Amazon is fond of comparison tables that show how capable the Fire TV is, but there's always been one glaring omission—HBO Go. The premium streaming service has been listed as "coming soon" for a long time, but today Amazon gets to add another checkbox as HBO Go comes to Fire TV.
The premium Kindle Fire HDX tablets don't usually seem like a great value to me, but maybe they're worth picking up this holiday season with today's sizeable $125 discount. This deal is only valid today (December 15th) and it covers several flavors of the previous-generation Fire HDX.
Halfbrick Studios, creator of popular titles like Fruit Ninja, has published Monster Dash in the Amazon Appstore. Monster Dash is a highly popular classic on iOS that recently received its first significant update in years for iPhones and iPads. The revitalization on its original platform apparently inspired Halfbrick to finally bring the game to Android. For now, it looks like it may be an exclusive to Amazon.
Amazon Game Studios has released a free preview of The Unmaking, an impressive looking game where the hordes of enemies you see on-screen are powered by Amazon servers. Your job is to defend your castle by blasting and burning wave after wave of bloodthirsty foes using siege weapons and magic spells alike. The catch is that you need to have a Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7, or Fire HDX 8.9 to enter the battle.
Amazon's main shopping app has between 50 and 100 million downloads, but it's not showing up in the Play Store anymore. The listing remains if you have the direct link, but you won't see it in search results. Oddly, there's a new Amazon app called Amazon Shopping. It's the same exact app but guess what it doesn't have—the Appstore. It looks like Google may have laid down the law. [See updates at the bottom]
Left: old with Appstore, Right: new with no Appstore
Gift cards are a little impersonal, aren't they? Digital gift cards even more so. Amazon's new Surprise! app can at least make them somewhat thoughtful with some nifty digital cards and customizations. This is not a substitute for love, though.
One of today's Amazon Gold Box deals is on the second generation Motorola Moto G, arguably the best budget device on the market. For December 9th only and as long as supplies last, the price on the Moto G US and International versions in both black and white is reduced $30, down to $149.99.
If I had to buy an off-contract phone right now, it would probably be this one.
Avid readers on Android have some exciting new toys to look forward to in the latest version of Amazon Kindle. Update 4.8 adds some significant features to an already-packed app, specifically linked to in-book search. "X-Ray" is a proprietary system that downloads a pre-configured, collated file that includes information about the book itself, the characters, the setting, and the context of basically everything. For complex fiction, non-fiction, or textbooks, it's an amazing system previously reserved for the Kindle e-readers and tablets.
Update: Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath has been released on the Play Store, and glory be, it looks like it's not exclusive to anything. You can download it now on any Android 4.0 or higher device, and the Play Store version has the same external controller support and $5.99 price tag. Thanks to commenters step_jac and Amarus Kh for letting us know.
Update again: It looks like Stranger's Wrath is compatible with Android TV as well.
Want to stuff a couple of stockings for the holidays? Here's a cool suggestion from Amazon: the Kindle Fire HDX 7" 4G LTE. This is last year's Kindle Fire generation but still the newest HDX 7" available — Amazon didn't update the HDX 7" line when it released the new HD 6, 7, and HDX 8.9" this past September. The 4G LTE models are being discounted 50% today only through Amazon Gold Box, while the regular Wi-Fi only models have kept their regular price.