Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

Amazon Cloud Player for iOS Released

Amazon’s Cloud Player for iOS is now available in the iTunes App Store. Amazon Cloud Player provides Amazon’s customers with the ability to stream or download music stored in their Amazon Cloud Drive. You can also manage your music library and create playlists using the App. Because Apple prohibits it, you won’t be able to purchase new music through the App – the Kindle App for iPhone is limited in the same way.

Now your music can come with you everywhere! Listen to your music from the cloud on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch anywhere you are. You can download or stream your library from the cloud – or play the music you already have on your device. – iTunes App Description

Amazon Cloud Player is long overdue – it should have launched along with the Cloud Drive service a year ago. Still, I’m glad to see that Amazon is willing to commit resources to supporting their customers that are also Apple customers.

Amazon Cloud Player


iPad 2 vs. Kindle Tablet

Gizmodo Concept Drawing - Amazon Kindle Tablet

Pundits of all types have been predicting the end of the iPad’s dominance since it was launched in April of 2010. Fortunately for Apple, and Apple investors, the enemy hasn’t been able to muster a proper offensive yet. Will Amazon’s Kindle Tablet finally end the iPad’s dominance over the burgeoning tablet computing market?

This post is continued on the Concentric Sky Blog


Amazon’s Android Appstore

Amazon Appstore

Amazon’s new Android Appstore launched Tuesday, and I’ve spent some time getting to know it this week. I’ve also been taking advantage of the one free paid app per day offer, Amazon’s using to promote the store, to snatch a few new titles for the Samsung Galaxy Tab I pack around with my iPad. Tuesday’s free app was Angry Birds Rio, a new title in the popular Angry Birds line based on the animated flick, Rio. Smartly, Amazon secured an exclusive for the launch of Rio, which I’m sure drove some traffic to the store Tuesday.

The store launched with 30 title categories and a healthy selection of apps, including popular titles like: Fruit Ninja, Shazam, and Call of Duty. The store represents the first attempt by a major retailer to offer a “curated” selection of Android applications – and I’m happy to see it. According to Amazon’s submission rules, apps in the store must work properly and be safe, both in terms of consumer data privacy and the impact to the mobile device itself. Consumers will be able to worry a little less about whether or not an app is safe, Amazon screens all apps in the store for malware. In the wake of the recent malware outbreak in the official Android Market, over 50 apps infected with a malware program “DroidDream,” security is something more Android users are thinking about. A “curated” selection of apps contributes to Apples’s success with the iTunes App Store, it’s likely to do a lot of good for Google’s Android platform.

The web-based store sports a cool feature called “Test Drive” that lets you take an app out for a spin in your browser before you buy it. Click the ‘Test Drive” button, and Amazon will launch an emulated instance of Android on its EC2 cloud platform for your test driving pleasure. Unfortunately, this isn’t supported for all apps. This is something I’d like to see in the iTunes App Store as well, a few screen shots isn’t always enough. Users can browse apps in the web-based store, or download a native Android app. I’ve been using the native Android app and it’s a pleasure to use. One-click purchasing is available, and it really is one-click, so watch where you tap on the screen when you’re browsing – you’ve only got 15 minutes to return an accidental purchase.

Amazon’s appstore will also introduce a new pricing model for Android developers. Instead of offering developers the typical 70/30 split, developers will tell Amazon what they hope to sell the app for. Amazon, however, will determine the price. Developers will then receive 70% of the revenue earned, or 20% if Amazon decides to discount the app or give it away for free. The reduced rate is in exchange for the increased sales that will likely result from Amazon’s effort to promote the app. This system is probably going to benefit developers because it’s in Amazon’s best interests to optimize the revenue generated for each app – and Amazon knows how to run an e-tail business.

TechCrunch has speculated that the Amazon appstore may precede an Amazon-made tablet powered by Android, enabling Amazon to more directly compete with Apple and other tablet manufacturers. Is Amazon’s Android Appstore a sign of things to come? I don’t now, but I’m happy to see it.


Tivo and Amazon.com Unbox Partner

 Amazon Unbox

Tivo’s new partnership with Amazon.com Unbox is going to be good for Tivo – I’ll use the service to download and watch movies. Actually, I might use it for TV shows I don’t have access to as well. Smart deal.

On the same day that Walmart launched a competing movie download service and then fell flat on their face over simple browser compatibility issues, Amazon announced an incredibly cool, long rumored new partnership with Tivo. – TechCrunch


Motorola HS820

HS820Are Bluetooth headsets for cell phones cool? What’s a Bluetooth headset? It’s that doohicky you occasionally see sticking out of some dudes ear that kind of makes him look like a character from the movie Tron or a lost Star-trek fan. I’m just not sure – living in Eugene Oregon I don’t always have the best perspective on what’s in and what isn’t. Why do I ask? Because I bought one for my Bluetooth enabled Motorolla Razr and I can’t bring myself to wear it in public. Maybe it’s just because my ears are a little on the big side of Dumbo ears.

I bought the Motorola HS820 from Amazon for $25 – a good price considering I’ve seen the same headset for sale here in town and on-line for as much as $75. You need to buy it from the "used and new" section to get that price. The sound quality is excellent and establishing the connection with the Razr was straightforward. When I press the little button with the phone icon on it the Razr’s voice activation features come to life and I can make a call without even touching the phone. I love the headset and for $25 it’s a no-brainer add-on for your cell phone. Great for driving and talking in the car – I use mine while I commute on my bike.


Amazon Text Books

Amazon.com Text BooksAmazon.com has their sh** together. Did you know you can sell your used text books on Amazon? Yeah – they do it all for you – just enter the ISBN number off the back of your book and they’ll take care of the rest. And … it pays better than your campus bookstore! Bezos is making a lot of smart moves.

Update: Scoble knows what I’m talking about … Amazon, the new Google? 09/08


Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

Mechanical Turk

I’m going to follow the development of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service closely. I’m not sure if it’s an original idea but Amazon is implementing and branding it well. I wonder how much you can make an hour working the Turk? 

Amazon’s: What is Amazon Mechanical Turk 

Amazon Mechanical Turk provides a web services API for computers to integrate "artificial, artificial intelligence" directly into their processing by making requests of humans.

Complete simple tasks that people do better than computers. And, get paid for it. Learn more.

This is a good example of how the service can be used.

Some of the tasks currently in the marketplace benefit Amazon’s search subsidiary A9.com. Amazon Mechanical Turk is being used to increase the quality of A9’s BlockView pictures that show users street-level pictures of businesses. These HITs ask people to select from several photographs the one that best presents the front of a business. Thousands of these HITs are still listed on the Amazon Mechanical Turk web site.

Amazon.com collects a fee of 10 percent on top of what Requesters pay to have tasks completed. For example, if a HIT pays $0.20, Amazon Mechanical Turk collects $0.02. The minimum commission charged is $0.005 per HIT.


About palmIT

palmIT is authored by Cale Bruckner [LinkedIn], President at Concentric Sky, and former SVP Product Development at Palo Alto Software.

Cale Bruckner

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