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
Forget Bitcoin: Amazon's got a digital currency of its own coming to the Kindle Fire called Coins, and it's finally arrived after three months of preparation. The virtual money, which was originally announced back in February, is now ready to go for anyone who frequents the Amazon Appstore or uses a Kindle Fire. Bezos & Co. is willing to throw in a bit of an investment to get you started, as the online retailer will hook up existing and new users with 500 free coins -- a value of $5. Need more than that? Head to the More Coverage link below to grab as many coins as fits your fancy.
Remember the EVO 3D? Swap out the HTC logo for an Amazon one, and you just might be onto something. According to a new Wall Street Journal report, one of the world's most famed forkers of Android is looking to expand its mobile portfolio by adding the one crucial device it lacks: a phone. As the story goes, the company has been toiling on a pair of smartphones as well as an "audio-only streaming device," all to "expand its reach beyond its Kindle Fire line of tablet computers." If you'll recall, we've heard that Amazon was dabbling in similar works since at least 2010, but the notion of expanding the Amazon ecosystem is now more pertinent. One of those phones is a higher-end device that offers up a glasses-free 3D display -- it's bruited that it would use "retina-tracking technology" to enable visuals that "seem to float above the screen like a [Tupac?] hologram." In fact, that eye-scrolling technology that was initially rumored to be a part of the Galaxy S4 may instead make its debut on Amazon hardware.
Of course, rumors of an Amazon phone have been running just about as long as rumors of a Facebook phone, but it seems that the company is (still) making a very concerted effort to further expand into the hardware arena. We're told that the prototypes are being nurtured within Amazon's Lab126 facility in Cupertino, "where each of the devices have been under development, the efforts are known as Project A, B, C and D, or collectively as the Alphabet Projects." If all goes well, Amazon could release at least some of these products in the coming months, but there's also the chance that every last one of 'em could be "shelved because of performance, financial or other concerns." Come to think of it, it's been a hot minute since Amazon threw a launch party for anything -- what say we change that, Jeff?
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Amazon let its world domination plans be known last month when it asked developers to start submitting apps to line its virtual displays in more countries. While China was notably absent from immediate expansion plans, Amazon launched its Appstore there during the weekend, opening the doors to one of the biggest mobile device markets. As Reuters notes, the Google Play store is available in China, but only serves up free material, whereas Amazon's Appstore has a selection of both free and paid software available for users. While the company launched its e-book store and e-reader apps in China last December, devices are still waiting for their ticket over. Now, with the release of the Appstore, we suspect it's only a matter of time before the Kindle and Fire ranges make fashionably late appearances.
Amazon is rectifying the long wait for a Kindle for Android update today with a version 4.0 refresh that carries with it a major UI redesign. The library view looks very different: instead of a basic grid, recently read items are presented in a rotating carousel at the top of the home screen, while the navigation panel has been expanded to provide quicker access to books, documents and periodicals. The actual reading pane remains untouched, so whether you're using a smartphone or a tablet, your e-copy of War and Peace should still look the same. To have a peek at Kindle's new look, Android users can go ahead and download it from the source.
Via: The Next Web
Source: Kindle (Google Play)
Amazon's just updated its Appstore today with a much welcome offering for avid gamers: Xbox SmartGlass. Microsoft's app-based second screen solution has been available on iOS and Android since late last fall, but despite sharing a kernel with Google's OS, hadn't been made dispensable to Kindle Fire / Fire HD owners until now. The app's been configured to scale natively on Amazon's refreshed tablet line, letting users navigate their Xbox 360 remotely, push and pull streaming content, as well as access achievements, messaging and Xbox Music. So if it's the living room of the future you're after, you might want to hit up the source and make that free download your own.
Amazon has big plans for its incredibly successful (we guess?) Appstore on Android, which include expansion to "nearly 200 countries," -- after rolling out in Europe and Japan -- but it's asking for developers to get on board first. So that its store shelves aren't empty when they open up in places like Brazil, Canada and Papua New Guinea, it's securing app submissions and making sure devs opt-in to international distribution. Peter Sleeman, Director of P2 Games, is quoted in the press release claiming his company saw 4-5x sales of a recent app on Kindle Fire compared to Google Play. That feat is echoed by several others quoted, citing Amazon's in-app purchasing system and features like GameCircle. There's no word whether this global rollout will be followed by wider distribution of its other media services and branded hardware, but given the predictable path it's followed so far that seems like a safe bet.
