Tag Archive | kindle fire

How To Install Aldiko on Kindle Fire

How to install Aldiko on Kindle FireIf you’d like to use Aldiko on your Kindle Fire, you can install it via the Fire’s browser. Here’s how:

Before you can install an app that’s not available in the Kindle App Store, you have to change one setting in the Kindle Fire.

  • In the top Kindle Fire menu, select the Gear (settings) icon.
  • On the next screen, tap the More Icon.
  • On the next screen, tap Device. Then choose ON for “Allow Installation of Applications”.

Now you’re ready to download and install Aldiko on your Kindle Fire.

If you’ve tried this, I’d be interested to hear how it went!

How To Put Bluefire Reader on Kindle Fire

Today the folks at Bluefire posted a nice set of instructions for installing Bluefire Reader on your Kindle Fire. The instructions go like this:

The instructions below guide you through the steps for installing Bluefire Reader for Android on your Kindle Fire. Note that you should open this page in the browser on your Kindle Fire before you begin.

  •     Tap “Settings” on your Kindle Fire (it’s the icon that looks like a gear)
  •     Tap “More”
  •     Scroll down until you see “Device”
  •     In the Device tab, set “Allow installation of Applications” to ON, and tap OK when you see the Warning prompt
  •     Tap here to download the Bluefire Reader APK (the Android app)
  •     Once the app has finished downloading, tap the Menu icon at the bottom of the screen and tap Downloads
  •     Tap on the file named “BluefireReader.apk”
  •     The Fire will ask if you are sure you want to install the app…
  •     Tap “Yes”
  •     The installation process will start…
  •     After the installation is complete, look for Bluefire Reader in your Apps collection

2) The latest version of Bluefire Reader (Version 1.2.3) will be installed on your Kindle Fire. However, the app is not automatically updated. You will need to check back here from time to time to see if there’s an updated version of Bluefire Reader for Android available.

3) This shortcut is offered as is–without any warranties or support.

This is fantastic for users because it means you can read your Adobe DRM ebooks (PDF and ePub) on your Kindle Fire tablet. But while this is an excellent set of instructions for side-loading Bluefire Reader onto your Kindle Fire, I wonder if it’s too complicated for the average user. They even include a note saying that they’re not going to offer support for this. If you have tried this, what did you think of it? Was it easy or difficult for you to do?

It’s really unfortunate that Amazon (and Barnes & Noble as well) aren’t allowing all apps from the Android Market to be installed on their tablets the normal way. In wanting to force people to use their own apps they’re just crippling their own devices.

Using Aldiko on Kobo Vox, Nook Tablet, and Kindle Fire

The big ebook companies have now released tablet versions of their eReaders. Amazon has the Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble has the Nook Tablet, and Kobo has the Kobo Vox. They are all Android tablets and come with a lot of apps pre-installed. However, unlike normal Android tablets, they don’t have full access to the Android Market. Instead it seems that each company has come up with their own smaller app market, where you can choose from a specific selection of apps.

This is significant because it means that if you bought eBooks from other ebook stores that use Adobes DRM, you wouldn’t be able to open them in the correct app on your tablet (which is usually Aldiko). Aldiko and other ebook apps are, not surprisingly, left out of the pre-approved list of apps. However, it seems that people are already finding easy ways around this.

How to install Aldiko on Kobo Vox Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire

For one thing, I noticed that on the Aldiko website they will now email you a link to download their app if you sign up. You can see that at http://aldiko.com/download.html. I don’t know for sure, but I think you could use your tablet’s browser to go to the link they send you and download it directly to the tablet. If anyone has tried this, I’d be interested if you could leave a comment and let me know how this worked.

I also saw on the blog Good Reader that they posted a way to get Aldiko on your Kobo Vox. Check that post out at How To Copy eBooks With DRM To The Kobo Vox. Their method involves downloading the app from a link that they have on their website where they host the file. I’m not sure if this is condoned by Aldiko, but they probably don’t care.

On Google+ I found a post from Aldiko saying that you could download the app and sideload it onto your Kindle Fire. There is also this post from a user who says he did it successfully and it was easy.

And to round it out, The Digital Reader has a post saying that the Nook Tablet can run Aldiko in much the same way: by installing it through the browser.

The nice thing about this is that it doesn’t require anything like hacking, and should be easy enough to do even for someone who isn’t a big techno geek. If you are reading this and have installed Aldiko on any of these three devices, please leave a comment with your experience. I think that would be a great help to others who are interested in doing this.

