You can't talk about mobile gaming without mentioning the elephant in the room: the free-to-play model. The bane of many a purist gamer and unwitting parent, an over-reliance on free downloads and hooks for in-app purchases has made mobile gaming a minefield of games based on upsell and addiction. Italy's had enough, and its antitrust authority is investigating app store owners Google, Apple, and Amazon, and game publisher Gameloft, for unfair commercial practices.
Amazon's Appstore now has access to Rockstar's PS2-era open world crime trilogy, Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas. Unfortunately, it looks like these editions are only for the Kindle Fire tablets and the new Fire TV set-top box. But if you do have any of those Amazon devices, and you buy Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for $6.99, you'll get a whopping 2000 Amazon Coins ($20 in Amazon Appstore credit) for free.
The Galaxy S5 already has pretty decent battery life, but ZeroLemon wants it to last quite a bit longer. The phone comes with 2800mAh of juice out of the box, but ZeroLemon has an extended battery, case included, that will bump that up to 7500mAh. That's over twice the battery life, and you can now get your hands on it through Amazon for $49.99.
This case will offer your phone some extra protection, but it does have a few drawbacks.
In-app purchases are all the rage these days, and Amazon's take on the whole deal includes Coins – Amazon Coins. They're like a universal currency that can be used in many apps and games available in the Amazon ecosystem. Today more people get to know the joy of Amazon Coins – they're now available in France, Italy, and Spain.
Update: Amazon's pre-order page has been updated, and now it appears the Moto G LTE will be shipping out on June 3rd (next week). Nice.
The Moto G is probably the best deal in low-end Android hardware at the moment, but its modest specs are missing one vital component: LTE connectivity. It looks like Motorola is aiming to fix that omission, admittedly with a slight premium. LTE versions of the previously 3G-only phone are now on Amazon in a pre-order form, set to ship on June 30th for $219.99.
The Amazon Appstore Android App received an update to version 9 earlier this month that introduced carrier billing. This feature will enable some users to add app purchases to their mobile bill at the end of the month rather than supply Amazon with a credit or debit card. The option is only available in select countries.
Unfortunately, that's all we know about the feature. Its addition doesn't come as a surprise in and of itself, given the company's movements in that direction over the past few years, but we haven't come across any details.
When a product on Amazon says it takes two days to arrives, Sunday typically doesn't count. Hey, that's no jab against the company, as this is standard practice in the shipping industry. But now Amazon is expanding Sunday delivery to fifteen cities, giving millions of customers the chance to see this new delivery date show up at checkout.
The lucky metropolitan areas are as follows:
- Indianapolis, IN
- Lexington, KY
- Louisville, KY
- New Orleans, LA
- Shreveport, LA
- Cincinnati, OH
- Columbus, OH
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Philadelphia, PA
- Austin, TX
- College Station, TX
- Dallas, TX
- Houston, TX
- San Antonio, TX
- Waco, TX
The cities are concentrated in only a handful of states, with six of them situated in Texas alone.
The Amazon Android app has just received an update that should affect more than just your shopping. Now the company's apps support single sign-in. When you log into one, you're automatically signed into the other ones that are installed on your device. This works with the main shopping app, Amazon MP3, the Amazon Appstore, and the Kindle app.
Upon my extensive hands-on testing of this complex feature, everything seems to work just fine.
If you have an Amazon.com Rewards Visa card, now might be the time to go shopping - they're currently offering 20% off purchases of a large list of "select" electronics, with a maximum total discount of $50. There is no maximum number of items you may use the discount on, but you can only use it on a single Amazon order - then it's gone. The promo code is TCH20ARC.
Boy, whoever picks those Amazon Gold Box sale items sure likes flash storage. It seems like at least once a week they've got a fire sale on SD cards, flash drives, and other descendants of the floppy. Today's sale has PNY-branded cards of both the SD and MicroSD variety, the latter of which will probably interest mobile users.
If you just need a little extra storage for some music and photos, the 16GB MicroSD card is $9.99, half off from a retail price of $20.