While it's still got some distance to make up, BlackBerry has swiftly reached a milestone of sorts -- its first 100,000 apps. According to the announcement, BB10 has notched up over 30,000 new games and apps over the last seven weeks, all before it's even entered the USA. Notable new additions include the Kindle reader, available today, which Amazon confirmed back in January. There's also apps from The Wall Street Journal and OpenTable, with the promise of eBay, CNN, Rdio, Skype, Viber and more arriving "in the coming weeks."
If we're being honest, many of you probably won't care too much about the latest update to Amazon MP3 for Android. Why? Well, the big new feature is Ford SYNC support, and we're pretty sure that a majority of cars on the road aren't packing the in-dash infotainment system yet. But, it is still quite a popular feature in new Ford vehicles and were sure there are a healthy number of drivers out there eager to put their Amazon music collection just a voice command away while they toil away in rush hour traffic. Version 2.8 of the app also includes the requisite bug fixes and a tweaked store that displays more search results. But we know all you really care about is the ability to tell your car to "play Usher" without feeling judged. Time to celebrate.
Source: Amazon (Google Play)
29/01/2013 - Unreal Engine 3's Epic Citadel demo now available on Android with special features, iOS version updated
Epic Games' first internal initiative to produce an Unreal Engine 3 project on Android is complete, nearly three years after a similar initiative produced the Epic Citadel demo. That same demo is being employed on Android, albeit with one shiny new feature: benchmarking. The new mode enables users to test framerate, quality settings, and resolution details -- it's an exclusive for the Android version. The iOS version also saw an update today across its various iterations, enabling support for higher-res displays (the original app launched in September 2010 and has seen little in the update department since).
While Epic's Unreal Engine 3 has supported Android for some time, the release of the internal app means, "we've invested in plenty of QA testing against a wide range of devices, and we've executed the necessary profiling required for shipping Android games," an Epic Games rep tells us. Moreover, that investment carries over to Unreal Engine 3 licensees. To snag the Epic Citadel demo (for free) on your Android device of choice, head to Google's Play store or Amazon's App Store. And for a taste of games currently on Android based in Unreal Engine 3, check out the incredible trailer for Horn just beyond the break.
Epic Games Releases "Epic Citadel" for Android
Android users can download the free app now, plus 'Epic Citadel' gets iOS update
CARY, N.C. (January 29, 2013) - Epic Games, Inc. today released "Epic Citadel" for Android devices. The free app, which is used to demonstrate the studio's award-winning Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) technology on multiple platforms, is available now on Google Play and Amazon Appstore for Android. A new benchmarking mode and updated visuals bring added depth to the popular app.
In "Epic Citadel," players navigate the dynamic fantasy setting of the award-winning Infinity Blade. From the circus bazaar to the sweeping cathedral in the center of town, "Epic Citadel" dazzles with a visual parade of special effects.
"While we've licensed our engine to help developers build and ship many fantastic games for Android, 'Epic Citadel' is our first internally developed product to be released to Android users," said Jay Wilbur, vice president of Epic Games. "It's a free, easy way to check out the high-quality experience Unreal Engine technology delivers on mobile devices."
High-End Graphics for Android
"Epic Citadel" was created with the same UE3 tools and technologies used to develop best-selling PC, console and mobile games. Features include:
· Amazing visuals. "Epic Citadel" pushes the envelope for modern visuals on Android devices. Through the latest advances in Unreal Engine 3 technology, the application delivers unrivaled graphics and special effects that immerse players in the kingdom's grounds.
· Benchmarking mode. "Epic Citadel" enables users to gather performance data for Android devices through its benchmarking mode, which displays frames per second stats, quality settings and resolution details.
· Realistic reflections and animations. Environment mapping and other high-end rendering techniques produce lifelike reflections, and vertex deformation and skeletal animation bring trees and banners to life with dynamic movements.
