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Today’s post is brought to you by the brand-spanking new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 Tablet, the new and improved version of MY favorite tablet which is being offered at the SAME price as the previous version: $379 for the 16GB WiFi version. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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Did You Know You Can Adjust the Browser Settings On Your Second-Gen Fire?

Yup, it’s true. I came across a Modify Silk Browser help page for my Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ (link goes to a refurb model, the second-gen HDX 8.9″ is no longer available to buy new) the other day while researching another topic, and figured I’d share. Here are the things you can do to customize the Silk browser on any second-gen Fire:

Change the default search engine from Bing to Google or Yahoo!

Block pop-ups

Speed up page load times

Turn on encryption (will slow page load times)

Clear browser history and saved data (e.g., cookies)

Enable javascript

Automatically load all page images when a new page loads

Customize closed captions (e.g., font size, style and color)

Enable the prompts that will allow you to try the experimental flash streaming video service when you visit pages with flash animations

 

 

Owners of HDX Fires have even more options:

Enable instant page loads of frequently-visited pages

Enable location-aware services

Turn on security warnings for pages where problems are detected with the site’s security certificate

 

Amazon’s Help Page Links:

Modify browser settings on a second-gen Kindle Fire HD

Modify browser settings on a second-gen Kindle Fire HDX

Modify browser settings on a second-gen Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

My second-gen Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ is my constant companion for reading, playing mobile games, watching videos when traveling, and even listening to audiobooks and music. Now, Amazon’s made it even better but somehow managed to hold the line on price. The new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ is lighter, thinner, adds a rear-camera flash, a zippy new chipset, Firefly, and Dolby Atmos audio built right in. Now available for pre-order, this new tablet has a release date of 10/21/14.

 

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Today’s post is brought to you by The Black Market, the new Rise Against album, currently (amazingly!) on sale for just $3.99 on Amazon. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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Welcome To Free Music Monday!

Boy, have I got a great find for music fans today: Hardline Entertainment Music Comp 3 (4.5/5 stars, currently FREE).

This album has 13 tracks from artists you’ve probably never heard of, but you may find a few new favorite bands on it. For fans of alternative rock, there’s not a klunker in the bunch on this album.

If you love Fall Out Boy, click through on the album link and listen to the track samples from Templeton Pek (#1, What Are You Waiting For) and Versus the World (#13, We Were Alive).

Love Paramore? Try track #4, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, from Neo Geo.

The Bunny Gang’s Sirens Through The City (track #8) brings Sublime to mind.

Remember Suicidal Tendencies fondly? Listen to track #7, The New Testament, from Chaos Delivery Machine.

Powerman 5000 more your speed? The Sparring’s Face Down (track #11) is your kind of music.

 

That’s just a sampling of what this album has to offer. If you love alternative rock, do yourself a favor and get Hardline Entertainment Music Comp 3.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The new Rise Against album, The Black Market,has an average rating of 4.5/5 stars across over 90 reviews, and Amazon’s currently offering it for just $3.99! That’s for the entire album, PLUS a digital booklet.

 

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Free App Friday For 9/19/14

Posted September 19, 2014 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by Five Nights at Freddy’s, a bestselling horror adventure / sim game. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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Free App Friday!

Here are the top ten most downloaded AND highest-rated apps (4/5 stars or better) from Amazon’s Android App Store as of this writing. Note that where a given app has already been included in a Free App Friday post, a different one (still with a minimum 4/5 star rating) will be subbed in. Remember that free apps may include in-app purchase (IAP) options or be ad-supported, but given that these apps have been given very high ratings by MANY consumers, where IAP links or ads are present they must be pretty unobtrusive. Descriptions below are from the apps’ product pages.

Pocket Mine – It’s mine o’clock, time to dig! Tap the blocks to delve deeper and deeper in your Pocket Mine. Find treasure chests, rare artifacts and trigger explosive chain reactions!

GraalOnline Classic – Welcome to GraalOnline Classic, a MMORPG with retro-look! Play with thousands of players world-wide, explore the world and use various weapons such as bombs and bow. You can customize your character, chat with other players and send messages to friends. The game comes with everything that made GraalOnline an evergreen of online games, including more than 15 music tracks.

Animal Adventure in zoo Island – We have Safari, Arctic, Dragons, Sea world & Wildlife resorts & parks to build!

Bulu Monster – In this role playing adventure game, the user must discover, capture, fight and train one of the 150 monsters. Bulu Monster also allows the user to engage with friends and with other trainers online, enabling them to challenge their friends and other players of the game.

Kitty Cat Clicker – A new twist on the Cookie Clicker concept. Tap the Queen Cat as fast as you can to feed her with tasty snacks and build an entire army of cats to help you. Will you be able to please the queen and be granted the permission to open the treasure chests and find awesome prizes? Come play!

