Amazon offers Prime members phones … with ads

bluAmazon has announced a new special just for Prime members: Unlocked android phones at a reduced price. If you are a Prime subscriber, you have your choice of either a Blu or a Motorola G unlocked phone for up to 50% off the retail price. The catch is that, just like the Kindles and Fire tablets with Special Offers, the phones feature offers and lock screen ads, as well  as apps that cannot be removed.

The two phones being offered are the Blu R1 HD for $49.99 and the Motorola G (4th Generation) for $149.99.

The Blu R1 HD features:

  • Fast 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek 6735 ARM Cortex processor with 16 GB Internal memory and 2 GB RAM
  • Dual SIM and MicroSD support for up to 64 GB of expandable storage
  • Stunning 5″ HD display with curved Gorilla Glass 3 protection, plus an 8 MP main camera and 5 MP selfie camera that includes a front-facing LED flash
  • 4G LTE plus GSM unlocked for your favorite compatible carrier or for international travel (including AT&T, T-Mobile; not compatible with Verizon or Sprint)

The phone is also available in a 16 GB Internal memory and 2 GB RAM configuration for an additional cost.motog

The Moto G features:

  • Fast 4G LTE speed, an up to 1.5 GHz octa-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a bright 5.5″ full HD (1080p) display ensures videos and games run smoothly and look great
  • Take brilliant photos with the 13 MP HD camera or snap group shots with a 5 MP wide-angle selfie cam. Add up to 128 GB of additional storage with a microSD card
  • The all-day battery includes TurboPower charging which provides up to 6 hours of use in just 15 minutes
  • Unlocked and carrier-friendly, works with all major carrier networks domestically or abroad (including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon)

The phone is also available in a 32 GB configuration.

According to the press release,

The BLU R1 HD and Moto G feature Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Google Mobile Services, including Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Play. A single sign-on experience provides Prime members easy access to their Prime benefits through the most popular Amazon apps, including tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Video, over one million songs and playlists with Prime Music, unlimited photo storage and backup with Prime Photos, one free pre-released book a month with Kindle First, FREE two-day shipping on millions of items, and more. Customers also get access to thousands of apps, games and in-app items that are 100% free with Amazon Underground, and can shop a personalized selection of  Amazon’s daily deals right from a new home screen widget.

Unlike Amazon previous Fire phone venture (which was exclusive to one carrier), these phones work with major carriers: AT&T and T-Mobile for the Blu and AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon for the Moto G. Two of the apps installed on the phones, Amazon Underground and Amazon Video are not available in the Google Play Store.

The newly launched BLU R1 HD and Moto G are available for pre-order starting now. The phones will be available on July 12th, 2016. The BLU R1 HD and Moto G without offers and ads are also available on Amazon to Prime and non-Prime members alike, at full retail price.

So, what do you think? I always buy unlocked phones and am due for a new one, so these might be worth considering. I just don’t know how to tell my cats I might be booting their picture for an ad…

Daily Links and Deals: Over 14 million digital books to be accessible for blind users

daily_links_1Today, news that the New HathiTrust and NFB Partnership will make over 14 million digital books accessible to blind and print-disabled users. Also, The New York Public Library has launched a digital newsletter, an interview with Indigo CEO Heather Reisman on the 21st century bookstore and VLC finally launches a media player app for Windows 10.  In deals, a Nordic Track treadmill, Bluedio Bluetooth headphones and speakers and the complete series of Two and a Half Men on DVD.

Daily Links for Thursday, June 30, 2016:

Indigo CEO Heather Reisman on reimagining the 21st century bookstore (Canadian Business) Keeping books at the forefront and surviving in the modern world.

README: Digital News from The New York Public Library (NYPL) The New York Public Library launches a digital newsletter.

New HathiTrust and NFB Partnership Will Make More Than 14 Million Digital Books Accessible to Blind and Print-Disabled User (Infodocket) This is fantastic news for print-disabled users

Beloved VLC media player releases a robust universal Windows 10 app (PC World) Finally! One of the most popular media players debuts on Windows 10.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Flee (Codename: Chandler Book 1) by J.A. Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson (plus the other two books in the Codename: Chandler thriller series) for $1.99.

In Today’s Deals, a NordicTrack C 1650 Treadmill, Bluedio Bluetooth Headphones and speakers, and the Two and a Half Men Complete Series on DVD.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is  The End of Everything: A Novel by Megan Abbott for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is Bachelorette for Sale by Gail Chianese for 99 cents.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith for $1.99. The Extra Daily Deal is Chasing Shadows Psychic Justice (Book 1) by Erin Richards for 99 cents.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4  – specific deals will be back as soon as I get my new PC. No iTunes on the Chromebook! 😦

Google has a Up to 85% off Bestsellers promotion.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)

Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Amazon adds Page Flip to devices

open-book-851401_1280Yesterday, Amazon announced a new navigation feature called Page Flip. It enables readers to do with ebooks something readers have always done with print books: you can flip the pages, referencing different parts of the book, all the while keeping your current place in the book you’re reading.

The Page Flip feature saves the page that you are reading and pins it to the side. One tap will take you back to the pinned page.

There are so many instances where this feature would come in handy: travel books with pictures and maps especially come to mind. It is also one of the areas that would add a some much needed functionality to e-textbooks, dictionaries and other non-fiction texts that are not necessarily read in a linear fashion.

According to the press release,

Zoom out to get a bird’s eye view of the book and quickly find what you’re looking for. At a glance, easily recognize specific pages as you jump around. Pictures, charts, your highlights, and the layout of each page are easy to see with Page Flip’s pixel-accurate thumbnails that automatically adjust as you change your font and margin settings.

Note that Page Flip will not be available on every Kindle book. To find books utilizing the feature, check the Kindle ebook store page for any given book and look for “Page Flip: Enabled” in the features list.

For more into about the new feature, see Page Flip will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air update starting today to Kindle E-readers, Fire tablets, and the free Kindle app for iOS and Android. There is no number listed for this update and this seems to be a separate one from the 5.8.1 update that brings back the much requested reading dots feature.