HBO content heading to Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon Prime members will soon be able to watch HBO. Announced just this morning, a new partnership between Amazon and HBO will make “Prime Instant Video the exclusive online-only subscription home for select HBO programming.” Prime members will be able to begin streaming on May 21st, and Fire TV users can also look forward to getting an HBO GO app.

For now the HBO GO app for the Fire TV is said to be coming “by year-end.” As for the “select” aspect of the Prime availability; the list includes all seasons of The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Rome and Six Feet Under as well as Eastbound Down, Enlightened and Flight of the Conchords. Prime Members will also be able to stream some miniseries, original movies, documentaries and comedy specials.

  • Epic miniseries, including Angels in America, Band of Brothers, John Adams, The Pacific and Parade’s End
  • Select seasons of current series such as Boardwalk Empire, Treme and True Blood
  • Hit original movies like Game Change, Too Big To Fail and You Don’t Know Jack
  • Pedigreed documentaries including the Autopsy and Iceman series, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib and When the Levees Broke
  • Hilarious original comedy specials from Lewis Black, Ellen DeGeneres, Louis CK and Bill Maher

This is described as being a multi-year deal. Coming along with the previously mentioned content will be early seasons of shows such as Girls, The Newsroom and Veep.

This marks the first time HBO has licensed content out to an online streaming service. It also happens to come at a good time for Amazon, and a not so good time for Netflix. This deal is exclusive to Amazon, which means Netflix users will not be seeing HBO content. But perhaps equally important to consider was the recent news about price increases coming to Netflix. Sure, Prime was recently upped, but the value seems to remain as the service includes quite a bit more than streaming video.

SOURCE: Amazon

Galaxy S5 already 0.7% of Android devices, claims study

How popular is the Galaxy S5? Samsung’s latest flagship has broken its release date in South Korea, been widely hyped and anticipated stateside, and seen one of the larger worldwide rollouts in recent memory. That all contributes to a recent study by Localytics, which say the Galaxy S5 is already responsible for nearly 1% of Android devices worldwide.


The 0.7% Localytics claims for the Galaxy S5 is a worldwide metric, so it spans the 125 countries and territories the GS5 was launched in on (or near) April 11. Localytics also points out that Galaxy S5 sales topped early Galaxy S4 sales, which could put them on pace to outsell the predecessor device we’ve all compared it to.

The study, which ranged from launch day to April 18, has Localytics saying the early numbers are “especially impressive”, and puts the device on a similar trajectory to the iPhone 5S. The regional breakdown notes the handset is still US centric at 64%, but Europe also makes a respectable showing.

In a saturated space, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 stands out as perhaps the flagship Android device. At nearly 1% implementation in just a week, it’s clear consumers want the latest from Samsung. Did you buy one? Tell us in the comments section below.

Via: Ubergizmo

Huawei relies on word of mouth to beat rivals in Europe

Huawei has an interesting history packed into a short time. Widely viewed as an enemy of the state, they pulled out of the US market, only to meekly note they’d be coming back in some fashion. Notably focussing on Europe and other markets, Huawei now lays out their plans for domination, and it involves more talk about them.

 

Huawei CEO Eric Xu said “We will not engage in significant advertising campaigns. We want to leverage word of mouth marketing” when prompted about their plans to get the word out about their devices. One of the world’s largest OEMs, Huawei is — like rivals Apple and Samsung — profitable. Unlike the other two, they didn’t rely on slick marketing and snappy ads to get there, and they won’t be starting now.

Like HTC before them, Huawei used to make devices for others, then switched into a self-branded vomany. Since then (three years ago), they’ve become the world’s number three mobile OEM. In addition to Europe, Huawei plans to focus on larger emerging markets like Brazil and Russia.

Reliance on word of mouth advertising is an interesting proposition. Should they make reliable smartphones that stand up to the competition, they’re likely to have little issue selling devices. Word of mouth, however, cost them a big stake in the largest mobile device market on earth, so they may want to tread lightly.

Via: The Register

Lensbaby offers Android goal for Kickstarter lens project

If you’ve got friends using iPhones, you may have seen them sport some add-on lenses for their sharp shooter. There are a lot of aftermarket lenses for the iPhone; it sells well, and has a single form factor. Android users haven’t been so lucky, but popular Kickstarter team Lensbaby is changing that.


