LOVEFiLM to Bring Streaming Movies and TV shows to Xbox LIVE

LOVEFiLM, Europe’s largest subscription service for streaming movies and TV shows over the Internet and sending DVDs by post, launches on Xbox LIVE tomorrow. This would allow millions of Xbox users instant access to the movies they want to watch. LOVEFiLM is an Amazon company.


Xbox LIVE members will be able to instantly watch thousands of movies via LOVEFiLM Instant the movie streaming service including exclusive content. LOVEFiLM Instant is already available via a huge range of devices including PCs, iPad, Internet-connected TV sets, Blu-ray players, tablets, and games consoles.

It is an exciting day for LOVEFiLM customers and an auspicious day for the TV entertainment industry as a whole. Launching LOVEFiLM Instant on Xbox 360 and Kinect means bringing the service to a million more living rooms a huge achievement.

– Simon Calver, CEO, LOVEFiLM

With Netflix launching in the UK next year (no announcement whether it would be available on the Xbox as yet), and BBC coming to Xbox LIVE next year, LOVEFiLM’s inclusion as an integrated film service provider for Xbox LIVE is well timed. LOVEFiLM is all set for its ambition to bring the service to as many homes as possible. Also, Kinect for Xbox 360 will transform the way people use LOVEFiLM Instant. With Kinect, people can effortlessly control the service using voice commands and gestures to search and enhance movie-watching experience. The LOVEFiLM app comes with a free 30 day trial and after that will require a subscription.

Amazon Brings Christmas Wish Lists to Kindle Fire and iPad has announced Amazon Santa, a free app for Kindle Fire and iPad that makes it fun and easy for children and their parents to create holiday wish lists to share with friends, family, and maybe Santa Claus.


The app provides a visual creation experience to browse and search more than five-hundred thousand kid-friendly items. Kids and their parents can explore by a product category or type a search to find the perfect gift with just the tap of a finger. Parents can review or edit the list as needed, and share the same with the child’s family and friends to help them with their holiday shopping. While the app makes it fun, easy, and intuitive for kids to figure out exactly what they want, it would help parents to spend quality time with their kids to bring in the holidays.

“Sometimes Santa can use help sorting out what gifts to give everyone and this new app makes it easy and fun for kids to create their perfect Wish List.”

– Sam Hall, Director, Amazon Mobile.

The Amazon Santa app is available for free from the Amazon Appstore or from iTunes. Download: iPad | Kindle Fire

CyanogenMod 7 (Android 2.3 Gingerbread) for the Amazon Kindle Fire is Almost Here

The Amazon Kindle Fire, which was launched earlier this quarter, has been huge hit. It is expected to sell tens of millions of units in 2012, with its sales second only to the iPad. Unlike Apple, Amazon is taking a loss on each sale though, but hopes to make money on content.

Anyways, my point is that the Amazon Kindle Fire is the best possible tablet you can get in $200, at least when it comes to the hardware. It comes with a heavily modified version of Android, which has been pretty much locked down by Amazon to run only its authorized software. There’s the Amazon App Store, of course, but it isn’t as good as the Android Market.

Ever since Amazon launched the Kindle Fire, I have been wondering how quickly the CyanogenMod community would come out with a ROM for it. CyanogenMod 7 on the Kindle Fire would be the perfect combination; I have used it on my Nook Color, and I’ve been really impressed.

Today, JackpotCalvin from XDA posted that he has managed to get a build of CyanogenMod 7 to run on the Kindle Fire. There are still a few bugs, but they should be ironed out soon. We can expect to see a working CM7 build for the Kindle Fire soon. Here is a link to the thread – [ROM] CyanogenMod 7 for the Kindle Fire

Development of a CyanogenMod 9 ROM (Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich) for the Amazon Kindle Fire is also underway. I’m drooling already.

Amazon Kindle Fire CyanogenMod 7

Amazon’s Kindle Fire Gets a Root-Breaking Software Update

Amazon has started rolling out a new software update for their recently released $199 Android running tablet, the Kindle Fire. The shopping giant has not mentioned anything about the changes brought about by the new software update (v6.2).

The sad part is that the update breaks root. The worst part? You cannot stop the update from installing itself. The Kindle Fire will automatically update itself over Wi-Fi, even if the user does not want the update to happen.

The only good news? Even though users loose root access to the system partition of the tablet, they can gain it back easily by using a popular rooting utility – SuperOneClick – to root their tablet  again. If Fire owners already have Android Market installed on their tablet, the Market might vanish after the update. Users will need to re-root their tablet, and then install the Android Market on the Fire again.

The zip file of the software update is available online, and some developers went through the files inside it, and according to them this software update is just aimed at fixing bugs.


Amazon to Launch 8.9 inch Kindle Fire in Q2 2012

Amazon recently launched the Kindle Fire, and by all measures, it has been a huge hit. It’s priced at just under $200, making it one of the cheapest tablets around. It is expected to sell nearly 4-5 million units in Q4 2011.

It may not be as good as the iPad, but it offers plenty of value to budget consumers who want a cheap tablet to read ebooks, watch videos, browse the web and maybe play with a few apps.

