Samsung seems to be on a roll with bagging media partnerships for its Galaxy line of phones and tablets. First music streaming service Deezer, and now it's getting a custom-built Kindle book store in a deal with Amazon. Announced this morning, the service also gives Galaxy owners referred to the service (starting with the GS5, but more to follow) 12 free books a year. Users will get four "prominent" titles a month to choose from, which have been "chosen specifically" for Galaxy owners (whatever that means). Samsung's already laden with bespoke services, such as its Milk internet radio platform, its own custom app store, and there's even an existing Samsung Books app. Of course, let's not forget the existing Kindle app for Android. However, if you want to snag yourself those free libros, Kindle for Samsung launches in the next two weeks.
If you have any documents (or e-books acquired in a "non-standard" way) stored on your Kindle, now you can access them anywhere via Amazon Cloud Drive. Starting today, documents uploaded to your e-reader via your browser, mobile device or email will automatically be stored in a new "My Send-to-Kindle Docs" folder within Cloud Drive. Unlike previous document uploads that were automatically converted to Kindle format, new additions will be saved in the cloud in their original format. That means you'll be able to edit the Word doc for your book on show ponies (might we suggest a working title of Pageant Ponies: America's Real Beauty Queens?) from your desktop seconds after catching a typo. With the move, Kindle owners can combine their existing 5GB of free cloud storage with the 5GB offered to Cloud Drive users for a total of 10GB of space. You know what that means: plenty of room to store sequels to your equine masterpiece once you hit it big.
Image source: Flickr/Zhao!
Source: Amazon Cloud Drive
Rumors of an Amazon-made phone are nothing new, but today the rumors enter reality more firmly: what you see above is what BGR claims is the Amazon's first phone. "Whoa, that's super ugly!" you might be saying. Cool it, that's just an enclosure around the device itself preventing prying eyes (like our own) from seeing the actual design. The good news is we can still learn a few things about the device without the enclosure removed: five cameras up front (reportedly a sixth out back) and a trio of buttons along the left side handle power and volume. The screen is reportedly of the 4.7-inch variety -- which lines up with previous rumors -- and puts Amazon's first phone on the same scale as Motorola's Moto X (among others).
Stop us if you've heard this one before: Amazon's getting ready to launch a phone. This is actually one of the longest-running rumors we've heard, with the first reports stretching back to 2012. So what's different this time? According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is already showing off prototypes of the handset to developers and is gunning to announce the device by the end of June with a September release. The report tells us that Amazon wants to differentiate itself from other top-of-the-line flagships by adding four cameras with retina-tracking tech, making it possible to project 3D images without needing glasses.
Rumors of a "Kindle phone" (or multiple phones) have been floating around the internet for ages, and this isn't even the first time we've heard that Amazon was working on a 3D-type display -- the Journal began reporting last May that the project would enable visuals that "seem to float above the screen like a hologram." Given how much smoke we've seen, there's quite likely fire. We wouldn't be surprised to see some news come out around the same time as Google's I/O developer conference, but we're more curious to find out exactly what Amazon plans to do with this retina-tracking tech and how developers will be able to take advantage of it. Needless to say, it certainly would add an interesting element to our already endless Instagram feed.
There's nothing quite like taking a massive, heavy library of beloved books and shrinking it into an e-reader. Amazon, having already accomplished that with its tremendously popular digital book service, is now targeting the comic book market. The company is purchasing Comixology, a digital comic book service with hundreds of millions of users and apps for all of your devices.
Comixilogy CEO David Steinberger is quite fond of the agreement, the terms of which were not disclosed (we're assuming it's at least $3.50 -- comics these days are awfully expensive). "There is no better home for comiXology than Amazon to see this vision through," Steinberger says in the announcement. "Working together, we look to accelerate a new age for comic books and graphic novels." It's just a wild guess, but we're expecting the first such "acceleration" will involve integrating Amazon payments and the Comixology userbase over to Amazon. We're asking the company for more, but don't expect to hear much -- the deal hasn't closed just yet, but it's expect to in the next few months.
