You might have heard that Amazon disabled the option for software encryption in the latest version of its Android-based Fire OS for the Kindle Fire series of tablets. (This isn't new - Fire OS 5 has been rolling out to various tablets since last year.) And if you read news that isn't Android Police, you probably also know that it's not the biggest story involving encryption right now. After consumer backlash following the Apple-FBI encryption case, Engadget reports that Amazon says it will return software encryption in the next major update.
Customers might have had something to say about the loss of encryption capabilities even without the highly public spat between Apple and the FBI over the San Bernardino iPhone case. Read More
Amazon launched the Echo a while back as the first device with its Alexa voice control system. Now there are two more, each with a different take on the Echo's functionality at a lower price. The Echo Dot is a small connected speaker/mic that can add smarts to your existing speakers, and the Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth Speaker with Alexa voice commands. Read More
We interrupt your morning (it's morning here in Seattle at least) to bring you an important public service announcement. If you live in the UK or Ireland and own one of Amazon's affordable 7in tablets, then you need to request a new charger. Amazon has noted that a small quantity of the chargers bundled with these devices have had their housing detach when being removed from the wall, creating a risk of electric shock (no, they are not a fire hazard).
The recall applies to all Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kid's Edition tablets sold in the UK and Ireland since September 2015. Read More
Fire OS 5 is the latest release of Amazon's customized version of Android. As is tradition for the company's products, this firmware upgrade bumps devices up to being only one major version out of date. Instead of Marshmallow, Amazon's Fire gadgets are making their way up to Android 5.1.
Amazon has started pushing out Fire OS 5 to the 1st generation Fire TV and Fire TV stick. The 2nd gen hardware, which was already running 5.0.4, is also getting a boost. After the latest round of updates, all four gadgets should be left at 5.0.5. Read More
Amazon's tablet offerings have gone from rather uninteresting to impressive in the last few years. All they had to do was make them really, really, cheap. Last year's Fire HD 6 is on sale today, making it even cheaper than usual. It's selling for $69.99 today, down from the usual price of $100. Read More
Do you like the sound of a $40 tablet? I sure do. I mean we're definitely not talking about a high-end sing-all be-all tablet here, but it's a tablet nonetheless and it does what tablets do, like browse the web and run some games and play some videos and display some books. If this sounds exactly like what you're looking for in a tablet, read on.
Amazon is discounting its Fire 7" tablet to $39.99. The original price wasn't a lot more, at $49.99, but $10 off are $10 you can use to buy a book or two, or a game or two, or a cover. Read More
Amazon Echo (her friends call here Alexa) has been steadily improving since it launched a little over a year ago. Starting today, this little electronic monolith has a new trick up its sleeve: it can now play music directly from Spotify.
Playing music on Echo isn't exactly new: owners can already stream from services like Amazon Music, Prime Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and TuneIn. On top of that, Echo has always been able to play audio from any Bluetooth-enabled device. However, official Spotify support gives users a lot more control over their listening experience than having to manually manage everything (a common first-world problem). Read More
The information age has not been kind to the humble bookstore. After mega-chains valiantly tried and failed to compete with the 800-pound gorilla that is Amazon, only Barnes & Noble is left in the US (and it's quickly becoming a showroom for LEGO and Pop Vinyl toys as much as an actual bookseller). A few indies are surviving thanks to a small resurgence of dead tree reading and some trendy makeovers, but the writing is on the wall. Read More
Amazon has been rolling out Amazon Prime Now, its local service for delivering goods from nearby retailers in hours instead of days, in a few cities in the US. In India there is no Amazon Prime, so the same service is simply referred to as Amazon Now. (Not to be confused with Google Now, which doesn't have anything to do with shopping.) There was already a dedicated app for the American version, but now the Indian model gets one too.
Unfortunately Amazon Now suffers from the same drawback as all local delivery services: a limited services area. It's currently only available in Bangalore, and even there, only in specific PIN codes (the Indian equivalent of zip codes). Read More
Amazon's little plastic cylinder packed with electronics has one purpose in life—to answer whatever inane questions you send its way throughout the day. Okay, if you happen to order products from Amazon in the process, that would be nice too, but the other stuff is more interesting.
Take, for instance, the new ability to ask Alexa (that's what you call the lady that lives inside the cylinder with all the electronics) about movies and showtimes. Read More