Amazon’s iffy Fire Phone is getting a software update today, bringing it up to version 3.5.1. That incremental bump brings along a few features and fixes to some slight annoyances that the phone launched with, but it’s not a dramatic change.
In an effort to make developing apps for an easier process, Amazon has released a suite of tools for developers to test their application through the Amazon App Store. These tools will allow a developer to push out updates to selected users to make sure the app works well in a consumer environment instead of just the test environment the app was built in. This includes testing in-app purchase APIs and stability to guarantee your app or update is rock solid before it gets pushed out to the masses.
Using the Amazon Kindle app as your go-to reading application just got a whole lot more useful due to version 4.6′s enhancements. The only addition not available to everyone is immersive full-screen mode as that is a capability that launched with Android 4.4 KitKat. Everything else is fair game and most of it is simplification changes. For example, the screen orientation lock can be toggled by tapping the bottom right corner of a page. The system brightness can be accessed through the reader’s settings. And audio playback can be controlled from the lock screen of the device.
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Unlike the Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon’s Fire Phone retails for a fairly high price. It currently runs $199 with a two-year contract and $649 without a contract, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S 5, Apple’s iPhone 5S, the HTC One, etc. For a company that thrives on getting customers into its ecosystem, the Fire Phone has a pretty high barrier for entry, unlike the other hardware Amazon sells. As it turns out, though, Amazon has to sell the phone for a higher price because the device itself costs quite a bit to make.
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.
According to Chitika statistics, while Samsung devices generate the most mobile traffic in the US at 55%, Amazon generates the second most. This isn’t really that surprising, but it does mean that Kindle tablets outdo Motorola, HTC and LG devices when it comes to web traffic. Because of that, it is only a matter of time before we see an Amazon mobile device.
Amazon’s plan was to take over a large enough portion of the mobile content market to be able to release a smartphone of their own. Well that plan is well on track.
Rumors about the possible release of an Amazon smartphone have been around for a while now, but it seems we’re getting a lot closer to a possible release. According to Digitimes, Primax Electronics has received orders from Amazon for compact camera modules for smartphones to be launched in the first half of 2014.
Such smartphones feature floating touch technology, with each to be equipped with six CCMs for sensing, and Primax will supply more than 50% of the CCMs, the sources said. Primax declined to comment on the sources’ claims.
This report also supports the rumor that Amazon will be using multiple front facing cameras in order to push a 3D display that will track users and their movements. A smartphone also would make sense for the company given the success of the Amazon Kindle Fire.
These days everything is being packed into one device that can conquer any task. You can watch movies, listen to music, socialize with friends and family, and play games with your smartphone or tablet. You can also indulge in your favorite book and be swept away by words that capture you for hours. And with the Play Store, it can be daunting to find the right app for what you need. Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ve listed the best apps in the Play Store for reading books and syncing between devices. Hit the break to get started.
Amazon has announced a couple new deals on Kindle titles, one aimed at Prime members and another that will be available for all Amazon customers. The first of these is called Kindle First and will only be available to Amazon Prime members. Amazon will prepare a list of Kindle titles scheduled for release and give Prime members with an opportunity to download one for free up to a month in advance of its regular release. Amazon is hoping this benefit will help entice more customers to sign up for a Prime membership.
The second new program is called Countdown Deals. Publishers who opt-in to the program will make their titles available at a discount of at least one dollar. The titles must be exclusive to the Kindle platform to qualify. Users will access the page for the title and will see the discount price along with a countdown until the deal expires. This is hoped to get customers to make a quicker purchase decision.
After the tablet craze started, Amazon jumped and and built a solid tablet lineup with the Kindle Fire, which is still one of the most dominant Android tablets in the market today, and according to BGR Amazon is going to make some major improvements to their tablets by the end of the year to stay competitive. There will be three new tablets to replace current models on the market, which includes the Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″.