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Amazon Inks Multi-year Deal With HBO, Bringing HBO GO Programming to Fire TV and Prime Members

Posted by Tim-o-tato April - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off
Amazon Inks Multi-year Deal With HBO, Bringing HBO GO Programming to Fire TV and Prime Members

Since its release only a couple of weeks ago, the one thing Fire TV from Amazon has really been missing out on, is HBO GO. Both companies, Amazon and HBO, have announced a new multi-year deal, in which Amazon Prime members and owners of the Fire TV will have access to HBO GO’s programming, such as exclusive TV shows, movies, and more. 

What makes this deal different, and which sets Amazon apart from the rest of the market, is that this is the first case where HBO has licensed HBO GO to an online-only subscription streaming service. Amazon Prime members will not need another special GO account for access, as it is with all other cases today. For example, other set-top boxes have access to HBO GO, but you need an HBO GO account which can be costly depending on your service provider. 

As for when HBO GO will become accessible to Amazon customers, the company states that Prime members should see the first wave of content hit Instant Video beginning May 21, with additional content rolling out over a multi-year period. So, if you don’t see your favorite HBO GO show on launch day, don’t panic, it will come eventually.

Fire TV owners should expect access on their boxes by this year’s end, which may seem far away, but at least we now know it is coming.

If you have been on the fence about an Amazon Prime account, or a Fire TV, this new deal may make both sound a bit more tempting.

Via: Amazon

Amazon Inks Multi-year Deal With HBO, Bringing HBO GO Programming to Fire TV and Prime Members is a post from: Droid Life

HBO content heading to Amazon Prime Instant Video

Posted by wicked April - 23 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Amazon Prime members will soon be able to watch HBO. Announced just this morning, a new partnership between Amazon and HBO will make “Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription home for select HBO programming.” Prime members will be able to begin streaming on May 21st, and Fire TV users can also look forward to getting an HBO GO app.

For now the HBO GO app for the Fire TV is said to be coming “by year-end.” As for the “select” aspect of the Prime availability; the list includes all seasons of The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Rome and Six Feet Under as well as Eastbound & Down, Enlightened and Flight of the Conchords. Prime Members will also be able to stream some miniseries, original movies, documentaries and comedy specials.

  • Epic miniseries, including Angels in America, Band of Brothers, John Adams, The Pacific and Parade’s End
  • Select seasons of current series such as Boardwalk Empire, Treme and True Blood
  • Hit original movies like Game Change, Too Big To Fail and You Don’t Know Jack
  • Pedigreed documentaries including the Autopsy and Iceman series, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib and When the Levees Broke
  • Hilarious original comedy specials from Lewis Black, Ellen DeGeneres, Louis CK and Bill Maher

This is described as being a multi-year deal. Coming along with the previously mentioned content will be early seasons of shows such as Girls, The Newsroom and Veep.

This marks the first time HBO has licensed content out to an online streaming service. It also happens to come at a good time for Amazon, and a not so good time for Netflix. This deal is exclusive to Amazon, which means Netflix users will not be seeing HBO content. But perhaps equally important to consider was the recent news about price increases coming to Netflix. Sure, Prime was recently upped, but the value seems to remain as the service includes quite a bit more than streaming video.

SOURCE: Amazon

New details about Amazon’s smartphone customizations revealed

Posted by wicked April - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off


With so many smartphones on the market, it is becoming increasingly difficult for a company to distinguish their device from others just based on a leap forward with hardware specs. More companies are turning to customizations of the operating system to enhance how users interact with a device. We already saw Motorola do this with some of the unique features they incorporated into the Moto X last year. Amazon appears to have figured out this same strategy as their forthcoming entry into the smartphone market uses a combination of sensors and customizations to Android to produce some unique interface improvements.

As we know, Amazon is planning to include several cameras in their new smartphone that will be used to track the position of a user’s head. This information will be used to generate some 3D effects. New information suggests Amazon plans to also use this information, along with other sensor data, to change the way users interact with their device. Several of these effects involve the display of information based on the tilt of the phone. For instance, in the email and calendar apps, when a user is presented with an icon with no label, the phone can be tilted to display information about what the icon does. Similarly, when viewing a location like a restaurant in the maps app, ratings information will pop up when the phone is tilted.

A couple other examples include some of Amazon’s own apps like the video store. When a user is scanning movie listings, a tilt of the device can display IMDb ratings. In the app, when viewing an item users can just tilt the device to scroll through images of an item.

Amazon’s technology will also be used for things like navigation and access to menus in applications. For example, instead of having to tap on buttons to expose the slide out menu for an app, users can just tilt the smartphone. Another example is in the messaging app where a tilt of the phone can be used to open the gallery of images to insert a photo. Sources say users will also be able to tilt the smartphone on an up/down axis to scroll through long pages like a web page in a browser or pages in a Kindle book.

Supposedly Amazon is also including some optical character recognition capabilities baked into the operating system that can be used for things like road signs or business cards.

