Jumping Ship: Google Glass lead creator ditching for Amazon

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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We’ve seen some pretty wild ideas come out of Google X Labs in the past few years — Google Glass for one, Google Contact Lenses, driverless cars and Project Loon are just a few.

But now it seems that the man responsible for all that, Babak Parviz, (now-former) Google X director, will be leaving the company to work on new projects with Amazon.

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Federal Trade Commission suing Amazon for wrongfully billing consumers with in-app purchases

by Justin Herrick on
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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is claiming that Amazon wrongfully billed consumers with in-app purchases committed by children. The company was apparently allowing children to make in-app purchases without parental approval. As soon as an in-app purchase request is brought up, there is no way of stopping the user from going through with it. Amazon has had policies to require a password when the amount exceeds $20, but in-app purchases typically total much less (until they build up). While a specific amount is not detailed, the FTC does say the total is in the millions. Last week, Amazon declined a settlement to avoid any future troubles.

Source: FTC

Google reportedly working on major plans to take on Amazon

by Jeff Causey on
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Although Google is recognized as the giant amongst search engines, much to the delight of advertisers, it is not the “go to” shopping destination for many consumers. That title may be claimed by Amazon which has built an empire on the sales of books which led to a portfolio of just about anything one may want to buy. This means Google is missing out on an opportunity to help advertisers close the deal on the ads they are serving up with search results and it means advertisers may want to focus more resources on Amazon’s platform. To combat this, Google is reportedly amassing a war chest to expand their Google Shopping Express service beyond the limited markets where it is available. » Read the rest

Amazon Fire Phone isn’t setting the world on ‘fire’

by Robert Nazarian on
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Seriously!! Was anyone excited about the Amazon Fire Phone after it was announced? I know I wasn’t, and there can’t be too many of you that were.

Based on Amazon’s own best-selling electronics category, it’s not doing too well. It was in fourth-place two days after the announcement of the device, but it has dropped pretty rapidly since then. As of today, the 32 GB model sits at 61, and the 64 GB model isn’t even on the list.

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LG Chromebase goes on sale through Amazon for $329

by Justin Herrick on
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Until now, there has been no way to own a desktop running Chrome OS. The only similar option would be to purchase a Chromebox and hook it up to a sizable monitor. With the new Chromebase, there is an affordable Chrome OS desktop. On Amazon, LG’s Chromebase costs $329, down from $349. It ships with the all-in-one monitor, mouse, and keyboard.

Specifications for the LG Chromebase are pretty good considering the price. The 22-inch display has 1080p resolution and inside is an Intel Celeron processor (2955U) with 2GB of RAM. The RAM is a little iffy, but we’re sure not everyone is throwing a whole lot at a Chrome OS device. There is also a 16GB solid-state drive (SSD), but the cloud will be backing up this machine with the included 100GB of Google Drive storage. On the rear is one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and even an ethernet port.

Source: Amazon

Amazon hosting two day promotion full of free apps

by Jack Holt on
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One of the major driving forces of the Amazon Appstore — when it was first released — was the free app of the day. In the beginning, Amazon sported useful apps that if you were on the ball, saved you hundreds of dollars in purchases. However as time progress, the quality of free apps per day as since declined. However every so often, Amazon has promotions that brings back the chance of getting those useful apps for free. Starting today, Amazon is holding a promotion, through tomorrow, offering about a $100/£100 worth of apps for free.

Some notable apps include Plex, Accuweather Premium, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Splashtop Remote Desktop. Depending on whether you’re in the UK or the US, you have a few different apps to pick from, but for the most part they’re consistent. Hit the source to get to your respective deals.

source: Amazon (US), Amazon (UK)

Should LG and Samsung fear the Amazon Fire Phone?

by Robert Nazarian on
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Last week Amazon finally introduced their first smartphone to the world, which didn’t seem all that spectacular. Amazon does have a major brand, but the pricing and lack of anything compelling makes me wonder if it will succeed. However, according to a report from the Korea Times, Samsung and LG should be scared.

One industry official said, “The top appealing factor for the Amazon phone is competitive pricing and the technology that enables it to produce three-dimensional (3D) images.” What competitive pricing? $199 on contract and $650 off contract is far from competitive. Yes, the 3D, or as the call it dynamic perspective, is different, but is it something that consumers really desire?

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Amazon dangles carrot worth $15,000 of Amazon Coins in front of developers to optimize apps for Fire Phone

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Many industry forecasters have said that Amazon has set itself up for failure with its new Fire Phone — the device doesn’t have the specs we’ve come to expect from extreme high-end devices, and some of the features, like the camera identification feature that links straight to the Amazon app, isn’t exactly new in terms of technology (Google Goggles) and seems a bit gimmicky. Not the mention the price is pretty steep (right up there with today’s flagships, the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8) and its AT&T exclusivity.

However, Amazon will be doing anything and everything it can to make sure the device doesn’t fail. Today, the company announced that it will be giving out up to $15,000 in Amazon Coins to developers if they update their apps to be optimized for the Fire Phone. Hit the break to see Amazon’s guidelines regarding what’s on the table here:

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Missed Amazon announcing the Fire Phone? Watch it again here

by Justin Herrick on
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Earlier today, Amazon announced the Fire Phone. But don’t worry even if you did not get to watch the Fire Phone get announced live. Amazon has posted the press conference in its entirety. The near ninety-minute video starts with CEO Jeff Bezos introducing the device and ends with the full version of the teaser video that was released a few weeks ago.

Hit the break for the video. » Read the rest

Amazon finally enters the smartphone game with the unveiling of the Fire Phone

by Robert Nazarian on
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We have heard so many rumors regarding an Amazon smartphone, we were thinking it was just an urban legend. Today is a different story as Amazon finally announced their very own smartphone, not surprisingly called the Fire Phone.

It sports a 4.7-inch IPS LCD HD (1280 x 720) display, a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and OIS, and dual stereo speakers. It also features a dedicated camera shutter button, Gorilla Glass 3, a rubber frame, aluminum buttons, and injection-molded steel connectors. Amazon will even throw in tangle-free earbuds in the box.

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