So far we know most of the things we need to know about LG's G2 mini. Like, we know there will be two processor variants (Tegra 4i for Latin America and Middle East, Snapdragon 400 elsewhere), there's also a 4.7-inch (qHD) display, 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel camera. That's all fine and dandy, but what about the price? Well, if a few eager European retailers (one being Amazon) are anything to go by, expect to shell out 350 of your shiniest euros ($480, but will vary by continent) once it finally flips from "aún no ha salido a la venta" to "En stock" sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Via: GSM Arena
Source: Amazon (Spain)
Amazon's been busy tweaking Prime and planning delivery drones these past months, but by the looks of it, it hasn't entirely forgotten its lesser-known services. Today, the company has updated the Cloud Drive Photos app for Android with a brand new interface and a navigation bar to make it easier to access your oft-used features. While the refreshed UI retains the older version's dark color scheme, it comes with new buttons and a new layout. The app now also automatically sorts all videos into one album and arranges photos and albums by date and name. Finally, other than the usual bucket of bug fixes, the new version adds an upload status indicator that shows how long you have to wait until you're done backing up your files. If these new features make you want to give the app a second chance despite being married to Google Drive or Dropbox, hit the Play link below.
Via: Android Police
Source: Google Play
Since launching Amazon Coins in May 2013, the virtual currency was locked to Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet. Today, the shackles of exclusivity are being torn asunder, replaced by the inclusivity of the Android platform. Americans, Brits and Germans all now have access to their Amazon Coins through the Amazon Appstore via the latest software update.
Beyond just being beneficial to consumers who prefer using virtual currencies for online purchases, Amazon Coins offers yet another method for phone and tablet application developers to receive payment (70 percent of the payment goes directly to developers). Of course, ultimately, this benefits Amazon the most, as the company skims the other 30 percent off payments for itself. Something's gotta pay for The Washington Post, right?
Amazon might still be working away on its far-out delivery drone project, but it's also reportedly cooking up something else, admittedly a little tamer, too: a Kindle checkout system and a P2P payment service. Yes, the former's exactly what it sounds like -- a Kindle tablet equipped with proprietary software and a credit card reader (like Square), at least according to the Wall Street Journal. Amazon supposedly acquired GoPago (a mobile payment platform for merchants) in 2013 to nudge this venture forward, though TechCrunch says it's not the only payment solution the firm's developing. Apparently, the company's also creating a cloud-based P2P payment system that might be accessible not just on mobile phones, but also on desktops, making it a veritable PayPal competitor. We just hope it doesn't tie up with Amazon's plans to "ship before you buy" if it does launch, because surprise credit card charges are a nightmare.
Thinking about replacing your textbooks with an iPad Air? Amazon's trying to make the transition a little better for you. The latest update to Kindle iOS app adds flashcards and improved in-book search for print replica textbooks, giving students a better way to find the topics they need for class, as well as a convenient way to catalog and study them. The update packs in a handful of items for non-students too, including page footers that display page numbers and time left (for audiobooks), a redesigned dictionary for iOS 7, an updated X-Ray experience and a new set of Notebook filters for sorting through annotations. It's not quite as hefty as the app's recent redesign, but if you're looking for some new features for the semester, you can get them at the app store.
If you've bought quite a library of Kindle books for yourself, you might have a chore scrolling through the lot to find the one you want. Thankfully for Android users, you can now organize your reading material into Collections with a new Kindle app update. What goes into a certain Collection is entirely up to you -- you may group them by genre, type or whatever category strikes your fancy. As you're choosing which book goes where, you can filter them by author or title, and unlike your physical library, a single book can be assigned to multiple Collections. Just like your reading progress, those Collections can be synced across multiple devices as long as you're logged in. The Kindle update brings a number of other goodies to the table as well, like accessibility support for Android's Talkback and Explore By Touch features so you can flip a page simply by reading aloud and the ability to toggle publisher fonts on or off. You'll also now be prompted to offer a star rating for a book once you're done reading it. So if you're a die-hard Kindle fanatic with an Android device, snag the update and lord it over your Collection-less iOS brethren while you still can.
