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Amazon Releases "Price Check" iPhone App

amazon_logo_0With Black Friday and Cyber Monday drawing nigh, it can never hurt to have another resource to help you score the best deals on the best gifts, right?  Amazon released a new iPhone app today called Price Check, that gives you a new way to go about comparison shopping.

The new app lets users scan the barcode of a product, take a picture of an item or even say the product’s name to be able to access product listings on’s marketplace.  If a user happens to get a match on Amazon’s site, they can then go ahead and purchase it with one click.  But not only will a barcode scan give you pricing from, but other online retailers as well.

Another feature is that you can use the app to take a picture of an item and match it up to books, DVDs, CDs and video games (Amazon’s planning on adding even more categories soon). 

By default, the app will display prices sorted from low to high and will even give you a heads up if you can score free shipping.  The company says that Price Check gives prices on “millions of products” and gives access to customer reviews; sharing via Twitter, Facebook, text message or e-mail link; and immediate purchasing through 1-Click ordering and Amazon Prime.

via TechCrunch

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter



Amazon Now Lets You Gift Kindle Books

Coming just in time for the holidays, Amazon is now letting you gift Kindle e-books. Starting today you can send anyone with an email address an e-book as a gift instead of sending them an Amazon gift card.

When you gift an e-book, the person on the receiving end will be able to read their book on a Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, or Windows 7 device. Of course, if they own a Kindle reader they will be able to read the book on that, too.

“We are thrilled to make it easier than ever for our customers to give their favorite Kindle book to a friend or family member as a gift,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle.  “We’re making this functionality available in time for the holidays to offer an easy, stress free holiday shopping option for anyone – not just Kindle owners.”

To give a Kindle Book as a gift, you simply need to choose a book in the Kindle Store, then select the “Give as a Gift” option. Notifications of Kindle Books gifts are delivered instantly via e-mail and the recipient redeems the gift in the Kindle Store to read on any Kindle or free Kindle app.

You can read more about giving Kindle books on the Amazon website.


Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.


Magazine and Newspaper Publishers Get 70/30 Split from Amazon

Amazon Kindle magazine subscriptions

For all of its e-book goodness, the iPad is still lacking in one major area: subscriptions to magazines and newspapers. Amazon’s Kindle has them, and now the company is taking a cue from Apple by giving publishers a better split.

AppleInsider is reporting that will begin offering magazine and newspaper publishers the same 70/30 revenue split that Apple gives to App Store developers. The deal was announced on Monday and goes into effect on December 1.

“Building on the recent introduction of Wi-Fi-enabled Kindles and the upcoming availability of newspapers and magazines on Kindle Apps, we’re pleased to add an increased revenue share and a great new tool for making Kindle better and easier than ever for publishers,” said Peter Larsen, Amazon Director of Kindle Periodicals.

Amazon is offering the new 70/30 split “for publishers who meet certain requirements, such as making titles available on all Kindle devices and applications and offering titles in all geographies for which the publisher has rights.” The publishers will take home 70 percent, while Amazon keeps the other 30 percent.

The news is particularly intriguing for iPad users, who have lamented for months that there was no easy way to get magazine and newspaper subscriptions on their tablet devices. Amazon has already announced that a forthcoming Kindle for iOS update will include magazine and newspaper subscriptions, so this week’s announcement is presumably another piece of the puzzle in place for that update.

The announcement could also have positive implications for Apple — if it’s widely accepted by magazine and newspaper publishers, they could then embrace the same deal with Cupertino and make an iTunes subscription store a reality at long last.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Amazon Adds Windowshop iPad App to iOS Portfolio

Amazon Windowshop apparently loves them some iOS, offering up free universal apps for both Amazon Mobile and Kindle. Now the world’s biggest online store has added a new iPad-specific app that brings a whole new shopping experience.

On Tuesday, introduced their new Amazon Windowshop, an iPad-specific app that promises “a top to bottom rewrite of — designed and built without compromise.” The company has long offered their free Amazon Mobile app, which is universal to work great on any iOS device.

Amazon Windowshop is also free, but unique to the iPad, featuring “a completely new, fluid interface designed specifically for lean-back, touchscreen tablets.” While there was certainly nothing wrong with the existing Amazon Mobile app on the iPad, the new app will certainly be welcome to frequent shoppers, especially with the holiday season fast approaching.

