New Kindle Reader Feature: Word Wise

Posted May 20, 2015 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by the Kindle Paperwhite, a terrific e-reader pick for folks who want a crisp display and features like long battery life, glare-free display (even in sunlight), bookmarks, notes, the ability to change font size and so on, but who aren’t quite ready to step up to the costlier Kindle Voyage. 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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Amazon has quietly rolled out another great enhancement for Kindle books on Kindle e-reader devices (but not Fire tablets or in the Kindle Reader app at this point), and you may have noticed it on some Kindle book product pages: Word Wise. Since it’s so new it’s still not common, but you will find it on new Kindle book releases more and more often as publishers get on board.

In a Word Wise -enabled book, difficult or unusual words will have “hints” displayed right on the screen, without the reader having to tap anything to see a full dictionary definition. This is helpful when reading books with many foreign words, a lot of unfamiliar jargon, or when a student is moving up in reading levels and still needs a little help to achieve mastery.

If you want to see the full dictionary definition, just tap one of the hints on your screen. Note that per Amazon, this feature is only available on Kindle Voyage, Kindle Paperwhite 2nd Generation, and Kindle (7th Generation) devices with the latest software update.

 

Where To Look For Word-Wise Enabled
The screenshot below shows the product page for a Kindle book that has Word Wise enabled (red arrow). This is where you will find the Word Wise enabled flag, if applicable. If a given book is not Word Wise enabled, the Word Wise line won’t be there in the product details block at all.

 

 

From Amazon’s Word Wise help page:

Word Wise makes it easier for readers to understand challenging books more quickly. You can use this feature with compatible Kindle books on Kindle Voyage, Kindle Paperwhite 2nd Generation, and Kindle (7th Generation) devices with the latest software update.

Note: Word Wise is only available in books in English and is not enabled on all Kindle books. You can verify whether the feature is available by checking for “Word Wise: Enabled” or “Word Wise: Not Enabled” on the product detail pages of Kindle books.

To turn Word Wise on or off:
From Home, tap Menu, then tap Settings.
Select Reading Options, then Language Learning.
Next to Word Wise, tap On or Off.

You can tap a word displaying Word Wise hints to see the dictionary definition of the word or rate the helpfulness of the hint.

To adjust the difficulty of the words showing hints, tap Word Wise in the lower right corner of the screen while reading. Drag or tap the slider between “Fewer Hints” and “More Hints.” You can also choose to Show or Hide hints from this screen.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

I really love my Fire tablet, but some people really just want a dedicated e-reader and now that Amazon’s making moves like this to further emphasize the differences between their e-reader products and Fire product line, it seems a dedicated e-reader is really the better way to go for folks who mostly use their tablets for reading. For them, the Kindle Paperwhite is a better choice and a great value.

 

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Tech Tip of the Week: How-To: Copy Your Silk Bookmarks To A New Fire

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Today’s post is brought to you by the Toshiba Satellite C55-C5240 15.6-Inch Laptop. 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!
I’m doing something a little different today: offering you four free spoken word MP3 albums instead of the usual music.

 

First up: the Bible, presented in a dramatized audiobook edition with music and sound effects. Note that each album consists of either the entire old or new testament, so the files are very large if you try to download either entire album. I suggest streaming them from Your Music Library instead if you’d like to save the time (and disk space!).

NRS Old Testament – New Revised Standard Version (Dramatized)

 

NRS New Testament – New Revised Standard Version (Dramatized)

 

Next, we go in a very different direction with The Lakshmi Series: 30 Talks on Meditation and Yoga:

 

Today’s last pick is NPR’s This American Life Podcast #047: Christmas & Commerce. I understand Christmas is many months away yet, but these This American Life podcast recordings aren’t always free and since this one includes David Sedaris reading his hilarious SantaLand Diaries (it begins at the 21:00 minute mark in this recording), if you’re a Sedaris fan I highly recommend picking it up.

