Amazon Profits from AWS, Doubles-Down on Original Content

Boosted by Amazon Web Services, Amazon just posted its most profitable quarter in its nearly 22-year history. The company’s revenue is often on a roller coaster; for Q1 2016, it showed net income of $513 million ($1.07 a share), compared to losses of $57 million (12 cents a share) in the same quarter last year. Revenue has bumped to $29.13 billion from $22.72 billion a year ago, with share prices rising more than 12 percent. This compares with less-than-stellar Q1 reports from Apple, Google, Microsoft and Intel. Continue reading Amazon Profits from AWS, Doubles-Down on Original Content

Mobile Payments: Amazon Debuts New Credit Card Reader

Amazon Local Register, the company’s new card reader, is a black rectangular device that plugs into a merchant’s smartphone or tablet. For $10, it works with an app that tracks business transactions for merchants. Amazon offers lower processing fees with the device if a merchant signs up before the end of October, while the standard deal will remain a 2.5 percent charge, which is less than other card reader offers. The lower charge means that Amazon is likely making little profit. Continue reading Mobile Payments: Amazon Debuts New Credit Card Reader

Amazon Fire Could Help Boost Adoption of 3D Smartphones

Amazon’s new Fire smartphone features sensors and front-facing cameras that provide a different perspective depending on how users hold, view or move the phone, leading to the expectation that it should increase demand for 3D applications. This 3D display tech is called dynamic perspective. Mobile software developers are hoping that Amazon’s advertising efforts and massive scale will promote 3D more successfully than other 3D phone makers have in the past. Continue reading Amazon Fire Could Help Boost Adoption of 3D Smartphones

F8: Consumers Can Purchase Oculus Rift VR Headset in 2015

During Facebook’s F8 developer conference this week, an Oculus VR spokesperson said the company would likely release its Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets commercially next year. While there is no official word yet on a price tag or release date for the consumer version of Oculus Rift, the headset will require an ecosystem of games and entertainment. The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 is presently on sale for $350, and is scheduled to begin shipping in July. Continue reading F8: Consumers Can Purchase Oculus Rift VR Headset in 2015

STB News: Google Getting Closer to Unveiling its Android TV

According to documents obtained by The Verge, Google is getting ready to launch Android TV, which is expected to be very different than the failed Google TV. Rather than turning your television into a bigger version of your smartphone, Android TV will be a new entertainment interface similar to set-top boxes such as Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Major video app providers are reportedly already building for the platform, which is expected to support voice input, notifications and optional game controllers. Continue reading STB News: Google Getting Closer to Unveiling its Android TV

Amazon Discusses New Streaming Service with Music Labels

Amazon continues to expand into the entertainment realm with its delivery of movies and TV via Amazon Prime, the launch of Amazon Studios, its recent acquisition of video game developer Double Helix, and now, the possibility of a streaming music service that would likely be bundled into its Prime delivery option. Amazon has been hiring executives with digital music experience in recent years, and has reportedly been in talks with major music labels for the past few months. Continue reading Amazon Discusses New Streaming Service with Music Labels

Study: Mobile Retail Sales Soar in 2013, Especially Via Tablets

According to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research, most mobile commerce took place via tablets in 2013, due primarily to the doubling of tablet ownership year-over-year. Javelin reports that $59.7 billion in sales were made from mobile devices last year, up from $20.7 billion the year prior. The study shows that $56.6 billion was made through a mobile site or app while $3.1 billion was made via a mobile POS. Tablets were responsible for $28.7 billion in mobile commerce. Continue reading Study: Mobile Retail Sales Soar in 2013, Especially Via Tablets

Amazon to Launch Android Device for Games and Entertainment

Amazon is expected to launch a new sub-$300 games and entertainment device this year that runs Android. To compete with the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, the product — the name of which has yet to be announced — is said to stream and download games, music, movies and television content. Key to the device’s success is its price point, on par with Amazon’s Kindle and Kindle Fire HD, which are priced comparatively lower than Apple’s iPad. Continue reading Amazon to Launch Android Device for Games and Entertainment

Amazon Dedicates Resources to Draw Mobile Game Developers

While it is unclear if Amazon will release an Android-based gaming device besides the Kindle tablet, the company has been creating tools aimed at making game developers successful across Amazon’s various app platforms. The company launched its updated portal for app and game developers, and has been investing in tools for developers to create more Android games. Amazon now features more than 100,000 apps in its Android Appstore, a significant increase from one year ago. Continue reading Amazon Dedicates Resources to Draw Mobile Game Developers

Virtual Joey: DISH Debuts New App That Functions Like DVR

Satellite provider DISH Network announced that it has developed a new streaming app, dubbed the “Virtual Joey,” that provides the same functionality as its Hopper DVR for LG Smart TVs. The app, expected to launch in the first quarter, offers control of the whole-home HD DVR, including live TV, recorded content and navigation via the program guide. The smart TV app essentially takes the place of a physical Joey multi-room extender, but still requires a Hopper DVR as the anchor. Continue reading Virtual Joey: DISH Debuts New App That Functions Like DVR

Google’s Chromecast SDK Headed for International Markets

Google is planning to bring Chromecast to international markets and make casting available on multiple devices with thousands of apps. The popular device’s SDK, which is still being finalized, will be opened up to help make apps compatible with the $35 dongle, and Google is partnering with several companies to bring its functionality to a number of other devices. Hundreds of developers have already signed up to add Chromecast capabilities to their apps. Continue reading Google’s Chromecast SDK Headed for International Markets

NYT Launches HTML5-Based Web App with Print-Like Design

The New York Times has launched a responsive Web app for its daily print edition, designed for tablets and computers. “Today’s Paper,” built with HTML5, offers the content of the daily edition in a layout that is similar to the paper’s iPad app in Newsstand. It is delivered on a regular daily schedule and structured similarly to the print version, for those frustrated by segmented apps and digital offerings. Interaction on a tablet offers swiping and gestures rather than clicking and scrolling. Continue reading NYT Launches HTML5-Based Web App with Print-Like Design

Black Friday: Apple iPad a Big Winner at Target and Walmart

Forbes reports that Apple was a big winner on Black Friday. The article notes that InfoScout reviewed more than 90,000 shopping receipts in the U.S. and learned that Apple products accounted for 22 percent of Target’s sales on Black Friday. The iPad Air 16GB, iPad mini 16GB and iPad Air 32GB models were the number one, two and three sellers, respectively. Additionally, the iPad mini 16GB model was the number one seller at Walmart. Continue reading Black Friday: Apple iPad a Big Winner at Target and Walmart

Amazon Unveils New Web Services to Stream From the Cloud

In its effort to get apps, games and entire desktops running on the cloud, Amazon is launching two new Web services. The first, AppStream, enables developers to run and render an application in Amazon’s cloud. It can then be distributed to users on a variety of platforms. The second, WorkSpaces, will allow virtual desktops to be managed through Amazon’s cloud, a solution that Amazon claims would run for less than half the cost of a company maintaining its own virtualization servers. Continue reading Amazon Unveils New Web Services to Stream From the Cloud

Samsung Edges Out the Competition for Android Development

Samsung made some significant announcements at its Developers Conference earlier this week that indicate it is making a play for greater control over Android. Among the announcements, the company plans to release five new SDKs for phones, tablets, TVs and more. The developer kits include support for apps and features involving pen and gesture controls in addition to media playback from mobile devices. Samsung now sells more Android devices than any of its competitors. Continue reading Samsung Edges Out the Competition for Android Development

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