Jack Randall fans — current and future — will like that the first book in the detective series, Closure, is currently free on Google Play Books and Kindle Store.
When a prominent lawyer is shot while waiting at a suburban stop sign it sets off a nation-wide manhunt for an elusive killer. Special Agent Jack Randall of the FBI finds himself appointed to track down and stop the shooter. Not by his superiors, but by the killer himself.
As more bodies fall the shooter takes his message to the press, earning the support of the public with his choice of targets and confounding the FBI at every turn. From the desert of Nevada to the urban jungle of New York City, Jack and his team follow the trail of bodies and haunting messages left behind by the killer. With the pressure to find him mounting on Jack, the assassinâ€™s crimes grow bolder, and his message more sinister and closer to home.
It becomes clear to Jack that in order to find the shooter, he may have to look inside his own past, and become the man he was years ago.
The book is usually priced at $5.00 on Google Play.
More and more games start transferring themselves to Amazon, and now Big Business Deluxe has joined the growing population of Kindle-friendly games. It’s a business empire simulator with shiny graphics and complex economy, where the players get to become the mighty of this capitalist world. It’s available here: Big Business Deluxe on Amazon.
Amazon’s fresh out of the oven Android tablet, the Kindle Fire HDX, is already gaining support from the major game publishers. Gameloft has announced that it had already optimized some of its games to run on the new device, to be exact – Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and Asphalt 8: Airborne. Guess it’s one more reason to check Amazon’s new hardware out. The games themselves can be downloaded from here: Despicable Me: Minion Rush on Google Play, Asphalt 8: Airborne on Google Play
The thing is, Google will likely suffer the most adverse effects from the Kindle Fire’s Amazon Appstore exclusivity, but they won’t be killed by it. What developer is going to ditch the Android Market entirely for the Amazon Appstore, unless exclusive contracts are involved? Amazon likely isn’t fretting over the more limited selection on the Amazon Appstore, in part because of the fact that a device with exclusive access to the store will likely appeal to developers who haven’t yet become a part of the store. Whether this is a good thing for them or not is a good question due to some of Amazon’s Appstore policies.
Does the iPad have anything to fear from the Kindle Fire? As a 7-inch tablet, likely not. The larger size of the iPad is a draw that these smaller tablets do not have. However, this could sway those interested in tablets to check them out, at a much more friendly entry price. It could push the iPad into the ‘premium’ product market that Apple products have typically been part of due to their higher prices, but consumers have gotten accustomed to the iPad’s price, and as the progenitor of the modern generation of tablets, it will still have its appeal. But the space needs a quality entry level tablet; and Amazon’s clout may be the one to provide it.
Ultimately, more Android devices in people’s hands is a good thing. More devices for apps to be sold on is a good thing for developers, and for promoting development on Android. If more apps are being released for Android, even if it’s because of a device that’s leading people away from the traditional Android experience. Google will only suffer from more apps being purchased on the Amazon Appstore.
Amazon is the one company that could provide a high-quality entry level tablet experience. They already have a major e-book platform that will integrate in with the tablet. They already have an app platform that has attracted users and attention to it through its much-publicized free apps program. They already have music and video stores, and are launching a streaming platform with Amazon Prime. They have the massive server farms that can power their many cloud-based services. They can make the Kindle Fire a useful and powerful product, and with their interface built from the ground up for it, they can make it something vastly different from the iPad. The price and powerful specifications don’t hurt, either. Will consumers accept it? Anecdotally, it seems as if people want a product like this. Will it topple the iPad? Doubtful. Does it need to? Doubtful.
Amazon recently held an event to talk about e-eaders, and as rumored, the online giant is in fact releasing a new Android device called the Kindle Fire, as well as two new Kindle eReaders (Kindle Touch – $99 and Kindle – $79).
So what are the special features of the Kindle Fire? First, the device will bring all of Amazon’s services together for a streamlined and cohesive experience. That means getting music from the Amazon MP3 store, streaming movies from the video store, and of course buying books and magazines. To make this a richer experience, all this will come with Whispersync. Watching a movie on the Fire, and want to watch it on the television? No problem, as the sync will allow the movie to resume right where it was left off. The same setup is true for music and books. Kicking things up a bit more, all people who buy this device will receive a free month of Amazon Prime to receive the full capability of the device. Even better is that all Amazon digital purchases (music, movies, books, and so on) are backed up to their cloud servers.
The next aspect Amazon is tackling is internet browsing. They are using their cloud servers to cache web pages, especially frequently-visited ones, so content is quickly made available, and the user never has to fully hit the website and download all the information. Those that have used Opera Mini before will know just about how this will work.
As far as device specifications, the Kindle Fire has a 7-inch IPS panel (1024×600, 169ppi, 16 million colors), Gorilla Glass coating, a 1GHz TI OMAP dual-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and a chassis that weighs 14.6 ounces. There has been no confirmation that there is an external memory card slot, which would make sense if it were missing as Amazon tends to leave that out of its devices. While the cloud storage is nice, 8GB is rather weak and heavy users will most likely destroy that space within a very short amount of time.
The Kindle Fire
Finally, we get to the OS. It is confirmed that this will run Android, The Kindle Fire will not have access to the normal Google Android Market, and it is also missing many of the standard Google apps. Clearly, Amazon wants users to use their services and get their apps from the Amazon AppStore.
The biggest part of this announcement has to be the price, and that is $199. For those people that just want a small form factor device to watch movies, read book/magazines/comics, and listen to music, this will be extremely enticing. The Kindle Fire does not ship until November 15, so it is hard to make calls on how well it will do and how it will compete with the various Android tablets and the iPad.