Source: Google Play
If you're an Android user who likes to shop for music on the Amazon MP3 app, then you'll be glad to hear that it has received a much needed update. Most notably, the application now looks substantially better and is a lot speedier than before, with Amazon making nice design changes to the UI and tweaking things under the hood to make browsing through it all a breeze. This new version also brings the option to share what you're listening to with Facebook friends, as well as a fresh widget that allows you to have quick access to recently played tunes. It's available for download now, so go on and grab it from either Google Play or the Amazon Appstore.
Via: Android Police
Almost a year after it rolled out to select Ford models, Amazon has finally secured itself another automotive partner for its cloud music service. The company today confirmed that its recently-updated Cloud Player iOS app can now connect to in-car dashboards in BMW and Mini Connected cars, letting owners access their cloud-hosted music with the help of steering wheel controls or touchscreen displays. It's a big coup for Amazon, as it fights Apple, Google and Nokia to integrate its mobile services into our in-car dashboards. There's no word on whether Amazon and BMW intend to extend support to Android devices, but we have contacted the company to find out.Amazon (Businesswire)
Source: Amazon Cloud Player (App Store)
A mere three days after Motorola started selling the Moto G unlocked online, giant retailer Amazon is bringing the budget-friendly smartphone to its shelves. Pre-orders are being accepted as we speak, with the 4.5-inch device being priced at $179 and $199 for the 8GB and 16GB models, respectively. Unlike with Motorola's promise to ship the Moto G as early as December 2nd, Amazon has the arrival date listed for a couple days later, on December 4th. And if you've yet to determine whether this little guy is for you, then perhaps this here review can help during the decision-making process.
28/11/2013 - Pebble's e-ink smartwatch now available on Amazon
Pebble's slowly been expanding the places you can buy its e-ink smartwatch, but today it's landed at the biggest retailer of them all. Ahead of the Thankgiving celebrations, the company took to Twitter to announce the availability of the Pebble at Amazon, where you'll now be able to buy black, grey, orange, red and white models (rocking the new software update) for $148.99. While you'll still find them at Best Buy stores and sold by AT&T, Amazon's promise of free next-day Prime delivery might sway you if you're on a post-turkey impulse buying binge.Pebble (Twitter)
The Amazon Appstore has long been clunky and slow for anyone who doesn't own a Kindle Fire tablet -- even for basics like app updates. All that pain is now a distant memory, however, as Amazon has just overhauled the stand-alone Appstore for Android with a genuinely modern interface. The new client has sidebar-driven navigation that feels at home in the KitKat era, and it's much faster when browsing titles. If you've been ignoring Amazon's alternative storefront for a while, it may be worth returning for a second look.
A lot of us don't have much in the way of home automation, but we'd venture to guess that most of us would absolutely love having a smarter residence. Amazon knows this, and it wants to celebrate its Home Automation store by hooking you up with a Nest thermostat. The smart thermostat is valued at $250 and is just one of a plethora of products that Amazon is featuring to help you control your house easier, near or far. We've got three to hand out to lucky readers, so take a chance by entering in the Rafflecopter widget below!
19/09/2013 - Amazon brings GameCircle integration to iOS
Amazon's GameCircle framework has just gone cross-platform -- as of today, iOS developers can integrate the cloud service into their apps. The iOS programming interface mirrors its Android counterpart's ability to sync achievements, leader boards and saved games across devices, even if the player switches operating systems. Developers can also post any achievements and scores to Apple's Game Center. The tools are free to use, so those who want to build GameCircle into their next iPhone title just need to visit the source link to get started.
It looks like you may well start seeing more links to products sold at Amazon in your Android apps. The company has just announced the launch of its new Mobile Associates API, which will let app developers hook into its popular Associates program to earn a kickback of up to six percent on all products sold through their apps. Those purchases can be made either entirely within the app or through an external link to Amazon, and the API covers both Amazon's own Kindle Fire tablets as well as other Android devices (we wouldn't hold your breath for iOS support). In announcing the new option, Amazon said that it hopes it will provide an alternative revenue stream to fully paid, ad-supported or "freemium" apps for developers, but it'd also obviously also get quite a bit in return itself if they fully embrace it.