Tablet Review Roundup

Like my eReader Review Roundup post, this is a gathering of reviews for tablet devices. There are other tablets on the market besides the ones I’ve chosen to include here, but I picked these because they are either made by eReader companies, or have solid eReading functions, or are the tablets that you typically find major electronics stores. In other words, they are the tablets that you’re most likely to use for eBook reading, in my opinion.

Apple iPad 2 Reviews

Engadget – “It might frustrate the competition to hear this, but it needs to be said: the iPad 2 isn’t just the best tablet on the market, it feels like the only tablet on the market.”

TechCrunch – “Let me sum all of this up in a simple way: the iPad 2, should you buy one? Maybe — it depends on a few factors. Will you want to buy one? Yes. Use that information wisely.”

PCMag – “The clear standout in the ever-widening sea of tablets, the Apple iPad 2 brings a slimmer design, faster processing, dual cameras, and FaceTime video chat to a tablet that already had a leg up on the competition.”

PCWorld – “The iPad 2 remains the tablet to beat, even though its improvements represent just a satisfying aesthetic and spec evolution over its predecessor. “

CNet- “The iPad 2 refines an already excellent product. Its easy-to-use interface, vast app catalog, and marathon battery life bolster Apple’s claim to being the king of tablets.
”

Wired – “Skinnier profile shows mercy to your joints. Big performance boost makes apps, games and web browsing more zippy. Same $500 starting price and 10-hour battery life. Mediocre cameras make still photos look slimy. Thinner body makes physical buttons on the side a little harder to press.”

Nook Color Reviews

Engadget – “So, is the Nook Color worth your hard-earned cash? Well, we’ll say this — if you’re a hardcore reader with an appetite that extends beyond books to magazines and newspapers, the Color is the first viable option we’ve seen that can support your habit. Not only does Barnes & Noble have an astoundingly good selection of e-book titles, the company seems to be aggressively pursuing the periodical business, which is a big deal.”

TechCrunch – This page is specifically for the “Nook Tablet” not the Nook Color. Same basic deal though. Not a full review. TechCrunch doesn’t seem to have a full review on the Nook Color.

PCMag – “More than an ebook reader, less than a full-blown tablet, the Nook Color’s artful compromises make for a compelling, color reading experience that is ideal for both books and magazines.”

PCWorld – “Highlights of this premium e-reader include an intuitive, elegant interface and an LCD screen with minimal glare. “

CNet- “Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color is a very capable color touch-screen e-book reader that offers much of the functionality of an Android tablet for half the price of an iPad.”

Wired – “Nook Color is the only ‘reader’s tablet,’ straddling dedicated e-book readers like the Kindle and multipurpose tablets like the iPad. I was expecting tradeoffs. I wasn’t expecting its advantages.”

Amazon Kindle Fire Reviews

Engadget – “The Kindle Fire is quite an achievement at $200. It’s a perfectly usable tablet that feels good in the hand and has a respectably good looking display up front. Yes, power users will find themselves a little frustrated with what they can and can’t do on the thing without access to the Android Market but, in these carefree days of cloud-based apps ruling the world, increasingly all you need is a good browser. That the Fire has.”

PCMag – “The first easy-to-use, affordable small-screen tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire is revolutionary.”

PCWorld – “The 7-inch, Android-based Amazon Fire will appeal to those who buy books, videos, and music at Amazon, but it will frustrate those looking for a more versatile slate.”

CNet- “Though it lacks the tech specs found on more-expensive Apple and Android tablets, the $199 Kindle Fire is an outstanding entertainment value that prizes simplicity over techno-wizardry.”

Wired – “iPad killer? No, the Kindle Fire is not. And it doesn’t even match the iPad in web browsing, the one area in which its hardware should have sufficient performance to compete. But the press has definitely supercharged Amazon’s product launch with a level of hype and enthusiasm that would make Apple proud.”

Kobo Vox Reviews

This gadget is perhaps too new to have many solid reviews online, but I’ve dug up what I can:

Engadget – This is Engadget’s basic informational page about the Kobo Vox.

PCMag – A “Hands on” post, not a full review. “In fact, the fact that the Vox is an Android tablet serves as a rather stark reminder that Kobo’s strength is its application … inside the Vox’s social Pulse e-reading application, I didn’t want to leave.”

PCWorld – Not a real review. This is more of a news post.

CNet – Again, not quite a real review yet, just information.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Reviews

Engadget – “The conclusion we came to after using the Tab 10.1 Limited Edition mimics the conclusion we’ve drawn here: this is the best Honeycomb tablet to date, and lucky for you, this one’s available to purchase!”

PCMag – “The Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 takes the thin, powerful tablet and adds blazing 4G LTE speeds, but it ratchets up the price as well.”

