Amazon Alexa vs Google Assistant on the HTC U11 – Pocketnow

Alexa vs OK Google! A battle of software assistants! Well, not really. The HTC U11 now has full speech support for Amazon’s Alexa, so let’s see how it works opposite Google’s voice controls. Can two software butlers coexist on one smartphone?

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Amazon Alexa On The Huawei Mate 9 today, Hands On And Quick Look – TK Bay

We Finally have Alexa on our Mate 9. As of today Huawei is pushing out the update to the Mate 9 for Amazon’s Alexa. I go hands on for you and show you what it can do at this point.

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Amazon Brings Prime Video to Android Tablets – Still Finicky to Setup

Amazon has been notoriously slow in bringing their Prime Video service to Android. Cross platform compatibility was a key factor in making the Kindle service the most widely used way to consume e-books, but Amazon seemed happy to let Netflix, Hulu, and Google Play run away with the Android streaming video market.

Recently they caved on allowing Android phones to stream video, and now, the most recent update for the Prime Video app includes support for Android tablets.

It’s not all roses however. Getting the service up and running still requires a multi-app strategy. The fastest way we got it running?

  1. amazon prime instant video on android tablet browser chrome somegadgetguyInstall the old Amazon App Store APK manually.
  2. Sign in to your Amazon account through the Amazon App Store App.
  3. Use the Amazon App Store to Install the “Prime Instant Video” app.
  4. Open your tablet’s browser (I use Chrome), and log into your Amazon account through that browser.
  5. Navigate to a video you’d like to play, and press “Watch Now”. You should get an option to “Open with Instant Video”. Use that.

Congratulations, you’ve set up Prime Instant Video on your Android tablet! From here on out, you should be able to continue using the service by using your browser to search for videos to watch.

I don’t see Amazon Prime Video unseating Netflix, Google Play, and Hulu on Android devices any time soon…

Amazon Now Carries Cricket Wireless BYOD SIM Card Kit

cricket wireless logoIf you’re looking to save a little cash on your cell plan by shopping an MVNO, you can now pick up a Cricket Wireless SIM card kit for $9.99 on Amazon.

The kit comes with a Nano SIM and adapters for phones that use Mini and Micro SIM cards. Just about any unlocked GSM device should work as Cricket is powered by AT&T’s network. It’s the beauty of a Bring Your Own Device program, you don’t have to buy a new phone when you switch networks.

Plans start at $35 a month for unlimited talk, text, and “slow data” with 2.5GB of LTE “fast data”.  This pricing includes taxes and fees.

You can grab a Cricket kit here, and read their full press release below.

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Amazon Cloud Drive Offers Unlimited File Storage for $60 a Year

amazon cloud drive logoThe cloud storage wars rage on.

Amazon quietly announced today a new tier of storage which might interest folks out there with a LOT of data to back up. For $59.99 a year you can now have unlimited file storage through Cloud Drive. This joins their current unlimited photo plan which costs $11.99 per year.

It’s a hot strategy right now, priced competitively against DropBox’s 1TB for $9.99 a month plan, and Microsoft hasn’t fully activated unlimited cloud storage for their One Drive service yet, which is paired with an Office 365 subscription for $99 a year, but many users (myself included) have access to a 10TB bucket to back up our files there. For folks who might not need all the benefits of Office 365, Amazon’s solution looks like it could be a solid alternative.

More info on Amazon’s Cloud Drive page.

Amazon Slashes Pricing on Kindles and Fire TV for the Holidays

amazon holiday kindle saleIf you need that perfect last minute tech gift for the holidays, Amazon is hoping to entice you with some sales on their Kindle and Fire gear.

You can score $20 off Amazon Fire TV or a Kindle E-Reader, $30 off the Kindle Fire HD7 Kid Edition, but the big cuts are on the older Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and Fire Phone.

The Fire HDX tablet is getting a $125 price reduction which puts the 16GB WiFi version at $224, and the Fire Phone is dropping by a whopping $220 unlocked, bringing the price down to $229 OFF contract. I feel like I should repeat a joke about the Amazon FireSALE phone, but that might be in poor taste.

Links below for all the Kindle sales!
Amazon Fire Phone ($229)
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 ($224)
Amazon Fire TV ($79)
Kindle eReader ($59)
Amazon Fire HD Kid Edition ($159)

AT&T Bundling Kindle Fire HDX 7 Tablet for $50 with Fire Phone Purchase

ns_amazon_fire_tablet.jpg.thumb.432.946After catching the news that Amazon is sitting on millions of dollars worth of Fire Phones, it would seem they’re throwing a bone to their launch partner AT&T.

Starting today you can score a Kindle Fire HDX 7″ tablet for $49.99 with the purchase of an Amazon Fire Phone, which you can actually score for pretty cheap at the moment.

If you’re shopping an inexpensive two screen solution, and you’re a fan of Amazon services, you can catch more info on the AT&T Kindle Fire page.

Amazon Writes Off $170 Million During Earnings Call Following Weak Fire Phone Sales

I’m not sure what Amazon could have done to be honest. Even if they had been substantially more proactive, putting people on the ground, building a grass roots fan base, courting influencers and creating evangelists, instead of the top-down marketing and outreach they decided on, it still might not have meant success for their first phone outing.

Launching a new phone in this market is a near guaranteed failure. While Amazon has found quite a bit of success with their Kindle series, tablets are companion devices. Second screens. Phones are mission critical communication devices for most folks. That makes consumers far more conservative. We’re a lot less likely to take a risk with a phone.  Continue reading “Amazon Writes Off $170 Million During Earnings Call Following Weak Fire Phone Sales”