I Just want to read ebooks with you.

The news this morning that Kobo had hired a new director for EMEA reminded me about some expansion plans from one of their competition. Those plans aren’t going so well.

Way back in June 2012 Barnes & Noble set an ambitious goal. Over the following 12 months, they planned to launch the Nook Store in no less than 10 international markets. It’s now 7 months later, so let’s look at what they’ve accomplished.

In late September 2012, Barnes & Noble launched the Nook Store in the UK. This was a solo launch with no local partner. B&N had been rumored in late 2011 to be courting Waterstones but that bookseller chain ended up signing with Amazon to carry the Kindle. External details of the deal suggest that Amazon outbid B&N not because Amazon wanted a local partner but to keep B&N from gaining a local partner in the UK market.

And since September B&N has launched the Nook in exactly … zero markets.

There are rumors of plans to launch the Nook in a variety of markets including Russia, Netherlands, Germany, and elsewhere (I think Brazil is a possibility), but no firm evidence has been uncovered nor has B&N made any announcements.

It’s now late January 2013, and that means Barnes & Noble has only 5 months left until their self-appointed deadline. I’m not sure that they’re going to make it.

I’m not trying to be hostile here, but launching 9 local bookstores is a massive undertaking any way you look at it: logistical, technical, or organizational. It took B&N nearly a year after the first hints about partnering with Waterstones before they launched the Nook in the UK. And even then it was delayed a couple times due to technical issues.

I’m not convinced that B&N has the ability to pull off 9 nearly simultaneous launches in the next 5 months. Sure, they might decide to wait until BEA 2013 comes around in May and announce the markets they will be launching in, but actually getting the local Nook Stores is probably out of the question.

And given the way B&N is hemorrhaging money in the Nook Media and seeing poor retail sales, I’m not sure they can survive a significant delay in their international expansion plans.

Once you have your images in your HTML for your Kindle book and have followed the instructions for creating a great Kindle ebook image you need to be able to include it in your book when you create the mobi file. You can convert your HTML file to mobi using Calibre or you can use the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) to create your mobi file and set it up for sale.

Make Sure Your Book HTML is Ready for Conversion

The benefit of using HTML to create your book is that you can then use a browser to read through it and correct any errors. When you’re including images you should be sure to check your book in a browser to make sure all the images are displaying correctly.

Remember that ebook viewers like the Kindle are typically less sophisticated than web browsers, so your images may not be centered or aligned. What you should really be checking is that they all display in the book. It is very common to have an ebook with missing images because they were not in the directory referenced by the HTML file.

Once the images are all displaying correctly in the HTML, you should zip the entire book directory and all the images into one file. This is important because you can only upload one file to Amazon.
How to Zip Files and Folders in Windows • How to Zip and Unzip Files and Folders on a Mac

How to Get Your Book and Images to Amazon with the KDP

I like using KDP because then the books are ready to be sold on Amazon without any extra steps.

  1. Login to the KDP with your Amazon account. If you don’t have an Amazon account, you will need to create one.
  2. On the “Bookshelf” page, click on the yellow button that says “Add new title.”
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to enter your book details, verify your publishing rights, and target the book to customers. You should also upload a book cover, but this isn’t required.
  4. If you haven’t already done so, zip your images and book file together into one ZIP file.
  5. Browse for that ZIP file and upload it to the KDP.
  6. Once the uploading is done, you should preview the book in the KDP online previewer.
  7. When you’re satisfied with the preview, you can post your book to Amazon for sale.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phablet is a favourite all over the world, except for the price tag, so does it compare to more affordable tablets on the market that have been best-sellers? In particular does the Google Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD have a chance against a tablet/phone hybrid?

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs Google Nexus 7 & Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Google_Nexus_7

In regards to the form factor the main difference between the devices is the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a phone too. Therefore you can call and text along with doing everything that the other tablets do. However the screen size is smaller than on the others. The Google Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD both have screens of 7 inches. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 on the other hand comes with a screen of 5.5 inches. All devices offer full HD; however the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a ppi of 265, while the other two have 216ppi. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 also has the S Pen.

