An amazing price for this Paperwhite Audible Bundle for audiobook lovers

Amazon is offering a special bundle just for audiobook lovers! The special Audible bundle includes a Kindle Paperwhite (8GB, Wifi, Special Offers), over ear wireless bluetooth stereo headphones, and a 3 month free trial of Audible, all for just $139. (The 32GB model bundle is also available.)

It is the headphones by POP Design that make this bundled price such a great deal. These are lightweight (185 grams), boast a 16 hour battery life and have a recharge time of 2 to 3 hours. There are built in features for Kindle Audible and Audible Audiobooks App controls,  as well as the standard music and calling features. An audio cable for a wired connection is also included. So far, the headphones are getting five star reviews on Amazon.

Amazon sells the headphones with a case separately for $79.99. Since the Paperwhite alone is regularly $129.99, when you add in the 3 month Audible subscription (normally $14.95 per month with a 30 day free trial), this bundle offers significant savings, especially if you are planning on using the device for audiobooks.

The fine print regarding the Audible subscription:

Redemption instructions will be sent via email after your order ships. No obligation to redeem. After 3 mos., subscription will auto-renew for $14.95/mo.

Amazon lists this bundle as a $255 value. The deal is available until Dec 22, 2018.

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All New Paperwhite ereader on sale for only $99

If you have been on the fence about one of the All-new Kindle Paperwhite ereaders, this might be a good day to decide to pick one up. The 8GB WiFi version of the ereader is on sale today for on $99 and you can get the 32GB version for only $20 more. There is also a WiFi plus cellular version available at discounted pricing.

The All-new Kindle Paperwhite is thinner, features more LEDs, and has more storage than previous generations. It also has a flush bezel and an IPX8 waterproof rating.

This version has also added Audible and Bluetooth capability so the device can be used with Amazon proprietary Whispersync for Voice feature that allows you to switch back and forth between the ebook and Audible versions of a book.

At $30 off, this is the lowest price yet for the newest Paperwhite, with the price lower than those offered on Black Friday. And, it ships in time for Christmas!

Amazon releases new update for FreeTime Oops problem (But it may not work)

Here is another update on the “Oops! Something went wrong with FreeTime” problem. Prior posts on the problem are here and here.

Amazon has released what they say is “a fix for many of the issues that lead to this error.” They are asking customers to  update to the latest version of the FreeTime app (FreeTimeApp-fireos_v3.17_Build-1.0.210214.0.26452).

Per Amazon’s post, here are the instructions for updating:

Please follow these steps:

  • Confirm that your device is connected to a wireless network.
    • Connected devices have a Wi-Fi or 4G LTE icon with signal bars near the battery indicator.
  • Sync your device.
    • Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the quick actions menu and then tap the Settings (gear) icon. Tap Sync Device. Large files may take time to download.

If you want to ensure FreeTime updated to FreeTimeApp-fireos_v3.17_Build-1.0.210214.0.26452, go to:

Fire OS 5 Tablets (4th – 7th Generations):

  1. Settings > Apps & Games > Manage All Applications.
  2. Find the Downloaded tab (yellow bar), then swipe the entire screen to the right (see All tap).
  3. Scroll down until you find the FreeTime app. All apps are in alphabetical order.

Fire OS6 – Fire HD 8 – 8th Generation:

  1. Settings > Apps & Notifications > Manage All Applications.
  2. Scroll down to FreeTime app.

Amazon added several troubleshooting tips, according to the post on the Kindle device forums:

If the issue continues after updating,please follow the below troubleshooting steps:

  1. Reboot/restart the impacted Fire Tablet, then check if the issue is resolved.
  2. If the issues persists after a reboot, clear the application data for FreeTime.

Please note: Clearing the application data may delete customers content on customer’s FreeTime profiles.

Be aware that this fix may not work for all customers and additional improvement will be released in the next few weeks. [Emphasis added]

One person already posted on the forum that the update did not work for them.

The frustration level on this issue seems to be off the charts. Tech issues are aggravating enough, but the primary users of FreeTime are small children, who neither have the skills or the patience to deal with the issues. As a parent, seeing my kids repeatedly upset by this would make me extremely angry. Amazon needs to come up with a working fix for this, ASAP.