 

Finally, I’d like to put in a quick plug for my new Love My Echo site: if you own or plan to get an Echo check it out, and also please share with anyone you know who’s a current or intended Echo owner. As far as I know, it’s the only dedicated Echo site out there that’s aimed at consumers.

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The Toshiba Satellite C55-C5240 15.6-Inch Laptop, has an average rating of 4/5 stars and Amazon’s currently offering it for $449.99—that’s 25% off its usual price of $599.99. Toshiba has been my go-to brand for laptops for years, and they’ve never let me down. In fact, I’m writing this very post on a different model Toshiba Satellite laptop!

 

 

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Tech Tip of the Week: How-To: Copy Your Silk Bookmarks To A New Fire

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#FreeApp Friday for 5/15/15

Posted May 15, 2015 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, 1080p Widescreen Video Calling and Recording, currently being offered by Amazon at $68.60 (31% off!). 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 some of the top 100 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.

5 Nights At Freddie’s 3 – Five more nights of fazbear horror!

Pixel Gun 3D – Many modes of operation of the game; More than 100 kinds of weapons;
More than 35 maps and locations

Zombies Ate My Friends – Welcome to Festerville, population 4,206 (mostly zombies). We hope you enjoy your visit: explore the town, take in the sights and sounds (mostly groaning), dine on whatever you can find, and get to know the locals (though we suggest you avoid the dead ones).

Close Up Character – A free new pop quiz game for cartoon film and comic fans where you guess the hidden movie character name from zoomed in picture!

Flow Free: Bridges – Connect matching colors with pipe to create a Flow®. Pair all colors and cover the entire board. Use the new Bridges to cross two pipes and solve each puzzle!

Bubble Blaze – Match three or more bubbles to score!

Wizard of Oz Slots – See the story unfold as you unlock new machines. The more you unlock, the more of the story you see.

My Ice Cream Truck – Drive your ice cream truck through the sweetest neighborhoods offering more than just refreshing treats, but sugary happiness in cones! The first tools and ingredients available for you to work with might not seem enough for the fastidious ice cream lover inside you. But that is exactly what will motivate you to do the best job possible: unlock new ingredients and recipes by serving your customers their precise orders!

Hollywood U: Rising Stars – Congratulations! You’ve just been accepted to Hollywood University, the school for stars. Pack your bags, because fame, fortune, and romance await!

Soccer Stars – Online and offline multiplayer game – Simple and fun gameplay – Online tournaments against players from all over the world – Play against your friends

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, 1080p Widescreen Video Calling and Recording is a MUCH higher-quality webcam than whatever came built into your computer, and with its included call and record features, anyone who regularly Skypes with faraway loved ones or posts to YouTube will enjoy the 1080p, high-resolution video picture this cam can provide. It’s the current #1 bestseller in Amazon’s Webcams department, rated 4.5/5 stars and currently priced at 31% off: $68.60.

 

 

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Tech Tip of the Week: Hard-To Find, Crucial Amazon Links

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Today’s post is brought to you by The Friendly Swede’s Bundle of 14 Colorful Stylus Universal Capacitive Touch Screen Pens, a bundle of 14 styli currently (as of 5/12/15) priced at $9.99. 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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Amazon Rolls Out A New Live Help Option: Co-Pilot

If you’ve ever been struggling to find or figure out something on the Amazon site and wished you could get that live chat “Mayday” feature that comes installed on the Fire HDX tablet, Amazon’s got a new feature you’re going to love: Co-Pilot.

You just go to the Help pages as usual, click through on the Contact Us link to get Amazon to call you as usual, but when the support person comes onto the line tell him or her you want to use Co-Pilot. Then go back to the main Help area—the Amazon support person can walk you through this part if you’re not sure how to get back there—, mouse over the “Need More Help?” link (indicated by red arrow below) and one of the menu options that will appear at right is “Amazon Co-Pilot” (blue arrow).

