Early reviews dump cold water on Amazon Fire Phone

By Cody Lee on Jul 22, 2014

At a media event on June 18, Amazon entered the smartphone fray with the Fire Phone. Sure the company is 7 years late to a market that is largely dominated by a handful of heavyweights, but it hoped the device’s unique features would set it apart.

Tonight, the embargo lifted on early reviews of the handset, and they aren’t pretty. The consensus is that the aforementioned features—tilt scrolling, etc.—are gimmicky at best, and the phone itself is a pain to use. Read on for other initial reactions… Read More

 

Watch Amazon’s inaugural TV ad for its upcoming Fire Phone

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014

Last night, the online retail giant Amazon has begun airing the first television commercial for its Fire smartphone ahead of its debut next Friday in the United States.

Rather than take jabs at competitors as Amazon did with its launch ads for the Fire tablets, the Fire Phone commercial instead zeroes in on the fact that it comes with a full year of Prime membership, bundled free of charge.

It’s a major selling point which cleverly takes advantage of Amazon’s diverse interests in digital media and its continuos focus on undercutting the value proposition of its rivals… Read More

 

Amazon launches $9.99 Kindle Unlimited e-book and audiobook subscription plan

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 18, 2014

As suspected, Amazon today formally introduced its brand new all-you-can-eat e-book plan, Kindle Unlimited.

Priced at $9.99 per month, the iOS-compatible service gives reading aficionados unlimited access to more than 600,000 books, including best-selling titles like the Harry Potter series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Hunger Games trilogy and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.

The subscription plan is available on Kindle devices, as well as free Kindle reading apps for iOS, Android and more… Read More

 

Amazon readying $9.99 a month Kindle Unlimited service with 600,000+ e-books and audiobooks

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 17, 2014

Amazon has been testing a new subscription service dubbed “Kindle Unlimited,” said to bring unlimited access to 600,000 e-books and thousands of audiobooks on any device for a flat fee of just ten bucks per month. That’s according to company webpages that have been pulled down yesterday.

The service appears to provide unlimited access to both books from Amazon’s publishing imprints and those that were already available through Amazon’s Kindle Owners Lending Library, including such titles as the Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series… Read More

 

As of today, Amazon’s mobile ad network supports iOS devices

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 17, 2014

Amazon today said that its mobile ad network is now available on iOS. Makers of iPhone and iPad apps can now take advantage of Amazon’s Mobile Ads API to make money by inject into their apps banner and interstitial ads from premium advertisers participating in the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.

Moreover, the online retailer will add support for its own Fire smartphone beginning July 25, when it’s scheduled to launch… Read More

 

Amazon updates Instant Video for iOS with First Episode Free, HBO content and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 23, 2014

The online retail giant Amazon has issued a pretty substantial update to its free video-streaming iOS app, Instant Video. Now bumped to version 2.7, the app offers the ability to stream the first episodes of selected TV shows for free, as part of the Amazon First Episode Free feature, with advertising breaks before and during video playback.

Additionally, you’ll notice all-new playback controls, the addition of HBO shows such as The Sopranos, The Wire and Deadwood and more… Read More

 

This is Fire Phone, Amazon’s first smartphone

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 18, 2014

Amazon today unveiled the Fire Phone, its first smartphone. The device features a 4.7-inch screen, 2.2 GHz quad-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, Adreno 330 graphics and more. It runs a custom version of Android called Fire OS 3.5. The smartphone also has several other interesting features, including a 3D adaptive perspective mode, Firefly, ASAP predictive caching, MayDay support, screen mirroring and more.

In terms of design, the Fire Phone has a Gorilla Glass 3 screen, rubber frame and glass back. Meanwhile, the handset has aluminum buttons and injection-molded steel connectors to ensure a tight and precise fit and beautiful trim rings. Amazon says it cares deeply about the chamfered edges on its USB connectors. That’s just the tip of the iceberg…  Read More

 

Amazon talks about importance of trust and more at Fire Phone event

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 18, 2014

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos was on stage in Seattle at its Fire Phone media event this afternoon, revealing some interesting facts worth sharing. First and foremost, over 60,000 people applied to come to the event, and only 300 were granted the luxury of attending. He dropped a few more anecdotes, which we’ve covered ahead…  Read More

 

Apple reaches settlement in $840 million e-books antitrust lawsuit

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 17, 2014

Apple has settled with U.S. states and consumers that were seeking damages for alleged price fixing on e-books, protecting itself from a trial where it could have faced up to $840 million in claims. Bloomberg was first to report on the news, claiming that a trial had been set for July after Apple was found to be conspiring with book publishers to raise e-book prices as part of an illegal scheme…  Read More

 

Amazon launches ad-free Prime Music service

By Cody Lee on Jun 12, 2014

As rumored, Amazon has launched a new streaming music service today, and it’s [unsurprisingly] calling it ‘Prime Music.’ The service features over a million songs and hundreds of pre-made playlists, and it’s free for paying subscribers of Amazon Prime.

Prime members have unlimited access to the service, and will be able to either play music from one of the aforementioned playlists, or create their own. It’s completely ad-free, and comes with standard affair like mobile clients and offline playback support… Read More

 

Amazon said to be launching ‘Prime’ streaming music service this week

By Cody Lee on Jun 11, 2014

The New York Post is reporting today that Amazon is ready to launch its new streaming music service this week. The outlet says the e-commerce giant has 2 of 3 major record labels on board, and we could see the service as early as tomorrow.