UPDATE: Oops! Something went wrong with FreeTime

Someone from Amazon posted an update on the Amazon Device forum on Monday to the “Oops! Something went wrong” error message problem for FreeTime. Note that this is NOT a permanent fix, but is meant to allow people to use their tablets while Amazon is working on the fix.

First Measure: Device Reboot

  1. Press and hold the power button for 15 seconds
  2. Turn back on the device

Second Measure: Clearing FreeTime App Data

  1. Switch to adult profile on the tablet

  2. Tap on the Settings icon

  3. Tap on Apps & Games row

  4. Tap on Manage All Applications

  5. Swipe right to see all applications (ALL will be underlined in orange)

  6. Scroll down and select FreeTime

  7. Tap CLEAR CACHE

  8. Tap MANAGE SPACE

  9. Tap OK on the Are you sure you want to clear data from Amazon FreeTime popup window that appears

More to come on this story!

You can no longer give the gift of Kindle Unlimited

Each year for the last couple of years, my husband has given me a 12-month subscription to Kindle Unlimited as part of my Christmas gift. This year, however, it seems that particular gift will be missing from under the tree: On Saturday, I noticed that Amazon is no longer offering ANY pre-paid or gift subscriptions to the service.

In the past, you used to be able to pre-pay your Kindle Unlimited subscription in increments of 6, 12 and 24 months. Or, you could buy a gift subscription for someone by going to a special gift landing page. Now, that page shows a message stating that gifting is unavailable.

Is this a permanent change in the way Kindle Unlimited subscriptions are handled? The Amazon page says that they are “working on getting it back as soon as possible.”

The Purchase a Kindle Uimited Pre-Paid Subscription help page still indicates that you can buy pre-paid and gift subscriptions for terms of up to  24 months. The Manage or Cancel Your Kindle Unlimited Membership page still refers to pre-paid gift and bundles. There is just no longer a link to purchase those subscriptions. Now, the only option on the sign up page for Kindle Unlimited is to pay $9.99 per month for the service.

I was going to try to contact Amazon today to ask about the pre-paid plans and, as the picture below shows, found that there is no option for any kind of support for Kindle Unlimited, even under the digital services tab.

It seems odd the that there is no help available for gifting options for KU, especially during the holiday season.

Amazon has gone back and forth on the idea of gifting some of its services: There was a time when you could not gift Amazon Prime, and Amazon Music Unlimited still cannot be purchased as a gift.

I can also understand that Amazon might not want the hassle of customer service support for Kindle Unlimited during the busy holiday season. Amazon’s servers already tend to be swamped with people registering their new devices and buying content with their gift cards.

It may also be the case that the no refunds policy for gifts and pre-paid subscriptions may be a factor. While the service boasts over a million titles, most are by indie and Amazon’s own publishing imprint authors. People looking to read the latest bestsellers may prefer a different gift after sampling the service.

It will be interesting to see if the gift and pre-paid options return after the holidays. (I, for one, liked the convenience of the option.)

What do you think?

Oops! Something went wrong with FreeTime

Users on the Amazon device forum are complaining about issues with FreeTime on their devices. Users are reporting getting the “Oops! Something when wrong” error message. This issue has been going on for the last few weeks.

Several common threads among the complaints:

  • The problem seems to have started for most people after the most recent update for FreeTime and the latest Fire OS update.
  • Sometimes, rebooting temporarily fixes the problem, but it keeps coming back.
  • Amazon is recommending a factory reset (which does NOT seem to be fixing the problem.
  • Several people have noticed that they get the error message when WiFi is not available or has disconnected.
  • The FreeTime app is also causing a severe battery drain problem.

Amazon has been working on the problem. A user on the device forum was given the following fix by Amazon support (NOTE: there seem to be reports that this does not work for everyone):

I opened a chat with customer service a few minutes ago. Apparently there is a patch that gets pushed out if you do the following. It’s similar to what outnumbered_by_boys posted above. I can’t confirm it fixes the problem yet but it seems promising.

1. Swipe down from the top of your Home screen and tap “Settings.”
2. Tap “Apps & Games,” then “Manage All Applications.”
3. Swipe left until the “All” tab is displaying.
4. Tap “Freetime.”
5. Select “Force Stop” and then “Clear Cache.”

Please sync the device.
1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to open Quick Settings, and then tap the Settings (gear) icon.
2. Tap Sync Device.
Please sync both the devices and keep still for 2-3 hours and connected to WiFi.
It will auto update the new patch files and the freetime will work on both of the devices then.

