The Kindle launch event was not just about Amazon launching a slew of hardware to make the best of the ever changing tablet landscape. The online retail giant also used the occasion to bring forth some of its latest creations on the software front which it believes will change the way we perceive tablet usage and bring about a quantum change in the entire ownership experience of the new generation of Kindle Fire devices. Here is a sneak peek of the new features which Amazon believes will be a game changer in the budget tablet segment.
Kindle FreeTime: Amazon is claiming the display for its new gen Kindle Fire devices is 20 percent stiffer and 30 percent harder than plastic. The company is using the above figures to harp the tablet’s kid friendly characteristics. However, a relatively strong hardware is just half the story for a tablet where kids too are welcome and software is of as much importance. For parents to be worried about their wards being exposed to information they feel their kids are still not matured to absorb is also quite natural. The Kindle FreeTime service is such a development that parents will like to have on their device.
With FreeTime onboard, parents will be able to create separate profiles for their children which will serve as their own unique world with the Kindle Fire, complete with appealing colors and fonts. Parents will be able to mark out the specific apps, videos, games , e-books and such that they would like their children to have access to. It’s not only this as FreeTime will also allow parents to set time limits that they would like their children when dealing with video, apps and such.
However, it’s still a work-in-progress thing but is expected to reach user’s end by next month.
Whispersync For Voice: We are already familiar with Amazon’s Whispersync and the company has not extended it to support audible books as well. What this means is that one can switch to reading an e-book to listening it without having to worry over where to start during a specific session. The feature will save the exact location from where an user has left off and will begin right from there irrespective of it being read aloud or read off the screen.
Whispersync For Video: This would save you the frustration of having to search for the spot from where you have left off with your video on your Kindle Fire. Whispersync For Video will start off exactly from where you had stopped when you switch on your TV or a compatible device.
Whispersync For Books: This is already familiar to us. The technology will save the last page read along with bookmarks, notes, and highlights across all the Kindle app on your smartphone, tablet or PC.
Whispersync For Games: All game titles played from GameCircle will be saved automatically in the cloud thanks to Whispersync. So you can be sure of all game settings, unlocked levels and such to be saved even if you have deleted the game from your device.
Immersion Reading: This would make for a more involved reading experience where the user can have an audible e-book being read aloud while also reading off the screen where the text too are highlighted in real time for an even deeper involvement. This would serve best for comprehension of complex topics or for students and kids who will end up having a better grasp of the topic thanks to Immersion Reading. Amazon also boasts of more than 100,000 audiobooks by Audible that can be accessed with the Kindle Fire devices. These include best sellers with world famous narrators lending their voice to bring the e-books come live.
X-Ray: This is applicable to both movies and books and aims to uncover more details about the topic or subject with a simple tap on the screen. For movies, a tap on the screen will reveal who are the actors in the particular screen, what other movies they are involved in and such. While still on movies, one will have at their disposal over 120,000 of some of the most popular movie titles that can be rented or bought from the Amazon store. Taking this further, members of Amazon Prime will get to have unlimited streaming of over 25,000 movie titles or television episodes.
Similarly for e-books, the technology will reveal more info drawn form Shelfari and Wikipedia and can be used to learn more about the book or chapter and such. Among the information you can have at your disposal include biographies, or background info and such. Amazon Prime members too can have tons of e-books at their disposal along with added benefits of free books and flexible lending terms.
About the Author: About the Author gives readers easy access to your photo, biography, and bibliography so they can learn more about you and your other books, which are only 60 seconds away. Readers can tap on any of your books to go to the Kindle Store. Also, any time you update your bio or claim a new book through Author Central, we will update About the Author on Kindle so your readers have access to the most recent information about you. About the Author will be available when the new Kindle devices ship, starting on September 14th. Log into Author Central today and make sure your About the Author profile is ready.
E-Mail: Amazon has introduced a new e-mail app that makes it easy to send mails, view attachments or syncing all your contacts. The e-mail app is also fully compatible with all the leading e-mail providers which include AOL, Exchange, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and so on. Then of course you can keep e-mail spreadsheets, PDFs, Word docs and other essential stuff on the Kindle Fire which you can make good use of whenever needed.
These apart, the Kindle Fire range also features popular apps such as Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, HBO GO, Pandora, and Angry Birds Space pre-installed in the device.
Also, a unique aspect of the bigger 8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD is that they come pre-loaded with Skype allowing for video calls. X-Ray for textbooks is another feature that is available only in the 8.9 inch versions of the Kindle Fire and should be a boon for students.
In the end, what matters most is the scope of operation that the device you bought allows you to indulge in. As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezoz said, “People don’t want gadgets any more; they want services, and the Kindle Fire is a service. It even greets you by name.”
Similarly, the price you pay for a device upfront may not be all that you are needed to spend. Rather, it’s the cost of ownership over an extended period of time that matters more. Amazon is all too aware of it and is making its moves accordingly. What remains to be seen is whether the new Kindle Fires can make a dent in the Nexus 7 market share or if all of the Amazon services together with the device remains viable if the Apple iPad Mini is launched, if at all it happens that is.