By Christian Zibreg on May 30, 2016
If you’ve ever wanted to take Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant for a spin but bulked at the though of dropping $180 on the company’s Echo wireless speaker, now you can.
Originally started by Nexmo developer Sam Machin at a hackathon in 2015, a web-based Alexa simulator runs in any standards-compliant web browser. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2016
During the keynote presentation this morning which kicked off Google I/O 2016, the Internet giant previewed its much-anticipated entry into the voice-activated home device market in the form of a new appliance, named Google Home.
With a built-in Google Assistant that also powers Duo, a new smart messaging app coming to iOS and Android this summer, Home lets you retrieve information from the Internet, get answers to simple questions and carry out basic tasks—using your voice and the familiar “OK Google” wakeup phrase. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 13, 2016
Code-named ‘Chirp’, Google’s upcoming hardware appliance will integrate the company’s search and voice assistant technologies akin to the Amazon Echo, and is landing soon, Re/code reported yesterday.
The rumored device should resemble Google’s OnHub wireless router, according to several sources.
If the increasing popularity of Amazon’s integrated wireless speaker and voice command device is an indication—it’s estimated they sold three million Echo units to date—Google’s rumored accessory could prove popular with users, especially given Google’s expertise in voice and search. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on May 10, 2016
Amazon this morning announced a brand new self-service aimed at content producers and storytellers: Video Direct. With it, content makers can upload their videos to the Amazon cloud and decide if they wish to optionally make them available to buy or rent.
Content owners can choose to receive royalties depending on how popular their content is on Amazon based on hours streamed, which will limit their work to Prime members or Instant Video subscribers, or opt to monetize their content with advertising, in which case their videos will be available to all Amazon customers. Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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