Amazon and Apple end Audible exclusivity deal to avoid antitrust probe by German government

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 19, 2017

Quietly announced two weeks ago following discussions with both the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office, Apple and Amazon have decided to end their deal which made Amazon-owned Audible an exclusive provider of audiobooks for iTunes.

According to a Reuters report Thursday, the move puts an end to antitrust complaints by the German government and is likely to boost competition.

The agreement had been in place for over a decade, since 2003. Read More

 

Amazon’s shopping app is now available for Apple TV with purchasing support for Prime members

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 13, 2016

Online retail giant Amazon today rolled out a tvOS version of its existing shopping app for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple Watch.

With Amazon App for Apple TV, you can browse Amazon’s entire product catalog on a big screen TV from the comfort of your couch using Siri Remote and your fourth-generation Apple TV.

The app lets you get product details and watch videos for products that are available on Amazon.com and from other merchants. And if you’re a Prime member ($99 per year), you’ll even be able to make purchases on your Apple TV. Read More

 

Amazon’s new grocery store uses artificial intelligence and sensors to eliminate checkout

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 5, 2016

Online retail giant Amazon is testing a new type of brick-and-mortar convenience store where you simply walk in, pick up your items and walk out, no clerk or a cash register required whatsoever because everything you’ve put in the shopping basket is automatically charged to your Prime account as soon as you leave the store. Located at 2131 7th Ave in Seattle, the futuristic grocery store, dubbed Amazon Go, has been four years in the making.

The system uses computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning to detect when goods are removed and returned to the shelves. Amazon’s retail store of the future that eliminates checkout is launching in early-2017. Read More

 

Amazon working on premium Echo model with 7″ touchscreen to “fend off competition”

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 29, 2016

Bloomberg’s well-informed Mark Gurman reported Monday that online retail giant Amazon is developing a brand new premium model of its Echo wireless speaker that will feature a built-in seven-inch touchscreen in an effort to “fend off competition” from Google’s Home device and Apple’s rumored entry into the connected home market with its own Siri-powered hardware.

Amazon may release a higher-end Echo device, known internally as “Knight,” early next year. It will target kitchens and cost more than the current Echo models. Read More

 

Early Black Friday Amazon deals: $50 Kindle, $16 battery pack, $397 4K drone and more

By Cody Lee on Nov 22, 2016

We’re still a few days away from the holiday weekend, but in an effort to get a head start, several retailers have launched what they are calling “early” or “pre-” Black Friday sales. We’re going to be covering as many of these deals as possible, with a particular focus on quality products and notable discounts. Here are a few we’ve found from Amazon thus far. Read More

 

Amazon Music Unlimited expands to UK, Germany and Austria

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2016

After making its U.S. debut last month, Amazon’s $9.99 per month music-streaming service is set to expand to the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria beginning Monday, announced the online retail giant. The service was live in the United Kingdom at post time, with roll-outs in Germany and Austria following later today.

Earlier this morning, rival Google released revamped Play Music apps with machine learning-driven recommendations based on user location, activity and time of day. Read More

 

How to remove items from your Amazon browsing history

By Anthony Bouchard on Nov 3, 2016

If you’re an avid Amazon user like me, then you probably check the site for deals before you buy from other online sources and before driving to your local stores.

Amazon keeps a history of everything you look at on the website, so in this tutorial, we’ll show you how you can hide or remove items from your browsing history. Read More

 

Amazon Music Unlimited launches: $9.99 per month, $3.99 for Echo-only streaming

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 12, 2016

Amazon today announced its long-rumored music streaming service to better compete with the likes of Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Tidal and others. The service is called Amazon Music Unlimited and starts at $9.99 per month for individual accounts or $14.99 per month for a family of six, which is the standard pricing offered by Apple Music and others.

