A new research study has determined that Android tablets have made a strong impact among adult tablet owners in the US. In 2011, Android tablets occupied just 15 percent of the market share. Here we are in 2012, and the number has grown to an astronomical 48 percent. Of the 48 percent, 21 percent of users own the Kindle Fire and 8 percent own some form of the Galaxy Tab. Unfortunately, this study was conducted before the Kindle Fire HD or Nexus 7 were introduced, leaving us without accurate numbers for either devices. The Pew Internet & American Life Project provided us with the following breakdown.
“Over the last year, tablet ownership has steadily increased from 11% of U.S. adults in July of 2011 to 18% in January of 2012, according to PEJ data. Currently, 22% own a tablet and another 3% regularly use a tablet owned by someone else in the home. This number is very close to new data, released here for the first time, conducted in a separate survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project on July 16 through August 7 2012 that found 25% of all U.S. adults have a tablet computer.
The growth in tablet adoption is likely related to the advent of the lower-priced tablets in late 2011. Overall, about two-thirds of tablet-owning adults, 68%, got their tablet in the last year, including 32% in 2012 alone. That has lessened Apple’s dominance in the market. Now, just over half, 52%, of tablet owners report owning an iPad, compared with 81% in the survey a year ago.”
DigiTimes is at it again. I do have to say that that they are right some of the time so this is worth throwing into the rumor mill. They claim that ASUS and Google are working on improving the Nexus 7, and by the end of the year they will release two refreshed versions. They will both be thinner, but the most interesting part of it is the fact that one of the models will cost just $99. At this point ASUS has denied the report so we really need to take this with a grain of salt.
They didn’t offer any other information other than these tabs will use TN panels made by HannStar Display. I guess none of this is shocking, but I will be a little surprised if it comes true. With Amazon dropping their basic Kindle Fire to $159 and the impending iPad Mini, Google wants to keep the momentum going. I’m not sure two newer versions of the Nexus 7 is all that great of any idea though. To me, it makes more sense to come out with the one cheaper version and then maybe a Nexus 10 priced at $299. I guess we will all just have to stay tuned and wait for the next piece of information to leak.
We all know that Amazon is a major player in the U.S. on numerous fronts, and the Amazon Cloud Player is certainly counts as one. The Cloud Player, as you may know, provides the ability to upload music to Amazon’s servers allowing playback on a device without taking up precious storage space on the device. However, while we’ve been enjoying this service in the U.S. for a while now, the rest of the world has been shut out. That is, up until now – at least in the UK.
The Amazon MP3 application is the gateway to the Cloud Player offered by Amazon, and today the app has been updated and is available for download through the Play Store ahead of the UK’s release of the Kindle Fire. The app comes in two different flavors, free and premium, and every Amazon user will get the opportunity to test drive the app without having to make a commitment. There will be a storage limit on how many songs can be uploaded, however the songs purchased directly from Amazon’s music store will not count toward your limit.
Here’s how the two different versions shake out: You can upload 250 tracks using the free service, but splurging for the premium version raises that limit just a bit to 250,000 tracks. The premium version will run £21.99 for an annual subscription to the Cloud service. That’s not bad considering the amount of storage that amount of songs will take up. Amazon has a chance to strike gold in the UK with “Music” missing from the Play Store coupled with the impending the release of its Kindle Fire in the UK. Let’s see if they can now turn opportunity into an advantage.
Amazon Customers in the UK Can Now Enjoy Their Music Everywhere With the Launch of Amazon Cloud Player for Android, iPhone and iPod Touch, and Web – All Available Starting Today
Amazon extends its popular “Buy Once, Enjoy Everywhere” content ecosystem to the UK
Luxembourg – 18 September, 2012 – Amazon.co.uk today announced the launch of Amazon Cloud Player, enabling customers to securely store music in the cloud and play it on any Android phone, Android tablet, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac or PC – wherever they happen to be. Customers can get started at www.amazon.co.uk/cloudplayer, where they can easily import their music using Cloud Player’s new scan and match technology. Customers’ iTunes and Windows Media Player music libraries are scanned and tracks are matched to more than 20 million music tracks in Amazon’s catalogue. All matched songs are automatically stored in high-quality 256 Kbps audio. All Amazon MP3 purchases – including music that customers purchased previously – are automatically saved to Cloud Player for free, which means that customers have a secure backup copy of the MP3s they buy from Amazon, free of charge.
“Millions of US customers are already using Amazon Cloud Player to listen to their music everywhere, on their favourite devices, including Kindle Fire, Android phones and tablets, iPhones, iPod Touches, Macs and PCs. We’re excited to bring this same convenience to Amazon music customers in the UK,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President of EU Retail at Amazon. “The launch of Cloud Player in the UK means that customers can buy anywhere, play anywhere, and keep all of their music in one place without the need for constant software updates, or drives and cables to move and manage their music.”
