Posts tagged with: Amazon
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    The war of video streaming services has existed for a while now, with some services having key differentiating factors over others. Netflix is already famous for giving users an amazing video library at a very affordable price, but so does Amazon’s video service. Amazon’s offering does give Prime users the option to get these services for free in most cases, but this is about to improve. Amazon has just announced that Prime members will be able to receive the added benefit of being able to watch videos offline. This is definitely a bonus for those who travel frequently, or who struggle ...

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    Update: That Huawei Watch gave us the jeebies all through the program. Well, glad that's all uploaded. One of the nice things about the current monoform world of slab smartphones is that there are very few moving parts to break. Until, that is, you decide to defy common sense and stick your brand new Galaxy Note 5's S Pen into its silo backwards. That's when life stops getting funny ... and starts getting real. Join us for a debate on whether this is an example of terminal user stupidity or inexcusable design flaw, and then stick around for all the news of the week in mobile technology, ...

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    The bubble is about to burst for tablets, which have rapidly grown in recent years, but are faced with a crucial identity crisis as phablets threaten their very existence. Who needs an often bulky, non-cellular-enabled PC lacking the physical keyboard and productivity of conventional laptops? According to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce, just 163 million people in 2015. That includes estimates for the year’s first half and H2 forecasts, and would see the global market drop by a staggering 14.9 percent. So-called brand vendors are crippled by the industry’s free fall the most, as ...

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    Amazon never really set out to be a company that designed and sold its own mobile hardware, but a heck of a lot has changed since its early days as an online bookstore. From the initial success of the Kindle e-reader, Amazon's expanded its hardware offerings ranging from the affordable Fire tablets, to its Fire TV set-top box, to the unusual Echo. And while Amazon's had a few hits in there, it's also seen its share of misses, maybe most notably with last year's Fire Phone. It's failures like that one that may be responsible for some big changes happening at Amazon's Lab126 hardware ...

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    Android is a very interesting platform since you're not forced to get your apps from Google Play. The Amazon App Store has been a major alternative for years, and its "Free App of the Day" feature did a good job of luring new customers to the platform. Today we learn that the promotion system we knew is gone, and as of today we learn about Amazon Underground. Amazon's new Underground service is a new type of App Store that also sells you other things. In away, this combines the Amazon App Store with the Amazon Store into one simple app. It uses a new freemium app model to make itself ...

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    As Amazon's Fire Phone started reaching its one-year birthday, it was clear the manufacturer was looking to unload old inventory. The smartphone's initially reception had been mixed, to put it nicely, and we failed to see the handset catch on with users in quite the way Amazon wanted. That's led to sale after sale, bringing the phone's price down into a whole different league than the $650 level where we saw the 32GB Fire Phone debut. Last month those discounts reached their lowest point yet, with Amazon selling the unlocked phone for just $160. Today it's doing itself one better, giving ...

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    Just when we thought Microsoft couldn’t possibly surprise us with anything big at its allegedly jam-packed October press event, the biggest Surface model yet pops up in the news for the first time. That’s biggest if you don’t count the gargantuan 84-inch Surface Hub, of course. Gear up for a Surface Pro 4 configuration with a display diagonal of between 13 and 14 inches, reportedly developed alongside a more compact, “traditional” 12-inch version. There’s obviously no way to verify the fresh rumor’s legitimacy at the moment, as its source provides no concrete proof. Unnamed ...

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    The robot servant continues its manifestation as Amazon has now bolstered its software on its tube-like speaker-endowed device. The Echo has been on the market for a couple months now as a standalone voice assistant product, unlike Google Now, Cortana or Siri. In Amazon's case, the service is named Alexa. And with this update, among other new features, third-party apps can now develop specific voice commands for Alexa to recognize and interact with the apps. Three apps came on with these "Skills" today: StubHub, Math Puzzles and Crystal Ball. You can now ask Alexa about nearby events and ...

