Android users at last get access to Amazon Instant Video as of today

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Amazon seems to have finally accepted that access to Amazon Instant Video still isn’t going to make anyone want to buy a Fire Phone. As of today, Amazon Prime members in the U.S. can watch Instant Video on any Android device using the updated Amazon app.

Prime members in the US can stream unlimited Prime Instant Video from inside the Amazon app using the Prime Instant Video player, including HBO shows The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Six Feet Under, and The Wire …

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Amazon takes on Square and PayPal Here with $10 smartphone cardreader & lower fees

Small businesses looking to take occasional card payments without paying monthly fees now have a third option as Amazon has launched Local Register to compete with Square and PayPal Here – as we predicted last month over on 9to5Mac. The $10 card-reader is currently only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S3, S4 and S5, along with the Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets, but more devices are expected to be added.

Amazon is undercutting both competitor services with a flat fee of 2.5 percent per transaction (vs 2.7 percent for PayPal Here and 2.75 percent for Square). Not enough? Amazon is sweetening the deal with a special introductory rate of 1.75 percent until the end of 2015, and will also credit the $10 cost of the cardreader in full against transaction fees …  Read more

Watch out Amazon: Google partners with Barnes & Noble in same-day book delivery service

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There will be some nervous faces in Amazon’s headquarters as Google today partners with rival booksellers Barnes & Noble to extend the Google Shopping Express service to books, reveals the New York Times.

Starting on Thursday, book buyers in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to get same-day deliveries from local Barnes & Noble stores through Google Shopping Express, Google’s fledgling online shopping and delivery service …

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FTC now alleging Amazon is also unlawfully billing parents for children’s in-app-purchases

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Amazon is now a part of the Federal Trade Commission’s investigations into technology corporations with mobile application marketplaces unlawfully billing parents for in-app-purchases. Both Apple and Google have been tangled in the allegations with Apple settling earlier this year and Apple telling the FTC to investigate Google. The FTC today announced it is filing a complaint against Amazon, saying that children have been able to buy goods and extras within apps without the consent of parents. The full release from the FTC can be found below:

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Google reportedly planning to expand home delivery service Shopping Express nationwide

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Re/code piece on Google’s Shopping Express service says that the company is investing $500M to expand the service beyond San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City and roll it out nationally.

The service lets shoppers buy things from local retail stores through Google, which then delivers them to consumers from the physical retail store on the same or next day.

A source familiar with the company’s plans says senior Google execs have set aside as much as $500 million to expand the service nationwide …

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Report: Amazon to launch streaming music service in June/July, but only with 6 month old songs

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With Apple having just acquired Beats Electronics, Amazon is apparently preparing to launch its own streaming music service. According to a new report out of BuzzFeed, Amazon has just signed deals with two of the three major labels. Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group have both signed on, while Universal Music is still pondering the deal.

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Leaked photos of Bluetooth controller add weight to Amazon’s TV box incorporating games

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Rumors that Amazon’s set-top TV box will double as a games console have been lent weight by photos of a Bluetooth controller claimed to have been discovered in an overseas regulatory filing by Zatznotfunny.

The wireless Bluetooth controller features a gaggle of controls, including both shoulder buttons and triggers, in addition to media playback transport controls. And we give Amazon credit for using Android-esque icons for home, menu, and back …  Read more

Opinion: Will the spring launch of Amazon/Nexus/Apple TV signal the beginning of the end of live, broadcast TV?

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Streaming TV is heating-up. Amazon looks set to launch its TV box in March, we’re expecting Apple to announce a new Apple TV box in April, and Google is reputed to be not far behind with a Nexus-branded box.

So-called cord-cutting – people who give up their cable TV subscriptions in favor of streaming content over the web – is growing in popularity. Mobile TV viewing on tablets is increasingly common.

All of which makes me wonder whether we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of live TV … ?  Read more

Amazon’s long-rumored Roku-like TV box to launch next month?

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Image: digitaltrends.com

Amazon’s TV box, which the company is believed to have been working on for around a year, is to be launched next month, according to unnamed content distribution sources cited by re/code. It had originally been expected to be launched in time for last year’s holiday sales.

People I’ve talked to who are partnering with Amazon believe the company is aiming for a March rollout [...]

Sources tell me Amazon’s box will be powered by Google’s Android operating system, which is also not a surprise — Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets use a “forked” version of Android …  Read more

Amazon’s ‘record-setting’ holiday season shows Kindle Fire, Chromecast and Chromebooks dominate

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Amazon has never been a company to provide specific sales numbers, but their just-issued press release shows us that Android, Kindle and Chromebooks dominated their holiday shopping season. Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprising at all is the Chromecast, which is the best seller in the Computers and Accessories category outselling the company’s own Kindle Fire lineup as well as Apple TV and the Roku 3 Streaming Media player.

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Google will battle Amazon in Drone retail delivery war circa 2015-2020

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shocked Charlie Rose on Cyber Monday Eve (great timing for the PR-savvy retail giant) by showing him the future of delivery services – autonomous drones that will pick up and deliver wares from fulfillment centers. From which we can conclude that Charlie Rose doesn’t read 9to5Google, where the concept is old news.

We mentioned way back in February that Google was already working on drone delivery services:

Along with Glass, Google will have an opportunity to demonstrate other upcoming and Google X projects like driverless cars and mini-drone delivery systems at its stores.

We reference it again when the company launched the trial of its ‘Google Shopping Express’ same-day delivery service to Bay Area residents:

Google, in the long run, plans to use self-driving cars and flying drones as means of delivery.

And again:

9to5Google also heard this service was coming, and we have some more somewhat wild information on the program. Google, in the long run, plans to use self-driving cars and flying drones as means of delivery. We also heard Google’s delivery project came from the Google X incubator headed by cofounder Sergey Brin.

Clearly there are a lot of hurdles to jump on the way to this vision (privacy, theft, accidents, visual pollution, etc, etc). but it’s equally clear that these two Silicon Valley heavy-weights are prepping to battle in the skies above.

Google might have gotten there first, but Amazon definitely wins the PR battle so far: a short concept video for a service which doesn’t yet exist, and which even optimistically it doesn’t expect to launch for a couple of years, got everyone talking about them. Including Charlie Rose. Video below …

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