Some people are saying the above fix worked for them while others are continuing to experience problems.

This is not the first time an update has caused a problem for FreeTime users.

More to come on this an more info becomes available. You can follow the discussion on the topic on the Amazon device forum here.

Note that because of the similarity between FreeTime (a free app) and FreeTime Unlimited (a premium app), it is unclear which app is having the problem.

SEE AN UPDATE ON THIS STORY HERE WHERE AMAZON HAS RELEASED A TEMPORARY FIX.

Out with the old! Amazon trade-ins and upgrades for your tablets and ereaders

It’s that time of the year when Amazon offers some of its best prices on new Kindle e-readers and Fire Tablets. The just released all new Kindle Paperwhite makes this season’s sales look especially appealing.

Amazon’s Trade-in program makes it easy to make a few dollars and save money on an upgrade your device at the same time.All you have to do is select the model of your device, answer a few questions about condition, and you’re given an estimate of the trade-in value to accept or reject. They even give you a label and pick up the shipping costs to send it back to Amazon. When Amazon receives your item, it is checked for condition and the value of the trade-in is applied to your account as a  gift card.

The program does accept certain items that no longer work, hold a charge, or that have cracked screens. While the payout is very small for these items, an upgrade discount is generally included. Also, Amazon does pay for the shipping and it does get broken device out of the house. Amazon does the recycling and you score one for decluttering!

Trade in your e-ink Kindle

While the first Kindle ereader was introduced in 2007, Amazon has released a new model or an upgrade every year since 2009. Many of the older models are either still around. You can now trade in your old e-ink ereader for Amazon credit and possibly get a hefty discount off the purchase of a new one. Currently, Amazon is accepting trade-ins on models ranging from the first generation Kindle up to the last year’s model of the Kindle Oasis. There is a section on the page to help you figure out your model if you are not sure what it is.

Trade in your Fire tablet

Amazon seems to bring out new tablets with even more frequency than it does its e-ink readers. Because tablets have hardware limitations which can make updates difficult or even impossible as they age, all tablets have a certain built in obsolescence (and people ask the “how much is my Fire tablet worth?” question a lot). That makes the idea of trade-ins for Fire tablets even more welcome. Only certain tablet models are eligible for trade in, and many of the older models like the first generation Kindle Fire are not currently listed on the page.

Want to trade-in another brand of tablet? Amazon also accepts trade-ins of Apple iPads and Samsung tablets.

Trade-in other electronics:

Amazon’s trade-in program is not just for e-readers and tablets any more. They also accept trade-ins of Echo devices and other Bluetooth speakers including Bose, Sonos and Jawbone Bluetooth speakers

You can also trade in Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast streaming media players. Interestingly, Amazon is not accepting trade-ins of its own Fire TV devices at this time.

Amazon also has other trade-In categories, including textbooks, cell phonesvideo games, systems and controllers.

One of the things that Amazon does to make it easier to trade in items you no longer need is located on the main Trade-in page. Amazon shows you a list of items you have purchased that are currently eligible for trade in. Trade-In eligible items also have a yellow Trade-In button on the product pages.

A few things to note:

Amounts for items in trade-in offers does change and sometimes certain device models are not eligible for trade-in. Check the trade-in page for the most up to date trade in values and discount offers.

It is important to realize that you are not going to get the maximum value for your items through Amazon’s trade-in program. Depending on the item and its condition, you may be better off selling it through eBay, Craigslist or other online trade-in programs. What Amazon does offer is a quick, easy way to get rid of items that is ideal for someone planning on updating to a new Amazon product. Payment is a gift card or credit to your Amazon account and many trade-ins also include a generous upgrade discount.

I have personally used the program to trade in several devices and everything went very smoothly. (At this point, I have run out of friends and family to give devices to….)

But to be on the safe side, here’s a pro tip for online trade-in on any site: Make a note of the model and serial numbers of the device you are trading in. Take pictures to document the device’s condition. Don’t send boxes and other accessory items unless these are requested as part of the trade-in.

The bottom line: If getting the most bucks for your item is your priority, the Amazon trade-in programs is not your best choice. However, if  you are looking to upgrade or your device is DOA or doesn’t have a lot of value of the secondary market, an Amazon trade-in can be a win.