· Global illumination. Unreal Engine 3's built-in global illumination system, Unreal Lightmass, provides realistic lighting and shadows with minimal development resources.
· Dynamic specular lighting with texture masks. Sophisticated graphics features impart a tangible quality to cobblestone roads and vivid reflective marble surfaces, while lens flares and light coronas add dramatic emphasis when panning across light sources.
Outstanding Cross-Platform Performance
Epic has worked closely with hardware leaders to ensure that "Epic Citadel" delivers a superior experience on the latest mobile platforms.
"'Epic Citadel' features beautiful, high-performance graphics that are characteristic of mobile Unreal Engine games. Throughout the app's development for Android, we worked closely with Epic Games to ensure that the visuals can be experienced on NVIDIA Tegra-based devices in all of their glory," remarked Tony Tamasi, SVP Content and Technology, NVIDIA.
"Intel is very pleased to see Epic's award-winning Unreal Engine 3 technology shipping on Android with full native support for x86," said Mukesh Goel, Director of Ecosystem Enabling, Mobile Communications Group, Intel. "We're especially excited by the tremendous performance being realized in 'Epic Citadel' on the Atom Z2460 platform."
"As the leading supplier of mobile and embedded GPUs for both iOS and Android, Imagination has worked extremely closely with Epic for many years as it has continuously pushed the boundaries of mobile graphics with Unreal Engine technology," Tony King-Smith, VP of Marketing, Imagination Technologies. "We are delighted that our collaboration is extending into the Android space and that Epic is making such excellent use of our PowerVR GPUs and tools as it brings the best of gaming capability to the rapidly growing Android market."
New iOS Update
Today Epic also released an update for "Epic Citadel" on the App Store that improves the industry-leading visuals of the iOS app. Available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, "Epic Citadel" now supports high-resolution devices and offers aesthetics even more striking than previously seen.
About Unreal Engine
Developed by Epic Games, the award-winning Unreal Engine is known for its cutting-edge graphics technology, world-class toolset and scalability across PC, console and mobile platforms. Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) is designed to accelerate developers' productivity for creating high-quality games, applications, training simulations, visualizations, digital films and animated entertainment. Powering hundreds of games and integrated with two dozen leading middleware technologies, UE3 holds more than 20 technology awards, including eight Game Developer Front Line Awards and five Develop Industry Excellence Awards. The Unreal Engine also owns a seat in the Front Line Awards Hall of Fame. Unreal Engine 4 (UE4), winner of multiple Best of E3 2012 awards, offers unprecedented graphical capabilities and workflow improvements that provide unparalleled accessibility for developers building the next generation of games and applications. For more information, visit http://www.unrealengine.com and follow @UnrealEngine.
About Epic Games
Established in 1991, Epic Games, Inc. develops cutting-edge games and cross-platform game engine technology. The company is responsible for the bestselling "Unreal" series of games, the blockbuster "Gears of War" franchise and the groundbreaking "Infinity Blade" line of mobile games. Epic's award-winning Unreal Engine technology has won dozens of awards and is available for licensing. Epic is continually recruiting top talent for its studios located in North Carolina, Washington, Utah, Maryland, Poland, Korea and Japan. For more information, visit http://www.epicgames.com and follow @EpicGames.
Epic, Epic Games, Gears of War, Infinity Blade, Unreal, Unreal Engine, UE3, UE4, Unreal Lightmass and Unreal Tournament are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
Amazon's been doing a pretty decent job at blanketing those Android and iOS Kindle applications with the latest and greatest, but the same couldn't exactly be said about its Windows Phone counterpart. Today there's great news for users of Redmond's mobile OS, however, as the Fire maker has announced an update that brings some much-needed support for Windows Phone 8 to the app, which should pair well with the company's Whispersync tech and the extensive e-book repertoire it has to offer. There might be one caveat, though: early adopters of the refreshed Kindle app have said it's facing some crashing issues and, in some cases, even having trouble launching -- a few folks, meanwhile, have mentioned that it's best to do a clean install rather than update the previous version in order to avoid any woes. The link to grab the application is down below, and do use the comments section to let us know how the process turned out for you.