For processing power the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a quad core processor with 2GB of RAM, which means that heavy apps run very smoothly. If you don’t need processing power that is intense, but you want email, browsing and gaming, the Google Nexus 7 and the quad core processor with 1GB of RAM, or the Kindle Fire HD and its dual core processor, with 1GB of RAM may be enough.

For internal storage the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 supports SD card and up to 64GB. The Google Nexus 7 along with the Kindle Fire HD only has up to 32GB on the high end devices.

If it is a great camera you want the phablet has the best, with an 8 megapixel on the back and a 1.9 on the front. However if you have a phone with a great camera and all you want is a tablet that can connect to the internet, both of the tablets have cameras that will suffice.

The Kindle Fire HD has Android 4.0, the Google Nexus 7 has Android 4.2 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has Android 4.1.2. The tablets will set you back around $199 to $299; the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will cost more than $800, if you want the unlocked device.

So overall it is clear that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has the most advantages. But with a price tag almost 3 to 4 times bigger, you will have to see whether you need all the “extras”.

kindle fire

Depending on where you set you Amazon Kindle Fire HD up, you’ll probably be connected to at least one Wi-Fi network already, but what happens if you move location, or want to connect to an alternative Wi-Fi network?

No fear, we’re here to show you exactly how to set up additional Wi-Fi connections on your Amazon Kindle Fire HD so you’ll never be without an active connection again (assuming you’re always in an open Wi-Fi zone).

To access the Wi-Fi settings, pull the top notification bar down on your Amazon Kindle Fire HD and choose Wireless from the shortcuts.

Make sure the Wi-Fi toggle is turned on and choose the network you wish to connect to.

Enter a password if required and Connect. You can opt to turn the Show password option on or off – it’s a lot easier to enter the password with it turned on, but only do so when no one can see what you’re typing.

If you need to change the IP settings to DHCP or Static, you can do so by selecting IP settings.

If you want to join a hidden network, you can select + Add network which is right at the bottom of the list. To set up a hidden network, you will have to know the Network SSID (network name) and password, plus the type of security type of the network.

When you have selected the network and entered the password, or entered details for a new network, just tap Connect and you should be connected.

It was Cyber Monday, 2012, and Amazon was offering a deal on their Kindle tablets. I quickly snatched up a 2nd-gen Kindle Fire for my mom’s x-mas present, as she (like everyone else this holiday season) wanted a tablet. When the unit arrived a few days later on the doorstep, I immediately had my greedy little paws on it. It didn’t take long to realize that this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting in the Kindle Fire.

new kindle

I went directly to the Amazon app store and tried to search for Google Maps. Oh wait, did I miss something? Ok, stay calm. Try looking for the Gmail app. What? Wait…oh crap. I felt defeated..my nerd skills had failed me. I didn’t know that I couldn’t install Google apps on the Kindle Fire. Epic fail.

So I instantly set out to find a way to get Google apps on the Kindle. Because this was a present for my mom, I didn’t want to change things too much; the Amazon interface is actually pretty clean and easy to use for first time tablet users. Rooting was an option, but I wasn’t too keen on installing a custom ROM, even though there are some awesome Jelly Bean based ROMS out there. But I just wanted the functionality of Google apps like Maps, Voice, Talk, Music with the stock Amazon interface.

After a little research, I found a few different methods of getting some Google apps on the Kindle Fire. Since the architecture of the newest Kindle Fire is closer to the Kindle Fire HD, I researched methods for modifying the Kindle Fire HD. Without rooting, I found a way to install a few Google Apps, such as Maps, Gmail, Youtube and Currents. Even though the Maps app lacks a little functionality (no pinch to zoom or saved maps) the others work flawlessly. Xda-developers forum member abhijitxp modded these apps, and his guide can be found here. Before proceeding, make sure that you have gone to Kindle Fire Settings and enabled installation of applications from unknown sources, and that you have a file browser like ES File Explorer installed. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Download the Google Files here

2.Unzip files

3. Transfer files to Kindle Fire

4.Open up ES File Explorer and install GoogleLoginService.apk.