Cloud Player is available in a Free tier and a Premium tier. Cloud Player Free customers can store 250 tracks from their PC or Mac to Cloud Player, at no charge. Cloud Player Premium customers can store 250,000 tracks in Cloud Player for an annual fee of £21.99. Amazon-purchased MP3s do not count against the 250 or 250,000-track limits and are added to both Free and Premium Cloud Player libraries at no charge.
Adding Music to Cloud Player
Amazon scans customers’ iTunes and Windows Media Player libraries and matches tracks on their computers to eligible tracks from more than 20 million in Amazon’s track catalogue. All matched tracks– even music purchased from iTunes or imported from CDs – are instantly made available in Cloud Player and are upgraded for free to high-quality 256 Kbps audio. Scan and match supports several file types, including MP3, AAC, WMA (Windows only), OGG, WAV, Apple Lossless (MacOS only), AIFF, and FLAC.
Cloud Player for Web
Customers who have a computer with a Web browser can listen to their music. Cloud Player for Web currently supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari for Mac and Chrome. Cloud Player for Web enables customers to easily organise their music, and gives both download and streaming options for playback.
Cloud Player for Android
Cloud Player for Android is simply included in the new version of the MP3 App, which includes the full Amazon MP3 Store and the mobile version of Cloud Player. Customers can use the app to play music stored on their Cloud Player and music stored locally on their device. Features include the ability to search and browse by artist, album or track, create playlists and download music from Cloud Player to the device for offline playback.
Cloud Player for iPhone and iPod Touch
Amazon Cloud Player is also available on iPhone and iPod Touch. The app allows customers to stream or download music stored in Cloud Player to their iPhone or iPod Touch, play music that is already stored on their device, and manage or create playlists. Features include the ability to search and browse by artist, album or track, create playlists and download music from Cloud Player to the iPhone or iPod Touch for offline playback.
Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD
The all-new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD are coming to the UK, backed by Amazon’s Vast Content Ecosystem and Cross-Platform Interoperability. With apps available on the largest number of devices and platforms, Kindle makes it easier than ever for customers to access content anytime, anywhere, including their music with the Amazon Cloud Player.
Securely Storing Music in the Cloud
Customers never need to worry about losing their music collection to a hard drive crash again. Files are securely stored on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). Customers can buy Amazon MP3s anywhere and know that their MP3s are safely stored in Cloud Player and accessible from any device.
Similar to some of the aftermath of Google I/O this past summer, as Amazon’s press event last week fades into history we are starting to discover some other changes in their ecosystem that may have been overlooked in the excitement of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD announcement. One of these new features Amazon is implementing is the ability for developers to sell physical goods “in-app.” Initially this appears to only be rolling out in games, but other uses are sure to emerge. This capability will be a point of differentiation compared to Google and Apple.
Amazon has indicated their first partner is Activision, which plans to make toys available in its Skylanders game. The toys will connect to the game using a “portal” plugged into a videogame console. Once plugged in, the toy activates a character inside the game. In order to purchase the characters, players will buy them from within the game using Amazon’s 1-Click Purchasing. Amazon indicates a player’s progression with a character in the console version of the game will carryover to the mobile version. This will likely be achieved using Amazon’s new Whispersync for games capability that was announced last week. An indication of how important games are to Amazon’s overall strategy is the announcement that the new Kindle Fire will have a separate tab to access the games category in the Appstore.
Is the ability to order physical goods something to get excited about? Can you think of any ways this could be used effectively outside of games?
source: All Things D
Amazon reverses course again, will now allow users to remove ads from the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD for $15
Last week we heard that the new Kindle Fires will feature ads on the lock screen. We assumed they would probably offer a way to opt out, but Amazon said no. It looks like a lot of people complained and Amazon is doing the right thing by changing their mind to now allow users to opt out of such ads for $15.
“With Kindle Fire HD there will be a special offers opt-out option for $15,” an Amazon spokesperson told Ars Technica. “We know from our Kindle reader line that customers love our special offers and very few people choose to opt out. We’re happy to offer customers the choice.”
Even though the spokesperson only mentions the Kindle Fire HD, they confirmed this will also be offered on the new updated Kindle Fire (non HD version). My guess is that anyone buying these tablets could careless if the ads are there or not and will most likely not opt out. It’s a smart move by Amazon: Give users a choice, let them stop whining, and then watch them look at the ads anyway.