PCWorld – “Thin and stylish, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 hits all the right marks. And at 1.24 pounds, this is the lightest 10-inch-class tablet you can buy. “

CNet- “Sleek, sexy, and light, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gets as close to the iPad 2 as any Android tablet before it.”

Wired – “The trouble is that both hardware and software are rough around the edges. Honeycomb feels like Linux on the desktop before Ubuntu came along, and the Tab 10.1 itself feels like somebody made a toy plastic iPad. The screen stands alone as being quite excellent, but it’s not enough to save the rest.”

Motorola Xoom Reviews

Engadget – “Besides boasting what we consider to be the most complete and clearly functioning version of Android, the hardware which is packed inside Motorola’s tablet is really quite good. The tablet is fast and sleek, and while not exactly being really futureproof, the fact that you’ve got a path to a 4G upgrade is tremendous (and frankly, something no one else in the industry is offering).”

TechCrunch – “Few tablets have met with such widespread anticipation as the recently-announced Xoom. It is the closest anyone has come to an iPad equivalent for the Android set. I was impressed with the speed, design, and quality of the device, and although there are a few caveats, I came away optimistic for the new crop of Honeycomb devices that will follow this one.

PCMag – “The Wi-Fi Motorola Xoom is a solid Android tablet with Flash support, but it doesn’t measure up to the Apple iPad 2 in terms of app selection.”

PCWorld – “The Xoom is well-conceived and well-constructed, but some rough edges, a middling display, and a high price may deter early adopters.”

CNet- “The Xoom’s spec sheet is enough to make any tablet tremble, but the price is high and Google still has some work to do before its tablet software experience is as fleshed out and intuitive as Apple’s.”

Wired – “As Sly Stone said, the nicer the nice, the higher the price.”

New Kindle Devices Revealed

Amazon has rocked the eReader and tablet world today by announcing Kindle Fire and releasing some new Kindle eReader models at extremely low prices.

You can check out Amazon’s charts that compare the different devices for yourself (look at ‘Compare Kindles’ on a page like this), but I want to go over what I consider the main differences between them.

Basic Kindle

The basic Kindle is starting at $79 (with special offers) or $109 without special offers. $79 is a pretty darn low price for an electronic device, but more importantly, it’s way lower than most other eReaders. The new Sony Reader WiFi, for example, is available for pre-order right now for $149. Even if you don’t want the ‘special offers’ screensaver ads, you only have to go up to $109.

It’s also important to note that this device does not have a touch screen. Navigation is done with the button at the bottom-center.

Kindle Touch / 3G

This is similar to the basic Kindle, but with a touch screen. It is either $99 with special offers, or $139 without special offers. You could compare this one to the Nook Touch. It also has audio capabilities.

The next step up is the Kindle Touch 3G at $149 with special offers or $189 without. These models will let you connect to 3G networks, like you do with your cell phone, to get internet access even when you can’t get on WiFi.

All of the Kindle models work with Amazon’s cloud system, which means that you don’t have to download ebooks to your computer, and you can easily use your digital content on multiple devices that you own.

Kindle Fire

This is the biggest news. There has been speculation about a Kindle tablet for a long time. Amazon has announced a tablet-like Kindle device, and it’s available for pre-order for only $199.

One of the things that has been wondered for so long was whether Amazon would be able to release a device that would be a competitor for the Apple iPad. This cnet article says they have, but I don’t know if I agree. Since this is a smaller device at 7″ and lacks many of the features of the iPad, in my opinion it’s more comparable to the Nook Color. Both of those devices are more like big brothers to eReaders. They have the color touch screens and run on Android, which means you can watch videos and play games, so in the end they are eReaders with some additional fancy features.

On the other hand, that cnet article points out something very important: if you’re an average user who’s using these devices for typical stuff like reading, video streaming, and basic internet access, you don’t need an expensive iPad. And on top of that, if you’re going to be traveling with the device it feels a lot better to tote around a $199 tablet rather than one that cost you $500+.

I think it will come down to what you actually need to use the device for. If you will actually use additional features that the iPad has (like Bluetooth, video conferencing, or HD video recording) you might be willing to spend the money for those. But if you’re the average user, something like the Kindle Fire might be perfect.

I’m going to be really interested to find out how open the Android OS will be on this device. If you can install Aldiko Book Reader on it, that will mean that you won’t be tied down to the Kindle store anymore, and you’ll be able to get ebooks from other websites. I suspect that it won’t be possible to install other ebook apps in the beginning, but people will find a hack-around for it.

The other big question is how this is going to affect the market for eReaders as a whole. These new Kindles are being sold at such a low price that other companies might not be able to compete at all. Or, it might force companies to find ways to use cheaper materials to build these devices. It will be interesting to see how everyone reacts to this.

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