Wish the munchkins would be quiet while you read your favorite gadget website? The BBC feels your pain, and has released the CBeebies Playtime app to help keep 'em entertained and learning while you're on the go. The app comprises of four mini games, which include coloring with Mr. Tumble, learning words with Alphablocks and a racing game with Tree fu Tom. Designed to work offline, the software comes with parental controls and is available for free on iOS and Android devices as well as the Kindle Fire -- assuming, that is, you trust your little darling not to break a $200+ tablet.
Calling all app developers: Amazon just launched a new tool that you'll no doubt want to take a peek at. The company's Web Services (AWS) division has just introduced Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) with Mobile Push, which is described as a "fully managed, cross-platform push notification service in the cloud." The real kicker, of course, is this nugget: "With one simple API, application developers can easily send notifications to Apple iOS, Google Android and Kindle Fire devices." Amazon's allowing all AWS customers to use the service for free so long as the reach remains under one million users, but even if you exceed that, you'll only be asked to pay $1 for each additional million.
Devs who have historically had to build and maintain different push architectures for separate platforms will likely fawn over such a universal approach, and while it's certainly not the first of its kind, it's the first to be backed by a stalwart such as Amazon. Hit up the outfit's SNS portal to get started, but please, don't take this as a green flag to up your spamming efforts -- we all know how that turned out for Farmville.
Amazon won't be winning any awards for its clumsily-named Cloud Drive Photos app, but with this latest update, it could win over the affection of its user base. Whereas last time we left Cloud Drive Photos, Amazon's focus was, well, all about photos, this time the app spotlight falls on video for the first time. Now, users will be able to auto-save, secure, manually upload or download and stream any video from Amazon's cloud that falls within the service's 2GB or 20 minute-clip limit. Photos aren't entirely left out of this version 1.7 bump, though, as images viewed while in landscape will now scroll by as larger previews. Thrilling stuff, non? Here's to hoping the next inevitable update obliterates the company's silly naming scheme for something more succinct -- perhaps, just Cloud Drive? Nah, that'd make too much sense.
Source: Google Play
And just like that, the great Apple and Amazon "app store" legal tousle ended. Today, Apple was granted its request to dismiss the suit it filed back in 2011 to prevent Amazon from using the app store moniker for its Android software market. Part and parcel with the dismissal, Apple also gave Amazon a covenant not to sue, assuring Bezos and company won't have to run this particular legal gauntlet again. We aren't sure exactly what prompted Apple to finally drop the suit, but given indications that the court was inclined to take Amazon's side of things fairly early on, this resolution isn't terribly surprising. Should you wish to read the good news in legalese, we've included the court's order as the source below.
Source: Court Order [PDF]
Looks like gamers with Amazon Kindle tablets will no longer be competing amongst themselves... because starting today, Amazon's proprietary GameCircle platform is now open to all Android devices. The backend cloud service has offered up leader boards, achievements and progress saves to Kindle users for a year now, and as of today, it also supports conflict resolution between mobile devices. The reveal comes at an interesting time, which parallels the recent launch of Google Play game services. Naturally, it's reasonable to speculate that Amazon's move could be an attempt to keep its service relevant. More than 500 games currently support GameCircle, but for all Android users to benefit, developers must first integrate the latest API into their games. At least they now have a bit of motivation to do just that.
Now that the summer book frenzy is in full swing, anything that helps us read a little faster is welcome -- so we're glad that Amazon just pushed out a relevant update to its Kindle app for iOS. The new 3.8 release adds line spacing options, so readers can fit more (or less) on to a page without tweaking the font. Those whose eyes demand an extra-large font can now pick one, too. Amazon is also laying some early groundwork for back-to-school with a focus on notation. It's at last possible to make highlights that span multiple pages, and Print Replica Textbooks gain filters for bookmarks, highlights and notes. Whether you're trying to get a jump on classes or just want to cram in one more novel during vacation, you'll want to swing by the App Store for the upgrade.
Via: The Next Web
Source: App Store