Source: Windows Phone
25/01/2013 - Amazon's Cloud Drive Photos for Android gets auto-save feature, additional functionality
Despite being a little too busy scooping up companies and striking new streaming deals, Amazon hasn't exactly been overlooking its set of mobile and desktop applications. Most recently, the online retail behemoth announced a refresh was on hand for Cloud Drive Photos on Android, providing users of said app with an auto-save option that, as you likely guessed, allows pics to be automatically uploaded to ones cloud account -- this, according to Amazon, was "the most requested feature from our customers." Better yet, version 1.2 also brings camera integration to devices running Android 4.0.4 or later, which will make it easier for some folks to quickly snap a shot and save it to the cloud-based drive without too much effort. Other tidbits like multiple file downloads and uploads made it to this release as well, making for a pretty plentiful update overall -- links to download from Google Play or Amazon's own app store can be found down below.
17/01/2013 - Amazon's MP3 store 'optimized' for iOS devices via Safari, allows for easier track purchases
Roughly half a year after the launch of its Cloud Player for iOS, Amazon today announced that it has 'optimized' its MP3 store for Apple's mobile browser. Now iPhone / iPad / iPod touch owners can quickly buy music from the service via the mobile version of Safari. Purchased tracks will save to the Cloud Player and then can be downloaded to those devices, as well as the Kindle Fire, Android devices and Sonos systems. Those looking to pick up Yo La Tengo's new record for $5 can direct their handset to the source link below.
We've grown accustomed to the Huawei Ascend P1 ourselves, but most Americans haven't had that same luxury without going through an importer. Huawei wants to be more accommodating, if somewhat belatedly: it's now selling its mid-tier phone directly to the US through Amazon. Shelling out $450 gets the same 4.3-inch screen, dual-core 1.5GHz processor and lightly customized Android 4.0 as elsewhere, but in an unlocked form with a proper US warranty. The only real disappointment is that it's not the LTE variant, although we'll bite when there's HSPA+ 3G for American GSM carriers like AT&T, Straight Talk and T-Mobile. If you're willing to make the sacrifice for carrier independence, the Ascend P1 awaits at the source link.
02/01/2013 - Amazon gets Apple's false advertising claim dismissed from trademark infringement lawsuit
It's been awhile since we last had news from Apple's App Store-based trademark infringement lawsuit against Amazon. Today, Amazon got Apple's claim for false advertising dismissed from that very same case after filing for partial summary judgement. In finding for Amazon, the judge held that Apple failed to identify a single false statement (expressly stated or implied) that Amazon made about the nature, characteristics, or quality of the Amazon Appstore that would deceive customers into thinking it was the same as the Apple App Store -- a legal requirement to establish false advertising under federal law. Not a bad way for Bezos to ring in the new year, eh?
Source: Court Order [PDF]
17/12/2012 - Foxconn reportedly manufacturing Amazon smartphone
Rumors about an Amazon smartphone heated up this summer, and the latest whispers -- from Taiwan Economic News -- say the e-retailer is turning to Foxconn to construct its handset. Amazon is said to have put in a five-million-unit order with the Chinese company, which we've already seen mentioned as the potential manufacturer for this device. The report also says the phone will launch in the second or third quarter of 2013, with a price somewhere in the $100-to-$200 range. Stay tuned, as more rumors are sure to come.
Source: Taiwan Economic News
iPad owners have had access since early August, and at long last, iPod touch and iPhone users can say "Us too." The second major reason to crack open the App Store today has just surfaced, with Amazon confirming that its Instant Video app is now available for two of Apple's more bantam iOS products. Much like the iPad version, this one provides access to over 30,000 titles from Prime Instant Video available to Prime members for no extra cost, while the roaming public at large can tap into some 140,000 titles at various price points. To watch movies or TV episodes from Amazon Instant Video on iPhone and iPod touch, customers can simply search for the content they've already rented or purchased from Amazon Instant Video, and the company's also throwing in "Your Watchlist" and "Your Video Library" features, too.
Per usual, the app itself is free to download, and there's a link to the App Store over there in the source section. Oh, and for those wondering about AirPlay support? Unfortunately, it remains audio-only. We just tested the new build using a 3rd-generation iPad as well as an iPhone 4S to an Apple TV, and while the app happily passed audio from a film to our television, the video remained on the device itself. Bah, humbug!
