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Mayday! Mayday! Kindle’s New Customer Service Button Leaves All Other Tablets in the Dust




maydayI upgraded my iPad to iOS7 a couple of days ago and I couldn’t be more frustrated. There’s a lot to like about the new system, but there’s more that confuses me. . . and almost everyone else. How do I close programs? How do I get rid of that ESPN button on Safari? How do I add my buttons?

Three times in three days, I’ve had to call up YouTube videos to walk me through question after question. Where’s the user manual for this thing!?

The folks at Amazon understand my pain, so they created a brand new Kindle Fire HDX that solves all of those user problems with one button. It’s called Mayday.

Press the button and a LIVE Amazon expert appears. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And it’s free. But it gets better. The expert can take control of your tablet, draw on your screen, show you how to do what you need to do or do it for you.

It’s spooky cool. And I want one.

Amazon has several fun commercials that feature the Mayday button which you can watch on their site. In the commercials, the expert helps a man turn on playtime restrictions for his visiting niece and mirror the Kindle screen on his TV to show vacation photos to his friends.

I thought the commercial might be a bit more whiz bang than the reality, so I found an actual demo from TechCrunch on YouTube. Take a look.

As they show in the video, you can disable the screen sharing portion of the live help if you’re typing in passwords or other sensitive information. The expert can also move his little face box around so it’s not blocking an important section of the screen. Incredibly, the demo is pretty close to what you see in the commercial.

In addition to the Mayday button, the new Kindle Fire HDX line has double the memory, triple the processing power and exceptional graphics.  It has 11 hours of battery life and is 34% lighter than previous Kindle models. That’s a huge benefit when you’re using it to read for hours at a time.

The tablet comes with a few apps, email, calendar, and productivity apps, X-Ray for Music and Second Screen. Another big step – you can now download streaming videos from Amazon’s vast collection to view when you’re offline.

All in all, a very neat tablet. I think my iPad is going to get a new, little brother for Christmas.

My other Christmas wish is a list of all the crazy things people ask for when they hit the Mayday button.

I got up one morning, couldn’t find my socks, so I called Information. She said, “Hello, Information.” I said, “I can’t find my socks.” She said, “They’re behind the couch.” And they were! — Steven Wright