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Kindle Owners Can Begin Reading Newspapers & Magazines On Android; Some Glitches In Early Hours of Upgraded Kindle for Android App Remain

Don’t miss our Daily Free Book Alert, Friday, December 17: A Jane Austen bonanza, an East End Murder, Fame, and YA wish fulfillment, plus … a YA novel of love and loss until an unexpected kiss, a nearly disastrous airplane landing, and the lingering spirit of a lovesick boy help open Brazil’s eyes to a world outside of her own universe: Safe Landing by Tess Oliver (Today’s Sponsor)

By Tom Dulaney, Contributing Reporter

Amazon.com announced today that it is freeing newspapers and magazines from their Kindle-device-only confines with the release of an upgrade of the Kindle for Android app.  It’s the first of a number of upgrades on the way for most or all of the free Kindle-for-device apps. 

Amazon’s upgraded Kindle for Android app is not yet free of glitches in these opening moments of its release, we have discovered in field tests. 

The app has already downloaded to users who had the earlier version on their Androids.  New users can get the upgraded app in the Android marketplace shown on their devices.

The iPad app is still waiting in the wings, along with apps for the iPhone and Blackberry.

We rushed to an Android phone and a computer to see the upgrade in action. As of 10:20 a.m. Eastern time, we found some minor kinks. These will undoubtedly be ironed out in coming days—if not coming hours or even minutes.

For now, a much improved shopping screen lets users browse and buy new periodical subscriptions directly from their Androids. The well-organized screens allow for direct-from-phone purchase of over 750,000 Kindle ebooks as well.

One snag still to be ironed out: On the computer, you cannot yet subscribe to a new periodical and have Amazon send it to your Android. 

Another snag:  You cannot, at the moment we stress, go to the “Manage Your Kindle” page on your computer and have current periodical subscriptions appear on your Android.  Sending “copies” of ebooks to other devices, using the Manage page, is still a snap, so doing the same with periodicals should be just as easy when the roll-out is done.

From the smartphone, we took a trial subscription to the San Francisco Chronicle, which usually offers lots of color and photos. We also chose an color-image-rich magazine called Raw Vision and Reader’s Digest to field test the new app.

We’re anxious to see how the color images present in the apps. Until today, all Kindle Store publications could be seen only in black and white on the Kindle device.

So far, all three purchases are still in the process of appearing on our smartphone. That may be an issue of local connectivity, or may be a sign that Amazon’s computers are still in the roll-out phase of things.

In any case, this release of apps for periodicals is a major event. Until today, the black and white Kindle has been at a disadvantage in the multi-billion-dollar periodical market versus color devices like the iPad, the Galaxy and the Nook.
The full text of Amazon’s press release:

Dec. 17–Amazon today announced that Kindle for Android is the first Kindle app to receive an update that enables users to buy, read, and sync over 100 Kindle newspapers and magazines, including The New York TimesNewsweekThe Atlantic, and many more.

Kindle for Android users can now buy a single issue or subscribe to the most popular newspapers and magazines, have them automatically delivered to their Android-powered device, and enjoy a full color reading experience optimized for the touch interface of Android-powered devices.
Additional new features include the ability to seamlessly buy and download Kindle books and periodicals within the Kindle for Android app, share reading progress via social networks, and zoom closer to images and other graphics.

Kindle for Android is the first major e-book app to offer periodicals on the Android platform. The new Kindle for Android app is available from Android Market. 

Customers who have already downloaded Kindle for Android will receive the update automatically. Learn more about Kindle for Android at www.amazon.com/kindleforandroid.

“We want to give customers the freedom and flexibility to buy their newspapers and magazines once, and read them everywhere across the devices and platforms they chose–just like they do with Kindle books today,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “Kindle for Android is our fastest-growing application, and we’re excited to launch over 100 newspapers and magazines for our Android customers.”

Other updates to the Kindle for Android app include the addition of an in-app store optimized for the Android interface, which enables customers to discover, buy, and download over 750,000 Kindle books without leaving the app, as well as social network integration, which allows customers to share their progress in a book using Google’s built-in Share functionality.

For over two years, Amazon has been building and introducing a wide selection of free Buy Once, Read Everywhere Kindle apps for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android-based devices that let customers read and sync their reading library, bookmarks, notes, and highlights with the device or platform of their choice. Learn more about Kindle apps at www.amazon.com/kindleapps.

How to Keep Specific Issues or Articles Among Your Kindle Subscriptions

Tip: How to Save Content from Kindle Periodicals and Blogs

One of the things that can take some getting used to for new Kindle owners, or even for those of us who’ve been reading on our Kindles for a couple of years, is the fact that newspapers and magazines that we’ve subscribed to only remain on our Kindles for a limited period of time before they are automatically deleted. In the case of a daily newspaper, that can be a convenience. In the case of a magazine that has an article, short story, poem, or data to which you would like to return in the future, it can be kind of a pain.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to deal with this and to hold on to such content for as long as you want.

Whenever you are reading a newspaper or magazine article or issue that you want to keep indefinitely, just press the “Menu” button on the right edge of your Kindle and select “Keep this issue” at the bottom of the pop-up menu. (See screen shot at right, where I’m in the process of “keeping” the last two issues of The New Yorker so that I can finish reading the John Mackey and Grace Kelly articles and get more yuks out of listening to my Kindle’s text-to-speech read aloud to me from Roger Angell’s annual “Greeting, Friends” delight a few more times before I begin getting really strange looks from my s.o.)

The process for blogs is not quite so user-friendly.

You can’t keep a blog post to read again in quite the same way on the Kindle, but the Kindle does allow you to clip an article.

Whenever you are reading a blog post that you want to clip and save indefinitely, just press the “Menu” button on the right edge of your Kindle and select “Clip this article” at the bottom of the pop-up menu. (See screen shot at left.)

You’ll then find the article in the My Clippings file on your Kindle home screen, saved chronologically with any other clippings at the end of the file. You can also transfer it from your Kindle to your computer via your Kindle’s USB cable.

If the post you want to keep is from Kindle Nation Daily, like the post being clipped in the screen shot above left) you will probably also be able to find it in the archives of my Kindle Nation weekly email digests, herehttp://bit.ly/KindleNationArchive.

Results from April’s 1st-Ever Kindle Nation Citizen Survey

Over 1,200 subscribers and other e-book enthusiasts have participated in April’s first-ever Kindle Nation Citizen Survey, and the results provide fascinating insights into who just who is participating in the e-book revolution and what we think the issues and the future of e-reading. The survey will remain open through April, so you can still click here to participate if you have not done so already, but you can also check the current results here. Once the survey is closed we will summarize the results here in Kindle Nation and share the summary with Amazon’s Kindle Group.