Google Glass hasn't exactly set the world on fire, but it wasn't meant to. It and other projects under the "Google X" team were designed to be experimental, and we're still months away from seeing it hit a retail market at the very least. Even so, the news that one of the original architects of Glass is leaving for the distant shores (if not the greener pastures) of Amazon is a little disheartening.
Some lucky devices are getting their first official taste of that sweet, sweet CyanogenMod ROM action today with the addition of nightly support for the HTC One Max and the Oppo Find 7. The old Kindle Fire is also getting some love with a new platform variant for improved support going forward.
We've been talking about Handy Apps' newest app, Expense IQ, and how it can help users be more aware of their finances, budgeting, save money, etc. But we haven't yet looked at one of EIQ's best features: Cloud Sync. This is an extremely important feature, as it not only makes moving data to a new device easy, but it also keeps a backup safe in the cloud (in your Dropbox account) and makes all info available across multiple devices.
Amazon's Android Appstore always has at least one paid app featured for free every day, but for whatever reason, they've decided to make a whopping 31 apps free right now. Taken together they're worth over $100 USD. Most of them are barely notable, but there are some worthy games and apps in there as well. Plex, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, The Room Two, AccuWeather, Root Explorer, Ravensword, Dungeon Village, and Splashtop are all worth it even at the paid price.
Amazon is hoping the Fire Phone will be a hit with consumers despite the higher than expected price and AT&T exclusivity. To make its case, the retailer is looking to ensure there are plenty of apps and games that take advantage of the device's unique features. Developers can get up to $15,000 in Amazon coins to give away to users if they go along. There are some caveats, of course, but that's a lot of free money.
Jeff Bezos took to the stage earlier today to announce Amazon's first entrant into the highly competitive smartphone industry, the Fire Phone. Not only was the presentation loaded with some of the shiny new features of the handset and Fire OS, all meant for the press to disseminate to potential buyers, but there were also a few unusually blunt efforts to attract developers. In the midst of demonstrating Firefly and Dynamic Perspective, portions of the presentation were focused on explaining that developers would be able to extend these platform features in their own apps.
Update: Here's a video of the full press conference.
We've been hearing about Amazon's potential smartphone for what seems like years, but today it's finally real. At a super-exclusive Amazon event, Jeff Bezos talked about Prime, Kindles, FireTV, customers, some other stuff, and took wraps off of the company's first go at a phone. It is, as you may have guessed, an interesting one. It's packing some rather unique features, as well as top-notch hardware:
4.7" IPS LCD HD display "optimized for one-handed use" – 590 nit brightness, Gorilla Glass
Quad core 2.2GHz processor
Adreno 330 GPU
13MP f/2.0 rear shooter, OIS – instant access button, even with the screen off
Four front-facing cameras for dynamic perspective and a wider field of view
Unlimited photo storage (cloud)
Dual stereo speakers
Ships with non-tangle headphones with flat cable and magnetic buds
Oh, carrier exclusives, how we have missed thee. In this enlightened age when the flagship phones from Samsung, HTC, LG, and Motorola are all available on the Big Four American carriers, it's so easy to forget that some devices aren't. And just in case you needed reminding, it looks like the Amazon phone expected at tomorrow's press event is going to be an AT&T exclusive. So sayeth the Wall Street Journal, which tends to be spot-on with Amazon news.
If you've been paying attention to the tech rumor mill as of late, you probably know that Amazon has been planning to buff up its Prime subscription service with a musical component. The web retail giant flipped the switch last night, and now Amazon MP3 is Amazon Music. If you already have a subscription to Amazon Prime (which offers free 2-day shipping and access to Netflix-style streaming TV and movies), then you're now subscribed to Prime Music, the service's premium competitor to Spotify and Google Music All Access.
While we know that many of you, our readers, have precisely zero interest in Amazon's tablet hardware (and trust me, our analytics show as much!), the prospect of an Amazon smartphone should arouse curiosity even in the most fervent of Android loyalists. In part because, well, there haven't really been any major commercial smartphone launches for devices not running Android, iOS, BBOS, or Windows Phone in a long, long time. And the latter two are still far from major market forces at this point.