Items tagged with Amazon

There’s no question that the Fire Phone has been a spectacular flop for online retail giant Amazon. While the company has found success with its Kindle e-Readers and Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon found that breaking into the cutthroat smartphone market takes more than a strong brand name and some decent hardware specs. When the Fire Phone launched last year, it cost $199 (32GB) with a new two-year contract from AT&T (the exclusive carrier for the Fire Phone; another big mistake). Pricing off-contract climbed to as much as $650 off-contract for the 64GB Fire Phone, which was a lot to ask in the... Read more...
Amazon is taking another stab at promoting apps on the Android platform with the launch of Underground. The Underground app gives Android users access to free games and apps, which is nothing new for those familiar with Amazon’s long-running “Free App of the Day” promotion. However, where Underground take a slightly different (and interesting) turn is that apps and games are labeled “Actually Free” by Amazon, meaning that not only are the apps free, but also the associated in-app purchases. So you’ll never have to worry about forking over additional money to get the most out of what previously... Read more...
Microsoft introduced its “fitness” Band late last year in an attempt to tap into the growing wearables market. Supplies were incredibly constrained at launch and it took Microsoft a few months to get production numbers up to a comfortable level. Once production was humming along, the discounts started piling on. Microsoft struck the first blow with a meager $20 discount of its own, while Target countered with a $50 discount, making for a pretty sweet 25 percent savings off the MSRP. In the month since Target temporarily slashed the price on the Band, things have been relatively quiet…. until now.... Read more...
Amazon's been working hard to improve Alexa, the cloud-based voice service that makes its Echo gadget more than just an ordinary Bluetooth speaker. Back in June, Amazon made available its Alexa Skills Kit (ASK), a collection of self-service APIs and tools that make it easy for developers to improve Alexa's skill set. Now Amazon is launching a Lighting API for Alexa with the Samsung-owned SmartThings platform jumping on board. It takes just a few hours for developers who can code in Java or JavaScript to use the Lighting API to teach Alexa how to control their cloud-controlled devices, Amazon claims.... Read more...
Amazon is the latest major tech company to kick Adobe's Flash platform to the curb. Effective September 1, 2015, the world's most popular online retailer will no longer accept Flash-based advertisements on its main site or through it's third-party Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP), the company announced this week. Interestingly, it's not Flash's history of security woes that prompted Amazon's decision. "This is driven by recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, that limits Flash content displayed on web pages," Amazon... Read more...
Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick have gotten a whole lot more interesting in just the past week. Both streaming devices, which first and foremost are a showcase for Amazon’s Instant Video platform, are worthy competitors to the likes of the Roku 3, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast. Speaking of that last competitor, an $8 app popped up in the Amazon Appstore that effectively turns both the Fire TV and Fire TV stick into a Chromecast device. Today, however, Amazon’s streaming devices are getting some assistance from a more “legitimate” source: HBO. The standalone HBO Now service, which last month... Read more...
There's a new app available in Amazon's Appstore for Android that will bring the Chromecast experience to your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. It's called YouMap Cast Receiver by VMLite Corporation, and it runs $7.99 -- a bit expensive for app, though a fair bit cheaper than a Chromecast dongle, which normally sells for $35 (you can often find it for a few bucks less). To be clear, YouMap Cast Receiver won't replicate the Chromecast experience in its entirety (more on that in a moment), though it will allow you to mirror your phone, tablet, or Chrome browser tab to your TV. It implements the same protocol... Read more...
In November, Amazon announced the latest addition to its hardware line-up, the Amazon Echo. The Echo smart speaker doubles as a digital assistant and home entertainment device. It’s an always-connected, always-available Siri or Cortana-like device designed for your home that can provide answers to common questions, play music, provide traffic updates, control your lights, read audiobooks, and much more. Because it’s tied to your Amazon account, the Echo can also be used to reorder products you’ve previously purchased from Amazon. Although the Echo was announced in November, it was available for... Read more...
Great news! Jezza, Hamster, and Captain Slow are returning to film a brand new automotive series, and as previously reported it will be an online-only affair. After months of speculation, Jeremey Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May didn’t actually land at Netflix, which was the runaway favorite and obvious shoe-in for a new series. Instead, the English trio was picked up by Amazon for an undisclosed sum. All that Amazon is saying about the Prime-exclusive deal is that, “We have made a significant investment.” At this time, the series is without a name, as “Top Gear” is owned by the BBC. However,... Read more...
Over the past twenty years Amazon has grown from a company selling books out of a garage to an online retailer that dabbles in everything from streaming video to Android-based tablets/phones to web services that have become a $6 billion business for the company. Amazon has also ventured out into grocery business in recent years with AmazonFresh, which delivers — you guessed it — fresh groceries in select, urban areas around the United States (same-day and next-day delivery services are offered via AmazonFresh). However, Amazon is embarking on a new endeavor that provides yet another delivery option... Read more...
Here's the deal folks, if you own a valid copy of Windows 7 with SP1 installed or Windows 8.1, you can upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge for the first year. You may have even registered for your upgrade via a taskbar icon. If not, go ahead and get in line -- Microsoft will begin doling out Windows 10 updates on July 29, which will roll out in waves.What if you don't own a copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and plan on building a new system? Well, you'll have to pony up for Windows 10. If you're feeling anxious, you can place your pre-order right now at Amazon. The online seller is offering Windows... Read more...
In case you forgot to mark your calendar, today is Prime Day, a special one-day shopping event created by Amazon to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Amazon says there are more deals than Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, though to participate you need to be a Prime member in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, or Austria. "Prime members can shop thousands of exclusive lightning deals with new deals added as often as every ten minutes throughout the day. With more deals than Black Friday, members will enjoy thousands of deals from sought-after devices and... Read more...
In another sign that the online competition between Amazon and Walmart is heating up, Walmart took Amazon to task on its blog today for its upcoming sale. Amazon has been heavily promoting what it calls Prime Day (July 15th), which will feature loads of sales available only to Amazon Prime members. In a tongue-in-cheek spoof of Amazon’s Prime Day ad, Walmart points out that it doesn’t charge customers a fee for access to its prices. But Walmart is going a step further by launching what it calls “atomic deals” this week.  “We’ve heard some retailers are charging $100 to get access... Read more...
There's not a ton of separation between streaming set-top boxes and dongles, and even less so now that Amazon announced its new cross-platform Amazon Fling service. Similar to AirPlay and Google Cast, Amazon Fling gives Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners the ability to beam images, video, and audio from their iOS and Android mobile apps to their television. To kick things off, Amazon has made available its Fling Software Development Kit (SDK). The neat thing about the SDK is that it's not limited to flinging media content to Fire TV devices, it also supports two-way communication between Fire... Read more...
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