 

Click on that link to get to the Co-Pilot connection page (tap or click on image to view an enlarged version in a new tab or window):

As the little information box shows above, the support person on the phone will give you an activation code, and once you enter it the support person will be able to navigate the Amazon site right on your computer, to help you find the thing you want, or figure out how to do the thing you want to do (e.g., advanced searches). The “valid for 5 minutes” part doesn’t mean your Co-Pilot session can only last 5 minutes, it just means you must enter the validation code you’re given within 5 minutes of receiving it.

The “What Is Co-Pilot?” information explains the Amazon support person will not be able to access anything else on your computer, or even see any other open web tabs or windows: all they can see and work with is the Amazon site itself.

And don’t worry about the webcam angle: the Amazon employee with not have access to your webcam (if one is available) and will not be able to see you through it. If you’re still concerned about that possibility, you can always just put a piece of tape over the lens during your session (I keep mine covered with a piece of painter’s tape at all times).

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

The Friendly Swede’s Bundle of 14 Colorful Stylus Universal Capacitive Touch Screen Pens consists of 9 full-size capacitive touchscreen styluses and 5 mini-styluses, plus two “leashes”, all at a current cost of $9.99 and eligible for free Prime Shipping. The mini-styluses come with a dust plug leash pre-attached, and the included two detached leashes can be attached to any two of the styluses you wish. The full-size light blue one in the picture below has been my favorite stylus for a few months now, and while I can tell the capacitive rubber tip won’t last forever (because I use it every day, all day long), it doesn’t really matter since I’ve still got 8 more to fall back on when it finally does wear out.

FTC disclosure: I receive a small commission on sales through the links above, but I do own and use these and would personally endorse them regardless.

 

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Tech Tip of the Week: Hard-To Find, Crucial Amazon Links

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Take Your Fire TV Stick On The Road

Posted May 12, 2015 By Mom
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Today’s post is brought to you by—of course!—the Amazon Fire TV Stick. 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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Got A Lot Of Amazon Instant Videos? The Fire TV Stick Is An Ideal Traveling Companion!

The Amazon Fire TV stick just keeps getting better. It’s always been possible to move it from room to room and from TV to TV in your own home once you completed setup, but Amazon’s recently added a new feature that people who travel the U.S. frequently are going to love: you can take it on the road! From Amazon’s product page for the Fire TV Stick:

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New features on Fire TV Stick
Connect to your hotel or dorm room Wi-Fi with captive portal support—–Take your favorite movies, TV shows, games, and more with you when you’re away from home. Fire TV Stick enables you to connect to Wi-Fi that requires web authentication—–this includes Wi-Fi at most major hotels, as well as some universities.

Take it with you on the go
Take Fire TV Stick with you and never miss an episode while you’re away from home. Fire TV Stick works with HDTVs in hotels, college dorms, or anywhere with captive portal Internet access that requires entering a password or a log-in.

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Don’t be confused by that reference to “captive portal”. All that means is that the WiFi network you intend to use has to be a secure, password-protected network. Other than that, so long as you’ve got a TV with an HDMI port available to plug in the Fire Stick, you’re good to go!

No more paying outrageous prices for movie rentals in hotels (though you may still be charged a fee for using their high-speed internet), and when you’re visiting friends or family you can treat them to a streaming video movie night!

 

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And now, a word from our sponsor…

I loved my Roku streaming boxes, but once I tried the Amazon Fire TV Stick I quickly replaced both Rokus with this nifty little gadget. Over time I came to realize that most of my streaming video viewing was from my Amazon Instant Video library, or Amazon Prime Video, and where I’d sometimes get middleman hangups trying to access them via a Roku box, on the Fire TV Stick it’s been a seamless and interruption-free experience every time. Since the Fire TV Stick can also hook you up with HBO Go, YouTube, Netflix and other popular streaming channels, you’re not giving up anything by making the switch, either.

 

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Tech Tip of the Week: Hard-To Find, Crucial Amazon Links

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