5. Restart Kindle

6. Open up ES File Explorer and install the apps.

I know, it’s only a handful of apps, but it’s better than nothing, and I’m sure the folks at XDA will have some more apps for us soon. Supposedly, if you root your Kindle Fire you can get full functionality, and if it was my device, I would root it for sure. But for a mom, this is good enough. If you’ve got the gumption to root your Kindle Fire, a great guide can be found here. Happy Holiday hacking!

Kindle e-readers were not initially designed to directly support podcast downloads. The 8GB Kindle Fire, 4GB Kindle Touch, Kindle DX and Kindle Keyboard, 2GB second-generation Kindle or 256MB first-generation Kindle all support MP3 audio. The internal capacity of each Kindle model influences how many podcasts and audio titles you can install along with book titles. For all models other than the Kindle 4 which does not support audio, this has the additional benefit of music play back as well as podcasts. Adding podcast audio allows you to increase your Kindle’s versatility, mimicking a full-featured tablet rather than simple an e-reader.

Step 1

Navigate to a website featuring podcasts you may want to listen to by entering the address into your Web browser’s search engine. Many news organizations and technology sites, including the Kindle store, feature free and premium podcasts for download.

Step 2

Save the podcast to a folder on your computer. Drag the downloaded files into folders on the desktop for fast reference later on. The Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, Kindle DX, Kindle Keyboard as well as first and second-generation Kindles support unprotected MP3, Audible Audio Format 4 and Audible Enhanced AAX files.

Step 3

Connect the Kindle to the computer with the Kindle’s USB cable. Allow the computer to recognize the device. The Kindle says “USB Drive Mode” at the top of the display when the connection is made.

Step 4

Click the Start button and select “Computer” a Windows PC to view the Kindle, or find it on the desktop as a mounted drive on Apple machines.

Step 5

Double-click on the “Kindle” drive on your computer. Look for the “Audible” or “Music” folder on the device.

Step 6

Drag the individual podcast files or the entire folder into the chosen folder on the device.

Step 7

Use the five-way controller or directional buttons on your Kindle to highlight and select the “Audible” or “Music” folder. Tap the “Audible” or “Music” folder with a Kindle Touch or Kindle Fire. Look for the “Audio” label attached to the podcast files.

Step 8

Tap on the icon of the file you wish to listen to. Click “OK” to play the file.

Tips

  • Organize the files into collections on your home screen to consolidate multiple podcasts into manageable folders.

Only the first-generation Kindle accepts SD cards.

The Kindle reader comes with enough space to store dozens of e-books, newspapers, magazines and other media files. If you are running out of space and you don’t want to delete any of your content, you may think about adding an SD card for extra storage. Unfortunately, only the first-generation Kindle allows you to install an SD card; this model supports SD cards up to 4GB.

Items you will need

  • SD card (4GB maximum)

Step 1

Power off the Kindle and turn it over so that you are looking at the back cover.

Step 2

Press down firmly on the back cover and slide it to the right to remove it.

Step 3

Locate the SD card slot on the right side of the Kindle.

Step 4

Slide the SD card into the Kindle’s card slot with the logo facing up and the gold-colored contacts facing down. Push the card in until you feel and hear it click into place.

Step 5

Place the cover back on the Kindle and slide it to the left to lock it in place.

Step 6

Turn on the Kindle. The new SD card is detected automatically.

Tips

  • You can use the Kindle’s Content Manager to move items between the Kindle’s memory and the SD card. To do this, launch Content Manager from the home screen, select the items you wish to transfer, and then choose “Menu.” Choose “Move to SD Memory Card” or “Move to Kindle Memory.” The files will transfer to the destination immediately.

Warnings

  • The process described in this article only applies to first-generation Kindles.