Apr 02, 2014 - 9:59 AM - by dgstorm
While none of us here at HQ were surprised that Amazon just made this announcement, we were all surprised at the "out of the blue" timing of it. For some time there have been rumors that Amazon would be creating their own TV set-top box product to compete with Apple TV and Google TV and Google's Chromecast. Today those rumors were confirmed when Amazon officially announced Fire TV.
Fire TV is just what you would expect. It is a new device which plugs into your television lets you stream video content from the Internet. The primary focus of Fire TV will be Amazon Prime Video, and it will also support third-party content, like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Amazon even shared that apps like HBO Go and Showtime Anytime will be coming down the pike later.
As usual, the Fire TV will run a customized version of Android, just like the Kindle Fire tablet. Here are a few hardware specs of the device:
- Quad-core processor (supposedly is three times more powerful than Apple TV and other rival devices)
- 2GB of RAM
- Dedicated graphics processor
- Will ship with a tiny, plastic remote control that has only seven buttons and a directional pad
- Voice command search queries
- Support for Android gaming ( Amazon has launched a studio internally to develop in-house games)
According to Amazon, more third-party apps will be coming to the Fire TV in May. This includes music apps like TuneIn, Pandora, & iHeartRadio. The device will be available to buy later today for $99, and a gaming controller for it will cost $39.99.
Overall, this could be the surprise "sleeper" hit of 2014. What a nice surprise for a lazy Wednesday morning!
Be sure to hit up our dedicated section for the Fire TV over at our sister site, GoogleTVForum.org. You can find that section here: Kindle Fire TV
Mar 13, 2014 - 9:29 AM - by dgstorm
Not too long ago we posted some rumors suggesting that Amazon would increase its Prime pricing. The speculation at that time was that it might go up to as high as $129.99 per year. The price bump is no longer a rumor and is about to take place next week, but luckily, it won't be quite that high. Amazon Prime's new price will go from $79.99 to $99.99 for the year. Students with an Amazon Prime account will see a smaller increase (although it remains proportional). Their accounts go from $39.99 to $49.99 per year.
The new pricing will go into effect immediately for new customers starting some time next week (actual date is unspecified at the time of this report). For existing customers...
Continue Reading @: Amazon Prime's Price is Getting a Bump to $99 Starting Next Week
Nov 18, 2013 - 3:06 PM - by dgstorm
Amazon just released the newest version of their Kindle Fire OS. This one is for the Kindle Fire HD and the HDX. Here's the full changelog below:
Kindle Fire OS 3.1 changelog:
- Find and share books with Goodreads: Goodreads on Kindle lets you connect with the Goodreads community to follow friends and see what they are reading, and share and rate books on your Kindle Fire.
- Organize your content with Cloud Collections: Organize your content library into collections like "Favorite Books" and "Sports Apps" that are synchronized with compatible Kindle devices and reading apps.
- Watch movies and TV shows on another device with Second Screen: Fling movies and TV shows from your Kindle Fire to your 2013 Samsung Smart TV or PlayStation 3 using Second Screen.
- Learn more about books with Smart Lookup: With the Smart Lookup feature, you can quickly look up words in the dictionary or Wikipedia or translate text in a book.
- Print from Your Kindle Fire: Print Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, photos, e-mails, calendar events, and contact information from your Kindle Fire to a printer that supports mobile printing.
- Free up storage space with 1-Tap Archive: With 1-Tap Archive, your Kindle Fire groups all content that has not been used recently so you can move it to the Cloud with just one tap.
- Enhanced enterprise features: Manage security certificates and connect to your company’s Wi-Fi network—whether you’re at home or at work—with remote VPN capabilities.
- Set alarms and view additional time zones with the Clock app: Use the all-new Clock app to check the date and time, set an alarm clock, and more.
Oct 21, 2013 - 10:48 AM - by dgstorm
Amazon has been very smart lately to cover their bases when it comes to potential future patent litigation. Based upon their large array of new patents over the past few years, their R&D department has been working overtime to come up with new innovations. Their latest patent seems to confirm earlier rumors they will be launching a smartphone with a real world 3D imaging and object recognition engine/sensor built in.
The idea behind this is that you can use your phone to take a picture of an object and it will recognize it to help you search for and purchase it on Amazon. It's called the “User guided object identification” patent, and the pics you can see in this post help showcase the concept.
For now, it is just a patent, so this isn't really proof that Amazon can already implement this in their oft-rumored smartphone. Of course, this is a brilliant idea for the retailer, so it's entirely possible it could show up in their first smartphone. If not, you can be it is technology they are working on to implement in some future Amazon device.
Oct 17, 2013 - 9:25 AM - by dgstorm
Just yesterday we shared a story that HTC and Amazon might be teaming up to make forked Android Kindle smartphones. We already have a follow-up article with more details. According to this new report, Amazon and HTC have been in talks since at least June of this year "to develop handsets for sale to users of the Amazon Prime service." The main reason for this is supposedly that Amazon wants to have more devices which access their Amazon Instant Video service. They also want to sell phones through subscriptions with carriers.
One other detail suggests that Amazon has not yet fully committed to the idea, but that both companies have already devoted some time and resources to this project so it looks like a distinct possibility. Here's a quote with a few more details,
What do you guys think? Could this be an idea that helps save HTC and helps Amazon break into this business?
Three devices are being discussed by Amazon and HTC, the Financial Times reported earlier, citing people familiar with the project it didn’t name.
“HTC doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation,” the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company said in an e-mailed response yesterday. Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Seattle-based Amazon, didn’t return a request for comment.
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