Fire HD 10 now available in aluminum and with 64 GB storage

fireHD10If you wanted your Amazon Fire tablet to have a higher-end look, Amazon may have delivered for you. Today the announced that the Fire HD 10 is now available in a sliver aluminum finish. Previous models were plastic only in black and white, so in the appearance department, this may be more comparable to the look of an iPad..  They have also added extra storage with a 64GB option for the tablet (currently, that is only offered on the aluminum model).

While the tablet display isn’t quite Retina display quality (it is only 149 ppi / 1280 x 800), it has a 1.5GHZ quad-core processor, dual cameras and connects to the Amazon ecosystem of movies, TV shows, music, books, apps and games.

The device is currently available in 16, 32 or 64 GB configurations. You can also add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage. Prices start at $229.99.

Does this new look make the Fire HD 10 more attractive to you?

Amazon (Finally) Makes Announcement on Fire HD 8.9 deregister issue

fire_announcementAmazon has made an announcement about the deregistration and factory reset issue on the Kindle Help Community forum:

If you’re having trouble finding your photos, apps, or other content on your Kindle Fire HD 8.9”, please check your current registration status by swiping down from the top of the screen, selecting More, and then selecting My Account. If your device is not registered, tap the Register button and then enter your Amazon account information. After you register your device, you may need to download your content again. To learn more, go to  http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201730090.

That link takes you to the Sync and Download Content to Your Kindle Fire page, There you will find instructions for syncing your content to your device:

To sync all content: With wireless connected, swipe down from the top of the screen to show Quick Settings, and then tap Sync.

The Sync Across Fire & Kindle Devices and Apps page implies that whether or not this restores bookmarks, highlights, etc.,  may depend on whether you have Whispersync enabled on your devices.

FYI: The Kindle Help Community forum is the one that is moderated by Amazon representatives.  It is not the same as the Amazon customer forums where customers comment and attempt to help other customers.

Related: Did your Fire tablet just de-register … again? June 17, 2016

Update to the Fire reset issue

fire HDXThere’s been a lot of interest in the post I wrote last night about the reports of owners of Fire tablets suddenly discovering their device had been deregistered without their knowledge.  I did try to call Amazon today, but had technical problems and got disconnected. Here’s the latest on the Kindle Fire deregister/factory reset issue that I can glean on the situation at this time:

Amazon is aware of the problem which seems to be particularly affecting the Fire HD 8.9″. This seems to be a bug or a glitch in software, at least as far as the 8.9′” devices are concerned. If you go to contact Kindle support, you will see the following:

help_screen_crop

(Click to enlarge)

The message under the ‘Call me now’ button says:

If you’re experiencing an issue with your Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, make sure your device is registered to your Amazon account. You can check your current registration status by swiping down from the top of the screen, selecting ‘More’, and then selecting ‘My Account’.

There was an estimate of  twelve minutes wait time to talk to Kindle support. That’s longer for Amazon in my experience. Given the long wait time, I think it is obvious that Amazon wants people to try to re-register their devices themselves before calling.

Several people reported the following response when they email or chat with customer service:

“We are sorry for the inconvenience you are experiencing. This is not we want our customers to experience.

In this regard, I would like to inform you that, the deregistration of your Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Tablet is a known issue. As this is happening across many Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ tablets due a bug and our technical team is working to eliminate the bug.

This issue will be fixed in next 2-3 days. You need not worry about the content on your Kindle, as it will be safe in your cloud library and you can download them, once this bug is fixed in our server.

Thanks for your patience and understanding in this regard.”

One customer posted a different support response:

“Our servers were updated yesterday which seems to have introduced a bug causing devices to de-register, device which were connected to Amazon during this time got de-registered. But now the issue has been fixed.”

Some posters on the forums reported that they were instructed to re-register and then sync the device so that their content would reappear on the device. Others have reported being told that that they would have to manually download their books again. Some have reported being told that their libraries and apps would return within the next few days.

Many people have reported losing all their personal content, bookmarks, app data and email. Needless to say, a lot of people are upset with Amazon right now!