“With the flick of a finger you will be able to visually browse across many best selling product categories,” the app description reads. “Windowshop invites you to discover and browse products within popular lists like Featured, Bestsellers, Recommendations, New Releases, Most Wished For, Most Gifted, and Movers & Shakers.”

Windowshop promises to bring more of to the iPad, and once you’ve found something you think others might enjoy, you can even share it via e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Amazon Prime members can easily discover which products qualify for free two-day shipping, and much more.

Amazon Windowship is a free 2.1MB download, available now from the App Store. The app is compatible only with the iPad and requires iOS 3.2 or later.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Amazon Germany Leaks Info on New iLife

Click image to embiggen

Amazon Germany, according to 9to5 Mac, has leaked details about Apple’s next version of iLife (presumed to be iLife ’11). The store listed the ship date in a popup box in the store sidebar, noting that it would ship on October 20th, which is the same day as the Back to the Mac event that Apple is holding.

The blog also notes that Amazon US has a lower .99 price point, leading us to believe that Apple may be lowering the price of the new version of iLife.

BestBuy is also currently back ordered on both iWork ’09 and iLife ’09.

While this is clearly speculation, Apple is due to release a new version of iLife (and possibly iWork) as we are still running iLife/iWork ’09, which was released in January of 2009.

Stay tuned to Mac|Life for more information leading up to the Apple “Back to the Mac” event on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. We will be liveblogging the event right from here.


Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.



Amazon Kindle Invasion Continues Onto the Web

Kindle for the Web

You’ve probably already got Amazon’s Kindle app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, or maybe your Android or Blackberry device or even your Mac or Windows computer. Heck, maybe you even have a real, live hardware Kindle! But Amazon isn’t content with stopping there, and now they’ve introduced (drum roll, please) Kindle for the Web — well, sort of.

TechCrunch is reporting that Amazon has debuted Kindle for the Web on Tuesday, which makes the leap from a dedicated hardware device or software app and attempts to push Kindle e-book purchases to your web browser as well, by way of “the first one’s free” e-book samples.

The idea behind Kindle for the Web is a pretty smart one: Website publishers and bloggers who utilize the Amazon Associates Program can use Kindle for the Web to embed e-book samples on their websites and earn referral fees from Amazon when customers actually purchase the e-book using their links.

Amazon has long offered the ability to read the first chapter of most any book for free, but that required pushing the sample to your Kindle or software app — now you have the option to read the sample right inside your web browser, complete with the ability to change the font size, line spacing or background color, and of course, to click that “Buy Now” button to seal the deal. If you think your friends or family might be interested as well, you can click a button to share the sample with them or easily embed it right into your own website.

Like most anything that sounds too good to be true, there’s a catch: Kindle for the Web currently only works with book samples and not full e-books, meaning you won’t want to delete that Kindle software from your Mac or iOS device just yet. However, this should go a long way toward helping folks quickly find the book they want and snare a new purchase.

Below is a sample of how a Kindle for the Web sample looks.

Kindle for the Web sample page

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Amazon Talks Smack About iPad

You just know that there’s trouble brewing for a product when their ads stop touting its features and start pointing out the perceived faults of a competitor’s wares. If you’re looking for an example, you needn’t look any further than Amazon’s latest ad for their revamped Kindle. Instead of talking about what makes the Kindle a decent reader–features such as its new lighter weight, crisper screen fonts, increased storage and free WebKit-based browsing–they focus on the glare of the iPad’s full color screen and higher price point.

Well played Amazon. Well played.

Tell you what: When you’re bored with reading, perhaps you can amuse yourself by skipping that new, lighter Kindle across that swimming pool like a pebble. We’d join you, but we’ll be having too much fun in the shade watching movies, playing games and typing an email about what a swell vacation we’re having with our iPads.

Man, I’m really feeling sore about the fact that our tablet, which cost a lot more than your sunglasses, is so much more versitle than your one-trick pony black & white device.

Editor’s Note: Seamus don’t take kindly to attack ads.



Follow this article’s author, Seamus Bellamy on Twitter.