We take a lot of jabs at Verizon here at Android Police, and not without good cause. But we can't deny that the company's current Connection Day promotion, in conjunction with an Amazon partnership, is offering some sweet free stuff. Right now Amazon is giving away a bunch of paid apps and music via its Appstore and Amazon Music portals, compliments of Big Red. You can add them to your Amazon library whether or not you use Verizon for home or wireless services.
Amazon was forced to concede that its much-anticipated Fire Phone was not a big seller when AT&T dropped the price mere weeks after it was released. When the retailer's quarterly results were announced, we learned the scale of the screw up. Now Amazon is washing its hands of the whole mess. It's unloading unsold 32GB Fire Phones unlocked for $199 off-contract. The off-contract price at launch was $650 and AT&T charged $199 with a 2-year agreement.
The Fire TV Stick is a slimmed-down version of the Fire TV streaming device, and Amazon's answer to the Chromecast. It's also sold out until January 15th on Amazon.com, no doubt due to the massive amount of Amazon Prime users who have taken advantage of the 50% off promotion. But if you're hunting for one for yourself or for a present, Best Buy has it in stock right now, and at a significant discount.
Until now, Amazon's Kindle and Fire devices have lacked one important feature that sets them far behind their Android counterparts: porn. Wait, that's not true, there's tons of porn on Amazon, you can hardly look on the bookstore without seeing self-published Harlequin-style short stories. But if you want to browse a bunch of sites on the less savory side of the Internet on your Kindle Fire without leaving a trail, you're out of luck.
Now that Amazon has consolidated most of its Android offerings into a single Play Store app, the company will need to keep it updated and relatively interesting to remain relevant to users. The first major update since the redesign does just that, making sure that the Amazon app is compatible with the new Android 5.0 devices and software builds. But wait, there's more! The updated app now includes support for Android Wear.
As today's Deal of the Day, Amazon is offering the 16GB version of last year's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 for only $259. The 32GB model goes for a slightly more expensive $274, and the 64GB model comes in at $289.
With the first two models, we're talking about a savings of $140. The 64GB sees a discount of $160. Either way, this amounts to a pretty big chunk of change, and it just goes to show that it can pay to wait until hardware is no longer brand spanking new before making a purchase.
When Amazon entered the tablet game with the original Kindle Fire, we all kind of chuckled at the idea of it being a reasonable entry into the market. With each iteration, though, those silly Fire tablets have gotten more and more powerful, and each edition of Fire OS has brought new features that proved to actually be useful. While Fire Phone may have been a flop, the Fire tablets are still very much alive, and the newest editions are better than ever.
Update: the developers of Primecast have confirmed to Android Police that they were "locked out" of the app's streaming functionality.
Don't say we didn't warn you. On Thursday we published a story about Primecast, an enterprising app that allowed Android users to log in to Amazon and stream Amazon Instant Video movies and television shows to Chromecast. Though Amazon has (finally) allowed non-Kindle Fire owners to watch their purchased or subscribed videos, they haven't enabled Chromecast like their competitors at Google, Netflix, and others.
Today Amazon unveiled what may be its most peculiar hardware to date, and it's not what you would expect. It's... wait, did you hear that?
Sorry, it was just an Echo.
Amazon Echo is a cylindrical speaker that responds to your voice commands. If you want music, tell it what to play. If you want to know the weather, ask it the question. It can handle alarms, pull up information from Wikipedia, or update you on the news.
If you've taken enough photos to fill up the storage allotment on both Dropbox and Google Drive, and you happen to be an Amazon Prime subscriber, you might want to check out the somewhat nondescript Cloud Drive app. Starting today, Amazon Prime users get unlimited photo storage via the company's branded cloud storage solution. The default free level of generic storage, for Prime members and everyone else, is still the standard 5GB.