Amazon Kindle support definitely seems overwhelmed by the call volume. When I tried to  call earlier, I was transferred to a support rep, then the call was disconnected. Amazon did not call me back (generally,they do if that happens) and it took an hour and a half for the ‘Did I solve your problem’ email to arrive. The follow up email read like Amazon thought I hung on on them, so it may be an indication of just how widespread this issue is. If re-registering doesn’t work, you may need to try to call Kindle Support.

Safety PSA: If you have to call Kindle Support,use the ‘Contact us’ button on the help pages to initiate your call. There have been a number of scams perpetrated where people Google Kindle support and get the phone number for a fake site. They are then told they have to pay for support for their device. Amazon does not charge customers for customer service.

My own personal issue was with a Fire HD 6. I am not sure if the other Fire device resets are caused by the same problem, because other than the device setting resetting to default, most of my data is now showing on the device. I am still investigating the problem, but will probably wait until Monday to contact support again.

Do you have any info to share on the issue?

Update 2: Amazon has posted an announcement on this issue. Post here.

Related: Did your Fire tablet just de-register … again? June 17, 2016

Did your Fire Tablet just deregister itself?

fire HDXI am reading multiple reports on the Amazon forums that some people are having problems with their Fire tablets somehow spontaneously deregistering from their accounts. Members are reporting that all their books, personal photos, documents and emails are being wiped off the devices.

Many of the reports seem to involve the Fire HD 8.9, but I did see one reporting the problem on an Fire HD 8 and another reporting the issue on a Fire HD 6.

It’s not clear if this is an update gone wrong or a bug. It does seem to be specific to the Fire tablets and not the e-ink Kindles. The tablets seem to doing a factory reset while in sleep mode. One forum member said that they called customer service and were told that Amazon is working on the problem.

I don’t keep very many personal items on my Fire tablets, but I do have a couple of apps that I have to install manually as they are not in the app store. I did notice that the Scribd app was missing from my Fire HD 6, as well as a couple of others. So, I will be calling customer service later today to see what’s up.

Have you had a problem with your Fire tablet?

Update: I posted an update to this issue here.

Update 2: Amazon has posted an announcement on the issue. Post here.

Related: Did your Fire tablet just de-register … again? June 17, 2016

 

 

What’s Your Fire Tablet Worth? Amazon is taking trade-ins

fire_tradeinAs I mentioned in today’s Daily Links and Deals post, starting today, Amazon’s is selling $50 Fire Tablet in colors. Both the  8GB and 16GB versions are available in blue, magenta and tangerine, as well as basic black. If you are looking to buy one of the new colors or a larger version and have an old Fire you want to get rid of, you may be interested in Amazon’s trade-in program for the Fire.

For a limited time, you can trade-in your Fire for an Amazon Gift Card and a coupon for a 20% bonus savings good towards the purchase of a new Fire Tablet. Simply identify your Fire, complete the paperwork and send it in. Once Amazon verifies the condition, you will get the gift card and bonus coupon.

Amazon is accepting trade-ins on both working and non’working Fires. Models acceptable for trade-in are:

  • *Kindle Fire, 1st and 2nd generations.
  • *Kindle Fire HD 7″ 2nd and 3rd generations
  • *Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Wi-Fi and 8.9″ Wi-Fi + 4G LTE
  • *Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Wi-Fi and Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Wi-Fi + 4G LTE
  • *Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ Wi-Fi and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ Wi-Fi + 4G LTE
  • Fire HD 6 Wi-Fi
  • Fire HD 7 Wi-Fi
  • Fire HDX 8.9 Wi-Fi
  • Fire HDX 8.9 Wi-Fi + 4G LTE

*Note the name change: The earliest versions were referred to as Kindle Fires; later versions dropped the Kindle from the name.

There is a page where you can see pictures to help determine you model. I also wrote a post a while back on identifying your Kindle model which may help. Amazon Kindle customer service can help if all else fails.

You can apply your coupon to the following Fire tablets:

Several caveats on this deal. The time frame on the offer is extremely limited. Trade-ins must be completed by May 9, 2016, so if you are interested, you need to act quickly. Other limits, terms and conditions apply.

Also, be aware that the trade-in values are much, much  lower than you probably could get on eBay or another venue: Amazon’s offer for a 1st generation Kindle Fire is $5 in either working or non-working condition.  The value for a working Fire HD 6 is listed at only $11. The real value here is probably the 20% off bonus.

