Amazon releases new kindle Oasis model

Given the recent number of sales on Amazon’s Kindle line and the upcoming 10th anniversary of the release of the original Kindle, many, including myself, expected the announcement of a new Kindle was in the works.

Today, Amazon announced an all-new kindle Oasis. The new device has a larger, 7″, 300 ppi display. The device is also  waterproof, a feature that many other high end e-readers already have and one that many customers have been asking for. The device is IPX8 rated, which protects against immersion in up to 2 meters of water for up to 60 minutes. According to Amazon, there are also battery improvements to the new device.

Probably one of the most frequently requested features for the Kindle is for the return of the text-to-speech features for the e-Ink devices. The TTS function was a feature in the earlier Kindle models and is currently available on e-ink Kindles only via the use of a special adapter. Built in, it is presently only an included feature on the Fire tablets. While Amazon has not restored text-to-speech in this new device, they have integrated Audible audiobooks with the Oasis.(See here to learn about Audible.) This device still doesn’t have a headphone jack or speakers and instead uses a Bluetooth connection to provide audio. You must provide your own Bluetooth headphones or speaker.

The Amazon description says,”With Audible built in, you never have to put your story down and can switch easily between reading and listening without changing devices.” It is unclear if that implies whether this model will be capable of enhanced Immersion Reading, which allows for both audio and reading highlighted text at the same time.

Because this device is designed to work with Audible files which are quite large, the device comes with more storage and more storage options. It is available in an 8GB configuration which is twice the amount of storage included with the original Oasis. The device also comes in a 32GB configuration, which will be helpful for storing the larger file sizes associated with  audio books, comic books, etc.

One of the most interesting changes to the new Oasis is the fact that it does away with the integrated battery cover of the previous model.  (You can read my views on that cover here.) The previous model’s covers were only available in leather, a fact that was upsetting to many who preferred a vegan option for a cover. This model’s covers come in a variety of colors in both fabric and leather options.

The new Oasis costs $249.99 for the 8GB WiFi-only model. The 32GB WiFi-only model is $279.99. The Oasis is also available in a 32 GB cellular configuration for $349.99. Fabric covers sell for $44.99 and leather covers cost $59.99

All models are available for pre-order now and will start shipping October 31, 2017.

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Daily Deals: New Amazon Tap and Echo and Dot refurbs

Today, Amazon is offering the Amazon Tap Alexa-enabled portable bluetooth speaker for only $80. (The device normally retails for $130 and the refurbished models generally sell for this price.) This was the first Echo device that I bought for myself and it’s still my favorite. I like to use it out on the deck and it is my favorite speaker to pair with my phone for listening to audiobooks and music around the house.

Originally, the Tap was not voice activated. You had to “tap” on the device to give it a command. A later firmware update added the voice-activated hands-free option for the Tap. This feature can be turned on and off on the device or through the Alexa app.

The tap is a good choice if you need an Alexa device in a portable Bluetooth speaker. Certain features like multi-room music sync and device calling that are available in the Echo and the Dot are NOT included in the Tap. If those features are important to you, the Tap is not the right device for you.

There are also some other deals on refurbished products in the Echo line. The Amazon Echo is currently out of stock, but you can get a certified refurbished Echo for $80. There is also a refurbished Echo Dot for just $38. Amazon Certified Refurbished devices come with a one year warranty.

Amazon announces new Kindle

new_kindleIf you had looked at the Kindle product page over the last few days, you might have noticed that the basic Kindle was sold out. That tends to be somewhat unusual as they are generally consistently in stock. So maybe, combined with the rumors of a new device, it is really not that much of a surprise that today, Amazon announced an all-new Kindle with some pretty nifty features.

  • The new Kindle comes in both black and white. We haven’t had a white Kindle here in the US for a while.
  • The new device is slightly smaller and lighter than the previous model. It also has a slightly more rounded design
  • The new Kindle has 4GB of storage and twice the memory of the old one (it now has 512MB).
  • The device is Bluetooth enabled. This is an added accessibility feature that readers who are visually impaired can use the VoiceView feature to navigate and read the on-screen content without the need for an adaptor. Hopefully, we will also see more Bluetooth compatible feature in the future – I want a foot switch for page turns so I can read and eat pizza! 🙂
  • Over the coming weeks, Amazon will be adding an Export Notes feature.  This will enable users to export their notes to a PDF file that can be printed out or exported to a spreadsheet.

Best of all, the price for the new Kindle is still $79.99 (with special offers, $89.99 without special offers). The new Kindle is available for pre-order now and is also being offered for 5 monthly payments of $16.00 payment plan. The e-reader will ship within the next few weeks.