UFOs Love Cows – Step into the cockpit of a master alien thief, racing over the landscape to abduct Earth’s most precious resource…Cows! Blast farmers and puny human traps and defenses as you “liberate” hapless cattle in an endless adventure jammed with humor.

Angry Gran Run – Our Angry Gran has been locked away in the Angry Asylum, she’s plotting her escape, and she needs YOU to guide her through the streets once she’s busted out! Run, jump and slide over and around tons of different and WACKY obstacles in this crazy new running game!

Bingo – Do you love Bingo? You’ll most certainly enjoy playing our brand new Bingo game! With high quality graphics and themes never before seen on mobile, you’ll have a lot of fun while playing Bingo. Can you unlock all the rooms and complete all the objectives?

The Sims Freeplay – LIVE FREE! PLAY FREE! From the creators of The Sims™ 3 series of best-selling mobile games, comes an all-new, COMPLETE Sims experience that you can play for FREE.

Music Quiz – The concept is simple. It’s just like ‘name that tune’: listen to the song extract and find the name of the song or artist! How many will you recognise?

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

Five Nights at Freddy’s is a fan favorite horror game app, rated 4.5/5 stars across over two hundred reviews and currently priced at $2.99. This app currently occupies the #2 Bestseller spot in Amazon’s App Store, and with good reason.

“For all the simplicity of the game’s controls and premise, Five Nights at Freddy‘s is frightening. It’s a fantastic example of how cleverness in design and subtlety can be used to make an experience terrifying. Simple still images and proper character design steal the show in this game, and show that Scott Cawthon knows quite a lot about the secret fears people feel when looking at creepy dolls and toys. It’s elegant in how it sows fear, and is a must-own for anyone who likes scary games.” -Joel Couture IndieGameMag.com

 

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Today’s post is brought to you by the brand new $99 Kindle Fire HD 6, the first tablet in its class to break the $100 barrier, and it’s available in 5 colors! Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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Transferring Those Selfies and Vacation Pics & Videos Can Be A Pain, And It Can Be Expensive

If you have a ‘feature phone’, which doesn’t have a data plan, or a tablet without a cell/data plan, about the only way to easily get files off the device and onto your computer is to set up the device with an SD card, then set the device to always store all photos to the card, then pull the card out of the device and plug it into your computer when you want to transfer the files.

But what if your device doesn’t have an SD card? Or your computer doesn’t have a functioning SD card slot of the right size, and you don’t have an adapter or external card reader? You could always upload the files to an online site like Dropbox, or to Instagram or Facebook if they’re photos, and download them to your computer from there, but that means they’ll be online and visible to everyone who can see your online content for at least a little while.

Even if you have a smart phone or a tablet with a data plan, if you’ve got a lot of files to transfer or the files you need to move are large, the transfer process can take a major bite out of your data allowance for the month.

 

 

Special Note For Kindle Fire Owners, Second Generation Or Older

The easiest way to transfer photos from a Kindle Fire (2nd generation or older) without having to use any ‘middleman’ apps or websites is still to access the picture on the Photos menu, then select “Share” from the options menu, and send the photo as an email attachment to yourself. Then open the mail on the computer and download the picture.

However, there are a number of apps available to assist with file transfers, such as the free File Expert app. It’s rated 4/5 stars across over 240 reviews, so it may be worth a try if this is something you need to do frequently.

Since the brand new Kindle Fires haven’t even begun to ship yet, I can’t say whether there will be new file transfer options on them.

 

Remember Bluetooth? Yeah, It’s Still A Thing!

My crummy little feature phone has Bluetooth, and so do most tablets—even today’s sponsor product, Amazon’s new $99 Fire HD 6 has it, so it’s a pretty standard device feature nowadays. I’d practically forgotten about Bluetooth until I needed to transfer a photo from my phone to my computer and found my microSD card adapter was broken.

Just turn on Bluetooth on your device AND your computer (on a Windows PC you’ll find the Bluetooth menu on the Control Panel, and on laptops, there’s sometimes an external switch on the machine for turning Bluetooth off and on as well), then follow the on-screen prompts on your phone or tablet to ‘pair’ it with your computer. If “pair with device” is not an option right on your phone or tablet’s main Bluetooth menu, there will be a menu item called “search for devices,” “search For Bluetooth devices,” or something similar.

Once the devices are paired, you’re all set to transfer via Bluetooth! Just use the “via Bluetooth” option under the Send menu for your file(s). Accessing the Send menu will work differently on different devices, but if you follow the process you would normally use to send a picture or other file as an attachment from your phone or tablet as part of a message, one of the available Send options will be “via Bluetooth”. You just have to make sure you’re within range of the computer you’re trying to send to.

