Amazon takes on Netflix with standalone $9 per month Prime Video subscription

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 18, 2016

Online retailer Amazon announced this morning that it has started to offer its Prime Video service as a standalone subscription independent of its $99.99 annual Prime membership, which includes things like free two-day shipping, unlimited streaming of music, movies and television shows and other perks.

In an effort to step up its challenge to Netflix, the e-commerce giant has priced its standalone offering at $8.99 per month—a dollar more than Netflix’s entry-level $7.99 plan in the United States. Read More

 

Kindle Oasis is Amazon’s thinnest and lightest e-reader ever, but costs more than iPad mini 2

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 13, 2016

Amazon on Wednesday unveiled a brand new device, the $290 Kindle Oasis, its eighth-generation Kindle e-reader. Billed as its thinnest and lightest e-redear yet, the Oasis weighs in at just 4.6 ounces and measures a remarkable 3.4 millimeters at its thinnest point, which is less than half the thickness of Apple’s iPhone 6s at its smallest point.

Its dual-battery charging system lets you read for months without plugging in if you’re using the Oasis with the official charging case. Without the case, the device’s built-in battery provides up to two weeks of reading based on 30 minutes usage per day. Read More

 

This weekend only: get a 1-year Amazon Prime membership for just $73

By Cody Lee on Jan 15, 2016

Amazon is currently offering a significant discount on its popular Prime service, cutting the one-year membership fee from $99 to $73. The promotion is in celebration of the company’s success at the Golden Globes earlier this week, and is good from  now through 11:59 p.m. Sunday night.

For those of you who aren’t particularly familiar with Amazon Prime, the service includes a number of benefits. There’s free 2-day shipping (and same-day in some areas) on millions of products, and free access to Prime Video, Prime Photos, Prime Music and the Kindle Lending Library. Read More

 

Ex Top Gear presenter shows off Amazon’s drone delivery system

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 30, 2015

Jeremy Clarkson, the former host and presenter of BBC’s Top Gear show, has been hired by Amazon to promote its products. In addition to a recent commercials aired in the United Kingdom which promotes Amazon’s Fire devices, Clarkson can be seen in the most recent Amazon video showing off the Prime Air, the online retail giant’s drone delivery system first announced back in December of 2013. Read More

 

Amazon allegedly confirms that Instant Video is hitting Apple TV before year-end

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 28, 2015

Online retail giant Amazon is bringing its Instant Video service to the new Apple TV after all. As a quick refresher, Amazon recently pulled both Google’s Chromecast HDMI dongle and Apple’s Apple TV from sale because the two set-top boxes, in Amazon’s own words, don’t “interact well” with its video subscription service. Confirmation of a tvOS version of Instant Video was inadvertently leaked by Amazon itself in response to a question on Twitter.

The app should hit the Apple TV App Store by the end of the year. Read More

 

Puzzle platformer To-Fu Fury is Apple’s new Free App of the Week

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 28, 2015

To-Fu Fury from Amazon Game Studios, regularly $1.99, is available at no charge until next Thursday as Apple’s new Free App of the Week via the App Store’s weekly promotion.

Released in July 2015, this puzzle platformer challenges you to save the Fortune Kitty playing as To-Fu, a stretchy, sticky, flingy and combative cube of bean-curd. Expect a lot of puzzle solving and physics-based action in this game. Read More

 

Amazon Video for iOS gets X-Ray, 3D Touch and multitasking support & more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2015

Amazon pushed a nice update to its video-streaming app in the App Store this morning. Amazon Video version 3.3 now includes 3D Touch shortcuts on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Home screen for quick access to the following features: Library, Downloads, your Watchlist and Search.

In addition, the app is now fully optimized for the iPad Pro and supports iOS 9’s new Picture in Picture mode and Slide Over multitasking on supported devices. Read More

 

Apple, Amazon, Google, PayPal and Intuit form coalition to promote financial technology

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 3, 2015

Silicon Valley giants Apple, Amazon, Google, PayPal and Intuit have formed a coalition to promote the benefits of financial technologies in order to help the U.S. government better understand these technologies and ensure greater innovation in financial services, Re/code reported Tuesday.

The initiative is called the Financial Innovation Now and aimed at accelerating the pace of change in financial services, according to the official website. Read More

 

Amazon pulls all Apple TV hardware from sale

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 30, 2015

Responding to the Apple TV 4 launch day and the warm reception the device has received from reviewers thus far, online retail giant Amazon has now removed all Apple TV models from sale on its online stores.

Earlier this month, Amazon warned customers that it would stop selling both Google’s Chromecast HDMI dongle and Apple’s set-top box in an effort to prevent “customer confusion” over devices that don’t “interact well” with its Prime Video service. Read More

 

Amazon said to be in talks with networks regarding live TV service

By Cody Lee on Oct 7, 2015

Amazon is exploring the creation of a live, streaming television service, reports Bloomberg. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the outlet says the online retailer has reached out to major media companies including CBS and Comcast’s NBCUniversal to discuss carrying their channels.

The talks are assumed to be in the preliminary stages. Analyst Dan Rayburn wrote on Tuesday “those I have spoken with haven’t disclosed how far along Amazon is with regards to a live OTT service.” He added that it’s possible Amazon is simply examining the economics of the business. Read More

 

Today only: get a 1-year Amazon Prime membership for just $67

By Cody Lee on Sep 24, 2015

Amazon is currently offering a significant discount on its popular Prime service, cutting the one-year membership fee from $99 to $67. The promotion is in celebration of the company’s 5 Emmy wins earlier this week, and is good through 11:59 p.m. PT Friday night.