The project, which has eight days to go and sees the team having already doubled up on their original $20,000 goal, added a $50 pledge just for Android users. Creating a blurred effect outside of a focal point, Lensbaby’s Sweet Spot lens takes photo effects back to hardware. We’ve toyed with similar effects via software on several phones, but Lensbaby likely gives a better effect for the serious mobile photographer.

Originally designed for the iPhone, the lens attaches with a stainless steel ring that affixes to your device, around the exisiting camera lens. Lensbaby had the following to say about how their offering would work for Android users:

There are obviously a LOT of Android phones out there with varying shapes, sizes and technical specs. We’ve tested the lens on a few, but not nearly all. If our stainless-steel ring will fit over your phone’s lens, you should be able to attach our Sweet Spot Lens. Just remember: if you’re unhappy with your lens purchase for any reason, it’s risk-free as we’ll give you a full refund for 30 days after you receive your lens.

There doesn’t seem to be a limit to how many can back the Android portion of the project for $50, but the Kickstarter will only be open for eight more days. The estimated “delivery” on an Android app for Lensbaby is October 2014, so there is still a slight wait involved.

Source: Kickstarter

Vonage ReachMe Roaming routes calls to eliminate international charges

The latest update for the Vonage Mobile app has arrived in the Google Play Store. This one is adding a new feature called “ReachMe Roaming” and it brings the promise of eliminating international roaming charges. Essentially, this setup means users will be able to receive incoming calls, but not have to worry about the possibility of overage charges while traveling.

Naturally, there are some good and some bad points here. First, to clarify, they are talking about routing your incoming mobile calls, which means you’ll still be able to receive calls from your mobile number. On the flip side, those calls are being routed over WiFi, which means you’ll need to be looking for WiFi hotspots to stay fully connected.

Vonage did say the ReachMe Roaming feature could be used over 3G/4G, but of course, that would incur data charges. Users will be able to toggle ReachMe Roaming on and off directly from the app settings. One other point worth mentioning, if you have it set to route only when on WiFi — callers will be able to leave a voicemail, and you will get a notification once you are connected.

Along with ReachMe Roaming, this latest update also added call waiting, which will work with both voice and video calls. The Vonage Mobile app can be downloaded using this Google Play Store link.

VIA: SlashGear, PR Newswire

Google working on ‘Stars’, could debut at I/O 2014

We’re fond of apps that let us save items for offline reading. Pocket, Instapaper, Evernote — they occupy our day. It seems Google may be working on a similar service, allowing us to save bookmarks as private or shared via a public folder. Unoficially named “Stars”, the service could debut soon.

 


Initially found by a Software Developer named Florian Kiersch, messages in the code suggest this is in late stage development. Messages such as “Thank you for dogfooding Google Stars!” suggest Google is already seeding the project to employees. Dogfooding is the process by which Google employees are allowed to test beta products, giving feedback and info along the way.

According to Kiersch, Stars is like a mixture of many read-it-later services like Pocket, with notes like “Smart lists make it easy for you to re-find your stars by automatically grouping similar items by type – images, articles, videos, and more” and “Try starring some items on the web and adding them to this folder!” hinting at its utility.

Additionally, there is mention of a Chrome extension — again, a lot like Pocket or Evernote. It could be a new service, or the progression of Keep. There is an expectation we’d see this at Google I/O this year, and that could be the case. Dogfooding suggests it’s in late development, and the myriad of notes and code suggest Stars is more than a project. In checking out all Florian has shared with us (“Use the star in the address bar to save anything across the web”), it seems as though Google is trying to capture the offline reading ecosystem as well as your time online.

Source: Florian Kiersch

Google Glass marketing head discusses the $1,500 price tag

Google Glass has gotten a fair bit of attention lately, both on the good and bad sides. One topic that seems to be falling on the latter side lately is public opinion. Many have a strong opinion about Glass, and while we generally look to the Explorers for a positive backing — it seems one of the most vocal may be having some doubt.

That person is Robert Scoble, who recently attended Coachella and later made a point to say he didn’t wear Glass at all during the event. That admission came as a result of a conversation Scoble overhead. It seems two people were talking about getting away from the guys wearing Glass. On Facebook, Scoble noted how that was strange at an event with so many other cameras.

“What is going on here in a world where I am carrying around a camera and EVERYONE uses their phones or a GoPro but Glass feels freaky and weird?”

