Hardware

How to install Google Play on an Amazon Fire TV Stick

The built-in app store on the Amazon Fire TV Stick is convenient but limited. If you want to expand your choice, you can install the Google Play Store onto the device. It doesn't offer all the apps available on the main Google Play Store but will increase the number of VPNs, for example, or file managers at your disposal on the Fire Stick. Install Google Play on an Amazon Fire TV Stick Go to Settings on your Amazon Fire TV Stick and…

Mobile

Amazon Echo Show offers a necessary element to smart speakers

When Amazon unveiled the Amazon Echo, a smart speaker that features Amazon’s virtual AI named “Alexa”, the idea caught on quickly. The Echo propelled the idea of a “smart home”, and at a reasonably affordable price to boot. Since then, Amazon has released the cheaper Echo Dot, and even Google joined in with the introduction of Google Home just last year. Despite their apparent usefulness (controlling smart devices around the home by voice, the device’s ability to listen from far…

Gadgets

Amazon’s customizable Dash Button sold out in less than a day

Amazon's Dash Buttons are the epitome of shopping simplification. You push a button and you get stuff, no need to browse around or even leave the house. It would be pretty cool if you could get one of those buttons to do whatever you want. Well now you can, or could — Amazon briefly offered a Dash Button that is completely customizable, allowing you to connect to pretty much any connected device or service you want. It's called the AWS IoT…

Online

Amazon increasing its private-label products, report says

Online retail giant Amazon is planning to dramatically increase the private-label products it will be offering to consumers in the next few weeks, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Products ranging from laundry detergent to baby food to perishable foods like nuts and coffee will soon be available on Amazon under a variety of in-house brand names, including Happy Belly and Mama Bear, according to the report. There's one catch, though: according to the report, the new…

Mobile

Google engineer challenges USB-C cables

There’s a basic assumption that underlies cable purchases, even among techies. It’s the idea thatmost cables are created equal, and that you can grab any cable from a well-regarded supplier or manufacturer and come out on top. Recent reviews at Amazon from Google engineer Benson Leung challenge this assertion as it applies to USB Type-Ccables, and the results aren’t pretty. Leung is a software engineer on the Chrome OS team, as well as an engineer on theChromebook Pixel and Pixel…

Online

BACK BLAZE TAKES ON GOOGLE, AMAZON WITH STORAGE AT HALF A PENNY A GIGABYTE

Backblaze's data center. Credit: Backblaze The first 10GB are free Online backup service provider Backblaze today announced a new service offering: as much storage as you want for half a cent per gigabyte per month. Backblaze's new B2 Cloud Storage, is a raw cloud storage service, meaning data is not encrypted or manipulated in any way. Users can encrypt their own files prior to storing them on the service for added security. "Once you start storing more data, you pay…

Online

Amazon intros three new low-cost Fire tablets in small, medium and large

Amazon is wisely going after the mass market with a trio of relatively inexpensive tablets for those on a budget. The rumors and leaked images were accurate. Amazon has a trio of new Fire tablets available for pre-order and all of them share a common theme: They're relatively inexpensive. Amazon's new Fire tablet, for example, costs $49.99. That's a budget price and of course the hardware itself reflects that. There's a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor powering the new Fire, which…

DesignTechnology

Amazon’s three top-selling computers for the holidays were… Chromebooks

Chances are that if you shopped for a cheap holiday PC on Amazon for the holidays, what you ended up buying was a Google Chromebook. Again. Amazon said Friday the top three computers it sold between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25 were all Chromebooks, a first for the Google-powered computer. (Two of the three most popular computers Amazon shoppers bought during the 2013 holiday season were also Chromebooks—the third being a Windows-powered Asus Transformer. Amazon didn’t break out holiday computer…

Technology

Amazon releases new Fire tablets and e-readers

A $79 Kindle and the Kindle Voyage are the company's new e-reader offerings. "This is our thinnest, highest resolution, highest contrast e-reader we've ever done," Amazon VP Peter Larsen said of the Kindle Voyage, which starts at $199. "We have a long term-vision to replace paper," Senior Vice President of Devices David Limp said at the launch event in New York Wednesday. That translates to e-readers with higher resolution and contrast display. By releasing a cheaper e-reader,Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) hopes to tap into…

Gadgets

Amazon announces the new Fire HDX 8.9 tablet

Amazon has released their latest tablet, the Fire HDX 8.9. They promise better performance than the last incarnation, and appear to be continuing with their focus on media. The Amazon Fire is a pretty good consumer tablet. It is aimed at those who consider media to be their primary concern, and the high quality graphics and smooth streaming were a draw for quite a few people. Plus, Amazon has a rather loyal fan base that will always choose their brand…

Technology

Amazon buys Twitch for $1.04 billion

AMAZON just confirmed what the Information reported Monday morning: The online retailer — and video producer, and a hundred other things — is buying video streaming service Twitch for $1.04 billion ($US970 million). The announcement comes as a surprise, not because no one expected Twitch to be bought, but because YouTube was widely expected to be the buyer. Three months ago the sale of Twitch to Google’s video service, for a cool billion, looked all wrapped up, and the pairing…