For those unfamiliar with Amazon Prime, the service includes a number of benefits. There’s free 2-day shipping (and same-day in some areas) on millions of products, and free access to Prime Video, Prime Photos, Prime Music and the Kindle Lending Library. Read More

 

Amazon responds to new Apple TV with updated Fire TV box with 4K support and Alexa search

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 17, 2015

Eight days have passed since Apple has taken the wraps off its fourth-generation $149 Apple TV featuring downloadable apps and games, universal search with Siri and more, and now Amazon has conveniently rolled out its second-generation Fire TV.

Unlike the new Apple TV which disables 4K video output in software, the new Fire TV supports 4K video streaming right out of the box. It includes a new voice-enabled remote and comes outfitted with Alexa, which is basically Amazon’s version of Siri. Read More

 

Amazon Prime Music gains search suggestions, curated collections, sleep timer and more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2015

Following a major update to Amazon’s video-streaming client for iOS which now allows offline playback for Prime movies and television shows, the online retail giant today gave its Prime Music app a little love, too.

The new Amazon Prime Music 5.0 for iOS introduces curated collections featuring hand-picked music, search suggestions to make music discovery even easier, a brand new sleep timer feature and more. Read More

 

Amazon Video app updated to allow offline playback for Prime movies and TV shows

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 1, 2015

Amazon Video received a fairly significant update today, which brings a compelling new feature to its video streaming app—offline viewing for Prime movies and TV shows. In version version 3.2 of the app, users can now download videos for offline viewing, which means that you can queue up TV shows and movies for watching when you’re low on signal, using airplane mode, or for the purpose of saving on mobile data usage.

The addition of offline viewing may not seem like a huge deal to some, but it could signal a change for mainstream video streaming apps in general, which for the most part, have only been capable off online viewing.  Read More

 

Study shows Apple TV fell to fourth most popular streaming device in U.S. last year

By Cody Lee on Aug 20, 2015

The Apple TV fell to the spot of the fourth most popular streaming media device in the US last year, according to a newly-released study by Parks Associates. The research firm says that sales for Apple’s set-top box were eclipsed by those from Roku, Google and Amazon.

“Roku continues to lead streaming media device sales in the U.S.,” said Barbara Kraus, the director of research at Parks Associates. Their data shows that Roku accounted for 34% of units sold in 2014, with Google in second at 23%, and Amazon overtaking Apple for third. Read More

 

Amazon launches dedicated iOS app for its Cloud Drive service

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 6, 2015

Online retail giant Amazon on Monday launched a brand new application in the App Store to give iPhone and iPad owners a quick way to access their documents, spreadsheets, music, photos and videos stored in Cloud Drive, Amazon’s storage locker in the cloud.

The new app, called Amazon Cloud Drive, is available at no charge in the App Store. For the uninitiated, Amazon’s Cloud Drive service offers you a choice between unlimited storage for your photos in exchange for twelve bucks per year, or $60 per year for an Unlimited Everything plan.

A free 90-day trial of Cloud Drive is available here. Read More

 

Amazon removed as a Cydia payment option

By Jeff Benjamin on Jul 1, 2015

If you’ve tried to make a purchase on Cydia lately, you may have noticed one big difference with the available payment options. Amazon is no longer available as a means to make payment, leaving only PayPal as an option.

For me, this is really unfortunate, because Amazon allowed you to authorize a set number of dollars in advance, making it easy to make multiple Cydia purchases over a period of months without necessitating a reauth. I’ve never been a fan of PayPal and its business practices, but I also hate how cumbersome it can be to simply log in to PayPal.

As of today, we’re down to a single option for Cydia purchases, but that could be changing soon.

Read More

 

Kindle update adds new font and a number of readability enhancements

By Christian Zibreg on May 27, 2015

Amazon’s Kindle for iOS app received an update this morning adding new features for “faster reading, less eye strain.”

Kindle 4.9 for the iPhone and iPad now includes larger font sizes, in addition to an exclusive new font that was specifically crafted for prolonged reading on digital screens.

The application now does hyphenation and has smoother word spacing, with layouts that dynamically adapt drop caps, text and images as you change fonts and adjust font sizes. Read More

 

Audible audiobooks service gains support for Apple’s CarPlay in latest update

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2015

Audible, an audiobooks service owned by Amazon, pushed a major update to its iPhone and iPad application this morning which added CarPlay functionality along with a couple nice-to-have improvements in the app’s iOS edition.

After downloading today’s update, the Audible app will automatically appear on the dashboard of CarPlay-enabled vehicles and those supporting CarPlay via aftermarket solutions from Pioneer, Alpine and other companies. Read More

 

Amazon’s Lightning cable gives you six feet of charging flexibility for cheap

By Lory Gil on May 1, 2015

Apple’s included Lightning cable just seems to fall short of useful. Maybe that is because it is too short. The charging cable that comes with your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is only about 3 feet long. If your wall plug is right next to your bed, then you will be OK, but otherwise, you need extra feet.

Amazon makes an MFi-certified Lightning cable that is six feet long, twice the length of Apple’s. So, if you need the extra length, or just want a second cable, Amazon has you covered. Read More

 
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