Amazon Cloud Drive Photos 3.0 adds iOS 7-friendly redesign, upload enhances, timeline, and more

Amazon updated its Cloud Drive Photos app today to version 3.0 bringing an iOS 7-friendly and a number of features and improvements. With the redesign comes a new navigation view that now contains toggles between photos, videos, and both. This view also includes a progress bar while uploading photos; previous versions of the app only said that photos were being uploaded, not how many or how long it would take. The progress bar feature works with both automatic and manual photo and video uploads. Read more

Amazon reportedly announcing first smartphone in June, will feature glasses-free 3D

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is planning to announce its first entry to the smartphone market in June. The possibility of an Amazon phone has been a long-running rumor, but recently sources claimed that the company had partnered with HTC to finally produce the device.

Following the launch of the Fire TV earlier this month, the Amazon phone will mark the second of Apple’s product categories the online retailer hopes to invade in 2014. With its Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon has been attempting to position itself to compete with the iPad for a few years.

The Amazon device will reportedly feature a display capable of creating 3D images without the need for glasses, according to the WSJ report:

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Amazon A9′s VP of Search heads to Apple to fix up Maps search

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Benoit Dupin, Vice President of Amazon A9′s Search Technology group, has left the high-profile search technology firm to take up a job with Apple. Dupin’s profile from Amazon A9′s executive management website disappeared this week, and his LinkedIn profile has been updated to reflect that he began his position as a director at Apple this month.

Amazon A9 is Amazon’s Palo Alto, California-based subsidiary that focuses on developing Amazon’s marquee search and advertising functionality. While Amazon has become popular in the tablet, eBook reader, and now set-top-box worlds, its core business has, of course, been Amazon.com, and Dupin’s work on search powers the heart of the online sales giant…

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Amazon announces $99 Fire TV set-top box shipping today: automatic recommendations, voice search, games and more

Amazon has just announced its Apple TV competitor, dubbed ‘Fire TV’. You can buy it now from Amazon.com for $99. The product roughly resembles an Apple TV in size and shape, but is thinner by a few millimetres and has square (rather than rounded) edges. Spec-wise, Amazon claims it is three times as powerful as Apple TV or Roku. It runs on a quad-core processor with 2GB RAM. The fireTV can stream video at 1080p over HDMI, alongside Dolby Digital surround sound.

Input comes via a Bluetooth remote that features a five-way directional pad and some ancillary buttons. The remote has an inbuilt microphone, so you can speak show titles to have it automatically search for them.

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Roku CEO says Apple TV ‘loses money’, calls it an iPad accessory

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CNET is reporting that Roku CEO Anthony Wood described Apple TV as an ‘iPad accessory’ at Re/code’s Code/Media conference. Until recently, even Apple characterised the product as a ‘hobby’. The Apple TV box has not changed much since its major revamp in 2010. More controversially, Wood followed up by claiming that the Apple TV actually loses money for Apple – which would immediately seem strange since Rokus have similar hardware and cost less.

“Apple TV is essentially an accessory for the iPad. They lose money, which is unusual for Apple,” he said Thursday, speaking at the Recode conference here. “If you’re losing money, why would you want to sell more?”

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Apple Store app featuring new, free music from iTunes

Stanford Apple Store

Once again, Apple is back to giving away free music through an iTunes promotion within its Apple Store app for U.S. customers. The new giveaway highlights three artists with “new tracks helping to define this year’s musical landscape.” Specifically, the app features tracks from Master Blaster Sound System, Bad Suns, and Kris Bowers. It’s worth checking out if you’re into discovering new music, but Amazon has some more traditional artists like George Strait, The Beach Boys, and Dean Martin in its Icon Series music giveaway over at 9to5Toys. Check below for how to grab the free tracks from iTunes. Read more