Amazon today updated its Kindle app for iOS with a "brand new look built around the books you love," according to the release notes. Version 6.0 of the app also includes a new light theme, one-tap navigation for features you use most and Goodreads integration.
As Apple and Sonos prepare to launch their own smart speakers, Amazon has added a new multi-touch music feature to its Echo devices. In a press release released today, Amazon announced an all-new Alexa feature "that lets you control and synchronize music across multiple Amazon Echo devices in your home." The new "Alexa, Play My Music Everywhere" voice command is available starting today.
Echo owners can now use the Alexa App to create playlists like "downstairs" then ask the intelligent personal assistant to play that playlist in the designated room. Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show owners can also play their created lists across multiple devices.
After launching its thinnest and lightest Kindle ever, Amazon announced it will offer its own standalone video streaming service for $8.99/per month. Previously Amazon customers had to subscribe to Amazon Prime for $99 a year to access Amazon Prime Video, which includes movies, television shows and original Amazon programming. The new service will pit Amazon against Netflix, who is raising its monthly prices to $9.99 in May.
Amazon today announced the Oasis -- the company's "thinnest and lightest Kindle ever." The eight-generation Kindle is "30% thinner on average and over 20% lighter than any other Kindle," according to Amazon. It weighs just 4.6 ounces and is just 3.4 mm at its thinnest point. The Oasis features a "featherweight" polymer frame that is "plated with metal by structural electroplating." This allows the digital reader to be lightweight while not being fragile. It is also designed to shift the center of gravity to your palm to give it a more book-like feel when reading.
Amazon today announced a new 8GB 7-inch Fire tablet for $50, and it is selling them in six-packs. That's right, tablet sales have fallen so hard that you can now buy a six-pack of them for around $250. We're probably one cycle away from them being completely free.
$50 will nab you a 1024 x 600 IPS display, a 2MP rear-facing camera, front-facing VGA camera and the latest version of Fire OS. The 7-inch Fire is powered by a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM, and promises up to "seven hours of reading, surfing the web, watching videos, and listening to music."
Amazon today has extended its Cloud Drive service by offering two new paid storage plans. Previously Amazon's "Unlimited Photos" plan was only available to customers with a Prime subscription, but now anyone can store unlimited photos on Cloud Drive for only $11.99 per year. Amazon also unveiled its new "Unlimited Everything" plan, where users can store unlimited photos, movies, music and so on for $59.99 per year . Both services also come with a 3-month free trial.
Amazon's new cloud storage plans makes it one of the first big players in the crowded cloud-based storage market to offer unlimited plans to anyone. For example, Dropbox only offers unlimited storage through its pricier business plan, and Google does the same through its for Education program.
It has been a busy few months for Amazon. The internet giant has recently launched its own smartphone, music streaming service, digital book service and now it has announced its own card reader to take on PayPal and Square. Amazon Local Register allows small businesses to accept credit card payments with their iPhone or iPad, some Android devices and Kindle Fire tablets. The service will only cost users 2.5 percent per transaction, which is currently cheaper than PayPal and Square. Amazon is also offering an introductory rate of 1.75 percent to entice new businesses to switch to their service.
The card reader will be supported by a free companion app that will offer Amazon customer support and business tracking tools. Local Register users will also be able to purchase compatible accessories such as cash drawers, receipt printers, smartphone cases and stands. The physical card reader is now available on Amazon.com for $10 with free two-day shipping or at at Staples retail locations nationwide. It only compatible with devices running iOS 7.0 or later.
Amazon has added hundreds of thousands of new titles and new Prime Playlists to its newly launched music streaming service. The new tracks are from both new and existing artists including Linkin Park, Shakira and Skrillex, just to name a few. Prime Music launched on June 12 as part of Amazon's Prime subscription service.
Prime Music gives users access to over a million songs without any ads or playback restrictions. Users can also download songs from the Prime Music catalog for offline listening. The service is available on Amazon Kindle devices, iOS, Android and PCs or Macs. iOS users can download the free Amazon cloud player to access the Prime Music catalog on their iPhone or iPad. The app supports all devices running iOS 6.0 or later, and it can play songs already stored on your iTunes account.
Amazon has officially rolled out its Kindle Unlimited subscription service. The new program is like Netflix for books. Customers can get unlimited access to over 600,000 digital titles and thousands of audio books for only $9.99 a month. The service is available on Kindle Fire HDX tablets, the iPad and iPhone and Android devices.
Subscribers can cancel at anytime, and there are no browsing limits or restrictions on how many titles you can read within a month. This is a lot better than Amazon's current Kindle Owner’s Lending Library because you do not need to pay $99 to join Amazon Prime, and downloads are not limited to Amazon devices. Customers can sign up for a free 30-day trial through Amazon.com.
Amazon released version 2.9 of its Kindle app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on Wednesday. The update brings access to more than 400 magazines to iPad users via Amazon's Kindle Store. Customers can buy single issues or subscribe to publications like Martha Stewart Living, Food Network Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Men’s Health. You can also read and highlight print replica textbooks and access PDFs through the new Send-to-Kindle e-mail address.
"Email PDFs & other documents to your new Send-to-Kindle e-mail address and we deliver them to your device. The documents are automatically archived in the Amazon Cloud and available for re-download on your iOS or supported Kindle devices. You can also read PDFs from Mail, Safari, or by transferring them from iTunes."