to the size, look, and feel of your  tablet computer
  • Customize background  color and font size to ease eye strain
  • Adjust  screen brightness from within the app to make reading easier
  • Page turn animation replicates the look of  turning a page in a book. Or choose Basic Reading Mode for a simpler and  unadorned reading experience

Read Kindle Books on Your Tablet Computer  Including the iPad

  • Amazon’s Whispersync technology  automatically synchronizes your last page read, bookmarks, notes and  highlights with Kindle and Kindle-compatible devices  PC, Mac, iPhone, and BlackBerry
  • Customers can start reading on one device and,  on another, pick up where they left off
  • Already have a Kindle? Access your Kindle books even if you  don’t have your Kindle with you
  • Create  bookmarks, notes, and highlights, and view the annotations you created  on your Kindle

Shop for Books in the Kindle Store

  • Search and browse more than 450,000  Kindle books, including 101 of 112 New York Times® Best Sellers. If you  are a non-U.S. customer, book availability may vary
  • Get free book samples–read the first chapter  for free before you decide to buy
  • Books  you purchase can also be read on a Kindle and Kindle-compatible devices

Waiting for the iPad: What’s the Real Scoop on iBooks and VoiceOver?

Early Saturday morning I pre-ordered an iPad, which will arrive here at my home on April 3. I went back and forth for a week about whether to hold out for the far more expensive 3G version that does not ship until late April, but finally decided that since 95 percent of my iPad use would likely occur in locations with wifi, I could go the “economy” route. (I’ll have a little more to say tomorrow about the expense of iPad ownership.)

I expect to get a lot of use out of the iPad, from occasionally writing Kindle Nation Daily posts and other material to enjoying music and film to using the Kindle for iPad app to read of the hundreds of ebooks that I have purchased, and will continue to purchase, from the Kindle Store.

I have plenty of questions about the iPad, many of which I probably won’t be able to answer to my own satisfaction until I have it in my hands. But for now the two questions that are foremost on my mind concern specific functionality issues with the Kindle for iPad app and with Apple’s new “iBooks on iPad” ebook store and reading software:

  • First, will the Kindle for iPad app be more like the Kindle for iPhone app or like the Kindle for Mac app? The Kindle for iPhone app allows me to make my own notes and highlights in a Kindle document, which is nice, but those features are supposed to be in the works for the Kindle for Mac app. Frankly, I would prefer that the Kindle for iPad app come with the Kindle for Mac’s capacity to allow me to maintain and read any Kindle-compatible books and documents that I can download from sources such as the Internet Archive, the Project Gutenberg Magic Catalog, Instapaper, Calibre, or (through Amazon’s conversion service) my own sources. While much of what has been written about the iPad makes it out to be a supersized iPod Touch, I’m hoping to find that, consistent with its apparent capacity to work like a tablet computer with iWorks files and other files, it might be more of an undersized Mac. We’ll see, and in the process we’ll see what it can do with a Kindle app.
  • Second, I’m very curious to find out whether the iPad’s VoiceOver actually works like the Kindle’s text-to-speech, as some reports have suggested based on this sentence from the iBooks page in the Apple Store: “iBooks works with VoiceOver, the screen reader in iPad, so it can read you the contents of any page.” That sounds interesting, but frankly it does not sound like the Kindle’s text-to-speech, which can read me the contents of any book, except, of course, for the many books on which publishers have disabled text-to-speech. There’s a big difference, whether you are listening to a book being read aloud on a long drive or as you drift off to sleep, between a reading-aloud process that keeps reading page after page and one that has to be re-set for each page. I have to assume that if VoiceOver could read an entire book aloud, Apple’s marketing staff would have been up to the task of sharing that information a bit more explicitly. On the other hand, if VoiceOver is really just a one-page-at-a-time deal, I wonder if Apple’s copywriters have somehow been trying to fudge that performance issue in something like the way Barnes & Noble copywriters overstated the Nook’s ebook lending feature and understated its weight back in late 2009. Either way, I hope Apple can clear it up right away.

There are other questions about VoiceOver, of course, and the two most prominent for me right now are:

  • Will VoiceOver be uniformly enabled by all iBooks publishers, or will it be blocked by the same publishers who have disabled text-to-speech on their Kindle ebooks?
  • Is VoiceOver a universal feature on the iPad and thus one that we might expect to be able to use while reading with the Kindle for iPad app?

Just a few questions while I wait for a shiny new toy that I am convinced will also help me work more efficiently.

Brand new "KINDLE FOR MAC EXTRA" issue of free Kindle Nation newsletter at http://bit.ly/awXtdH

Greetings from Kindle Nation
A funny thing happened yesterday: Amazon issued a press release.

No, it wasn’t about the launch of a SuperKindle, or even the long-awaited Kindle for Mac app. Nope. Yesterday Amazon put out a press release entitled “Amazon Adds More Great Books for Cooks and Epicures to the Kindle Store.” It was the first Kindle-related release from Amazon in nearly a month, and I’ll admit to feeling a tad non-plussed when I read it. Nothing against cookbooks, mind you.

But then I got to thinking. Covering Amazon and the Kindle as I have been doing for the past couple of years requires a willingness, occasionally, to read between the lines, since Amazon has precious little to say about what it is planning for the Kindle, or anything else for that matter, at any given time.

So, long story short, I’m not saying that I read Amazon’s release yesterday and sussed out today’s Kindle for Mac launch. But whereas I usually rise at about 5 am to begin working on the day’s Kindle Nation Daily posts, this morning I rose at 3:30 and immediately checked my inbox for Amazon’s latest news release, which was there and, of course, announced the Kindle for Mac. Even so I was three hours late to the party, but I hope you’ll agree that the our take on the news and what it means for Kindle reading is worth sharing with you, beginning right now, in this brand new Kindle Nation Extra at  http://bit.ly/awXtdH