Good news for everyone owning a Kindle Fire and subscribed to Amazon Prime (as well as owners of any other media streaming device with Prime compatibility,) as Amazon has announced that it will now offer its subscribers increased instant streaming of videos to supported devices. The press release states that users will be able to stream TV shows from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike, VH1, BET, CMT and Logo.
All of this is made possible due to Amazon recently making a deal with Viacom, bringing the total number of available streaming offerings to over 15,000, all of which are supported on over 300 devices. Between Netflix, the Redbox-Verizon deal, and Amazon Prime, the streaming video subscription space is heating up!
Here at Gear Live, we have a love affiar with Amazon. They've got our credit card numbers, our accounts are Prime, and the Kindles flow like wine. However, unless you choose overnight shipping, you still have to wait for the items you purchased. It's a small price ot pay for the convenience, but for some, instant gratifiction is what's missing. That may even be changing with Amazon, as the company will be venturing into the brick and mortar store business.
Those lucky enough to live in the Seattle area (that's us!) may soon be seeing an Amazon store popping up at a local mall. Amazon is exploring the idea, kind of a trial and error run, to see if they have a profitable market in physical stores. Amazon wants to provide an Apple-like store experience for consumers who want to buy a Kindle, for example. This is a brilliant move on Amazon’s part, as the Kindle currently is not under its full control in retail, being left to the whims of a retail associate at Target or Best Buy who likely don't know much about it.
That Amazon tablet we've been waiting on for months has finally arrived, and it's called the Kindle Fire. Amazon's looking to disrupt the tablet landscape with the Fire, and is pricing it aggressively at $199. So, what do you get for your money? Well, the Kindle Fire weighs 14.6 ounces and packs a 7-inch IPS display with Gorilla Glass protection, dual-core processor, 512 MB RAM, and 8 GB of on-board storage. It runs a forked version of Android that Amazon has prettied up in a major way, customizing and optimizing it to take advantage of Amazon's various services. The Fire also has Wi-Fi built-in, but lacks a 3G option, camera, and microphone.
Purchasers of the Kindle Fire also get a 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which'll let you get a nice sampling of what the company's Video on Demand service offers. Other services you can access from the Fire include Amazon's Android Appstore, Kindle books, a host of magazines, Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, and the Amazon MP3 service. One nice feature is that WhisperSync, the technology that let you continue reading Kindle books from where you left off across multiple devices, now works with movies and TV shows. In other words, you can start a show on your Kindle Fire, and continue where you left off on your television. Another big feature is the inclusion of the Amazon Silk web browser, which does all the web processings on Amazon's EC2 servers, greatly speeding up the browsing experience.
You can pre-order a Kindle Fire now, and it'll ship on November 15th - check out the commercial after the break.
MG over at TechCrunch got to spend some time playing with Amazon's upcoming Kindle Tablet, and has reported back with a bunch of impressions that have us excited for what's to come. There are no pictures of the device, as that was a condition of him being able to even experience the new Kindle to begin with, but MG paints a nice picture for us of what we are guessing will be the hottest tablet this holiday season that isn't named "iPad 2." For starters, it's an Android tablet, but Amazon has forked Android and has completely overtaken the UI, so it won't look or feel like the typical Android software. The book reader app is similar to what you'd find on iOS and Android, but this Kindle is more than just books--it brings Amazon's entire ecosystem to your hands. That means you get the books, Amazon Cloud Player for music, Amazon Video on Demand for television and movies, access to the Amazon storefront, etc. It even appears that Amazon will be giving purchasers of the tablet a free subscription to Amazon Prime, which itself costs $79 per year.