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Kindle

Microsoft has a fairly strong ecosystem when it comes to content. You’ve got Xbox Music and Video for your entertainment needs. However, there’s no solid reading ecosystem in place with them. Which is fine, because Amazon’s Kindle platform is tough to beat in both price and convenience. With Kindle you’re also buying into an ecosystem where your content is available on nearly any device you can think of – including Windows Phone. The app for Windows Phone was just updated today. Let’s check out what’s new.

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While many readers still embrace the paper pages of a book, others have moved on to the embrace of an electronic ink or LCD display. Amazon was the first company to push eBooks into the mainstream market in 2007. Today, many readers choose to pick up a tablet, cellular phone, or dedicated eInk device to dive into a world of adventure. We are taking a look at the top three eBook reading apps (Kindle, Nook, and Kobo) for Windows 8 and Windows RT devices.

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Amazon has rolled out version 2 of their popular Kindle app for Windows Phone devices. The update comes without a changelog but was long overdue as their last app change came with version 1.2 way back in July. That update brought ‘Mango’ support including Live Tiles for books and this one goes along the same path but for Windows Phone 8.

The good news is if you’re on Windows Phone 8, the app now supports all resolutions and doublewide Tiles, including those for books, which is a neat twist. They will even flip to display some information, including the last book you read and where you are in a current tome.

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Yesterday, Amazon announced new Kindle devices one of which may give Microsoft's Surface RT a bit of competition. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch is due to ship on November 20th and start at $299 and top out at $599 (64GB 4G LTE model).  The Surface RT is rumored to become available at the end of October and pricing is still a mystery.

The Kindle Fire HD will sport an 8.9" 1920 x 1200 touchscreen at 254 PPI (there's also a 7" model that starts at $199). The tablet is powered by a TI OMAP 4470 processor and Imagination SGX544 graphics engine. You have a few options to choose from with the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch. There is the 16GB and 32GB models with Wifi as well as 32GB and 64GB models with 4G LTE.

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Amazon & Android. New competition or just hype?

Amazon, the online retailer we all know and love, are testing a smartphone. According to reports, sources within companies who supply hardware for Amazon's upcoming handset have confirmed that testing of said device is already underway, with production set to take place later this year or early 2013.

With what we've seen with the Kindle Fire tablet, it's a strong possibility that the online giant could well be using Google's Android OS to power their new hardware, which could then be sold under the Kindle brand. What's interesting to note, probably only from a Windows Phone point-of-view, is that Brandon Watson is currently at Amazon working away on the Kindle. Could he be collaborating with the company on a new smartphone after leaving Microsoft?

The WSJ reports that Amazon's smartphone has a display size sitting in the region between 4 and 5 inches - a perfect size to compete with the likes of the TITAN II and Galaxy S 3. It'll be interesting should Amazon choose to go with Android and launch a smartphone, since the platform is pack full of competitive companies, not to mention the established iPhone, BlackBerries, Windows Phones, etc. 

But what if they didn't choose Android? Let's not forget about Mozilla's Firefox OS. A 2013 smartphone release would fit in with Mozilla's plans for world domination kicking off next year. Then again, as we've asked before, will Firefox OS actually take off? It wouldn't make sense for Amazon to put eggs in a basket that's yet to prove itself.

We'll be sure to keep a close eye on the online retailer. What do you guys think of Amazon's plans? Let us know in the comments.

Source: WSJ, via: ITProPortal

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As many of you may have noticed, two somewhat major apps for Windows Phone received updates in the last 24 hours, so we’ll pass on the news in case you missed it.

First up is Facebook, which has been receiving quite a few updates lately, generally a good sign…unless you consider everything so broke that it needs even more fixing. The last update was just a week ago for version 2.6 and now version 2.7  has landed in the Marketplace bringing with it some new fixes though no new features:

  • Notifications now show updated time instead of created time
  • Corrected thumbnail display on likes
  • Now respecting except clause on posts with custom privacy settings

That’s nothing terribly exciting though if you were experiencing any of those issues, hopefully you’ll be a bit pleased with the update.

Next up is Amazon’s Kindle ebook app. That app is now on version 1.2 which shows you how often that one gets updated (seriously, it has had one update in the last year). The good news here is this update is more significant:

  • Mango compliant including fast app switching, multi-tasking
  • Available in more regions, including Japan, Portugal, Brazil, Poland, Sweden and presumably other areas too [Forum]
  • Books are pinnable to start screen with 2 sided Live Tile

That’s some pretty cool stuff by Amazon and we’re hear they’re being quite proactive with customer support, see this post about a personal phone call from the company.

Should you wish to grab either app, you can pick up the official Facebook app here and the Amazon Kindle app here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Thanks, everyone, for the tips and sab742 for the images

      

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Good news folks as Amazon's Kindle app has finally hit the Marketplace. Well, they said "by the holidays" and though they're a few days late, we'll accept the ever so slight delay.

Considering the Kindle was one of the top selling gadgets of 2010, we're betting many of you got one for the holidays, making this app a natrual extension. What's cool of course about Kindle is the fact it keeps all your periodicals synced up, meaning you can read your Kindle then pick up your phone and continue that newspaper from right where you left off.

Our initial impression? It's pretty, darn pretty. And we like it.

Anyways, grab it here now.

via: ZDnet/@palmsolo & @derbrotkasten

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There are a number of applications that lend themselves perfectly to a Smartphone; Ebook readers are toward the top of the list. Though many of us would still prefer having a physical book in hand, the convenience offered by having a dozen different books readily available on your Smartphone is tough to argue with.

One of the largest players in the Ebook (and traditional book) market announced their support for Windows Phone 7 at Microsoft’s PDC (Professional Developer’s Conference) this week in Redmond. Amazon’s Kindle app (no relation to WP7 heavy hitter Charlie Kindel) is one of the premier platforms for Ebooks available. Kindle for Windows Phone will support Amazon’s Whispersync technology which allows you to keep your place in a book across devices.

The Kindle app is “Coming Soon” to the Marketplace. More details are available from Amazon. View the PDC Day 1 keynote here.

Source: The Windows Phone Developer Blog

Update: YouTube Video after the jump. Thanks to Tom Warren for the link.

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