Unlike the Kindle Paperwhite, the new Kindle does not have a built in light. Amazon also announced that the Paperwhite would also be available in white.

Daily Links and Deals: Library usage falls 14.3 percentage points since 2005

daily_links_1Today, a story about library usage falling, bad security features in Samsung’s Smart Home line and tips to keep your phone battery working for the whole day. In deals, there are savings on two Anker items, a bluetooth speaker with mic and a Qi charging pad.

Daily Links for day, May 2, 2016:

7 ways to keep your dying Android phone or iPhone alive (PC World) Great tips to help your phone’s battery keep up with you.

Even your connected car will need antivirus software (Techcrunch) First we had to re-boot our cars, now we are gonna have to virus check them?

Samsung Smart Home flaws let hackers make keys to front door (Ars Technica) A smart home is not necessarily a secure home.

Library usage falls 14.3 percentage points since 2005 (The Bookseller) Does this take into account digital visits as well as physical ones. Many people tell me they are using the library rather than pay high publisher’s prices.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers for $1.99.

In Today’s Deals,there are several Anker product deals: the Anker SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker with Built-in Mic and an Anker Wireless Charger PowerPort Qi Wireless Charging Pad.

Mother’s Day is less than a week away! Amazon has some great deals on both e-ink Kindles and Fire tablets:

First, in e-ink Kindles, you can get $20 off the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle for Kids bundle. 

There are several promotions on Fire tablets. The 7″ Fire (normally $49.99) is only still only $39.99. Amazon is also offering savings on the Fire HD 6 (8GB and 16 GB versions) and the Fire HD 10 is $50 off for a limited time. There are also still deals on pre-owned Fire tablets.

And, yes, I am also still seeing the option for 5 payments of $58 for the Kindle Oasis pre-order. Current delivery date is June 1, 2016.

Time is almost up on the trade-in offer from Amazon on your old Fire tablet.  Trade-in must be completed by May 9, 2016.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is Eye Candy by Katherine Garbera for 99 cents.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is His Wicked Games Boxed Set: A Cunningham Family Bundle (Books 1, 2, and 2.5) by Ember Casey for $1.99.

And, you can still get $20 off the Kobo Glo HD.  Free shipping is included but I am not sure about a Mother’s Day delivery at this point. 😦

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes For the Sins of My Father: A Mafia Killer, His Son, and the Legacy of Mob Life by Albert DeMeo for $1.99.

(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.

Daily Links and Deals: Hundreds of Spotify credentials appear online

daily_links_1Today, stories about Spotify credentials appearing online, the Feds approve the Chartert-TWC merger, the dangers of a bluetooth pregnancy test and more. In deals, Watchesm headphones and Mother’s Days deals on Kindles and Fire tablets.

Daily Links for Tuesday, April 26, 2016:

Feds Approve $78B Charter-TWC Merger, Creating Broadband Colossus (Motherboard) How big is too big? Does this merger cross the line? Read this article on Comcast and tell me what you think!

First Response’s Bluetooth pregnancy test is intriguing — and a privacy nightmare (The Verge) This is a case study illustrating why you should always read the permissions.

Congress demands to know how many citizens are being spied on (Ars Technica)I would like to know the answer to that question as well. Wouldn’t you?

The Real Power of Platforms Is Helping People Self-Organize (Harvard Business Review) Extremely interesting way to look at what plaforms like Uber do.

Hundreds of Spotify credentials appear online – users report accounts hacked, emails changed (Techcrunch)

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes The Leap: The Science of Trust and Why It Matters by Ulrich Boser for $1.99.

In Today’s Deals, Anne Klein Watches for Mother’s Day and SMS Audio Street by 50 Cent Wired On-Ear Headphones.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Amazon has some deals on both e-ink Kindles and Fire tablets. First, you can get $20 off the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and theKindle for Kids bundle.  Amazon is also offering the Fire HD 10 for $50 off for a limited time.

Amazon is still offering savings on the Fire HD 6, and deals on pre-owned Fire tablets. I am also still seeing the option for 5 payments of $58 for the Kindle Oasis pre-order. Yes, it is still not too late to order one, especially with the basic black cover.

You can also take advantage of a trade-in offer from Amazon on your old Fire tablet.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is From the Ashes by Jeremy Burns  for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is Brokedown Cowboy by Maisey Yates for $1.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson for $2.99.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure by Donald and Petie Kladstrup

Google has a selection of Topsellers Under $10.

(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.

Names, features, wishlists and new Kindle rumors

voyageThe tech world and the ebook aficionados have been buzzing with speculations on the upcoming new 8th-generation Kindle that was announced by Jeff Bezos himself last week.