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    One year ago, Amazon's first foray into the smartphone business was so full of promise. The Fire Phone had yet to debut, and we were curious to see if the retailer could find the same success with phones as it had with tablets. But as we had the opportunity to start interacting with the phone, putting it through its paces, it quickly became clear that the Fire Phone was an interesting concept, but maybe not one that made sense for a lot of users. We took particular issue with the handset's steep price, and so we've been particularly keyed-in to Fire Phone deals ever since. First the phone ...

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    How much storage does your smartphone have right now? 32GB? Maybe 64GB? Or are you a capacity hound who's taken a phone that's already packed with tons of internal storage and have augmented that with an extra microSD card for even more space? Earlier this month we told you about the biggest microSD card yet, a 512GB monster (though one with a sky-high $1000 price tag). Second to that, the best option we knew of was the 200GB SanDisk card, announced back during MWC. While quite a bit smaller, this one was also on target to be a heck of a lot more affordable. Now sales of the card are ...

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    Earlier this week we saw Amazon shine the spotlight on its Echo appliance (above) as it made the digital assistant available for general sale. Much of Echo's power comes from Amazon's Alexa cloud-based voice service, translating spoken commands into actions. Now Alexa is preparing to make a bold expansion, as Amazon opens the service for devs everywhere to take advantage of. Amazon's inviting devs to build their own Echo-like products by making its Alexa Voice Service free to use. For companies already working on connected-home appliances, that means a quick-and-easy way to implement ...

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    The same technology that gave us smartphones has been spreading to device after device in recent years, bringing us everything from smartwatches to connected automobiles. One of the biggest areas for growth has been this idea of a smart home: getting our appliances, security systems, and climate control networks to all talk together. And while really tight integration is still a tricky feat to accomplish, companies have been taking big strides lately in delivering products that make smartphone tech feel like a natural fit in new environments. That's just what Amazon did last fall with the ...

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    Sure, you may consider yourself a big Android user: you've got an Android smartphone, probably a tablet, and maybe even an Android Wear smartwatch. And that's all well and good for mobile tech, but what about at home? Sure, the low cost of entry has made Chromecast pretty affordable to pick up, but in some ways that's just a half measure – what about Android TV? If your media center isn't quite as Android-ified as it could be, now's looking like a pretty good time to make up for it, as Amazon slashes its asking price for the Nexus Player. We saw Google's set-top box debut last fall, ...

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    Amazon's Fire OS Android fork may not be the biggest player in the mobile platform game, constrained to the company's own limited lineup of Fire hardware, but for users who value its UI and deep connections to the Amazon ecosystem, it can be a good fit. While it's commendable that Amazon is doing so much to make its devices unique, going out on its own like this has meant that Fire OS trails behind the main Android release when it comes to updates – we just shared with you how the Fire Phone only graduated to a KitKat-based Fire OS build last month. But “late” doesn't mean ...

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    Motorola's Moto G has always been a very affordable handset. Its specs and configuration options fall short of big brother Moto X, but dollar-for-dollar it may be an even better value, especially if you're not sweating the loss of luxuries like LTE speed. When the 2014 edition premiered last September, its $180 price tag really helped the phone to stand out: it was better-equipped than other extreme-budget smartphones, while still coming in respectably short of the $200 mark. In the months since, we've seen a few sales that have let shoppers snatch the Moto G up for even better prices, and ...

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    How many options do you have right now for unlocking your smartphone? PIN, pattern, trusted Bluetooth device, voice, face, fingerprint... the list goes on and on. With so many choices already out there, how's a manufacturer supposed to innovate? Sure, we hear rumors about iris-based unlocking every once in a while, and now a newly issued Amazon patent offers another system worth considering, as it describes a method for authenticating smartphone users based on the shape of their ears. Like fingerprints, the shape the ridges and folds forming our ears take is quite unique, and can be used ...

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    KitKat? In 2015? And it wasn't already on KitKat? At this point, it's hard to look at the Amazon Fire Phone as much more than on overly ambitious misstep. Amazon saw some good success with its Kindle Fire tablets, and last year the company attempted to parlay that fortune into its first smartphone. With some interesting hardware and a software package that gave users something different from standard Android offerings, the Fire Phone took a bold swing at the market – and totally whiffed. Just because shoppers haven't flocked to the Fire Phone doesn't mean Amazon's abandoning it, and ...

