Amazon’s no-checkout convenience store opens to the public today

Amazon Go, the new convenience store without any checkout lines, opens to the public on January 22nd. Shoppers can literally walk in, pickup anything they want, and walk out without ever stopping to pay. All you need to do is scan your phone once as you enter, using the Amazon Go app for iOS or Android, and an elaborate network of cameras and sensors will track what you take and automatically charge your Amazon account. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet on sale for $49.99 today only — Lowest Price Ever

Amazon has the Fire HD 8 tablet on sale for $49.99. The sale ends tonight at midnight, so get in quick if you’re interested. This price matches the lowest price that the Fire HD 8 has ever been. It’s available in black, red, blue, and yellow. The $49.99 price is for the 16GB version, but if you prefer more internal storage, the 32GB version is also on sale at $79.99, which is $30 off of the regular price.

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New Apps for the Week of January 14th thru the 20th

This week there were 27 new apps and games released for the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition televisions. Mobile Tube is a popular YouTube app that has just added support for Fire TV devices. I still believe using the older version of the official YouTube app is the best way to watch YouTube on a Fire TV device, but this new app might be a good alternative. Deckchair.com TV is a new app for watching upto the minute timelapses from around the world. YouIpCams looks to be an app for viewing your personal IP cameras if you have one that doesn’t support Alexa. Lastly, StopAd is the first ad blocker to be released for the Fire TV. I don’t know if it works, but take a look if that interests you. Continue on for the full list of new apps and games released in the last 7 days. Read more ›

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Alexa’s wake word can now be changed by voice on Amazon Echo devices

Amazon’s line of Echo devices can be set to respond to one of four wake words which include Alexa, Echo, Amazon, and Computer. You used to have to dive into the device settings in the Alexa app to change the wake word but now you can do it on the fly with your voice. Just say “Alexa, change the wake word” and Alexa will ask which of the three alternative wake words you would like to use. Speak your choice and you’re all set. I can see this coming in handy to quickly change the wake word temporarily when watching a movie or TV show that keeps triggering Alexa.

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You can now talk to Alexa through the Alexa app on Android, with iOS coming soon

Alexa is being added to all sorts of apps and devices, but it has been notably missing in Amazon’s Alexa app. That finally changes because Amazon is starting to roll out an update to the Alexa app on Android that adds an Alexa button front and center which lets you talk to Alexa. Read more ›

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New software update rolling out to all Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition television models

A new software update is currently rolling out to all Fire TV devices. The Fire TV 3 is being updated from version 6.2.1.2 (NS6212/918) to version 6.2.1.2 (NS6212/926). All other models, including the Fire TV Edition televisions, are being updated from version 5.2.6.1 (587600920) to version 5.2.6.2 (587700720). Read more ›

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Amazon Prime monthly membership fee is increasing by 18%

Starting today, Amazon is increasing their monthly membership fee for Amazon Prime from $10.99 to $12.99, according to Recode. That’s an increase of 18% and works out to $156 per year if you’re paying monthly. Prime Student’s monthly fee is also increasing from $5.49 to $6.49. The annual membership fee of $99 for Amazon Prime is not increasing. Neither is the $8.99 per month fee for just Prime Video. If you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime on a monthly basis for more than 7 months out of the year, it now makes more sense to switch to the annual membership.

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Amazon Echo devices and Music Unlimited service are coming to Australia and New Zealand in February

Amazon has announced that select Amazon Echo devices, as well as their Music Unlimited streaming service, will be headed to Australia and New Zealand next month. Customers can place a pre-order for the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus starting today. The Amazon Echo is $119 AUD (~$95 USD), the Echo Dot is $49 AUD (~$39 USD), and the Echo Plus is $199 AUD (~$159 USD). All three will be released on February 1st.

Also arriving on the same day is Amazon’s Music Unlimited streaming service. Like in other countries, it will be available in three plan options. $4.99 AUD per month grants streaming access to over 45 million songs on a single Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Plus. The Individual Plan for multiple devices and mobile streaming is $11.99 AUD per month, while the Family Plan, which will be available later, will be $17.99 AUD per month for up to six members of a household to share. New subscribers will get a 90-day free trial.

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App Deal: R-Type I and II games down from $1.99 to $0.99

The games R-TYPE and R-TYPE II are back on sale for $0.99 each. These prices match the lowest these games have ever been. These are classic side-scrolling space shooter games from the 80s that have been brought to the Fire TV. The games are compatible with all Fire TV models except the 1st generation Fire TV Stick. R-TYPE can be played with a remote control, but the sequel requires a game controller.

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Amazon cancels original shows ‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’, ‘One Mississippi’, and ‘I Love Dick’

Amazon has decided not to renew their original shows Jean-Claude Van Johnson, One Mississippi, and I Love Dick, according to Deadline. The cancellation of Jean-Claude Van Johnson comes just one month after the show’s first season debuted. I Love Dick was the second project from Transparent creator Jill Soloway, but it hasn’t had the same success as the Golden Globe-winning comedy. One Mississippi is arguably the most successful of the three shows being canceled, having released two seasons with an overall 94% rating with critics on Rotten Tomato. These cancellations are said to be further examples of Amazon’s decision to focus on big shows with a wider audience appeal, like the upcoming Lord of the Rings series.

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