Amazon has confirmed it’s using LOVEFiLM, the movie rental company it acquired at the start of 2011, to power the video service in Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets sold in the U.K.. The slates go on sale in the U.K. today and Amazon is offering Fire buyers a one month free trial of LOVEFiLM.
Earlier this month LOVEFiLM added the ability to sign in with an Amazon account – a precursor to the service being “deeply integrated” into the Fire tablets. As well as streaming movies and TV shows from the thousands in LOVEFiLM’s catalogue, the Kindle Fire LOVEFiLM integration supports watch lists, for creating movie and TV playlists, and the IMDb-powered Amazon X-Ray for Movies feature which lets Fire users look up information about actors — such as biog details and photos — without leaving the film.
The LOVEFiLM Pause and Resume function is powered by Amazon’s multi-platform viewing Whispersync technology.
Even closer service integration is coming “in the near future”, with Amazon noting that existing LOVEFiLM members will be able to link their Amazon and LOVEFiLM accounts together with a single sign in soon.Related Posts:
If you were counting on getting all imaginative with the firmware on a new Fire or 7-inch Fire HD, you might want to check out a recent forum post over at XDA. Written by user kinfauns with input from another XDA regular called pokey9000, it concerns evidence that — unlike the original Kindle Fire — both of these devices come with more sophisticated protection, including locked bootloaders and the use of “high security” features offered by Texas Instruments’ OMAP processors. Such discoveries probably won’t inspire the same degree of outrage as certain other locked devices, considering how Amazon is understandably focused on its own ecosystem and advertising, but they might still count as a disadvantage against the pure Android Nexus 7. The XDA thread ends with only the merest hint of hope — the potential for a workaround similar to what’s been used on the Nook Tablet — but it’s hope nonetheless.
Filed under: Tablets
Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HD comes with a pretty massive software update — and one of the new features that Ubergizmo noticed in its hands-on is that Microsoft Bing is set as the default search engine in the Fire HD’s Silk browser. This comes despite the fact that Google’s Android 4.0 software provides the underpinnings for the Fire HD, though of course it’s heavily skinned. This represents a change from last year, when Google served as the default search engine. Unfortunately, it’s not clear yet if you can switch the default search engine, but as nearly every other browser in the world contains that option, we’d expect it’ll be present on the Kindle Fire HD.
Amazon is holding a press event in Los Angeles on Thursday, in which it’s likely to announce new versions of its Kindle tablets. You know, now that the Kindle Fire is all sold out. There have even been some leaks about what that product will look like, and the fact that it could be ad-supported. But the location of the press event in Santa Monica could also mean that Amazon will be making a big announcement around new video content that’s available through those new products.
As Seth Porges astutely points out at Forbes, when a big tech company does an announcement in Los Angeles, that usually means there’s some sort of Hollywood studio connection. That isn’t always the case — check out Microsoft’s L.A. announcement of the Surface tablet for proof — but usually if a company like Amazon is gonna make a trip to Southern California for a product release, you can probably expect some studio execs in the room.
Now, Porges believes that means Amazon is likely to announce a major deal that will bring thousands of new titles to its Amazon Prime subscription video-on-demand service. Maybe that’s true, but somehow I don’t think so. Amazon has gradually been announcing new titles for the service over the past 18 months and is now up to about 22,000 pieces of content. Moreover, it’s more or less worked its way through most of the major media companies already, and is now working on expanded content deals with partners — see its recent re-up with NBC Universal, for instance. So an expanded Amazon Prime library doesn’t make much sense — it’s just seems too incremental, not “big” enough to announce alongside a new product like this.
But what if Amazon announced a way for users to have access to a wide range of movies on its new Kindle devices that they might have purchased on other online services, like Vudu or Flixster? This is pure speculation, but here’s my bet: When Amazon announces the newest versions of its tablets on Thursday, it’ll also be announcing wide support for Hollywood’s UltraViolet initiative, which is aimed at allowing users to buy once and watch anywhere.
Amazon is already an UltraViolet partner, having announced a deal with one UltraViolet studio (presumed to be Warner Bros.) at CES in January. But it’s yet to come out with an UltraViolet-compliant digital storefront of its own, or support UV titles purchased from other retailers, like Vudu.
While UltraViolet holds some promise for consumers, by giving them the ability to transfer digital rights to content across a wide range of apps and devices, most retailers haven’t been as keen on the service. After all, why would one company agree to pay the cost of streaming a title that was purchased from another retailer’s online store? There’s not a big advantage for most to join in.
