Friday, September 7, 2012

(updated) Kindle Fire has ads. And other Kindle stuff

The new Kindle Fires will have ads on the lock screen and home screen. This applies to US and UK.
The big deal is that you can't turn them off, and you can't even pay more to get a model without ads! I think this is going to cost them some sales, not a few people are adamantly allergic to ads. (I'm more or less so myself. I don't have a single ad-supported app on my iPad for example.)

And like I wrote below (in the post updated several times), I think it borders on the disingenuous that they promote the new low prices without mentioning that they are subsidized by advertising.

Like I blogged above, Amazon has made a U-turn on this thing, surely prompted by my article. (OK, maybe including others too...) You now can opt out for $15. (Very cheap, if the ads are not worth more, I wouldn't include them at all.)

I have to say though, re the "Paperwhite" model, I am getting impressed by the front-lighting technology. It may be what non-backlit e-reading devices have been waiting for. It turns out that only four LEDs are lighting that whole screen, totally evenly. Very complex and delicately tuned technology it seems.

See the full Bezos presentation.
I had been almost ashamed to be sitting with my tiny clan in my corner (like the man in the Didn't-like-Dances-With-Wolves Club), bitching about how the e-ink screen was too dark. But now Amazon is touting loudly that everybody will want the light on all the time because it makes it so much more readable, so I feel vindicated.     :-)
(I'm doing Grace's song from Will&Grace: "Told-you-so, huh-hh, Told-you-so, huh-hh, told-you, told-you, told-you so, dadadidada...")

The PaperWhite with and without the light on:

(That was from this video. BTW, why do some people give a "demo" without saying a word? Odd.) 

Sadly it seems that the new e-ink Kindles don't have any audio output (see "compare Kindles" low on linked page), neither speakers nor headphone plugs. That is a great pity, text-to-speech is important, even more so to sigh-impaired people. And what with the newly highly-touted audiobook/textbook syncing? That's only for the Fire models? That sounds too dumb to be true.

I took a look at the Kindle Fire for UK, since the movies and films are the main attraction on it, especially the free ones which come with our Prime membership.
... Oh, I'm sorry, their memberships, because it seems we still don't get such a service in this country.
And: the movie service from Amazon UK is not from Amazon, it is from LoveFilm, a service you have to pay for separately, and which I have had for 12 years now and which I already can use on my iPad and my Apple TV. (Mainly via disks though, because the streamed films are mostly old and marginal like on Netflix.)

So I'm honestly not really sure what important things buying a Kindle Fire would bring me that I can't already get on Nexus 7 or iPad. OK, it sounds like the speakers are better than the one on my iPad. But I already have my iPad connected over wifi to my Harman Kardon Soundsticks II, nothing portable beats that sound.


Anonymous said...

I do hope you are right. Nice product, crap marketing?

Andrew said...

For an extra $15, you can now opt out of ads.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

thanks, Andrew.

Andrew said...

Yeah it seems they were hesitant to do so at first. After some customer grumbling, they capitulated. Great blog.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thank you.
I live to serve.
Or maybe to serve my own obsessions. Either.