If you've already splurged and bought a FireTV, you've probably noticed one pretty annoying thing: the much-touted voice search feature only shows Amazon content. That makes it far less helpful than it could be. Thankfully, Amazon realizes this and announced today that it will be working with Hulu, Crackle, and Showtime to bring voice search features to their respective apps. That's fantastic news.
For those who may not be familiar with FireTV's voice search option, it's pretty simple: hit the mic button and speak into the remote.
An Amazon phone has been rumored almost as long as an Amazon tablet, but now we might have actually caught our first glimpse of this unicorn device. Photos acquired by BGR show a phone clad in protective armor to hide the design. It appears to have a number of unusual sensors on the front, but the accompanying information points to a use for them – Amazon's Kindle phone will allegedly have a 3D interface.
Amazon already owns the most popular brand for ebooks, having debuted the Kindle ages ago and attracted consumers and publishers alike before other big players managed to establish a foothold in the industry. Now the company's going after comics. It could continue to expand its library of Kindle editions, but the speedier approach would be the buy the best competitor out there. So that's what Amazon is doing. The company has just announced plans to acquire comiXology, the makers of a popular digital comics platform, not to mention a couple of great Android comic book reading apps.
Today Amazon announced FireTV, its new preferred set-top box for pumping media out to your TV. The $99 box primarily emphasizes shows, movies, and music, but it can also run apps and games. Now Amazon Game Studios has provided a sneak peek at what it's working on. These are games that, as the company describes underneath the first YouTube video, are "built from the ground up for Kindle Fire tablets and Fire TV." Whether any of this content will eventually arrive on other Android devices remains to be seen.
Gary Busey has carefully crafted a reputation as a lunatic. True, a good part of that might just be his Hollywood persona, but you've got to admit it's entertaining. Someone at Amazon agrees, because they enlisted Mr. Busey's services for one of the first promotions of the new Android-powered FireTV set-top box. In this one-minute spot, Gary Busey talks to a lamp.
Amazon takes the initiative here, using a crazy shouting man to illustrate the fact that the competing Roku set-top boxes don't have voice control.
Amazon has made it easy to access its streaming content on a number of living room devices, but now it's finally making a play for your TV with its own box – the FireTV. This $99 black box contains a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor (1.7GHz), 2GB of RAM, optical out, MIMO WiFi, and 8GB of storage. It runs a heavily modified version of Android as the base of Amazon's new content delivery platform.
Mega-retailer Amazon has scheduled a press event for Wednesday, April 2nd in New York City. The press invitation teases the event with the phrase, "Please join us for an update on our video business from [Amazon Kindle VP] Peter Larsen." A background with a couch and a bowl of popcorn makes it clear that Amazon's sights are set squarely on the living room.
Amazon has been expanding into just about every possible media sales segment in the last few years, with one notable exception: console-style video games. If a filing with the Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações (read: the Brazilian version of the FCC) can be believed, Amazon is looking to close that gap in its product lineup. A full game controller, with media controls and Android-style navigation buttons, was spotted there by Zatz Not Funny.
It's not the latest and greatest, but the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is still a capable device with a nice screen. You can pick up one of Amazon's Android-ish tablets on Woot right now for a mere $179.99. You better get on it, though. A good deal on Woot won't last all day.