Amazon reportedly will include apps from competing services when it launches its new set top TV box. The launch of an Amazon device to compete with hardware from Roku and others has been delayed since last year’s holiday season. At that time it was reported Amazon had struck a deal to include Netflix. The latest report indicates Hulu Plus has been added to the mix. In addition, support for the DIAL protocol is apparently in the works.
With the inclusion of the DIAL protocol, Amazon’s new device will be in a better position to compete with a device like the Google Chromecast that lets users launch streams from their smartphones and tablets. The device is expected to come with its own dedicated remote as well. Like other Amazon devices, the set top box is expected to be powered by a forked version of Android. This means Google apps, including YouTube, likely would not come loaded on the device.
Does the release of a device giving you access to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video, along with other potential streaming services, interest you?
In case you haven’t noticed, in the world of consumer electronics there is a continual effort going on to enable consumers to share content between their mobile devices and non-mobile devices like TVs. An example of this is Apple’s AirPlay system that gives users the ability to mirror iPad or iPhone content to their Apple TV. Apple’s solution enables some other features as well like initiating playback of remote content. Key to this is the ability to discover AirPlay capable devices. Great if you are part of the Apple ecosystem, not so great if you use other solutions or have hardware from other manufacturers. Netflix and YouTube hope to provide an alternative for non-Apple consumers and have launched DIAL with the backing of several other parties. Companies like Samsung, Sony, Hulu and the BBC are backing the effort to develop and implement the DIAL protocol.
After Verizon customers installed the DL09 update for the Samsung Fascinate, they noticed that the Emergency Dialer was not functioning properly when using the Pattern Lock. The Emergency Dialer button does not display at times, but this was not seen by all users who updated. Samsung does recognize this as an issue however, as it does pose some potential risk to users who may need the function in…well, an Emergency Situation.
Samsung had this to say;
It has come to the attention of Samsung Mobile during the recent DL09 OTA (Over-the-Air) update for the Samsung Fascinate that some users utilizing the Pattern Lock are finding that the Emergency Call shortcut is not automatically launching the dialer. However, unlocking the device will allow the user to make calls as they normally would, including emergency calls. We apologize for the inconvenience and are continuing to evaluate the issue, including if the issue is linked to the update.
Good job Samsung. may be a good idea for anyone who has installed the DL09 update to disable the Pattern Lock feature in your Security Settings area until Samsung has put out a fix.