Epson adds printer support for Kindle Fire HD and HDX
Epson has announced its printing support for Kindle Fire Printing this week, offering an integrated wireless print function for Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and Fire HDX tablets. By adding the Kindle Fire tablets to its mobile printing capabilities, a wide range of Epson Connect-enabled printers can now print with tablets that run Amazon Fire OS 3.1.
First-gen iPad mini, iPhone 5c also see surges
iPad Air activations grew some 51 percent over the previous weekend during the course of Black Friday and the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend, according to new Localytics data. The figure is based on the number of new devices that appeared in Localytics tracking for some 20,000 apps. The iPhone 5c and first-generation iPad mini also did well, each growing by 26 percent.
Amazon discounts Kindle Fire HD, HDX for Cyber Monday
Amazon has dropped the price of two new Kindle Fire tablets, as part of its Cyber Monday deals. The 16GB model of the Kindle Fire HD has been reduced from $169 to $119 in the United States, while the seven-inch Kindle Fire HDX 16GB, normally priced at $229, is now at $179 until the end of Monday. Other variants, such as those without Special Offers or other sizes of the Kindle Fire HDX, also receive the $50 discount.
Google adds Designed for Tablets section to Play Store
The Google Play Store has been updated to showcase apps "Designed for tablets," something Google announced it would do last month. Tablet users will see the tablet-aimed apps as the default view in Google Play, according to an Android Developers Google+ post, with apps that do not meet specific criteria to be "Designed for tablets" to be marked as "Designed for phones" instead.
Streaming to TV and second-screen functionality added in Fire OS update
Amazon has released the latest version of its Android implementation, Kindle Fire OS 3.1. The free update for Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX tablets adds a number of updates, with the integration of Goodreads adding book rating and quote sharing through the community, friend update feeds, and the option to import both print and digital books bought from Amazon into the Goodreads account.
Does the new quad-core Amazon offering impress or disappoint?
Amazon has been a participant in the tablet wars for the better part of three years. Where competitors aim their devices at consumption, creation, or some other aspect of mobile computing use, Amazon is unapologetic for offering its tablets at a very low price for what you get, with the express intent of driving media sales. Amazon's latest offering, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch version hit our desks a few days ago, and we've been hauling the device along in our day-to-day travels.
Disney's newest kids' show to hit tablets first
The next show from Disney will make its first appearance not on televisions, but on iPads and Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets. Speaking with The New York Times, the entertainment giant confirmed that "Sheriff Callie's Wild West" will launch first on the Watch Disney Junior app, as well as on a related website. The app version of the show will debut on November 24, and the television version will show up on Disney's traditional networks early next year.
Jab at iPad weight ignores smaller Kindle Fire HDX screen sizes
Amazon is attacking Apple's iPad Air just 24 hours after its launch, in order to promote its own tablet lines. A new promotional image on the online retailer's front page makes the claim that its Kindle Fire HDX models are "Lighter than Air," a hefty jab that claims its electronic devices are not as heavy as Apple's updated tablet range.
Details app that recognises item or media, returns Amazon store page
Rumors of an Amazon-created smartphone have had a boost, thanks to a recently filed patent application. The unearthed filing for "User guided object identification" provides details for how a smartphone can recognize an object and then provide the user with an appropriate Amazon product page, a feature that was mentioned in a rumor from earlier this month.
Amazon opens pre-orders for Kindle Fire HD, HDX in UK, Canada
Amazon has opened up pre-orders for its new Kindle Fire HDX and updated Kindle Fire HD in the United Kingdom and Canada. The lower-resolution Kindle Fire HD will be shipping in both countries from October 24th, starting from £119 and $149. While those in the UK will have to wait until November 19th to receive their HDX models in both 7-inch and 8.9-inch forms, starting from £199 and £329 respectively, Canada will have to wait until November 26th, with the tablets priced at $254 and $399.
Refreshed Amazon Kindle Fire HD improves repairability score
The updated Kindle Fire HD is a highly repairable tablet, and has received an iFixit repairability score of eight out of ten. Matching the original Kindle Fire in its scoring, the teardown found the new model does not fuse together the front glass and LCD, improving on last year's model by one point, while the majority of the internals is composed of components from the old HD. While the base Kindle Fire HD lacks a camera, there appears to be no obvious space left on the motherboard for one to be added in the future.
New Amazon report expands on earlier smartphone rumors
More rumors have surfaced concerning two possible Amazon smartphones. Fresh from the launch of refreshed Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablet lines late last month, the online retailer is said to be still working on a pair of mobile devices, with one said to have a similar 3D user interface and eye tracking system as reported about earlier this year.