According to a report by Digitimes, Amazon is already working on the Kindle Fire 2. Rumors suggest that Amazon is developing 8.9 inch and 10.1 inch Kindle Fire models, and will be launching the 8.9 inch model first.

We don’t have any details about the exact specifications of either model, but they will presumably have slightly better specifications than the Kindle Fire, and Amazon will probably try to iron out all the bugs and issues with the first Kindle Fire before launching them.

Foxconn will also be manufacturing the future versions of the device, along with Quanta, the exclusive ODM for the Kindle Fire.

Maybe Apple should rethink its plans and create a cheaper iPad Mini, if it hasn’t already. With the operational expertise of Tim Cook and their hefty margins, it’s probably the only company that can bring a better device at a price of around $300. But then, they aren’t as willing as Amazon to sacrifice their margins. And they don’t need to.

Amazon Working on Kindle Smartphone?

Here’s the most interesting rumor I’ve heard all week: Amazon is working on an Android smartphone, which it will launch in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The speculation was started by a Citigroup analyst whose research note said that “Based on our supply chain channel checks in Asia led by Kevin Chang, Citi’s Taipei-based hardware research analyst, we believe an Amazon Smartphone will be launched in 4Q12.”

According to the note, FIH will be jointly developing the phone with Amazon, while its components will be manufactured by Hon Hai’s TMS group. It will likely use a TI OMAP 4 processor and Qualcomm’s dual mode baseband chip.

It also says, that Amazon may be willing to lose money on the device, and may price it in the range of $150 to $170, to increase sales.

That strategy has often been used by Amazon, as in the case of the Kindle Fire and the Kindle, and it has seen quite a lot of success with it.

The Kindle Fire has been a huge hit, and Amazon may be planning to launch a more powerful 10 inch Kindle Tablet in 2012. There is no reason why it wouldn’t want to disrupt the smartphone market with a Kindle smartphone too.

The note doesn’t specifically mention Android, but given that Amazon has made a lot of investments in Android already, it’s only logical that it would use it on its own smartphone too.

Price Check by Amazon Available for Android

Can I get a price check on Aisle 5? You bet I can! Amazon announced today that their Price Check by Amazon app is now available for the Android platform. This app has been available to iPhone users for a while, now. Considering that Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the hottest selling Android tablet right now, it only makes sense that they would make this app available to the Android market.

Price Check by Amazon
Screenshot of Price Check by Amazon

The premise behind the app is pretty simple. For example, let’s say that you find an item that you would like to purchase in one of the big box stores, but you’re not sure that its price is the best price available. The Price Check by Amazon app will let you compare that price with prices on and its more than two million online merchants.

There are several different ways a shopper can compare prices using the app. The first is to use the built-in  barcode  scanner. Simply choose “Scan It” from the menu and center the barcode in the screen. One feature exclusive  to the Android app is the ability to scan in either portrait or landscape mode.  The app will scan the code and compare it to Amazon’s online database. Below is a screenshot of the barcode scanner.

Barcode Scanner
Barcode Scanner Screenshot

If you’re comparing things with cover art like DVD’s, books, and video games, you might want to use the “Snap It” mode. Pictured below, the “Snap It” mode allows you to take a picture of the item to get a price comparison.

Snap It
Snap It Screenshot

The “Say It” mode, pictured below, allows you to speak the product name to get results.

Say It
Say It Screenshot

For those of us still living in the stone age, the app will also allow you to type your search in, but where’s the fun in that?

When you execute a search in the app, Amazon will return a list of available items sorted by price. You will be able to see a product description and can even read customer reviews. You can also purchase the item straight from the app.

Let’s face it, if you’re anything like me, you’ve suffered buyers remorse more than once this time of year. I think the Price Check by Amazon app is a great way to find out if that black Friday deal you’re about to pounce on is really as good a deal as you think it is. You can download the app from the Android Market or the Amazon Appstore.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire Ships One Day Early

Hopefully I am not jumping the gun here, but it appears that is about to exceed customer expectations. just announced that it is shipping the Kindle Fire one day early. Was that a “Woot Woot” I just heard from out there in cyberspace? This is welcome news, for sure, as I personally know several people who were concerned that there would be a backlog on the Kindle Fire.

The Kindle Fire is already Amazon’s #1 seller.  We’re thrilled to be able to ship Kindle Fire to our customers earlier than we expected. Kindle Fire quickly became the bestselling item across all of, and based on customer response we’re building millions more than we’d planned,said Dave Limp, Vice President,  Amazon  Kindle. Customers are excited about Kindle Fire because it is a premium product at the non-premium price of only  $199.According to their press release, some of the major bragging points for the Kindle Fire are as follows:

  • Over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Amazon Instant Video
  • Over 17,000,000 songs from Amazon MP3
  • Millions of books
  • Over 400 full-color magazines and newspapers
  • 100 exclusive graphic novels from DC Comics, including Watchmen, the best-selling graphic novel of all time
  • Several thousand apps and games, including  Netflix, Pandora,  Hulu  Plus, Rhapsody, and games from  Electronic Arts, Zynga and Rovio
  • A free month of Amazon Prime, which offers two-day shipping and access to nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows available to stream at no additional cost and exclusive access to over 5,000 popular books from the Kindle Owner’sLending Library  to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates
Amazon posted some high resolution pictures of the Kindle Fire. If you click on an image below, it will open the high resolution image so that you can get a nice close-up look at the screen.
Kindle Fire
Straight On View of the Kindle Fire
Kindle Fire
Kindle Fire from Angle
Kindle Fire
Kid Holding Kindle Fire

From many of the early reviews that I am seeing, everyone seems to be amazed at the simplicity of the device. There’s not a bunch of setup. There is only one button to fool with and that is the power button. Everything else is controlled on the screen. There are two external ports. One port is for charging and the other port is a headphone jack. Many people, including myself, believe this is the closest competition the iPad has in the tablet market. It isn’t without its flaws, though. One big one, in my book, is that it doesn’t have a camera on it. From my research, however, the lack of a camera is how they were able to reach the $199 price point. You have to admit, there’s a lot a positives included for such a low price.

U.S. Veterans – Amazon Wants You announced that it seeks to hire thousands of U.S. veterans for its fulfillment network. There are both full-time and temporary positions available. This is good news considering that G.I. Jobs magazine named Amazon as the “#1 Top Military Friendly Employer”.  Dave Clark, Vice President, North American Operations, has this to say on their military recruiting website

We value the leadership experience that military veterans have brought to Amazon, and we’re honored that G.I. Jobs has named Amazon the #1 Top Military Friendly Company. We have a dedicated military program that has helped hundreds of veterans transition into the civilian workforce and build their careers at Amazon, and we’re actively recruiting for even more veterans to join our company.


Uncle Sam

There will be many soldiers returning home this year from Afghanistan and Iraq. Amazon wants to offer them a place to work. They actually have a dedicated military recruitment team made up of veterans from all branches of service. The team works with veterans to help them translate their military skills into job opportunities within the company.  Amazon also offers an internal network of military veterans to provide mentoring and support as new veterans transition into the company.

Job opportunities in the  Amazon  fulfillment network include management positions in operations management, safety, and corporate operations. There are also hourly roles in picking, packing, and shipping/receiving. According to Dave Clark,  Median pay inside our fulfillment centers is 30% higher than that of people who work in traditional retail stores and this doesn’t even include the stock grants that full-time employees receive, which over the past five years have added an average of nine percent to base pay annually.

All I can say is hats off to Amazon and others like them for recognizing the need for opportunities like this. Transitioning to civilian life after long deployments can be difficult. Not having to worry about a job, and actually getting to work with fellow veterans, will surely make this transition easier.

If you are a veteran and are interested in learning more, then go to Amazon’s military recruiting page located at Good luck in your job search and most of all, thank you for your service.


Amazon’s Kindle Fire Even Hotter with Netflix, Pandora, and Others

The much anticipated Kindle Fire tablet has stirred a lot of buzz lately. The Android tablet debuts next week and, for those of us excited to see it, the deal seems to get sweeter all the time. Today, Amazon announced that Kindle Fire customers will instantly be able to download thousands of popular apps  including Netflix, Rhapsody, Pandora, Twitter, Comics by comiXology, Facebook, The Weather Channel and popular games from Zynga, EA, Gameloft, PopCap and Rovio all in one place.

When they engaged developers about the possibility of developing for the Kindle,  Dave Limp, Vice President of Amazon Kindle, said the “response has been overwhelming”. Limp also stated, “In addition to over 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, and magazines from Amazon, we are excited to offer customers thousands of apps and games to choose from on Kindle Fire – from Pandora and Rhapsody to Facebook and Twitter to Netflix, as well as popular games from EA, Zynga and many other top game developers.” Several app developers also chimed in with quotes including  Bill Holmes, Vice President of Business Development at Netflix. Holmes stated, “We’re excited to team up with Amazon to give what we think will be a huge community of Kindle Fire owners the opportunity experience all that Netflix has to offer”.

Kindle Fire AppsThe beauty behind all of this is Amazon’s cloud. Amazon provides a single place to purchase and download these apps. You don’t have to go to several different vendors to register. Another huge plus is that since all of your purchases are stored on Amazon’s cloud storage, when you purchase from the Amazon Appstore, your purchase will be available to all of your Android devices. All of the apps available from Amazon have been tested to work on the Kindle so you can have  confidence  that you are getting a good product. They also state that Kindle Fire customers can get a free “paid” app every day.

Unless there are some unforeseen hardware hiccups with the Kindle Fire, it is looking more like the best Android tablet offering to date.  When combined with the simplicity of Amazon’s Appstore, the availability of thousands of Kindle books, and the additional features Amazon Prime offers, it’s hard to imagine a better offering in the Android market.

What do you think? Will the Kindle Fire live up to the hype? What features do you think will make or break this tablet? We appreciate your feedback. Thanks for reading Techie Buzz!

Other Amazon articles you may be interested in:

Amazon Opens New Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

Amazon Opens Black Friday Store