Amazon is seemingly determined to make Amazon Prime the best $99/year you can possibly spend. Prime already offers two-day free shipping on Amazon.com, ad-free streaming on Twitch, and an entire catalog of movies and TV shows through Prime Video. According to The Information, Amazon could be gearing up to bundle internet service with Prime.
Although details are scarce, The Information believes Amazon is considering bundling internet access with Prime streaming in Europe. Why not in Amazon's home country of America, you ask? Because in some European countries, broadband providers are required to offer wholesale access to their network to competing companies. This is similar in principle to US operators offering wholesale wireless to MVNOs. Read More
Amazon took to its developer blog today to announce that Alexa, its very successful smart home speaker, will be supporting scenes. These will allow users to speak simple commands to set predefined conditions on various connected devices. Prior to this announcement, interaction with them was limited to specific manufacturer apps. Read More
Just two days ago, Roku announced their new lineup of media center devices, and today Amazon has made public their latest Fire TV Stick. If you are unfamiliar with Amazon's hardware offerings, the Fire TV Stick is their competitor to the Chromecast (even to the point of Amazon removing Chromecast listings from their store). But unlike the Chromecast, and similar to the recently-announced Roku Express, all applications run directly on the device. The Fire TV stick also has a sizable game library, which is certainly unique at the price point. Read More
The smart home revolution doesn't seem to be coming as quickly as some had hoped, but whenever it does break out, Amazon intends to be on the ground floor. To that end, the latest addition to Alexa's growing list of voice control connections is Control4, a semi-proprietary collection of home automation tools. The company announced a new Alexa skill that works with the Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, and any other device that can connect to the voice service. Read More
Amazon's Echo has been a surprising hit product for smart home integration and its Alexa feature-rich Assistant has definitely grown since its introduction to become more capable and more interesting. Today, along with the announcement that the Echo is coming to the UK and Germany and is now available in white, Amazon has unveiled a new Echo Dot, the tiny puck version of the Echo. Read More
Echo! Echo! Echo! This sound reverberated around the UK and Germany (sorry, Germans, I'm unsure what 'echo' is in German) as Amazon announced it would be releasing its Echo speaker in the two countries this fall, along with a new white model that will also be coming to the US.
For the UK release, Alexa has some new skills, partnering with world-renowned cook and school dinner ruiner Jamie Oliver, Sky Sports, National Rail, The Telegraph, The Guardian, the BBC, Uber, and Spotify. Want to know the train times for your trip? Ask Alexa, she'll tell you. Want a fantastic recipe for your hot date? Read More
Amazon is filling in the gaps in its Fire tablet lineup, small though they are. Starting today, you can order the Fire HD 8. As the name implies, this is an 8-inch Fire tablet with an HD screen; one inch larger than the regular Fire. However, it does offer something new for Amazon's tablets—the Alexa voice assistant. Read More
Amazon's hardware ventures weren't all quite popular (remember the Fire Phone?!), but beside the Kindles and Fire tablets, and obviously the Echo, the Fire TV is easily counted one of the company's success stories. It has become one of the best streaming and gaming solutions, battling Roku, Apple TV, and Android TV for a spot on every TV's HDMI port.
That's also thanks to continuous updates and improvements from Amazon who keeps adding features to its products. In the latest update to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick rolling out now (or very soon), Amazon is adding more apps and channels to Universal Search so you have fewer and fewer reasons to open apps individually to do a search in them. Read More
CyanogenMod 13 is the latest version of the popular open source custom ROM. It delivers Android Marshmallow to hundreds of devices, many with no hope of ever receiving an official update. On other hardware, CyanogenMod offers a chance to remove heavy skins and enjoy a mostly stock Android experience. The latest wave of devices receiving version 13 represents both types. Read More
Music subscriptions are all the rage now - most people I know use either Spotify or the services offered by Google and Apple. Not mentioned as much is, erm, Amazon, and its oft-forgotten Music service that acts as a locker for music purchased on and through Amazon. According to Recode, the company plans to reinvent it by introducing two music streaming services with different aims.
The first is similar to what you'd expect: $10 a month for all-you-can-stream music, akin to Spotify or other offerings. The other option Amazon is considering is more unusual. This would only work through Amazon's Echo hardware, so not on phones, tablets, or the web, and cost $4 or $5 a month. Read More