Angular design of new Amazon tablets, added Mayday support button
Amazon has revealed its refreshed Kindle Fire tablet lines, including a revised Kindle Fire HD, and new lines with HD displays. The seven-inch Kindle Fire HDX uses a 1920x1200-resolution display while the 8.9-inch version will have a 2560x1600 version, with both models also having the chiseled and unique design with rear-mounted buttons revealed earlier in leaks.
New Kindle Fire render lacks webcam shown in earlier photographs
An image showing the possible new Kindle Fire has surfaced, this time in what appears to be a promotional render. The new image gives a clear view of the front face of the alleged Amazon tablet refresh, and follows earlier leaked photographs which showed the chiseled, angular nature of the back and side edges on the Kindle Fire HD.
Angular chiseled design, shifted power buttons in new Amazon tablet
New images reportedly showing the next version of the Kindle Fire HD tablet line have surfaced. Photographs of the tablet, expected to be launched by the retailer in the coming months, appears to reveal that the previously rumored chiseled and angular design has made it through to the final product, with the side power and volume buttons now mounted on the back.
Could represent inventory drain in preparation for new models
The Apple iPad suffered a major drop in Chinese marketshare during the second quarter, says research firm IDC. In spite of its cost, the iPad has usually dominated the Chinese tablet market, holding over 50 percent of it. Q2 results, however, show the iPad down to just 28 percent, still in the lead but in active competition. Some 1.5 million iPads shipped to China in the quarter, half the amount delivered during Q1.
Claimed attempt by retailer to fight online retail media sales
British retailer Tesco is looking towards entering the tablet market with its own device. Though a rumored device, it is suggested that it will be a "high quality" tablet similar to the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7, with the hope that a tablet with a British brand name attached to it will help win over potential customers in the United Kingdom.
Amazon redesigns Silk web browser with new start page, UI
Amazon has updated the Silk web browser for the Kindle Fire tablet line with a complete overhaul. Users will see a new Just-In-Time tutorial screen pointing out new parts of the user interface, a new start page with "Most Visited" links being more prominent, redesigned tabs, new Bookmarks views, and according to TechCrunch, simpler navigation and quicker access to Reading View.
Platform works across iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire
Amazon has today expanded the Simple Notification Service for Amazon Web Services with a new "Mobile Push" option. The feature gives developers a way of sending push notifications to multiple mobile platforms simultaneously, including iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire devices. Up to 1 million notifications can be sent at no extra cost, but every million thereafter costs $1.
Discount of $40 for tablet suggests refreshed line for anniversary of launch
Amazon has dropped the price of its seven-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet in the United States. The sudden drop in price of $40 for the tablet is a possible sign that the retailer is trying to reduce stock in the device ahead of an expected launch of a rumored device range refresh in September, the anniversary of the HD version's launch.
iPad still controls biggest individual share
Non-Apple tablets have collectively surpassed the iPad for the first time in terms of worldwide marketshare, claims research firm Canalys. During the June quarter, Apple achieved a share of 42.7 percent, giving it dominance in terms of individual tablet makers. Together, however, Amazon, Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, and other tablet makers scored a 57.3 percent slice. In Q2 2012, Apple held 71.2 percent of the market versus the remainder's 28.9 percent.
Three storage capacity options, 2GB RAM, 8MP camera on 8.9-inch model touted
Amazon will be using Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors in the next generation of Kindle Fire HD tablets, according to a report. Sources state that the quad-core Qualcomm processors, clocked at around 2GHz, will be supported by 2GB of RAM in both the 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions of the tablet, and would bring the mobile device range in line with the more recent versions Google, Samsung, and Apple tablets.
Higher resolutions accompany revised casing, moved buttons
Amazon will be updating its range of Kindle Fire tablets before the end of this year, with a report claiming that at least three new models will be added to the tablet range. The new devices would have a few external changes, such as altered button placements, but the main change will be an increase in resolution of the tablet displays.
Micro video sharing app appears on newer Kindle Fires
Twitter-owned mini-video sharing app Vine has expanded beyond its Android and iOS base to land on Amazon's Kindle Fire platform, it was revealed on Friday. The Vine app for Kindle Fire brings the short video sharing service to all Kindle Fire devices save the first generation. The Kindle Fire edition comes less than a month after Vine landed on Android.
Apple tablet dominate rivals, put squeeze on Amazon
Apple's iPad tablet has high a five-month high in terms of web interaction by North American users, reports mobile advertising firm Chitika, with the next two groups of rivals -- Amazon's Kindle Fire and Samsung's Galaxy tablet models -- far behind. While the iPad platform dropped slightly in April, the report from May shows not only a return to form but surpassing its previous dominance, to a level not seen since Christmas, 82.4 percent. Combined, all the tablet rivals to the iPad have less than 18 percent share in real-world usage stats.
