Earlier this week we reported on Google's decision to refuse an Android port of the PC shooter Postal in the Google Play Store. Two days later, a representative of developer Running With Scissors told us that Amazon had done the same for the Amazon Appstore, and provided us with the rejection letters from both companies. Google refusing to allow the controversial shooter onto the Play Store is merely inconsistent; as we noted at the time, games with similar levels of violence like Grand Theft Auto III are easily available. Read More
Amazon's Prime Music service is demonstrably behind competitors like Spotify and Google Play Music. Maybe that's why it's thrown in with Amazon Prime (which most people get for the shipping discounts) as a freebie. But never let it be said that Amazon rests on its laurels when it comes to new features: the latest update to Prime Music adds streaming music stations, like... well, like just about every other music service at this point. Read More
The Amazon Echo, as a sort of physical embodiment of the functionality that voice-controlled services like Google Now offer, is an interesting idea. But without a screen or much in the way of direct input, its utility is limited by the number of services that it ties into. For example, before today the Echo could only access music from iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Amazon's own cloud music service. The latest software update enables much-needed support for Pandora. Read More
The Fire TV Stick is a fantastic little video streaming device, according to our own Cameron Summerson. Though it lacks some of the more complex features of its big brother the Fire TV, it can handle all of Amazon's diverse digital media offerings and plenty of apps and games from the Amazon App Store to boot. Amazon customers in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Austria will have a chance to check out the Fire TV Stick for themselves on April 15th. Read More
Amazon's Android tablets and phone are often seen as second class citizens in the mobile world, but its Fire TV set-top box and Fire TV Stick gadget are worthy competitors in their respective spaces. Amazon is about to make both of them even better with a new update aimed at expanding functionality, particularly in those small but crucial areas that can make a big difference to the user experience. First up: Wi-Fi access for hotspots that require browser-based authentication, like dorm rooms, hotels, offices, and the like. Read More
Amazon's Fire HD tablets are surprisingly good purchases if you just want something to consume media. They're inexpensive, snappy, and have great battery life. Now they're learning a new trick courtesy of an OTA update. The coming upgrade for Fire HD tablets will include Amazon's Firefly feature, allowing them to recognize music, movies, and more. Why? So you'll buy more stuff, duh.
Sling TV launched recently with an interesting proposition. Pay $20 per month and get a handful of TV channels streaming to all your devices without a regular cable subscription. To sweeten the deal, Sling is teaming up with Amazon to offer a discount on FireTV devices, which can be used to watch Sling TV.
Let's be honest here - Amazon's Fire Phone was a complete flop. It makes a lot less sense than something like the Fire Tablets, which are at least somewhat useful outside of just being a front for Amazon's store (which is precisely what Fire Phone is). But the hardware is solid, and it's not a bad phone -- especially when you can get it for $199 off-contract and unlocked. Throw in a year of Amazon Prime, and you've basically got a really decent handset for a Benjamin. Read More
Update: Today's the day!
To celebrate recent Golden Globe wins, Amazon plans to treat customers to a couple of deals this weekend. First, it plans to allow free streaming of all episodes of Transparent, its award-winning original series. That's ten episodes, available to stream Saturday January 24 from 12:01am eastern to 11:59pm pacific using Amazon's Prime Instant Video service.
Perhaps more exciting, though, is the fact that Amazon will be offering Prime memberships for $72 on the same day (to celebrate the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards of course), a nice discount over the normal $99/year price. Read More