For Amazon, though, joining UltraViolet means opening up more content that can be viewed on its new Kindle Fire devices. That includes movies that they’ve already bought in older formats: Earlier this year, Walmart’s Vudu unveiled a disc-to-digital program that allows users to take their DVDs to Walmart and add them to their digital lockers for a nominal fee. ($ 2 for DVDs to SD digital and $ 5 to upgrade to HD, or $ 2 for Blu-ray discs to digital) For those who care to take their DVDs and Blu-rays into a physical store, that could mean a lot more movies to watch on the new Kindle Fire.
So Amazon could very well announce full UltraViolet support for all the major studios participating. That would let Kindle owners to link their Video app with their UltraViolet digital lockers, and presto! instantly have more movies to watch. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the thing came with some small credit to incentivize users to sign up and “purchase” their first UV title that way. If so, there will likely be a way for Amazon users to instantly “upgrade” or add their existing video purchases to their UltraViolet locker for a small nominal fee.
But what if Amazon took that a step further? It already has DVD purchase information for millions of users. What if those users could simply “convert” those DVD purchases to digital — again, for a small, nominal fee?
There are no guarantees, of course. And maybe launching product in L.A. is just the hip new thing for tech companies from the Pacific Northwest to do. I’m just saying I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon announces support for UltraViolet on Thursday — and if it does, it’ll probably do so in a big way.Related Posts:
After this morning’s news that the Kindle Fire is now sold out, The Verge received a leaked photo of what is purported to be the next Kindle Fire. Two models are supposed to be released, a 7-inch variant that will replace the existing device and a new 10-inch device that would put it in competition with Apple and the iPad. The Verge’s report lines up nicely with previous rumors that circulated before Amazon told its employees to stop talking to tech blogs.
The first generation Kindle Fire bore a striking resemblance to the BlackBerry Playbook since it was based on the same reference design, but if this image is actually legitimate, Amazon has clearly gone in a different direction.
This newly leaked image reveals the existence of a front-facing camera, as well as a rather cluttered-looking navigation bar running vertically along the display’s right edge. Still, Even though the keyboard and the touches of orange are reminiscent of Amazon’s user interface, it remains to be seen whether it is the actual device. Amazon will hold a press conference on September 6 where new e-reader Kindles alongside new Fire models are expected.
According to Amazon, the Kindle Fire captured 22 percent of the market share in the U.S. and its new version could be one of a series of highly-anticipated tablet models expected to be unveiled in September. Rumors of an iPad Mini introduction in the coming weeks are persistent and Apple would therefore commercialize another competitor for the 7-inch Kindle Fire model.Related Posts:
We’re still waiting to see where HP goes with webOS, but according to the New York Times it will officially launch a cloud computing service that competes with Amazon Web Services in the next couple of months. HP Senior VP and General Manager Zorawar Singh is quoted saying the currently in beta service projects as an alternative to what Amazon has built with a focus on personalized sales and service and additional tools for third party developers, as well as a system of small data centers around the world. Throw in analytics based on technology it’s obtained by purchasing Vertica and Autonomy, and maybe Meg Whitman’s ship has something here, but we’ll wait until the next Netflix is running its operations from this cloud before declaring it on the same level.
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It’s the harsh reality of smartphones nowadays: with the number of device choices and the rate at which they’re replaced the so-called phones of yesteryear are really only a few months old. There is a good side to all of this gloom and doom, however: if you’re willing to pass on the latest-and-greatest you can pick up perfectly-capable phones for bargin-bin prices. Amazon Wireless has new deals on some AT&T BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Android smartphones from now through February 14th. Most cost merely a cent, though there are a few that are still going to put a dent in your wallet even after discount. Check below for the list of choices.
Windows Phone 7:
- HTC HD7S: $ 0.01
- Samsung Focus Flash: $ 0.01
- Samsung Focus S: $ 19.99
- HTC Titan:…
MetroPCS purports to bring the wireless to all, but it hasn’t had the right showcase to fulfill that promise… until now. The carrier announced today that its arsenal of handsets is on the way to one of the biggest online retailers in the world. A quick perusal of the PR below reveals no handset exclusions, so it’s safe to say that Amazon will offer every handset from the mobile provider’s armory. We know that cash Santa stuffed in your stocking’s burning a hole in your pocket, and right now seems like a good time to head on over to Bezos’ favorite site to get your hands on one of those LTE devices we’ve introduced you to.
Continue reading Army of MetroPCS phones heading to Amazon’s virtual shelves
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