Today Amazon popped its yearly Kindle Fire update unannounced, showing off no less than four new models of its customized Android tablet family. The Kindle Fire HD Kids is being covered in this post, but the main event is the refreshed versions of the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, Fire HD7, and the "all-new" Fire HD 6. These will make up Amazon's new line, scheduled to go on sale in October.
Along with a handful of new tablets, Amazon has officially announced Fire OS 4 (codenamed Sangria), which it says adds hundreds of new features to the "content-forward" operating system.
First and foremost, Amazon says the user interface in Fire OS has gotten a facelift. Amazon hasn't gone into detail in describing its UI changes, but visual tweaks are certainly welcome to an interface that can at times seem scattered.
Besides that, Amazon is touting new features like ASAP, Smart Suspend, and the addition of individual user profiles to make for easier sharing among families.
Amazon announced a handful of new Fire tablets tonight, one of which is designed specifically for kids. The company looks to be going after Fuhu's nabi and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 Kids with the Fire HD Kids Edition, and it's going straight for the jugular.
First off, the Fire HD Kids Edition (FHDKE?) has an unheard of two year, no questions asked guarantee. If the tablet gets broken any time within the first two years – regardless of how it happens – Amazon will replace it at no charge.
Football season is back here in the United States - there were two, count 'em, two NFL apps in the last game roundup alone. But if you didn't get enough of the other football during the World Cup, EA would like to provide a digital alternative. At least if you live in Canada, that is - the company just published the Android version of FIFA 15 up north. Canucks, all the soccer you want is free for the asking...
You know the pain of watching a vertical video in a world based on horizontal players. Google took a swing at fixing that with the Google Camera app, which warns users not to do that. Horizon actually fixes the issue by letting you take a proper horizontal video while holding the phone in any orientation. It's magic!
Before today, the official Starbucks app was perfectly serviceable - in fact, I'd say it was better than most retail apps. You can store pre-paid Starbucks cards in the app and pay with them, see your rewards for being a loyal customer, and find coffee shops with the built-in map (in case you can't see one by turning your head from side to side). But today's sizeable update from version 2.4 to 2.7 adds some neat stuff, most notably the ability to tip your coffee minion.
Android users have yet another option for data-only calls and text messages today, as BitTorrent Inc. posted an alpha version of its Bleep communication client to the Play Store. Bleep is designed to be an alternative to conventional calling and texting systems like Skype or WhatsApp, and requires no central server or service. Bleep has been invite-only since July, but now it's ready to go public. Clients are also available for Windows and OS X computers.
Three more titles have made their way into Humble Mobile Bundle 7, packing more value into a pack of games that was already worth it for Kingdom Rush Frontiers alone. Now—in addition to that awesome game, Color Zen Premium, Heroes of Loot, Horn, and Sorcery—people who pay over the average can also get Alpha Wave, Soda Drinker Pro, and Swordigo. We've written up a review for that last one, so check it out if you don't already have the game.
OnePlus listed several features as notable when it announced the One in an unnecessarily drawn out fashion earlier this year. One of those items was the selection of StyleSwap covers. The battery in the OnePlus is non-removable, but the back was designed to be replaced with other finishes and materials. However, manufacturing issues have caused the company to cancel the StyleSwap covers completely after a long delay. OnePlus explains on its forums that this isn't settling—no, this is just "complicated decisions."