Amazon's augmented reality app for bargain hunters on-the-go, Flow, just got a bit handier with the recent addition of deeper search functionality. Released initially on iOS in November of 2011 and subsequently made available to Android users this past July, the app allows users to browse and compare prices in Amazon's inventory by scanning items in brick-and-mortar shops. And now, with this latest Android-only update, users will also be able to incorporate text, URLs and phone numbers into their image queries, as well as scan and receive data on a slew of items in one pass. It's live now on Google Play, so hit up the source below to get your download started.
Source: Google Play
10/12/2012 - GameStop now stocking Kindle Fire tablets, handing out free virtual bucks with purchase
The Kindle Fire line of tablets is the latest set of electronics to grace GameStop store shelves in the US, the Texas company announced recently. From the baby 7-inch all the way to the larger 8.9-inch, the entire Fire line will be carried in all of GameStop's 4,400 US-based locations after a successful test run earlier this year with various Android-based tablets -- presumably it won't be too long before discounted, used versions of the tablets become widely available, as GameStop's offering a $100 in-store credit trade incentive toward the original Kindle Fire. Sadly, you'll only snag the free $25 Amazon.com gift card (offered through the end of January) if you purchase a brand new Fire, but then there's always that $50 off sale going on today, right?
Amazon has made a big selling point of X-ray for Kindle books -- but, not surprisingly, for its own platforms first. iOS readers can reclaim some equal footing today now that a Kindle 3.5 update is bringing X-ray to their devices. The addition lets iPad and iPhone bookworms see a map of where characters, places and phrases appear in a given book, whether it's to find a favorite passage or just to keep track of intricate storylines. Very thorough literary types just need to hit the source link for the update they've likely been craving for months.
Source: App Store
Sometimes you hack for the heck of it. And for xda member GalaxyUser, that "just because" mission statement was enough to warrant a port of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 experience to the Nexus S. Yes, you read that right. This ROM was made for that Gingerbread flagship of yore, not Google's more appropriately sized 7-inch tablet. So although the carousel UI seems to boot just fine, allowing access to Amazon's apps, WiFi and the accelerometer, there's not much that's workable on the phone side of things (i.e., calls, camera, Bluetooth and sound, amongst others). Needless to say, you shouldn't attempt this without a firm grasp on the ins and outs of rooting, nor is the ROM a wise choice for a daily driver. But as a mere dalliance with the flashdance that is Android, you can't go wrong.
Source: xda developers
Move over various European countries -- Japan's the latest region to receive Amazon's Android "Appstore" (no, that isn't a word). The store went live today in Japan, bringing with it all you've come to expect from Amazon's virtual mobile store: Angry Birds, Facebook, and much, much more. Also in-tow is Amazon's "Free App of the Day" initiative, and a variety of unique app selections from Japan-specific developers like Square Enix and NTT Docomo. The Japanese version of the Appstore features the same cross-device functionality found in other regions, meaning one app purchase suffices for all your Android devices. Amazon isn't saying if any major, expected apps are missing from the store, and our Japanese isn't so hot, so we'd appreciate you letting us know if you spot any major whiffs in the selection department.
The Amazon Appstore updated to version 184.108.40.206C today, mending an account switching logout issue plaguing Android 4.2 users. Other new software highlights include: long press removal of applications from My Apps, a battery drain bug fix and a Kindle Fire HD inspired makeover for the Appstore's UI. Don't have Amazon's alternative to Google Play, but would like to give it a spin? Hit the source link below for a complete installation walkthrough of its latest version. Incumbents, feel free to pull down the update from within the app itself and wave bye-bye to those pesky bugs.
Via: Android Police
Would you like a little silicon gore to go with that Kindle Fire HD 8.9 review? Well, you're in luck as the folks over at PowerbookMedic have just posted a teardown of Amazon's high-end tablet. Despite sharing a physical similarity to its 7-inch sibling, there are a few surprises inside: like its predominant use of Samsung-sourced components, in addition to a connected 6,000mAh dual battery setup. DIY types can hit up the source below for an illustrated how-to, but as always, we caution you to proceed at your own risk.