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Amazon Releases Fire OS 5 Developer Preview Based On Android Lollipop, Official Launch Slated For Later This Year

Amazon's phone, tablets, and other Fire devices run Android, but it doesn't come in the form you see on most devices. They all run a variant called Fire OS. The current version is based on Android 4.4, though this doesn't matter all that much once you take into account the sheer volume of changes Amazon makes.

Nevertheless, Fire OS 5 is on its way, and it will run Android Lollipop.

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BlackBerry Users In The USA To Get Amazon Appstore Access Via 10.3.2 Update Rolling Out Now

BlackBerry has slowly but surely realized that their best bet for continued existence is to somehow bridge the app compatibility gap that Android and iOS boast in comparison to their platform. The route they have taken is adding the ability to natively run Android apps within the BlackBerry OS, which quite honestly is a good idea. The next step is getting those apps to users. For American users, that starts today, as a new OS update will bring the Amazon Appstore along with it.

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Amazon Releases Cloud Drive SDKs For Android And iOS So Developers Can Integrate Their Apps

Amazon Cloud Drive is like other cloud storage options, only it provides unlimited storage space. That's nothing to sniff at, but it's still not all that big a deal if your favorite apps can't smoothly tap into the service.

To address this issue, Amazon has now released an SDK so that developers can start baking the platform into their apps. The additions serve as part of the company's existing Mobile App SDK.

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Amazon Screws Up, Removes Kodi Media Center From The Appstore For 'Facilitating Piracy'

OK, Amazon, I can sympathize with your plight. As both the legal operator of a massive software distribution service and a TV, movie, and music vendor beholden to various rights holders, you might be tempted to remove anything from your app store that even whiffs of piracy or copyright infringement. Hell, I could help you spot some examples if you want. But that really doesn't excuse booting legitimate, useful apps off of your store without a second thought, as appears to be the case with Kodi Media Center.

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Amazon Echo Update Adds Support For Select IFTTT Voice Triggers And Audible Playback

Amazon's HAL 9000-style voice controlled gadget thing, the Echo, (yes, that's the best way to describe it in a single sentence) is gaining more capabilities with each software update. If you can get over the creepy implications of that, it's amazingly cool. The latest update adds the capability to interact with user recipes from the popular IFFT (If This, Then That) web service. At the moment it's mostly requests for music, to-do functions, and connected gadgets.

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GameFly Streaming Service Comes To Android (Sort Of) As An Amazon Fire TV Exclusive

There are multiple ways to stream high-end games to your Android device. There's NVIDIA's GRID, OnLive (edit: Oh, right, Sony bought OnLive), and something thrown together by a guy on the XDA Developers forum. Maybe you want more options. Well, if you own an Amazon Fire TV, you can now add GameFly to this list.

The GameFly streaming service derives from the company's acquisition of Playcast. A look at the latter's website gives you an idea of what you can expect from the experience, as the interface matches the one Amazon has shown off alongside the GameFly Streaming app already uploaded to its app store.

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Amazon Echo Now Includes Voice Commands For Google Calendar Functions

Amazon's voice-controlled, web-connected life manager thing, the Echo, is about as close as you can get to a conceptual product while still asking people to pay for it. But to its credit, Amazon seems to be constantly improving Echo by expanding its functionality. The latest update makes Echo compatible with Google Calendar (one of the web services offered by Google that Amazon doesn't directly compete with) thanks to a selection of voice commands.

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Amazon Drops The Fire Phone Price Again: $179 Unlocked, Still Including A Year Of Prime ($100 Value)

If you're a patient deal hunter and you wait long enough, Amazon might just end up paying you to take the Fire Phone off its hands. If not, the price is pretty good at the moment: $179 for the unlocked 32GB model, without a contract to be seen. That's $10 down from where it was just a little more than a month ago, $270 off the original price, and a pretty awesome deal for a phone with a 4.7-inch 720p screen, a Snapdragon 800 processor, and 2GB of RAM...

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Amazon Disables The Instant Video APK For Non-Sony Android TV Devices, Because They Hate You And Your Money

Amazon, cut this crap out. Seriously, I'm getting really sick of it. As someone who pays you for media on a regular basis, to say nothing of my recurring Amazon Prime payments, I feel like I'm more than justified in telling you to stop sabotaging your own damn products.

Ahem. A little backstory, before we get to the central point here. After years of pretending that their customers simply didn't want to watch Amazon Instant Video on non-Fire devices, while concurrently giving iOS owners free access to their bought-and-paid-for video libraries, Amazon finally relented and released an Android app.

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Amazon Echo Now Lets You Re-Order Products Using Voice Commands

Part of using Amazon revolves around ordering cool new stuff, 80% of which probably consists of impulse buys. But for people who use the site for more mundane things—say, soapthe online retailer spends a good amount of time resending the same stuff. Those who happen to own an Amazon Echo can now use the cylindrical voice assistant to re-order supplies without having to pull out a phone or head to the nearest PC.

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