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Amazon Underground, The Revamped Appstore That Offers Paid Apps And Features For Free, Will Be Supported By Ads That Play When You Open Up Apps

When Amazon announced Underground, the remodeled Appstore that features the ability to play paid and freemium games (as well as other apps) for free, I immediately raised the question of how they planned to make money on this venture. Users obviously benefited by getting free stuff and certain developers would make more money since Amazon compensates them on a per-minutes-used basis. But where was the cash flow to Amazon?

A deeper dive into their developer documentation gives a clue.

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[Rumor] WSJ: Amazon Is Set To Release A Cheap 6-Inch $50 Tablet In Time For The Holidays

Rumor has it that Amazon is struggling to sell its more expensive Fire tablets. The company has been releasing its Android-operated but Fire OS-coated tablets for a few years with competitive pricing, but even that doesn't seem to be enough to keep it balling as hard as it wants and in the big leagues. Last year, it barely held 1% of the US tablet market according to IDC, compared to Apple and Samsung that had a combined 42% share.

Amazon's Fire HDX 8.9" can go up to more than $500, which may be a bit too much to pay for a screen you consume books and movies on and buy Amazon stuff from.

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Amazon Echo Update Brings Support For Shared Google Calendars

Amazon's goal for Echo is to make the little plastic cylinder, and the lady named Alexa who lives inside it, an integral part of your home. Give Alexa commands and she responds either with information you would have to look up yourself or turn on things that would require you getting up and walking across the room.

Your Google Calendar is one of the things Alexa knows how to read. But now, she can also read shared ones too.

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[Deal, I Guess] Grab An Amazon Fire Phone For $125 With Free Shipping, Still Comes With One Year Of Prime

Once upon a time, Amazon made a phone. It was gimmicky and silly, and no one wanted to play with it. After realizing what a horrible mistake it had made, Amazon tried pawning off said phone for stupid-ridiculous prices.

The end.

Oh, and if you basically want to get a phone for like $25, now's the time. I mean, you'll have to deal with knowing you own a Fire Phone, so if you can handle that, then eBay has the deal for you: new phone, free shipping, and it comes with a year of Prime (which is normally $99), all for $125.

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Amazon Gives Details On How Amazon Underground Works For Developers Who Want To Make Money While Not Charging Users For In-App Purchases

When Amazon announced Amazon Underground, a new app marketplace where many freemium games are made "actually free," everything seemed pretty great. You can make in-app purchases on apps downloaded from Underground without actually spending money, which is my favorite way to buy things. Of course, if you spend much time thinking about how this must work behind the scenes, it's tough to see how this will be a winner.

Amazon has been kind enough to share the nitty gritty details. Here's the short version:

  1. Developers agree to waive the fees for in-app purchases
  2. Amazon pays developers 0.2 cents per minute of use, per user
  3. ???
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Wall Street Journal Reports That Amazon Has Downsized The Fire Phone Team, Surprising No One

Amazon's Fire Phone, the logical smartphone extension of its Kindle Fire tablet series, is a dud. A combination of lackluster reviews, carrier semi-exclusivity, and most of all being tied into Amazon's app and service environment have made it more or less a total failure. The company never publishes hard data for its hardware sales, but casual observation and constant discounts (sometimes more than $500 off of the original $650 off-contract price) imply that the product has been a wash.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon isn't eager to continue in the phone market. According to the paper, "dozens" of engineers in the Lab126 hardware team have been laid off.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Fire Phone's Price Continues To Drop, Now Only $130 With A Year Of Prime

When Amazon launched the Fire Phone, it wasn't a top-of-the-line device. It did, however, come with a $650 price tag. When the handset immediately proceeded to not sell, Amazon started slashing the price. We've spent the time since watching the number drop.

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Amazon Ditches Its Free App Of The Day In Favor of Amazon Underground, With '$10,000 Worth of Apps And Games That Are Actually Free'

Amazon has had some pretty great deals as part of its Free App of the Day, but apparently that's over now. The prolific retailer is replacing it with Amazon Underground, which includes "over $10,000 of apps and games that are actually free." Specifically, Amazon is giving away paid apps and in-app purchases with an agreement that reimburses app developers based on the amount of time the apps are actually used.

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[Deal Alert] The Amazon Fire Phone Is $139.99 For 32GB, $159.99 For 64GB On eBay With A Year Of Prime And Free Shipping

Do you want an Amazon Fire Phone? If you do, I'll bet you want it at a discount - even with a free year of Amazon's Prime shipping/video/music service, it's a hard sell at two hundred bucks. It's a good thing, then, that the Fire Phone is so often on sale. The latest discount comes courtesy of an eBay seller, who's getting rid of the phones for as little as $140. That includes free shipping and free access to Prime, bringing the effective price down to $40 for a contract-free phone. Not bad.

That $139.99 price is for the 32GB model.

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Alexa, Guess What—Amazon Echo Is Now Compatible With SmartThings

Dear hyper-connected gadget lover who happens to own both a SmartThings Hub (or some of the company's many other products) and an Amazon Echo, these devices can now talk to one another.

This is pretty cool, and here's why. If you have your hub controlling a bunch of other devices, you can now use Amazon's device to boss them around. Alexa, turn on the television. Alexa, turn off the lamp. Alexa, have your way with whatever else is plugged into my SmartThings Power Outlet (okay, maybe this command won't work exactly as written).

Maybe you're seeing this and you're thinking: Gee, maybe I'd like one of these Echo things after all.

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