While Amazon has offered trade-in programs for the Kindle before, this is the first time I have seen one exclusively for the Fire.

Are you interested?

Note that Amazon has updated its Trade-in Program to include more devices.  You can find more details in this post about trade-ins.

Unhappy with Your OS 5 Fire Tablet Update?

fire HDXEarlier this week, my Fire HD 6 updated to OS 5.1.1 Bellini. I started to write a post on the topic, , but there didn’t seem to be a lot of fuss about it so I put it on hold. Today, however,  I seem to be getting a lot of hits on an old Fire OS update post looking for information on the latest update for the tire Tablets.  And, so….

Last December, Amazon said that they would provide an update to OS “Bellini” for older Fire tablets. That 5.1.1 update rolled out  over the last week for a lot of people  and there have been a lot of complaints. For the record, my own personal  comment was “Yuck!” Add in the recent update for the Paperwhite and there are a lot of unhappy customers.

A look on the Amazon discussion forums shows some interesting threads on the topic:

Complaints range from anger at the change, tales of features not working to stories of children coming to their parents in tears because they can’t figure out what happened.

Personally, I can understand the frustration. The night before the update, I was reading a book on my Scribd app. The next day, it was like a totally different device. That’s one thing that doesn’t happen with a physical book.! It wasn;t that big of a shock for me because had already used the Bellini OS on the $49 Fire 7. If you are used to the older OS, it is quite different. I hate the fact that I have to be more careful abut swiping the lock screen now. The new OS is much more sensitive to where you swipe than the older version was.

In an unusual move for Amazon, they are allowing customers who own certain models to downgrade the OS back to the old version, OS 4. Check your Manage Your Content and Devices page to see if your model is  eligible for the downgrade. (See photo.)

device option os updateThere are a couple of caveats, however. Downgrading involves a factory reset, meaning that you will lose everything on your Fire. Everything will have to be reinstalled from the cloud, so make sure you have synced and backed up all your personal documents. All your apps and anything sideloaded will have to be reinstalled.

Also be aware that your downgrade may not happen right away. You initiate the downgrade from the Manage Your Content and Devices page and it can take up to 72 hours. You must leave you device turned on with wi-fi enable and make sure your battery is charged at least 50%.

Amazon has a help page with instructions specifically  for  downgrading here. Even if you downgrade, you will still have the option to upgrade at a later time.

So, how do you feel about the update? Love it or hate it? Are you downgrading or deciding to live with it?

Roundup of Kindle Fire Reviews

fire tablets newSince I didn’t buy one of the new Fire tablets myself, I have been avidly reading reviews on the new product line. I thought it would be nice to  do a roundup of some of the reviews I’ve read. This is a mix of text and video reviews. There are also several comparison reviews.

For the 7″ Fire:

First Look: Amazon ‘s $50 Fire Tablet (Teleread)

New Fire tablet doesn’t like ebooks stored on an SD card but it’s in stock at Best Buy (The Digital Reader)

Fire Tablet First Impressions video (The eBook Reader)

Here are two video reviews from The Kindle Chronicles’ Len Edgerly:

First, a video review of the 7″ Fire:

Then, a video comparison between the new Fire 7″ and 8″ tablets:

For the Fire HD 8:

Amazon Fire HD 8 – (PC Magazine)

Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 adds removable memory and more (Techcrunch)

For the Fire HD 10:

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 10 Review (Mashable)

Amazon’s new Kindle HD 10 – Not the tablet anyone is looking for (Extreme Tech)

Amazon Fire HD 10 roundup: first impressions of Experts (TechTimes)

Fire HD 10 comparison review vs Lenovo Tab 2 A10 Tablet (The eBook Reader)

There are some interesting insights in the reviews, especially about the tablets’ OS, speed, resolution, and working with the SD memory card.

Also worth noting is this post about the warranty on the 7″ model. In case you missed the fine print on the product page, that $50 Fire only comes with a 90 day warranty.

So far, I am pretty happy with my decision not to buy. I may change my mind when the new OS 5 Bellini update hits my two Fire HD 6 tablets, but so far, I haven’t read anything that tempts me to buy one.

How about you?