TechTablets & SlatesAmazon Announces New Kindle Fire HD Tablet Line

Amazon Announces New Kindle Fire HD Tablet Line

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All-New Features Only Amazon Can Offer

X-Ray for Books

One year ago, Amazon introduced X-Ray on Kindle Touch, and customers loved it. Amazon is extending X-Ray to books on Kindle Fire, making it easier than ever for customers to learn more about the content they love by exploring the “bones of the book.” With a single tap, readers can see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari, Amazon’s community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers.

X-Ray for Movies

“X-Ray for Movies” is a new feature that revolutionizes the movie experience by bringing the power of IMDb directly to movies on Kindle Fire HD, accessible with a simple tap. Without ever leaving the movie, customers can look up any actor in the scene or movie, see what other movies they have been in, and view photos, biographies and more. X-Ray is offered only by Amazon and is exclusive to the Amazon ecosystem. IMDb, an Amazon company for 14 years, is the #1 movie website in the world with more than 160 million monthly unique visitors worldwide.

X-Ray for Textbooks

Glossaries in print textbooks contain the most important information for students, but they’re placed inconveniently in the back of the book. And glossaries don’t always contain enough information for students working to understand new concepts. X-Ray for Textbooks solves these problems by integrating the glossary directly into each textbook page and by algorithmically assembling related data from Wikipedia and YouTube.

Immersion Reading

Research supports that readers can benefit from listening while reading. Together, Amazon and Audible invented “Immersion Reading,” allowing customers to fuse together printed text and professionally-narrated audiobooks, giving readers the ability to experience their reading with two senses—sight and sound. As the reader views the text of their book on Kindle Fire, text is highlighted as it is professionally-narrated, creating a more immersive experience, as well as deeper learning and comprehension.

Whispersync for Voice

Whispersync for Voice allows customers to synchronize their Kindle books with professionally-narrated audiobooks—customers can start reading a book on Kindle Fire and seamlessly switch to listening to the companion audiobook, picking up exactly where they left off. With Whispersync for Voice, customers can continue enjoying books during commutes or any other time their eyes are busy. When they get in the car, customers can effortlessly pick up the story right where they left off reading by listening to the professionally-narrated audiobook using Bluetooth on Kindle Fire HD or with any Audible app on their smartphone.

Ideal for Gaming

Amazon has worked with leading developers to offer new Android games exclusively on Kindle Fire HD, including Activision’s popular Skylanders Cloud Patrol franchise and Crytek’s Fibble. In Skylanders Cloud Patrol, gamers will discover a new feature—the ability to purchase physical toys from within a game. Customers will be able to purchase a unique Skylanders character with a single click, and Amazon.com will deliver it to their doorstep. In addition to hardware that’s perfect for gaming like stunning custom HD displays, fast Wi-Fi and large on-device storage, the Kindle Fire HD family also offers HD Games, gyroscope and accelerometer for full tilt and turn controls, as well as social gaming features including group leaderboards and achievements.

Whispersync for Games

One of the biggest frustrations of mobile gaming is that when customers switch devices or delete and re-install the game on the same device, they have to start a level over or go back to the beginning of the game. To solve this problem, Amazon extended its Whispersync technology to gaming with Whispersync for Games. Whispersync for Games syncs a customer’s place in the game and saves unlocked levels, so even if they get a new device, the progress is backed up in the cloud.

Kindle FreeTime

Amazon today reinvented parental controls with Kindle FreeTime. FreeTime gives parents easy-to-use tools to personalize their children’s digital media experience. With FreeTime, parents never have to worry what content their kids will access—parents select all of the content their kids can see and kids can’t exit FreeTime without a password. FreeTime also lets parents limit their kids’ screen time by content type—they may choose to limit videos and games, for example, but make reading time unlimited. Kindle FreeTime will be available for free on all of the new Kindle Fire devices starting in the coming weeks.

Cloud-Accelerated Silk Browser

The new Kindle Fire family uses a new version of Amazon Silk with the unique “split browser” architecture that leverages the computing speed and power of Amazon Web Services to deliver content faster. The new Amazon Silk browser features an updated core rendering engine and a reengineered transport layer that contribute to faster page loads. Customers can experience full-screen browsing, reading view, and improved browsing with most-visited, trending and recommended sites all available from a single screen.

All-New Email and Calendar

The new Kindle Fire family features world-class Microsoft Exchange integration, with fine-tuned performance on many of the most critical e-mail functions. For example, typical Exchange accounts sync with the oldest emails first, ending with the most recent emails—Kindle Fire instead syncs with newer emails first, then with older emails, getting customers faster access to the most recent emails they are looking for. Kindle Fire also features a new calendar app, making it easy for customers to stay connected and keep track of their schedules. The new e-mail client offers support for the world’s most popular email providers—including Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, Hotmail and more.

Photos Brought to Life

Photos come alive in stunning high-resolution on Kindle Fire HD. Fire’s mosaic view arranges personal photos beautifully, and customers will be delighted to see their best shots on their TV with HDMI out. Kindle Fire lets customers easily import their photos from Facebook and because their photos are securely stored in Amazon Cloud Drive, they never have to worry about losing their favorite pictures.

Kindle_Fire_HD

Amazon has rolled out a truly comprehensive Android tablet line here.  Time will tell if the more expensive versions are successful, but this looks like a competitive lineup of Android tablets.

Kindle Fire HD Press Release
Jim McCarthy
My tech interests include WHS, media streaming, and gaming, among others!

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