Some devices have a file manager feature that will allow you to select and send multiple files in a batch. Try long-tapping on a folder to see if there are any available Send options on the pop-up menu.

Just be sure to turn Bluetooth off on your phone or device when you’re done, to conserve battery power.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

If my kids didn’t already have Fire tablets, I know what I’d be getting them for Christmas this year: the brand new $99 Kindle Fire HD 6. With a quad-core processor, Dolby Digital audio, front and rear-facing cameras and the new ‘Sangria’ operating system, available in 5 colors to boot, this tablet is a bargain.

 

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Today’s post is brought to you by the iPhone 5, which has suddenly become a bit more affordable, thanks to the release of the iPhone 6. Advertisers make it possible for Digital Media Mom to bring you great content each day for free, so thanks for your support.

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I’m Not A Fan, But In Case YOU Are…

Regular readers know I disentangled myself from Apple years ago for various reasons (mostly having to do with that crime against tech that is known as iTunes), but I realize many of you are still loving the iPhone. So today, I’ve got some warnings regarding iOS 8 plus a little something for those of you making the switch to the iPhone 6 who aren’t sure which is the better deal: keep your current, unlimited data plan and pay full price for the phone, or switch to a new contract and get the phone at a discount.

 

 

If You Use iCloud, The iOS8 Upgrade Can Break Syncing Across All Your Macs

Yesterday, The Unofficial Apple Weblog reported:

“If you use iCloud: you need to be really, very, no-I-am-not-exaggerating, super careful when you upgrade to iOS 8. Otherwise you could break iCloud syncing to all of your Macs.”

“If you choose “Upgrade to iCloud Drive”, then iCloud document syncing will stop working on your Macs unless you are using the Yosemite beta and the Mac app has been updated to use iCloud Disk. There is no way to “undo” the decision to move to iCloud drive, so you will have to wait until Yosemite is released (or join the beta) and the Mac app is updated.”

“TUAW’s advice is that you wait to upgrade to iCloud Drive until Yosemite is officially released. You can always upgrade to iCloud Drive later. You cannot “downgrade” from iCloud Drive back to regular document and data syncing…Unless you have a strong desire to be part of the ongoing testing of iCloud Drive, wait.”

 

 

If You Use An iPhone 4, The iOS8 Upgrade Will Introduce Speed & Display Problems

Today Slate is reporting:

“Apple says that the 4S is good to go and has even updated the 4S landing page to say that its standard operating system is iOS 8. But don’t listen. I repeat: Wall yourself off from this madness. Your mission is to ignore.”

“First of all, iOS 8 is optimized for big smartphone screens…The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen…but the iPhone 4s has a 3.5-inch screen. That’s two full inches smaller than the Plus. Come on now, how flexible can iOS 8 possibly be? The other big issue is processing power.”

Ars Technica adds that many of the features of iOS8 depend on newer hardware and won’t work on the 4s. These unsupported features include AirDrop, TouchID, Handoff for Applications (though iPhone call forwarding to other devices works fine), Support for OpenGL ES 3.0, the Metal graphics API, and 64-bit ARMv8 apps.

Ars Technica also notes performance issues:

“…the iPhone 4S is much slower than any other iPhone Apple currently sells. It uses…an Apple A5 chip that only offers about a quarter the raw performance of the Apple A7 in the iPhone 5S…iOS 8 can add as much as 50 percent more [lag] time to the same task compared to iOS 7.”

“The other problem is something that’s not so easily measurable: animations on the Apple A5 SoC are markedly more choppy and inconsistent in iOS 8 than they ever were in iOS 7…”

 

 

Finally, If You’re Buying An iPhone 6 Here’s How To Get The Best Deal

Yesterday Slate published a very helpful article that includes an interactive, number-crunching widget to help you figure out which is the better deal for you: hang on to an existing, unlimited data plan and pay full price for the phone, or switch to a new contract and get the phone at a discount. From the article:

“Should you want to get in on the iPhone 6 craze, you’ll have ample choices from wireless providers. Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T are selling the 16 GB version starting at $199 with a two-year contract, while T-Mobile is carrying it contract-free for the full list price of $649. As per usual, at least one carrier is also using the iPhone 6 as a chance to break the customers still clinging to unlimited data from their plans. Verizon customers who wish to have their unlimited data grandfathered in with an iPhone 6 are once again being told that they must buy the device outright. If they choose to do that, the unlimited data will cost $30 a month on top of $55 to $90 per month for voice and texting fees.”

Click here to view the article and use the widget.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

If you’ve been holding off on buying an iPhone 5, waiting for a price drop, now that the iPhone 6 has been released your moment has come! Click here to browse Amazon’s current selection of the iPhone 5, both locked and unlocked.

 

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