Amazon has packed a lot of cool new features into their Fire Phone, but apparently this has come at the cost of repairability. The fine folks over at iFixit have done their traditional teardown of Amazon’s first foray into smartphones and its not looking good, earning a repairability score of 3 out of 10 (with 10 being the easiest to repair). Everything starts out simple enough with the use of standard screws and the lack of adhesive holding the casing together, but once you get inside, things get a bit more tricky.
We have literally no idea how Amazon’s Prime Music is doing commercially, but it did recently add “hundreds of thousands of songs” and hundreds of playlists to the service.
The expanded availability of music is good for its current users, which can listen through their smartphones, computers, and Amazon’s cloud player.
When the Fire Phone was announced, many wondered how exactly it would utilize so many sensors for the Dynamic Perspective. Specifically, there was a concern with games. How could Amazon possibly take advantage of a key feature for gaming? Well, the company is putting its Game Studios to work. The company has developed two games for the Fire Phone just in time for its launch on July 25.
Both games Amazon is releasing belong to the puzzle genre but differ slightly. To-Fu Fury is a platformer that literally features a ninja-like tofu. The other is Saber’s Edge and involves strategic play and pirates. Be prepared to move around while playing because movement is exactly what these two were designed for. Both cost $1.99 and are ready for Fire Phone owners.
Hit the break to watch the trailers. » Read the rest
There are a few options for people wanting to take everything in their wallet and turn it digital. Google Wallet and Isis (which it is being called for now) are both among the popular choices. Amazon is the newest entrant with an appropriately named app. Amazon Wallet will collect and store you gift cards and loyalty cards from various retailers and companies.
Right now, Amazon Wallet is missing the ability to actually act as a payment tool. So its current state is more of a digital wallet strictly for storage. To easily add items to the digital wallet, Amazon Wallet will allow users to use their devices to scan barcodes.
Hit the break for download links. » Read the rest
Following up on the news yesterday that Amazon was about ready to launch a new subscription service, today Amazon has officially released Kindle Unlimited for $9.99 per month. The service functions in a manner similar to Netflix. Once customers pay the monthly subscription fee, they have unlimited access to the library of titles included in the service. The comes to over 600,000 ebooks and thousands of audiobooks. » Read the rest
The best way to launch a new phone is to show its features. That way, consumers can see what makes it a differentiator. Amazon, though, completely disagrees. In the first commercial for the Fire Phone, Amazon instead focuses on the handset’s free one-year subscription of the Amazon Prime service. The rest of the Fire Phone is left to just be there.
It was only a matter of time before Amazon created an unlimited ebook subscription service and to be honest, I’m surprised it took this long. Anyway, Amazon is looking at introducing “kindle unlimited.” An ebook service offering over 600,000 titles on top of thousands of audiobooks on any device that supports Kindle, the service will cost you $9.99 a month.
Even though Amazon has their own Kindle line of tablets powered by a forked version of Android, they have made the majority of their apps available to other Android devices except for one. That one app is Amazon Prime Instant Video, and as this point in the game, we just assumed they would never release it. However, it looks like the tide might be changing.
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.
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.