With Amazon unveiling their new Kindle Fire lineup at such low prices given the specs of the tablets, it looks like they have been finding numerous ways to make back some of the money they’re going to lose upon each Kindle Fire they’re going to sell. First Amazon places ads around the OS (most notably the lockscreen) to create some extra revenue, and now they have struck a deal with Microsoft to make the Fire’s default search engine into Bing, as opposed to Google Search in the first Kindle Fire.
This is a huge win for Microsoft as we should expect to see the new set of Kindle Fire’s to outsell last years predecessor. Anything to help subsidize the costs of these tablets, right? Looks like there will be some slight drawbacks in having these high end tablets for a cheap price.
source: Business Insider
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took it upon himself to give Google Android OS the praise that it deserves. According to Bezos:
Android is accomplishing everything that Amazon needs it to and, at the same time, giving the company flexibility to customize things. We treat Android like Linux, and so it’s a base OS layer. We have a large dedicated team that customizes Android and that’s what you see on the Kindle Fire.
I think it’s great to see a CEO of such a huge player like Amazon praising Android for what it offers to everyone. It’s probably the least he can do considering the sales Android has helped give the Kindle Fire, and the upcoming success the Kindle Fire 2 and Kindle Fire HD will bring to the company.
When asked if Amazon has any plans on straying away from Android, Bezos gave a simply answer of ”No, we like Android.”
Yesterday we reported that the ads surrounding Amazon’s new Kindle Fire (most notably the lockscreen) would be removable upon the users choice. It looks like those reports have been rebuffed by Amazon as the company sees it as an opportunity to regain some of their losses when they made the tablets as cheap as they did. Nonetheless, I’m sure this move will annoy plenty of customers. I mean, who likes to see ads on a device they use every day, right?
Either way it looks like the ads are staying, for now. Perhaps Amazon will look to take them out on future updates, but that remains to be seen. I’m sure this move will only give people an extra incentive to root and flash custom ROM’s on their new Kindle Fire, what do you think?
source: c| net
A top selling point for Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HD‘s is the low price. The web giant stresses this fact because Amazon knows they won’t make most of their money by selling devices, but by selling things in their massive online database of consumer goods through their devices. To get their customers to see those goods, Amazon will use the lock screen of the new Kindle Fires for advertising Amazon Special Offers.
This is not a new tactic for Amazon as they have used a similar model for the Kindle E-readers, but this will be the first time they use this business model for a Kindle Fire. On the e-readers there are options to pay so that you do not have to look at the ads every time you turn on your device. It looks like they will do something similar for the Fires because a rep from Amazon has confirmed that users will be able to opt out of the ads. Whether this option will be free or similar to what is offered on the e-reader side is unclear. Most likely the latter. Either way it’s still a pretty good deal for the price point.
Source: Business Insider
With all the shiny new devices announced yesterday, it may have been easy to overlook some of the other announcements Amazon made on a very busy Thursday. Along with the revamped Kindle Fire and Kindle e-readers, and the introduction of the Kindle Fire HD line, Amazon also made some improvements to their operating system that will help them compete with Apple and all other Android devices.
One new addition parents of younger children will love is Kindle FreeTime. This feature allows you to set profiles for different people and set limitations for what they can get into and how long they use the device. FreeTime also allows you to set time limitations for certain apps, so if you want little Johnny to not just play games but read as well, FreeTime will take care of it for you. FreeTime will let you know it’s working because the screen will light up blue. So no more feeling like you have to watch every little thing your child does with the Kindle, just make sure FaceTime is on and let your child enjoy.
There is also Kindle X-Ray, which expands into more areas of the Amazon ecosystem. You can now use the Kindle X-Ray discovery tool while watching a movie or reading a textbook. Have you ever watched a movie and thought “I really like this actor/actress. I wonder what else they are in?” Well now with Kindle X-Ray powered by IMDb you can find out other movies they have been in while watching it on your Kindle, and add it to your queue for later. This feature may also be helpful for students who are reading a textbook on their kindle and get to something they just do not understand. With Kindle X-ray you can search words or phrases and have an online glossary to help you understand.
Amazon also improved specific apps. The email client now includes support for Exchange, Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo. Now with more supported emails and a faster email client, it’s a major improvement over the original. The new custom Facebook app comes with the ability to easily share highlights from books you’re reading. Amazon also mentioned connecting with fellow gamers but was not clear if that meant sharing in games or just making connections over games. Either way it will probably be an improvement over the original Kindle Fire Facebook app.
So many new features Amazon is truly making this a tough competition for Google’s Nexus 7 as the affordable media tablet, while also contesting the iPad’s dominance. Amazon said on their website that the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is not just the best tablet for the price, but the best tablet. Time will tell if the sales agree. Here is a commercial Amazon released to advertise the new Kindle.
Source: The Verge
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