The Digital Reader, Teleread and the eBook Reader all have great articles on both the speculation and the rumors about the new device, including the name. There are also a number of threads on Mobileread, KBoards and the Kindle forums discussing the new new device’s potential features.

So, here’s a brief synopsis/roundup of some of the speculation at this point:

Kindle or Tablet: Since Jeff Bezos said that this was going to be the eighth generation, most people assume that this device will be either an e-ink Kindle or possibly have a Liquavista color screen.

Screen size: The screen size for the device is unknown.

Name: Kindle Oasis – According to Mobileread, a page spotted on Amazon Japan (no longer available) indicates that the device will be called the Oasis. Now, there’s a lot of speculation as to what exactly that name refers to. Some are suggesting that it means the new device will have be waterproof. Others are suggesting that it implies a Liquavista color screen.

Features:  There’s been a lot of discussion on possible features for the new Kindle. There has also been some talk about a new basic Kindle. This would not be the first time Amazon has introduced more than one new product at a time. Bezos indicated the new Kindle will be “top of the line,” a position the Kindle Voyage now inhabits. Since the new device is apparently not called the Voyage 2, we can only assume the new model will add a number of new features.

Some of the possibilities are:

Better front lighting – Some of the early Voyage e-readers had problems with the front lighting and from what I read on the forums, some people are still not happy with the way the device looks now.

Waterproof – Since Barnes & Noble and Kobo both have waterproof readers, some think that this is a natural next step for a new Kindle feature.

Page Turn Buttons – Not everyone is totally happy with the haptic feedback on the Kindle Voyage. There’s still a call for device with dedicated physical buttons for turning pages.

Bluetooth – Initially, Bluetooth seemed an odd feature to add in an e-ink type of Kindle. However, a Bluetooth keyboard could be paired with the device for easier notetaking. Bluetooth would also allow for the use of a hands-free page turning feature.

Text to speech – The Kindle keyboard was the last Kindle with text to speech functionality. While all the Fire tablets are capable of text to speech, it’s one of the most requested features to be brought back to the Kindle line.

Battery Case: I have seen iterations of ideas on these cases: Some ideas suggest a thinner Kindle with the battery in the case. Others suggest speakers and Bluetooth integration in the case for either text to speech or audio book use. Still others are suggesting a solar powered case coming in the near future.

Who’s going to buy one?

While obviously no one knows for sure until we hear the details about the new Kindle, people seem to be falling into several distinct categories when discussing the possibility of a purchase:

  • I will definitely buy the latest Kindle that comes out.
  • I am trying not to be tempted (but may or may not cave when I see it)
  • I will buy one if it has ________. [Fill in the blank with a feature]
  • My current Kindle ______ works just fine. [Fill in the blank with a Kindle model]

In the meantime,  Amazon has slashed prices on its current lineup of e-ink Kindles and some of the Fire Tablets. Are they clearing out inventory to make way for the new models? The continued price cuts on current models, particularly the seldom discounted Voyage, seem to be further fueling the speculation.

So how about you?  Have you heard any other good rumors or have a feature to speculate on? Is there a special feature on your personal Kindle wishlist?Are you waiting with bated breath for the new device announcement?Do we have a pool going for the news release?  How does Tuesday or Wednesday sound?. 🙂

Daily Links and Deals: Reading Fast and Slow – Observing Book Readers in Their Natural Habitat

daily_links_1Daily Links for Tuesday, February 2, 2016:

Reading Fast and Slow – Observing Book Readers in Their Natural Habitat (DBW) – This is an interesting piece on how different individuals read different books.

Evernote Will Shut Down Market, Its E-Commerce Effort, On Wednesday (Techcrunch) – Unsurprisingly, Evernote is closing down its swag shop.

16 million Americans have no wired broadband access, not even at 4Mbps (Ars Technica) – Look at these numbers. This is why the FCC has so many concerns about this

Bluetooth wireless range and speed are getting better (Computer World) –  Like wi-fi, bludetooth is an integral part of the Internet of Things – and our future.

Deals of the Day:

If you are in the UK, Amazon.co.UK  is featuring Mortality by Christopher Hitchens for £.99 as one of the Kindle Daily Deals.

Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deal includes A Desperate Fortune by Susan Kearsley for $1.99.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Steelheart (Reckoners Series #1) by Brandon Sanderson for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is Power Play by Tiffany Snow for $1.99. Their 500 Under $5 sale is also still available.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Woman with a Secret by Sophie Hannah for $1.99.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes The Passage by Justin Cronin for $1.99.

(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 and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.