Alexa, what are you doing tonight? Oh, you'll be in my living room, listening for my every word? I think I like where this is going... You're a very dedicated assistant Alexa. I want to give you a raise and ask you to be a more permanent resident in my life. How would you like to work inside my Fire TV as well as my Echo? No, I didn't say light my fire baby, though I like the way you think.
AFTVnews has been digging through Amazon's Fire OS 5 developer preview and uncovering lots of evidence pointing toward Alexa's arrival on Fire TVs, but whether this includes existing devices or only the next generation ones, they can't be 100% sure yet. Read More
When Amazon announced Underground, the remodeled Appstore that features the ability to play paid and freemium games (as well as other apps) for free, I immediately raised the question of how they planned to make money on this venture. Users obviously benefited by getting free stuff and certain developers would make more money since Amazon compensates them on a per-minutes-used basis. But where was the cash flow to Amazon?
A deeper dive into their developer documentation gives a clue. The following comes under a heading labeled "Interstitial Advertisements":
When a user launches an Amazon Underground app for the first time, a welcome message in the form of an interstitial ad plays.
Android's flagship smartphones tend to have a battery life problem. The standard often isn't how many days they can last, but whether they can make it through a single one. Budget smartphones, with their weaker processors and lower screen resolutions, often last longer—but not everyone is willing to sacrifice performance and picture quality for battery. Those people can instead slap an external charger to the back of their phones and wrap it up with plastic. We call this approach buying a ZeroLemon case. Read More
Rumor has it that Amazon is struggling to sell its more expensive Fire tablets. The company has been releasing its Android-operated but Fire OS-coated tablets for a few years with competitive pricing, but even that doesn't seem to be enough to keep it balling as hard as it wants and in the big leagues. Last year, it barely held 1% of the US tablet market according to IDC, compared to Apple and Samsung that had a combined 42% share.
Amazon's Fire HDX 8.9" can go up to more than $500, which may be a bit too much to pay for a screen you consume books and movies on and buy Amazon stuff from. Read More
MicroSD cards are about to make a big impact on Android, so now's a good time to stock up on some high-capacity storage. How fortunate, then, that Amazon's Gold Box daily deal portal is once again selling them on the cheap. The brand of choice today is SanDisk, and Amazon isn't holding back: top-of-the-line cards are available at huge discounts, from 32GB all the way up to the new 200GB option. Toss that sucker into your phone and you'll have more flash storage than some of the old hard drive-based MP3 players from the 2000s.
For my money, the 128GB card is the best bang for the buck. Read More
August was light on new Android apps, but there's one new arrival that might change things in a big way: Amazon Underground. Aside from that, Google's new push towards streaming games and a new translator service from Microsoft make up the more interesting apps from the big publishers. That said, there are a few indie gems in both our primary lineup and the Honorable Mentions sections, so check them out below. Read More
Deal hunters, get an early start on this one. Amazon's US store has slashed the unlocked Nexus 6 price by another $150 (in addition to the $150 price cut a few months ago). That means a full $300 off of both models: the standard 32GB version is now $349.99, and the 64GB version is $399.99. This is a fantastic deal on an unlocked phone, and one that still keeps up with most of the 2015 flagships. Get your order in quickly, because at this price stock is going to disappear very soon.
Remember, the US version of the Nexus 6 works with all four major carriers (including Sprint and Verizon), most GSM MVNO carriers, and Google's own Fi. Read More
Earlier today, Motorola opened pre-orders for the 2015 Pure Edition Moto X. If you don't really care about Moto Maker or customization at all, then Amazon is the way to go - if you're a Prime member you'll get yours just a couple of days after release. It's slated to be released on the 9th of this month, so you'll most likely be one of the first to get your hands on Moto's newest flagship.
It's available in both 16GB and 32GB variants, with three color schemes for each: black, white, and white with a bamboo back. The plain color models (black and white) are both $399 for 16GB and $449 for 32GB, with the bamboo model coming it at $25 more. Read More
Amidst news that Google has adopted a new logo (and everything that comes along with that), Sundar Pichai let slip that Google is joining the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and others to form the Alliance for Open Media (AOM). The organization's goal is to collaborate on open and royalty-free digital formats for "next-generation ultra high definition media." In other words, it will develop new image, audio, and video codecs and container formats that are totally free for non-commercial and commercial use.
The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a next-generation video format that is:
- Interoperable and open;
- Optimized for the web;
- Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
- Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
- Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
- Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.