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Apr
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Last Updated: April 7th, 2014

Amazon wants to keep you spending money, and as a commerce company, it has the benefit of having no reason to hide this fact. Its recently announced FireTV set-top box marks a play for the television, but that's potentially small change compared to the money to be gained from locking in most of a person's grocery shopping.

The AmazonFresh grocery service is still only offered in parts of California and Seattle, but yesterday the company added support into the Amazon Android tablet app, and now it's rolling out a new product that goes even further to reduce the amount of time it takes to get an item into your virtual cart. Meet Amazon Dash.

Amazon Dash requires an invitation to buy, and it only works for AmazonFresh customers is currently available on a trial basis with select AmazonFresh customers at no additional cost. The flashlight-sized product works by scanning household products or searching for items that users speak into it. The items then appear in an Amazon shopping list, where people are free to view the total list and schedule delivery.

The Dash is designed to be so simple to use that young children can add items on their own, such as their favorite cereal or other supplies they recently used up (though they're sure to try to sneak in a toy or two).

Dash1

The AmazonFresh app received an update today that can guide users through the process of setting up a Dash and keeping up with their shopping list. For the time being, though, the service remains exclusively available to pockets of the West Coast. Most of us won't get to check this out anytime soon.

What's new:

  • Bug fixes.
  • Improved home screen design.
  • For customers with an Amazon Dash, this update allows you to set up your Dash (via Wi-Fi) and shop your Dash list.

Amazon Dash

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/psychomaniac189 psychomaniac189

    who buys milk on amazon?

    • Leonardo Baez

      i would, if it were avaible where I live.

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      Amazon fresh is only in certain parts of the US where it is it works pretty well. If I could do it I totally would

    • matt

      People in Southern California, San Francisco, and Seattle.

    • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

      People who use this service. It's kind of the point.

    • Rand XX

      You're probably right.. Amazon is probably just dreaming. They've probably never delivered a jug of milk to anyone.

  • SleepingSeasons

    Wow - this really has the potential to change how people shop. I'd certainly give online grocery shopping another go if it were this easy; I guess I'll have to wait for Amazon Fresh to make it to the UK.

    • Freak4Dell

      Maybe it's only in certain parts of the UK, but I found grocery shopping to be so much easier than it is in the US. The fact that you guys have online shopping at all is awesome, especially if you don't have a car. Order everything online, and it shows up the next day. I'd kill for that to be available everywhere in the US, and from pretty much every grocery store.

  • raddacle

    You can do all of those things with the Amazon app on your phone, I really don't understand the big deal with this.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Free dedicated device to your kitchen, I can see this as a potential game changer.

      • Matthew Fry

        Yeah but does it need to pair with your phone or can it communicate to your account sans device? If it needs your phone then all it saves you is pulling it out of your pocket.

        • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

          There's no pairing involved. It looks like Dash connects directly to a Wi-Fi network itself.

      • Lawrence

        I don't disagree, but why isn't this something the are building into the devices we already carry every day? It seems like an additional gadget is unnecessary other than to truly try and lock you into the Amazon infrastructure. If you make this something that is easily available to people regardless of their device or platform that seems like more of a game changer. They've already got voice commands and a bar code scanner in their other apps. Your mobile devices seem like an easy plug into to this service without the need for an additional app.

        • matt

          "other than to truly try and lock you into the Amazon infrastructure."

          You answered your own question.

  • supremekizzle

    Well, there goes my job at Costco....

  • Dave Mathews

    Ah, I see that my CueCat has more than 9 lives and lives yet again! Amazing.

  • Mattie

    We live in an Amazon fresh city and were talking about it tonight. It's a cool idea but the annual fee is so high none of us uses it.

    Some use Google express or others, but amazon fresh is loco expensive

    • Freak4Dell

      Yeah, $300 a year is steep. It's not much if you divide it over 52 weeks (assuming you shop every week), but it's still hard to swallow all at once. The products seem expensive, too, but maybe I just don't have a great idea of prices in general in Southern California (I don't live there). Looks like Google Express doesn't deliver fresh and refrigerated food, unfortunately.

      • http://tonybullard.com/ Tony Bullard

        Woah, $300? Is the shipping free?

        • Freak4Dell

          I believe so, but each order has to be $35 at minimum.

  • black

    If they get your order wrong due to misinterpretation, you can keep the stuff for free. Free food... woohoo!

  • RockAndRock

    Amazing *-* We want the same here (FR) !

  • tekfr33kn
  • primalxconvoy

    If Amazon is so interested in my money, why is its mobile site and app (which supports many languages) so keen geo lock users in different countries into only one language (even though the app itself supports many languages as-is)?

    I've not bought anything from Amazon on my phone in AGES due to their bad design (and I hardly use a PC these days).

    Even Google has stopped most of that cr@p.

    Silly, silly Amazon.

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