Monday, July 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Amazon ties new 4.7-inch phone to its services

Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduces the new Amazon Fire Phone, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

By
From page B6 | June 19, 2014 |

SEATTLE — Amazon has introduced a new smartphone that will be closely tied to the products and services it sells, while adding such touches as the ability to render images in 3-D.

The Fire phone will share many characteristics found in other Amazon devices. The home screen will have a carousel of recently accessed apps, for instance. There’s also X-Ray for supplemental content and Mayday for live tech support.

Competing won’t be easy, though. Amazon is arriving late to a tightly contested marketplace. Samsung and Apple dominate worldwide smartphone sales with a combined 46 percent share, according to IDC. And in the U.S., Apple leads with more than 37 percent, with Samsung at nearly 29 percent.

Amazon has tried to chip away at Apple’s top position in the tablet market with its Kindle Fire HDX tablet, which beats the iPad Air’s screen resolution and is lighter and cheaper. Still, the iPad dominates the category while Amazon has seen its market share shrink from 7 percent in 2012 to 2 percent in the first quarter of this year.

As the phone was announced in Seattle, Amazon’s stock rose $8.82, or 3 percent, to $334.44 in afternoon trading.

Here’s a look at the new phone:

Specs and features

— With a new Firefly feature, snap a photo of a book title, and it’ll show you where to buy it. Listen to a song playing in the background, and it’ll direct you to that tune on Amazon. It can even direct you to knowledge, such as pulling up a Wikipedia entry on a painting you snapped. The feature will also let you snap bar codes, phone numbers and more.

— The phone is smaller than leading Android phone, but larger than Apple’s iPhone. CEO Jeff Bezos calls the screen, measuring 4.7 inches diagonally, ideal for one-handed use.

— Bezos touts the camera on the new phone. He says it has image stabilization to counteract shaking as people take shots. Amazon is offering unlimited free storage on its Cloud Drive service.

— The phone will come with earbuds that have flat cords and magnets to clasp them together, so tangled cords will be history.

— Bezos says images are typically flat — and Amazon wants to change that. You can rotate the phone around and get a different view depending on your angle of vision. He says the phone is basically redrawing the image 60 times per second. Bezos calls this “dynamic perspective.”

— To make that happen, the phone has four front-facing infrared cameras to tell where your head is, even if your fingers happen to cover two of them.

— There’s an auto-scroll feature that lets you scroll down by tilting the phone. Samsung’s Galaxy phones have that, too.

— Amazon’s Kindle tablets run a highly modified version of Google’s Android system, and it’s likely an Amazon phone would do the same. That means apps for the phone would be limited to what’s available through Amazon’s own app store. The store has grown to include more than 240,000 apps, but there’s much more for Android and Apple devices.

Availability

— AT&T will be the exclusive carrier for the new phone. It’s a similar approach to what Apple took when it unveiled its first iPhone in 2007. AT&T had exclusive rights to the iPhone in the U.S. until 2011, when Verizon and eventually others got it, too.

— The phone will be available July 25. People can start ordering them Wednesday at $200 for a base model with 32 gigabytes and $300 for 64 gigabytes. Both require two-year service contracts.

— The phone comes with 12 months of Prime membership, which is normally $99 a year. Existing Prime members will get their term extended.

Not a first

— Facebook once tried to release a phone tied to its services. The HTC First, released in April 2013, came with Facebook’s Home software, which takes over the phone’s front screen to present status updates, messages and other content. Both the phone and the software flopped.

— Google also has its own phones under the Nexus brand, mostly to showcase its Android operating system. Google makes Android available for free for any phone manufacturer to use and modify. That makes it difficult to know what’s really Android and what’s a modification.

Past forays into gadgets

— Amazon’s first gadget was a Kindle e-reader, released in 2007. Although there are plenty of devices that do more, many people still prefer stand-alone e-book readers because they typically have better screens for reading in direct sunlight and don’t have distractions such as Facebook and email.

— The company started making Kindle Fire tablets in 2011. The latest models, HDX, are notable for a Mayday help button that accesses live tech support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You see the representatives in a video box, but they can only hear you and see what’s on your screen. They can also help guide you by placing orange markers on your screen or taking control of your device completely.

— In April, Amazon released its Fire TV streaming devices. What sets it apart from rival gadgets is a voice search feature that lets you speak the title, actor, director or genre into your remote to get matching content on the TV.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Rodriguez student collects, stuffs backpacks for others

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
30 years ago, Art Koch died keeping the city safe

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
Weather for Monday, July 28, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

National Alliance on Mental Illness meeting Monday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Summertime Fill the Barrel Food Drive ends Thursday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Live music at Solano Town Center mall

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
County fair opens Wednesday in Vallejo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Food preservation class at library

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Canines graduate from CHP training academy

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

 
Artistic ingenuity unhinged at Contraptor’s Road Rally

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Rockville Trail hike offered

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

GV Cellars to host Food Bank fundraiser

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Suisun police log: July 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: July 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield gets new pizza shop

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10, 1 Comment | Gallery

Renowned cardiovascular surgeon comes to NorthBay

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10

 
Business workshop addresses marketing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Family law bills proposed in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Bills aim to bring family law into 21st century

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

UConn makes 3-D copies of antique instrument parts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Man dies after lightning strikes 14 in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

California governor to meet with Mexican president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Study: Blue whales at risk of hitting ships

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Fighting intensifies near MH17 disaster site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

.

Opinion

 
Arrogance of power evident

By Earl Heal | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: July 28, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
District needs peanut-free schools

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

.

Living

Today in History for July 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Randall: Why a ‘liar’ loves to hear from readers

By Sharon Randall | From Page: B5

 
My 33-year-old daughter blames me for all her problems

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Horoscopes for July 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

Comic-Con: ‘Hobbit’ cast tease trailer, bloopers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: 4 DC Comics brought to TV get event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comic-Con: Radcliffe goes undercover as Spidey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Ant-Man’ cast revealed: Lilly, Douglas, Rudd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Blacklist’ fans get black fedoras

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘The Vampire Diaries’ takes bite out of Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Batman v Superman’ stare-down

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comic-Con: Godzilla sequel announced

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Avengers’ unleash ‘Ultron’ footage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

TV team: Actor, detective role paired for 25 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: Kingsley voices animated villain in ‘Boxtrolls’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘Lucy’ tops ‘Hercules’ with $44M at box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Comic-Con’s dark side: Harassment amid the fantasy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

.

Sports

McGloin buried on Raiders depth chart again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants lose in Peavy’s debut, swept by Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Lawrence Okoye preparing for the NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
It’s ‘Jeff Gordon Day’ at Indy for record 5th time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Spain sweeps to victory in International Crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Langer wins Senior British Open by record 13 shots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Mudcats take pair from Pro Player Baseball

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline HOF class

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali wins Tour de France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
LeBron deep-sixes number; will be No. 23 with Cavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Byron Scott says he will be LA Lakers’ new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jaso has 3 RBIs as A’s beat Rangers 9-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Horsey wins Russian Open in playoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tim Clark rallies to win Canadian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Monday, July 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Robert Dale Myers Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Elizabeth Terry

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

.

Comics

For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C. July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Bridge July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7