Amazon’s long-rumored Apple TV competitor to launch next month?

Image: digitaltrends.com

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 - ahead of the new version of the Apple TV box expected to be unveiled in April.

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

Sunrise Calendar, IMDb, iA Writer, Dolphin Browser, Myst, Finish, deals, more

Sunrise Calendar: Launched today by former Foursquare designers, the free Sunrise calendar app is getting a lot of attention for its simplistic approach to combining calendars, Facebook events and birthdays, and weather forecasts based on your current location. The app initially only supports Google Calendar, includes Timezone support (a feature missing from many popular calendar apps), and integration with LinkedIn to “see faces of people you are meeting.”

Features:
☆ 100% free calendar app with a gorgeous design.
☆ Compatible only with Google Calendar for now.
☆ A completely redesigned calendar experience for your iPhone.
☆ Synchronization that just works, in real-time.
☆ Quick Add Event just by typing “Lunch tomorrow at 9pm” (long-press on the +).
☆ Reminders.
☆ Timezone Support. No more headache when travelling!
☆ Facebook Events and Birthdays included.
☆ See faces of people you are meeting with using LinkedIn.
☆ Weather forecast based on your location.
☆ Smart icons.
☆ Tag location to events.
☆ Use Google Maps for Directions.
☆ Connect multiple Google Calendars.

IMDB-iOS-appIMDb version 3.1: IMDb announced a nice update to its IMDb Movies & TV iOS app that brings a number of new features including links to titles available on Amazon Prime for users that have the  Amazon Instant Video app installed on their iPhone or iPad. The update also includes a Special Oscars section with a “list of nominees and photos from the red carpet and ceremony and live winners,” a new Recommendations feature, and a few improvements:

- Award information for celebrities and titles (iPad/iPhone)
- Titles available on Amazon Prime feature a link to watch if the Amazon Instant Video app is also installed (iPhone/iPad)
- Special Oscars® section: list of nominees and photos from the red carpet and ceremony and live winners on iPhone and iPad during the ceremony
- Recommendations: tap on the “i” in the corner of the poster to see why it’s recommended for you, rate the title if you’ve seen it, or indicate “not interested” (iPad)
- Improved accessibility for TV episode navigation (iPad)
- Updates to side navigation (iPad)
- Bug fixes include episode picker in VoiceOver (iPad)

Finish version 1.0.2: Improvements and new features for productivity app Finish:
1. There’s now an option in settings to start the week on Monday.
2. Smoother gestures!
3. Some small interface improvements
4. Good ol’ VARIOUS BUG FIXES!

iA Writer version 1.8: Popular text editor iOS app iA Writer gets a big update today that includes a new iCloud engine and UI, overall new look and feel for the entire app, and a ton of features and improvements: Read more

Amazon Instant Video comes to iPhone and iPod touch

You can now watch all of those free Amazon Prime videos on your iPhone or iPod touch. Amazon updated its Instant Video App today to support Apple’s smaller screens. The app also lets you watch any of your Amazon collection of paid videos, buy videos, and allows you to store for offline viewing as well. Great for the holidays! More info here.

Amazon Instant Video is now playing on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Videos you’ve purchased or rented with Amazon Instant Video will show up instantly on your Apple device once you download and sign into the app. Amazon Prime members can stream titles from the entire Prime Instant Video library.

Next stop for Amazon: Apple TV?

Read more

Apps & updates: Angry Birds Seasons, Amazon Instant Video, Dunkin’ Donuts, Shazam, more

As always, we will update our list of new apps and updates hitting the App Store and Mac App Store throughout the day:

Angry Birds Seasons version 2.5.0: New content for Rovio’s “Seasons” edition of Angry Birds rolled out today (including the HD version). The update includes 20 new schoolyard levels, bonus levels, a new pink bird, and new theme music for the playground levels.

Amazon Instant Video version 1.1: Amazon’s iPad app provides access to over 120,000 videos from the Amazon Instant Video store and thousands more Prime Instant Video titles, and it was updated today with a couple notable features. First—a new search function has been added to find specific titles from Prime. Also included in the update are an improved navigation bar and a number of bug fixes.

Shazam version 5.0.6: All of the versions of the song recognition app Shazam were updated today with an improved recognition rate and faster application startup time. The update also went to the $5.99 RED edition.

Dunkin’ Donuts version 1.0: Dunkin’ Donuts officially announced the release of its first mobile app today that allows customers to pay from the app using a virtual barcode-based DD card scanned by the cashier. Other features include a store locator, nutritional information for items on the menu, the ability to send virtual DD cards, and Facebook and Twitter integration.

Read more

Amazon Instant Video app for iPad hits the App Store with offline viewing and Prime streaming

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just 24 hours after Hulu started popping up on Apple TV, we now see Amazon’s Instant Video Store in the App Store for iPad. It looks like a full app capable of not only streaming Prime content for free (with the$79 a yearl Amazon Prime membership, but the first month is free) as well as being able to download content for offline viewing. Also, Season Pass is available for TV shows, and episodes are available the morning after the show airs on TV. The app will also resume where you left off watching from Kindle Fire, PS3, PC, Mac, or hundreds of models of connected TVs and Blu-ray players with Amazon Whispersync.

Interestingly, no iPhone version yet.

I can confirm that Airplay only works for audio in streaming video so you can’t stream to an AppleTV, yet. Also, I am able to stream my purchased movies but offline downloading doesn’t appear to be working at the moment (update: 8 hours later, 1 movie has finished downloading).

Amazon’s Cloud Drive got updated just yesterday as well, but with the proximity to the Hulu announcement, we’re thinking this might be Apple’s move more than Amazon finally building the app. On the other hand, perhaps the $199 Google Nexus 7 is signaling a big shift – that Amazon doesn’t need to build its own hardware and it can just produce software for the variety of tablets out there.

Full App Description below: Read more