It’s being described as a ‘truncated’ version of Spotify, allowing users to access a limited catalogue of songs that will not include recent hits. And, as previously report, it sounds like it’s going to only be available to subscribers of Amazon Prime… Read More

 

Amazon updates Kindle for iOS with in-app support for Audible content

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2014

Amazon today issued a nice little update to its Kindle iOS app to make it easier to enjoy Audible content.

Previously, listening to Audible audio books required opening a separate apps, but the new Kindle version 4.3 for the iPhone and iPad now includes support for Audible content.

As a result, you can listen to Kindle books enriched with their respective audio companions right within the Kindle app itself.

Audible, for those unfamiliar with it, is owned by Amazon. Your changelog and additional information can be found right after the break… Read More

 

Amazon announces June 18 launch event for new device

By Cody Lee on Jun 4, 2014

Amazon has just announced that it will be hosting a ‘launch event’ on June 18. The company doesn’t offer up a whole lot of details, other than founder Jeff Bezos will be on hand, and a new device will be shown off.

In addition to sending out invitations, and tweeting about the event, Amazon has also posted a cryptic video of people trying out the device. They don’t say way it is, or show it, but it sounds like the rumored smartphone…

Read More

 

Amazon Cloud Drive Photos updated with new album view, photo sorting and more

By Cody Lee on May 20, 2014

Amazon updated its Cloud Drive Photos iOS client this afternoon, bringing the app to version 3.1. The update brings about a new album view, as well as a new sorting feature, upload status indicator and various other improvements.

The new album view will allow Cloud Drive users to quickly scroll through their albums with large cover photos. And the new sorting feature brings the ability for users to sort their photos by either oldest to newest, or newest to oldest… Read More

 

Amazon offering Logitech’s PowerShell iOS 7 controller for $50 with free shipping

By Christian Zibreg on May 20, 2014

Logitech’s PowerShell iOS 7 controller has been heavily criticized for its high launch price ($99) and there have been some complaints about build quality and features. But if you’re serious about iOS gaming, you should consider this accessory as a worthy first entrant into the iOS 7 controller market.

Gamers who have been on the lookout for a nice deal on the PowerShell are in for a treat as Amazon is currently offering the accessory for just $49.99, with free shipping included. That’s a nice 29 percent discount over the online retailer’s normal asking price of $69.99 and a cool $50 savings from its suggested (and rather insane) retail price of ninety-nine bucks… Read More

 

Apple now number two online retailer behind Amazon

By Cody Lee on May 6, 2014

According to data from e-commerce research firm Internet Retailer, Apple is now the number two online retailer in the world. Amazon, of course, still has a large lead in the number one spot, but the Cupertino firm recently surpassed Staples to take over second place.

The jump in position is due to a couple of factors. For one, Staples saw flat online sales of $10.4 billion over the past year, representing just a 1% increase over 2012. And two, Internet Retailer is accounting for both hardware and digital content sales for the first time… Read More

 

#AmazonCart lets you add stuff to your shopping basket without leaving Twitter

By Christian Zibreg on May 5, 2014

Are you a frequent Amazon shopper and a heavy Twitter user? If so, you’ll be delighted to know that you can now add products to your shopping basket without ever leaving Twitter. It couldn’t be easier: simply find a tweet containing an Amazon product link, reply with #AmazonCart and voilà – the product in question gets quickly saved in your Amazon shopping basket.

You can add as many products as you want this way before checking out at your convenience later. #AmazonCart is currently available in the United States and in the United Kingdom, where it’s called #AmazonBasket… Read More

 

Alleged internal slide reveals Amazon’s upcoming smartphone

By Cody Lee on May 1, 2014

Amazon is expected to unveil its first smartphone in the not-so-distant future, and according to a new report from BGR, this is what it’s going to look like. The site says the image on the above slide was created for internal use by graphic designers at Amazon.

Note that the handset looks quite different than the prototype we saw last month—BGR explains this is because that device was housed in a protective casing. The actual phone’s design resembles that of the iPhone and other smartphones currently on the market… Read More

 

Amazon launches new Wearable Technology store

By Cody Lee on Apr 30, 2014

In case you needed any more proof that wearables aren’t just a passing fad, Amazon launched a new storefront this week dedicated specifically to the space. Dubbed the ‘Wearable Technology’ store, the page highlights health trackers, smartwatches and more.

Since it’s likely that many of Amazon’s customers aren’t familiar with the new devices just yet, the company has supplemented its retail offerings with other content like ‘Learning Center’ videos, product comparisons, recommendations and editorial reviews… Read More

 

Apple has 2x or more credit cards on file than Amazon

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 28, 2014

Following Apple’s most recent earnings report, Tim Cook revealed in a conference call with analyst that there are now more than 800 million iTunes accounts in use and said that “the majority of those have credit cards behind them.”

How does this compare to Amazon, the king of online commerce? Turns out that Apple actually has twice as many credit cards on file than Amazon, at least. This poses a tremendous opportunity should Apple decide to introduce a mobile payment service of its own, as expected… Read More

 
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