Amazon Appstore operates in nearly 200 countries
Amazon will be putting its Kindle Fire tablets on sale in 170 more countries next month, and has also expanded its Appstore to operate in nearly 200 countries. Pre-orders for the 7-inch and 8.9-inch models of the Kindle Fire HD through Amazon.com, its UK site, France, and Amazon Germany have commenced, with shipments to customers due to start on June 13th.
Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD owners receive 500-coin gift
Amazon has launched its virtual currency in the United States, and has provided Kindle Fire owners with an initial credit on their accounts. The 500 Amazon Coins, valued at $5, can be used to buy apps from the Amazon Appstore as well as in-app items, along with an incentive to continue buying packs of the virtual currency instead of usual cash transactions.
China launch forms part of 200-country Appstore expansion
Amazon has launched its Android Appstore for paid apps in China, ahead of Google and its Play store. The release of the Appstore in the country now means that Amazon is the first of the two main Android app stores to launch in the region and opens the door to Amazon releasing its Kindle Fire tablets in China and other nearby territories.
iPad beats out Kindle Fire, others in J.D. Power rankings
Apple's iPad is the best tablet on the market in terms of consumer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Associates' new 2013 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study. The survey looked at the opinions of 1,857 tablet owners who've had their devices for less than a year, and Apple's bestselling tablets came out on top for the second time in a row. Apple devices hold the top spots in J.D. Power rankings for both tablets and smartphones.
Google Glass companion app includes 'Eye Gestures' functions
Google may allow for users of Glass to use their eyes to control the headset. A user by the name of fodawim on Reddit found eye options hidden in the code of the companion app for Android, specifically functions for winking. Of the five, two related to wink calibration, two turned the function on and off, and one last seems to allow a wink to trigger a photo from its 5-megapixel camera. Other eye-related controls have yet to be found, though the company has patented a number of different control systems that could potentially be used with Glass.
Foxconn manufacturing claimed cause for device delay
Amazon is still working on a smartphone to go along with its Kindle Fire tablet line, according to a new rumor. The retailer will allegedly be eschewing the 4.3-inch screen that some state it will use in favor of a larger 4.7-inch display, and is looking to release the long-rumored device at some point in the second quarter.
Amazon adds X-Ray functionality to popular TV shows
Amazon has updated the X-Ray feature of its Instant Video service to now include television shows. The update will allow users to view IMDB information for individual episodes of programs, including the names of actors, what other shows they have appeared in, and other similar content. Expanding what the company has done to movies in the last six months since the feature's launch, X-Ray is available to use for a number of popular TV shows on the Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and the Amazon Instant Video app on the Wii U.
Service might still be tied to Internet service
HBO may be relenting on its position towards allowing HBO outside of cable TV subscription packages, Reuters reports. CEO Richard Plepler says that the company is considering allowing access to HBO GO, its digital streaming option, via bundles with broadband Internet subscriptions. That would likely add about $10 to $15 to a person's Internet bill. "We would have to make the math work," says Plepler.
Device rumor follows recent price drops
Amazon has denied rumors that it is building a sub-$100 version of its 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. A report stated that the retailer would be putting the tablet, complete with a 1280x800 resolution and TI processor like the existing 7-inch Kindle Fire uses, into production and ready to ship later this year, something that Amazon claims is not happening.
Wi-Fi version sees $30 cut, 4G model slashed by $100
On the heels of an announcement expanding the availability of the Kindle Fire, Amazon has said that it is cutting the price on the 8.9-inch version of the tablet. The Wi-Fi only version now costs $269, a $30 reduction. The 4G wireless model now begins at $399, a $100 cut from the previous $499 retail.
Changes mimic December iOS app update
Google has updated the designs of the Gmail web app as well as Gmail Offline, its Chrome extension, according to an official Google+ post. In both circumstances the updates carry over UI changes that first debuted in a December overhaul of the native iOS app. The new web app is accessible not only on iOS but on Android, BlackBerry, and the Kindle Fire.
Android tablets reach 41 percent of ad impressions
Apple's dominance in the mobile industry became less pronounced in 2012, according to tracking data compiled by mobile ad network Millennial Media. Millennial notes, for instance, that while the iPhone continued to generate the most ad impressions amongst phones, growing 72 percent year-over-year to a 15.59 percent share, Samsung's Galaxy S series grew 182 percent to hit a 4.24 percent share, pushing BlackBerry Curve phones down to third place at 3.91 percent.
Coins to be used to buy apps, in-app purchasing
Amazon is introducing a new virtual currency for users of its Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon Coins will allow Kindle Fire users to pay for in-app items and apps themselves, via the Amazon Appstore, and as an incentive to customers, the company will be giving away tens of millions of dollars worth of free coins to US users when the service launches in May.