Overall, it appears Amazon is working to reduce the level of tapping and sliding that users have to engage in when using their smartphones, relying more on motion. If you could just tilt your smartphone to navigate menus and access app features, would you consider that an improvement? Do you think other manufacturers will jump on board and follow Amazon’s lead in this area?

source: BGR

Come comment on this article: New details about Amazon’s smartphone customizations revealed

Report: Amazon’s 3D Smart Phone Will Feature Tilt Navigation Tricks

Posted by Kellex April - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off
Report:  Amazon’s 3D Smart Phone Will Feature Tilt Navigation Tricks

Last week, the first photos of Amazon’s rumored 3D-enabled smartphone leaked along with talk of multiple cameras and sensors that would follow your every move to present you with a potentially-gimmicky, yet semi-interesting user experience. Today, we are learning about more gimmicks, or at least rumored features that Amazon will try to use to create something unique in an industry needing inspiration. We are talking tilt gestures for navigating the device. 

According to sources of BGR, the Amazon 3D phone will not utilize traditional menu buttons like you have become accustomed to over the years. Instead, tilting the phone in certain directions will either reveal hidden menus or more information depending on the setting. For example, a tilt could reveal icon labels that would normally be hidden or X-ray information if you are watching a movie in Prime. Other examples would be utilizing a tilt to display a camera roll in your text messaging app to quickly share recently taken photos or turn pages in one of the Kindle apps while reading a book or magazine. You get the idea, right?

I personally turn off every single tilt-gesture feature that has ever been built into a phone because they typically are more frustrating to use than rewarding. I also would hope that Amazon has built in the most amazing display tech on Earth if they are going to use tilt gestures, with the greatest viewing angles known to man. The last thing I want to do is tilt my phone and kill off a clean viewing angle in order to access a menu that is accessed just as easily with a simple tap of a button on every other phone.

Sound interesting to you?

Via:  BGR

Report: Amazon’s 3D Smart Phone Will Feature Tilt Navigation Tricks is a post from: Droid Life

Amazon smartphone expected to make use of tilt gestures

Posted by wicked April - 22 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Images of the still unannounced Amazon smartphone surfaced earlier in the month. Those pics detailed a setup that included a handful of front-facing cameras. But while we were able to see those from the pics, the actual style of the handset was disguised with an exterior casing/shell. Perhaps a bit more important were the details about how those cameras on the front would be used to “track the position of the user’s face and eyes in relation to the phone’s display.”

Flash forward till today and it seems we are now getting some details regarding the user interface. These are being shared by BGR who mention Amazon will introduce a “variety of unique gesture controls” and about how the smartphone will make use of tilt gestures.

We’ve been pretty happy with touching and tapping, but in the case of Amazon it looks like they will be using this setup for a few reasons. There was mention of this simply being a “point of differentiation” and also a “way for larger devices such as Amazon’s upcoming 4.7-inch flagship phone to be operated more comfortably with one hand.”

Some examples include the following;

  • Using the Kindle app and tilting the phone to the side will open the X-Ray menu.
  • A tilt while using the messaging app to compose a new message will open a new panel with the option to insert an image.
  • The email and calendar apps are said to have small icons with no labels, and a tilt will show the labels beneath the icons.

Otherwise, there was also mention of the smartphone using optical character recognition (OCR). Bottom line here, BGR has been accurate on Amazon leaks in the past, but we aren’t sure how well the average user is going to adapt to a smartphone relying so heavily on gestures as opposed to what they are used to — tapping.


Games seen to be the next warzone for mobile platform exclusivity

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Now that a good number of popular apps are mostly available on multiple mobile operating systems, or their users expect them to be, platform makers such as Google, Apple, and Amazon are looking for the next big opportunity to pull in new users or keep old ones from jumping ship. Now they’ve seen the next battlefield for buyers’ hearts and money: games.

When Plants vs Zombies 2 came out exclusively on iOS months before Android, there was talk of how Apple offered EA some sweet deals to make the hit game exclusive to Apple’s platform before any other. While both parties naturally denied such rumors, it, apparently, wasn’t the first and only case. And it’s not even that unusual. Other game developers and publishers, such ZeptoLabs of Cut the Rope fame or distributor Gameloft have implied as much. And there are no signs that things are going to change any time soon.

We’ve seen such kind of business before, particularly in consoles and handhelds, though fortunately there are those whose profit goals are greater than any platform exclusivity can offer. And games are a good fit for such offers. Games are harder to develop than most mobile apps. They are also harder to port from one platform to another, practically forcing most developers, especially small-sized ones, to capitalize on a single platform as much as they can. And what better way to do that than accepting an offer of free promotion, marketing, and whatnot, in exchange for shunning a good portion of the market. Some analysts believe that people who love a game enough will switch over to the platform that best supports it.

In the past, Apple has had the lion’s share of such exclusive titles, primarily because it was first on the scene and its ecosystem is, admittedly, quite tight. Android fragmentation, both in OS and especially in hardware, has been one of the biggest banes of mobile game development. That, however, is changing, with Android consolidating on its versions as well as its tools. But Google and Apple might have another contender to worry about, and its not Microsoft. Amazon has also been seeking exclusive deals with game developers in the past, but now it’s stepping up its game. Its purchase of game developer Double Helix and its launch of the Fire TV proves that it has an eye on that pie and is ready to fight for it.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal

CyanogenMod 11 nightly builds available for Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 and HD 8.9

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

True to their word last week, the CyanogenMod team has switched on the build system for producing nightlies for two of Amazon’s previous generation Kindle Fire HD tablets. Now owners of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and Kindle Fire HD 7 may choose to run the latest CyanogenMod version should they tire of Amazon‘s own walled garden that will likely be unmaintained soon.