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    Nokia's been finding itself in the news a surprising amount this month, thanks not only to word of its Alcatel-Lucent acquisition, but also rumors of the company's return to smartphones next year. But what got this Nokia train started was a report claiming that the company was looking to offload HERE Maps. At the time, we only heard a few general guesses about who might be interested in purchasing it, but this evening some new sources speak up about several companies Nokia is supposedly pursuing in the hopes of finding a buyer. That group includes big names like Apple, Amazon, and ...

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    Amazon's Fire tablets make for a tricky proposition. They're not quite the full-blown Android experience some shoppers expect, with the same tight integration with Google apps and services you'll find on something like a Nexus model (or even a Galaxy Tab). That said, Amazon's own Fire OS fork can still manage to hit a lot of the notes many tablet users are looking to hear, and especially if they already find themselves invested in Amazon's ecosystem, a Fire tablet can prove to be a very convenient, affordable way to consume Prime content and access the company's own services. Today, that ...

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    There's little denying it: if you're shopping for a smartwatch today, you're looking at the Apple Watch. You may not end up buying Apple's new wearable (and certainly, even if you are interested, you're going to be waiting weeks and weeks –and weeks– until you get yours), but its arrival spells a whole new level of fierce competition for the rest of the smartwatch field. As such, it's not too surprising to see other companies taking steps to make sure their own offerings don't escape the attention of shoppers, and to that end we're seeing the Moto 360 hitting some of its lowest prices ...

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    Amazon's recently been making inroads towards bringing more and more of its premium Prime streaming services to mobile users. Last year, that meant Prime video on Amazon phones, and just last week we saw Amazon tablets pick up the same support. Now it's time for audio to get some of that treatment, as an update to the Amazon Music Android app delivers support for Prime Music Stations. But couldn't Prime members already access lots of free music through the Amazon Music app? Absolutely, and beyond being able to play tracks from thousands of artists, you were able to pull up ad-free custom ...

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    Who needs big launch events for new phones, weeks of teases, and desperate attempts to drum-up interest? Not Huawei, that's who. For while some manufacturers make a big production out of a new smartphone's arrival, Huawei has just quietly let a new mid-ranger loose on Amazon, as if it's the most casual thing in the world. The phone in question is listed at the Huawei Expo, but all of the artistic resources accompanying the page describe it as the Huawei SnapTo, which is more likely the intended commercial name. The SnapTo features a five-inch 720p display, a Snapdragon 400 SoC, 1GB of RAM, ...

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    Fancy yourself the compulsive online shopper? Amazon Prime has made it even easier for millions of us to fulfill our retail urges from the comfort of our computer screens, all with the temptation of free two-day shipping. And while that may have been the initial big draw of Prime, the service has matured since its launch to offer features like access to the Kindle Lending Library and Amazon Instant Video. But while competing streaming video providers like Netflix have been quick to embrace mobile devices, Amazon Prime's Instant Video has been a little more lackadaisical. Android support ...

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    Media junkies these days have better options than ever before when it comes to getting online content onto their TV screens, with gadgets like Chromecast or Apple TV happy to connect our sets to more movies and TV than we could ever hope to watch. Amazon went after both those set-top box and HDMI dongle markets with the introduction of its Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick last year, perfect for consumers already invested in Amazon's media libraries, either through their PCs or the company's Fire-series Android devices. Today we get word of a significant update coming down for both the Fire TV ...

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    Amazon is not in an enviable position with its Android Appstore. With so many users already exposed to the convenience of Google's Play Store baked right in to their Android experiences, convincing them to enable sideloading, install Amazon's app, and then juggle two incompatible app stores from there on out can be a tall order. Still, Amazon does what it can to stir up interest, often by means of big app giveaways – and it's got just such an offer running right now. But now a leaked presentation attempts to clue us in to what could be the company’s next effort to generate interest in ...

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