Scoble also mentioned he believes “Google does have a problem.” Interestingly, marketing head Ed Sanders spoke about this with Forbes. Sanders said they are suffering because Glass isn’t widely available just yet and that is allowing for some misperceptions. That seems to suggest an easy answer; make Glass easier to get.

But Sanders also said that “was a deliberate choice.” It seems the $1,500 price tag was intentionally done to limit the availability. Sanders touched on how the “high price point isn’t just about the cost of the device,” but that it also has to do with getting “people who are going to be passionate about it.”

Following that train of thought and it seems to make sense. This seems especially true after the recent issues coming as a result of the XE16 (and 16.1) update. With Explorers invested so deep with price — they will likely be more willing to provide feedback, submit bug reports and generally work to make issues known so they can be fixed.

New Galaxy K pics show full-fledged optical zoom lens

Samsung’s Galaxy K “phone” has allegedly been spotted again, optical zoom intact. We’ve heard rumors recently that Samsung would pack an optical zoom lens into the new device, but we were unclear on the final form factor Samsung would choose. These pics, if real, provide the first glimpse at exactly what we can expect from the newest Galaxy device.


As Samsung has done in the past, the Galaxy K form factor is more camera than phone. It’s a lot bulkier than many modern smartphones, reminding us of another failed phone/camera project from Samsung. In addition to the 10x zoom, the phone is said to have a host of specs that we wish were on a regular smartphone.

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 11.17.34 AM

A 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display belies a six-core Exynos 5 Hexa SoC, while 2GB RAM provides support. The 10x optical zoom will also sport a 20 megapixel camera and Xenon flash. A 2MP front facing cam is also included, along with Android 4.4.2 and TouchWiz, of course.

While it gives us twinges of the Galaxy Camera from Samsung, it has slimmed that form factor down a touch. Still, we can’t think of a reason we’d like to carry this around daily, and it’s likely far too expensive for casual photographers. There is no official release date for this one, but it could make an appearance April 29th at Samsung’s “Kapture the Moment” event.

Source: Tieba (Baidu)

Via: Phone Arena

AT&T 4G LTE now available for “nearly” 280 million people

ATT has announced the latest 4G LTE coverage. This time around we are seeing coverage as having been added in five markets in five states. One area included in this bunch, Parkersburg-Marietta, deals with both West Virginia and Ohio.

Otherwise, the remaining coverage is as follows; Ketchikan, Alaska; Maui, Hawaii; Cambridge, Ohio and Meadville, Pennsylvania. While the new coverage is always nice to see, the better part may be about the network as a whole.

ATT has said the 4G LTE build is expected to be “essentially complete” by this summer. And at the present time there is ATT 4G LTE coverage available for “nearly” 280 million people. A full list of markets can be seen in this most recent ATT LTE infographic.

And while the 4G LTE network rollout is expected to complete this summer — that just means more users will begin looking for ATT LTE-Advanced coverage. We have yet to see much from ATT in terms of the LTE-A network, however that did go live back in mid-March. Coverage was limited to one market (Chicago) and support was limited to one device (a mobile hotspot).

SOURCE: ATT

AT&T relaunching Cricket brand during Q2 2014

We’ve already seen talk about how ATT’s Aio brand was going to be folded into Cricket Wireless. And now it looks like ATT has plans to relaunch the Cricket Wireless brand during the second quarter of the year. Naturally, this all comes as the $1.2 billion acquisition was completed back in March.

Speaking during the recent earnings conference call, CFO John Stephens said ATT will be giving Cricket a “national presence” and they will be “aggressive.” The national push will include 3,000 locations around the country and they will be focusing on affordable devices and simple plans. Interestingly, Stephens also mentioned that roughly 70 percent of new Cricket customers choose a smartphone.

There was also some talk about how they will be transitioning the Cricket customers to the ATT network — and it looks like the carrier may have found a use for the devices being traded in under the Next program. Fierce Wireless mentioned that ATT has plans to pass those devices over to Cricket customers.

“It could be very opportunistic for us if we’re able to figure out away to take our Next program trade-in and provide those kind of quality handsets to our prepaid customers, not only elevate the cost, but give them a real quality experience,”

While the relaunch is set to begin in the second quarter, and there appears to be a plan to get GSM capable devices in the hands of Cricket users — it doesn’t appear the transition will be quick. ATT had mentioned a timeline of 18 months. And if all this sounds a bit familiar, that is because we have been watching T-Mobile go through a similar transition process with MetroPCS.

VIA: Fierce Wireless

IMAGE: Leap Wireless