The arrival of the new Kindle Fire HDX line, as well as the Kindle Fire HD refresh, has practically signaled an inevitable end for Amazon’s older Android-based tablets. Although Amazon has not yet given official word, such is the lifecycle of mobile devices. Now hope comes from CyanogenMod, at least for those willing to part with Amazon’s custom interface and ecosystem in exchange for a more up to date and upgradeable Android system.

In last week’s roundup, CyanogenMod mentioned that nightly builds for these tablets are all but ready to be fired up pending some very minor changes. Those builds are now indeed available for the Kindle Fire HD 7 “tate” and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 “jem”. What makes these two tablets quite unique is that they run on an OMAP TI processor, which is quite out of date and rare by today’s standards. The new Kindle Fire HDX series run on a more common Qualcomm brand, but the newer 2013 model of the Kindle Fire HD 7 still runs on an OMAP TI.

Kindle Fire HD owners excited for CyanogenMod goodness should probably remember what nightly builds are, or, rather, what they are not. A CM11 nightly build for any device does not necessarily mean it will get an M snapshot release, much less a final stable CM11 release. It all depends on the state of the build at the time of testing and on the maintainer’s decision. That said, for users who can live with occasional problems, bug fixes, and raw new features, CyanogenMod nightlies might present a better alternative to running old, unsupported, and maybe even insecure Android versions.

Download: CyanogenMod (Kindle Fire HD 7 “tate”), (Kindle Fire HD 8.9 “jem”)

Official CyanogenMod support re-ignites the flame for 2012 Kindle Fire HD

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

cyanogenmod nexus 5 boot screen aa 1

Amazon is one of those companies that have successfully forked Android into their own ecosystem, particularly with the Kindle Fire line. Intended to be an e-reader and a tablet for consuming digital content, the Kindle Fire ran well with Amazon’s wide offering of e-books, movies and TV shows, as well as apps in the Amazon Appstore. While the Kindle Fire line’s market share is on the decline, Amazon enjoys a healthy revenue stream from the tablet from the sale of digital content.

But underneath it all, the tablet is a fairly capable Android device, and many an enthusiast actually bought the inexpensive Kindle Fire line in order to root and install custom ROMs. Most of these efforts were unsupported ROMs however, most of which were community supported. This is about to change, with the official CyanogenMod 11 support for the 2012 Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7″ and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ introducing KitKat to the device.

Nightly builds are already available on official CM download channels, codenamed “tate” for the 7″ variant and “jem” for the 8.9″ device. These will require a rooted device with a custom recovery, which should not be difficult if you are into hacking and tweaking your Android device. Note that there is still no official CM support for the latest Kindle Fire HDX line.

Fire OS, the Android fork that comes with the Kindle Fire line is designed with simplicity in mind, and as such, it is considered to be very limited, especially by Android enthusiasts. Official CM11 support for the device should be a welcome development especially for users who are into breathing new life into older devices or repurposing these through custom ROMs.

Do you have a Kindle Fire HD? Are you looking into repurposing or reviving it with a custom ROM?

Deal: Amazon has the Verizon Galaxy S5 for $99 (Upgrades and New Accounts)

Posted by Kellex April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off
Deal:  Amazon has the Verizon Galaxy S5 for $99 (Upgrades and New Accounts)

Since launch, the Samsung Galaxy S5 for Verizon has been sold out at Amazon, probably because of its insanely low $99 on-contract price, which is half of what everyone else is selling it for. Today, Amazon changed the in-stock status to “2 to 3 weeks,” so if you had been holding out on purchasing the phone until Amazon gave you a better estimate on shipping, now you have it.

Keep in mind that Verizon is still running a BOGO (buy one get one free) deal on the Galaxy S5, but that deal also requires two contracts to be signed. With Amazon’s $99 price, you could just do one phone if you’d like.

The deal is for all customer types – upgrades, new lines, and new customers. Amazon also has both black and white variants.

Amazon Links:  Galaxy S5 (Black) | Galaxy S5 (White)

Deal: Amazon has the Verizon Galaxy S5 for $99 (Upgrades and New Accounts) is a post from: Droid Life

AllCast receiver released to Amazon Appstore for Fire TV

Posted by wicked April - 19 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off


Soon after the launch of Amazon Fire TV, Koush, a well known developer has released his AllCast app to the new system. While before you had to sideload the app manually, now you can get it straight from the Amazon Appstore.

The app essentially allows users to pair their Android phone or tablet with Amazon Fire TV, allowing them to stream media content. Users can seamlessly switch between content source and input on your TV (Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, etc.).

Source: Amazon

Come comment on this article: AllCast receiver released to Amazon Appstore for Fire TV