Category Archives: Amazon

Amazon Echo is Now Available to the Public

By Rich W Woods

That’s right. The Amazon Echo is finally available after being available by invitation only for months. You can grab the Amazon Echo for $179 right now and it will ship on July 14.

If you’re not familiar with the Amazon Echo, you can think of it as Siri in your living room. You can ask it questions, tell it to play music, play podcasts, play Audible audiobooks, control Phillips Hue lights, control Belkin WeMo, and much more.

You can grab the Amazon Echo from Amazon for $179 here.

You can read the review here.

Source: Amazon

Don’t Use Audible with Amazon Echo

By Rich W Woods

A couple weeks ago, Amazon announced that Echo users would be able to listen to audiobooks from Audible on their Echo. It was a long awaited feature. After all, I can listen to music and podcasts, but not audiobooks from Amazon’s own Audible?

Well, now you can; however, there’s a huge catch. The Amazon Echo doesn’t sync your place in your book.

If you’re familiar with Kindle and Audible, you know that you can listen to an hour of a book on your iPhone, pick up where you left off on the Kindle app on your iPad and read another four chapters, and then pick up where you left off on another device. The Kindle app and Audible apps sync with each other (WhisperSync) across devices.

Not with the Amazon Echo. The Amazon Echo picks up where you left off on your device; however, it doesn’t sync after you’re done listening, making it virtually impossible to find your spot in your book. It’s also something you need to be warned about because most people will think it works when they say “Alexa, read Game of Thrones” and she starts off where you left off.

Luckily, there is a solution. In fact, it’s the same solution that we used before the Echo had Audible support. Simply pair your iPhone or Android phone with the Echo through Bluetooth and play it through the Audible app.

Amazon Echo can Finally Read your Audible Books

By Rich W Woods

I’ve been using the Amazon Echo ever since it came out. Well, ever since I could get an invitation. I always found it odd that, for something that can play music and podcasts, it can’t play audiobooks, especially since Amazon owns Audible.

Of course, you can hook up your phone through Bluetooth, but that kind of kills the point of the voice assistant, Alexa.

Now, you can finally stream audiobooks through your Amazon Echo. Of course, the next question will be, why can I stream my audiobooks to my Amazon Echo but I must download them first on my phone and tablet?

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Amazon Updates the Fire Phone for the First Time since October

By Rich W Woods

I’m happy to admit that I am a proud owner of an Amazon Fire Phone. I am one of the few that actually gave it a good review, and for good reason. It’s a beautiful, smooth phone. It’s lacking Google services, but then again, so is Windows Phone, which I’m also a strong supporter of.

I had thought that Amazon gave up on this thing. I check for updates once in a while and it always says the last update was October, 2014.

Well, today Amazon has announced Fire OS 4.6.1:

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Amazon Fire TV Update Brings New Features!

By Rich W Woods

Own a Fire TV? No? Why the hell are you reading this? Ok, I have jokes. We get it. Moving on.

Amazon released an update to the Fire TV and the Fire TV Stick yesterday bringing many new features, including connecting to hotel or dorm room Wi-Fi with captive portal support, X-Ray on Fire TV, browse and search Prime Playlists, hidden PIN entry, and new shortcuts. Read on for a further description of each new feature.

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Amazon Fire Phone Review

By Rich W Woods

This is not the first time I reviewed the Amazon Fire Phone. I reviewed the device when it first came out and, to be honest, I think I was the only one that gave it a good review. No, that would be incorrect. The general consensus of the device at the time was, “I’m sure there are plenty of Amazon fans that will buy it, but it’s not for me.”

It was when the sales rumors started coming in that everyone claimed that they predicted the device’s failure from the start. It was rumored that the Amazon Fire Phone only sold 30,000 units, which I found a bit hard to believe, considering the plethora of people that sought me out looking for tips on how to unlock the device, as it was originally an AT&T exclusive.

I wrote in my original review that AT&T would unlock the device upon request. There was speculation about the claim, so I had it unlocked by AT&T. As so many people were asking for help unlocking their Fire Phones, I ended up selling the device. Nowadays, it goes on sale for around $199 for a day or two, while floating back up to its regular price point of $449 the next day. I caught it on Amazon for $189 and decided to pick up another one. Hell, I liked the thing and I even get a free year of Prime with the purchase, so $89 for an Amazon Fire Phone? I’m in.

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Cortana, Siri, and Alexa Play Trivia Crack!

By Rich W Woods

We all know what Cortana and Siri are. They are voice assistants that are integrated into another platform, being Windows Phone and iOS, respectively. Alexa is a voice assistant that is not tied to a particular platform, at least not in the way that Cortana and Siri are.

Alexa is the Amazon Echo, a device who’s sole purpose is to answer questions. Sure, it does other stuff. You can ask it to play music from iHeartRadio or play a podcast from TuneIn. You can even link up your phone and the Echo and mirror any audio coming from your phone.

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Amazon Fire Phone vs Nokia Lumia 735 Camera Comparison

By Rich W Woods

This comparison is actually a request, although it would have come eventually anyway. The Nokia Lumia 735 and the Amazon Fire Phone are two of the three phones that I am reviewing right now. The Amazon Fire Phone actually came out pretty similar to the Nokia Lumia 830, so it seemed fair to compare it to the Nokia Lumia 735.

I have always been a fan of the Amazon Fire Phone. I think it’s an innovative phone that didn’t get the credit it deserved. I am also more impressed with the mid-range Nokia Lumia 735 than I rightfully should be. It’s super light and it follows a sleek design language.

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iPhone 6 vs Amazon Fire Phone Camera Comparison

By Rich W Woods

The iPhone 6 and the Amazon Fire Phone have very similar cameras. Now, before you start sending me emails, let me explain that. They do have different hardware; however, when it comes to smart phone cameras, software is much more important than hardware is.

Both the iOS Camera app and the Fire OS Camera app have very limited options. There are no manual settings. The thing about not allowing users to have manual settings is that the product has to be so good that it doesn’t need manual settings. The iPhone 6 does that. Here, we’ll find out if the Amazon Fire Phone can do as good.

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Nokia Lumia 830 vs Amazon Fire Phone Camera Comparison

By Rich W Woods

It would appear that it’s Nokia Lumia 830 day. Currently, I am reviewing three phones: the Amazon Fire Phone, the Microsoft Lumia 535, and the HTC Desire 820. Unfortunately, I am being forced to bump up the Nokia Lumia 830 in the comparison rotation because Microsoft wants their phone back.

Both of these phones have pretty great cameras. In fact, the Nokia Lumia 830’s Pureview camera is phenomenal. I have noticed that the Amazon Fire Phone has a little trouble focusing on smaller objects that are further away and there are no manual controls to focus, but we’ll get to all that.

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