However, Amazon has undercut Apple Music with a $7.99 per month tier for members of its $99 per year Prime service. And if you want to only stream music to your Echo wireless speaker, Amazon Music Unlimited is just $3.99 per month. Read More

 

Bloomberg: Apple’s Echo-like Siri appliance is now in prototype testing

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 23, 2016

Apple’s rumored Amazon Echo-like Siri hardware has exited the company’s research and development lab and is now in prototype testing, Bloomberg reported Friday. The project started more than two years ago, but Apple is now “pressing ahead” with the development of its unnamed Siri-driven smart home appliance after Amazon’s Echo proved a surprise hit, even to Apple engineers working on the project. Read More

 

Amazon to take aim at Apple with $9.99 a month music service, due in September

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 29, 2016

Amazon already has a music store, but its catalog of songs is limited and streaming is only available to those subscribed to the company’s $99 per year Prime service. As Re/code said, the online retail giant has also considered a bargain-priced music service that would only work on Echo hardware and be priced at $4 to $5 per month.

Monday, The Financial Times newspaper reported that Amazon has a third offering in the works, a $9.99 per month music-streaming service that would offer the full catalogue of songs that Spotify and Apple offer. Read More

 

Amazon wants to create a $5 per month music service just for Echo owners

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 23, 2016

Owners of the Echo wireless speaker with built-in Alexa assistant may soon be treated to Amazon’s new music-subscription service that charges half as much as competing offerings from Spotify, Apple, Google and others. The bargain-priced music service should cost between $4 and $5 per month, Re/Code reports, and would only work on Echo hardware. Read More

 

NYT: Lyft unsuccessfully attempts to sell itself to Apple, Google, Uber and others

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 20, 2016

Despite not being in danger of closing down thanks to its cash cushion of $1.4 billion, the popular ride-sharing service Lyft has in recent months attempted to sell itself to Apple and a few other Silicon Valley giants like Google, Amazon and Uber, The New York Times reported yesterday. None of the mentioned companies commented on the story.

The nation’s second-largest ride-hailing firm also attempted a sale to China’s leading ride-sharing service, Didi Chuxing, into which Apple invested $1 billion, and to General Motors, one of its largest investors that refused to make a written offer to buy it. Read More

 

Daily Deals: $280 off iPad Pro, $300 off MacBook Pro, Prime Day deals and more

By Cody Lee on Jul 12, 2016

iDB’s Daily Deal post is a roundup of our favorite deals on tech and tech-related products from around the web. This includes everything from smartphones, tablets and accessories, to connected devices and even video games.

Every deal you see below has been hand-picked based on a variety of factors including personal experience, online reviews from customers and experts, and discount percentage. So what are you waiting for? Get shopping! Read More

 

Amazon’s Audible launches Channels, $4.95 per month podcast subscription

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 7, 2016

Who wants to pay for podcasts? Thought so… Well, Amazon thinks people will have no issues whatsoever paying for short-form audio shows so it’s introducing a new Channels thing through its Audible service, which hosts the largest selection of digital audiobooks on the web.

According to Bloomberg, Channels will host premium shows like Scientific American, The Onion and the WSJ, plus a bunch of own originals like Mortal City, Presidents Are People Too and Breasts Unbound. Read More

 

Amazon schedules its annual shopping event for Prime members for July 12

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 30, 2016

Online retailer Amazon has scheduled a second annual Prime Day event for July 12. The Prime Day 2016, a one-day shopping event exclusive to Prime members, will be the biggest global Amazon event ever with new deals starting as often as every five minutes throughout the day. Read More

 

Amazon debuts new Page Flip feature for Kindle apps and devices

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 28, 2016

Online retail giant Amazon on Tuesday announced a new Page Flip feature for its Kindle lineup of e-readers and mobile apps. Page Flip lets you flip back and forth between pages to reference different parts of the book while you read, without losing track of your current reading position. With Page Flip, you can turn one page at a time or zoom out to a bird’s eye view of your book to quickly choose the page you want. Read More

 

Amazon to take on Apple and Spotify with new streaming music service

By Cody Lee on Jun 10, 2016

Amazon is preparing to launch a new standalone streaming music subscription service, reports Reuters. The tech giant is currently finalizing licenses with labels for the service, and it’s aiming for a late summer or early fall launch.

Of course, Amazon already offers a limited music service for free to Prime subscribers. But this new service will cost $9.99 per month and offer a much more competitive catalog, putting it squarely up against Apple Music and Spotify. Read More

 

You no longer need Amazon’s Echo speaker to enjoy Alexa

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

 

Check out Home, Google’s Amazon Echo killer

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

 

Google’s own Amazon Echo-like accessory, dubbed ‘Chirp’ is landing soon

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

 
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