Kindle Fire, other tablets make slight gains
The iPad maintained an overwhelming control of US and Canadian tablet web usage during the holiday season, according to new tracking data from online ad network Chitika. The iPad started at nearly 90 percent in early December, but only slid to roughly 81 percent by the end of January, in spite of increased competition from Android tablets. The biggest shift is said to have happened around Christmas, when Apple briefly dipped to 79 percent while other tablets gained ground.
Samsung, ASUS gain ground
Although the iPad remains the best-selling tablet, Apple's share of the tablet market dropped 8.1 points year-over-year during the last quarter -- albeit based on shipments rather than actual sales to end users, according to new iDC numbers. Shipments rose from 15.1 million to 22.9 million, but the company's marketshare dipped from 51.7 percent to 43.6 percent. Much of the lost ground was claimed by Samsung, which saw share rise from 7.3 percent to 15.1 percent, and shipments rise from 2.2 million to 7.9 million. ASUS also made large strides, advancing from a two percent share and just 600,000 shipments to a 5.8 percent share and 3.1 million tablets shipped.
Ivona already provides vocal functions for Kindle Fire tablets
Amazon has announced its acquisition of Ivona, a company that has specialized in text-to-speech technology for the last 10 years. The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, sees Amazon take control of the firm and software that provides the text-to-speech functions for the Kindle Fire, as well as the tablet's Voice Guide and Explore By Touch functionality.
Chitika sees iPad share dropping 7.14 percent over holidays
Apple's iPad and iPad mini may have been a top-selling item over the holiday period, but entries from competitors sold strongly enough to slightly loosen Cupertino's stranglehold on the tablet sector. This according to new figures out from Chitika Insights, which looked at hundreds of millions of smartphone and tablet ad impressions from December 1 to December 27, 2012 in Canada and the United States. Chitika found that tablets from Amazon, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft gained a combined total of 5.5 percent market share over that period, while Apple's iPad lost 7.14 percent share.
Promotion requires Amazon Student Prime membership
Amazon is offering a discount on its large Kindle Fire HD 8.9 for students, ahead of the winter term. The offer, lasting for the entire month of January, grants Amazon Student Members with an active Prime account a discount of $50 off the tablet, the same as a one-day deal the retailer held in mid-December.
Kindle products are top sellers on Amazon
Amazon released information on its sales during the holiday period on Thursday, noting that the e-retailer had claimed the top spot in customer satisfaction for holiday shopping. Amazon also noted that its Kindle products -- particularly the Kindle Fire HD devices -- were the best selling products on the site once again, though the retailer declined again to provide specific sales figures. Amazon's other Kindle products -- the Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite -- were among the retailer's top selling devices as well.
Ad impressions up 28 percent per day, indicate strong sales
Last year, Amazon surprised many pundits and the public by claiming strong Kindle Fire tablet sales of more than a million per week during the holiday season, doubling overall 2011 sales. A new study that compares ad impressions in mobile apps compared that sales period to the current ad impression rate of the iPad mini and found that it garnering 50 percent higher activity than the peak of Kindle Fire sales. Calling the iPad mini a "game changer," Millennial Media safely predicts the iPad mini will emerge the winner of the gift wars this holiday season.
Child-friendly walled garden FreeTime Unlimited support also added
Amazon has updated its Kindle Fire HD 7-inch tablet to include a number of new features. Swipe support, the camera app that previously appeared on the 8.9-inch version, and the addition of the child-friendly Kindle FreeTime Unlimited service have been put into the latest over-the-air upgrade, putting the handheld's operating system at version 7.2.2
App optimized for 7- to 9-inch tablets
Adobe has released Photoshop Touch 1.4, an update to its illustration and photo-editing app for tablets. The most important upgrade may be support for three pressure-sensitive styli in the iPad app: the Pogo Connect, the Jot Touch, and the JaJa Stylus. Although the Android version of the app doesn't support the styli, Adobe says it has improved its overall brushing engine to allow smoother strokes.
Kindle Fire HD 8.9 shipping early, 4G version coming November 20
The Wi-Fi versions of Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8.9 tablet are now shipping, ahead of schedule and to those who preordered the tablet. Amazon's product page states the 8.9-inch tablet is expected to ship on December 3 to those who order it presently. The LTE version of the tablet is due to arrive next week.
Timing suggests consumers waited before buying
Amazon has revealed that it saw increased sales for the Kindle Fire HD after Apple presented the iPad mini on Tuesday. Sales of the $200 device rose dramatically on the Wednesday after the Apple event, to a level that caused a spokesperson for the retailer to confirm it as the "biggest day of sales since launch."
Mini price exceeds most analyst estimates
Apple marketing executive Phil Schiller has defended criticism over the iPad mini's $329 price tag, which exceeded earlier estimates from many analysts. The company was not expected to match the $199 price of Google's Nexus 7 or Amazon's Kindle Fire HD, but the $129 premium has led some analysts to question the Mini's ability to have a significant impact on sales from its Android-based rivals.