Sketchy Rumor Points Towards October 26 Launch for Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV

During WWDC in June, Apple finally confirmed that Amazon Prime Video will launch as an app for Apple TV users sometime "later this year." Since that announcement, a few rumors and theories have predicted launch dates for the app, all of which have subsequently been passed by with no official debut of Amazon Prime Video on the tvOS App Store.

Another sketchy rumor has been shared on the Apple TV Subreddit this week by a user who claims to work for Amazon, pointing towards a late October launch for the app. The user -- AmazonVideoEngineer -- originally created the Reddit account to share a post a few weeks ago, which stated that October 26 would be the "earliest" date that Amazon would launch its app on Apple TV.


Now, the same user has shared a "quick update" on the app, mentioning that the app is "still on track" for an October 26 debut. AmazonVideoEngineer is "very confident" that this date is "finally the day" Amazon will launch its Apple TV app. Check out both posts below:

Original post:
Wanted to make this throwaway account after yesterday’s debacle. I saw many people get upset so I wanted to issue this warning: do not expect Amazon to launch before October 26th. The app is done, and has been done for months already. However there are a lot of politics going on beyond my pay grade that are pushing the launch back. And just to clarify, October 26 is the earliest I would expect it. Launch could be pushed well into November.
New post:
Some of you will remember my post a little while back, in which I warned that Amazon would not launch until at least October 26. We're now just about two weeks from the 26th, and the app is still on track to launch that day. In my time at this job, I have never once seen a release slip this close to a scheduled launch. I am very confident in saying that the 26th is finally the day.
Because the rumor comes from an unconfirmed Reddit source, this October 26 date should be approached with a heavy dose of skepticism. Previous rumors surrounding Amazon's Apple TV app centered around logical events that the app could have debuted alongside of -- Thursday Night Football, the Amazon hardware event in September -- but October 26 appears to be a somewhat random date.

Since we're now four months out from WWDC and Apple's confirmation of the Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV, we should hopefully hear an announcement of the app's launch date sometime soon.

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Sketchy Rumor Points Towards October 26 Launch for Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV

During WWDC in June, Apple finally confirmed that Amazon Prime Video will launch as an app for Apple TV users sometime "later this year." Since that announcement, a few rumors and theories have predicted launch dates for the app, all of which have subsequently been passed by with no official debut of Amazon Prime Video on the tvOS App Store.

Another sketchy rumor has been shared on the Apple TV Subreddit this week by a user who claims to work for Amazon, pointing towards a late October launch for the app. The user -- AmazonVideoEngineer -- originally created the Reddit account to share a post a few weeks ago, which stated that October 26 would be the "earliest" date that Amazon would launch its app on Apple TV.


Now, the same user has shared a "quick update" on the app, mentioning that the app is "still on track" for an October 26 debut. AmazonVideoEngineer is "very confident" that this date is "finally the day" Amazon will launch its Apple TV app. Check out both posts below:

Original post:
Wanted to make this throwaway account after yesterday’s debacle. I saw many people get upset so I wanted to issue this warning: do not expect Amazon to launch before October 26th. The app is done, and has been done for months already. However there are a lot of politics going on beyond my pay grade that are pushing the launch back. And just to clarify, October 26 is the earliest I would expect it. Launch could be pushed well into November.
New post:
Some of you will remember my post a little while back, in which I warned that Amazon would not launch until at least October 26. We're now just about two weeks from the 26th, and the app is still on track to launch that day. In my time at this job, I have never once seen a release slip this close to a scheduled launch. I am very confident in saying that the 26th is finally the day.
Because the rumor comes from an unconfirmed Reddit source, this October 26 date should be approached with a heavy dose of skepticism. Previous rumors surrounding Amazon's Apple TV app centered around logical events that the app could have debuted alongside of -- Thursday Night Football, the Amazon hardware event in September -- but October 26 appears to be a somewhat random date.

Since we're now four months out from WWDC and Apple's confirmation of the Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV, we should hopefully hear an announcement of the app's launch date sometime soon.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Buy Now)

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Amazon Drive Users Can Now Easily Share Files as iMessages

Amazon Drive's iOS app has been updated with an iMessage app extension to easily share files in the Messages app on iPhone and iPad.


After updating to version 1.9.0 of the app, Amazon Drive users can simply open Messages, tap the App Store logo to reveal the iMessage app drawer, and tap on the Amazon Drive icon. From the list of directories that appears, users can then select an individual file to share as an attachment bubble.

The recipient can tap on the attachment and view or save the file directly on the Amazon Drive website, with no access to other files.

YouTube also updated its iOS app this week with an iMessage app extension to easily search for and share videos in Messages.

Amazon Drive is available on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone and iPad.


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Amazon Launches New $69 Fire TV Dongle With 4K HDR Support

On the heels of the launch of the Apple TV 4K with support for HDR and 4K, Amazon today unveiled its next-generation Fire TV, which also has 4K HDR support.

The new device, which appears to replace both the Fire TV box and the Fire TV stick, features a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, an Alexa Voice Remote, Dolby Atmos support, 802.11ac WiFi, and 2160p video at up to 60 frames per second.

Image via The Verge

Designed to be more like the Chromecast than the Apple TV, the new Fire TV is a small, hockey puck-sized square with a cable at one end to plug into a television set. It has Alexa support and offers access to hundreds of apps.

Amazon plans to offer pre-orders for the device starting today, with a launch set for later this year.

Tag: Amazon

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Amazon Launches New $99 Echo Speaker With Better Sound and $149 Echo Plus Smart Home Hub

At an event in Seattle this morning, Amazon unveiled its next-generation Amazon Echo speaker, which features a new smaller design and better sound than the original Echo to compete with products like Apple's upcoming HomePod.

Apple focused heavily on sound quality as a way to differentiate the HomePod from existing smart speakers like the Google Home and the Amazon Echo, with a 7 tweeter array, a 4-inch upward-facing woofer, and an A8 processor capable of advanced acoustic modeling and spatial awareness. Shortly after the HomePod was unveiled, rumors of a higher-end Echo surfaced.

Amazon's new Echo, image via TechCrunch

Amazon's new Echo supports Dolby Audio and it has a dedicated woofer and tweeter, features Amazon says bring better sound. It also includes second-generation voice recognition capabilities, second-generation far-field microphone technology, and support for multi-room audio so several Echo devices can be used together.

The Echo is made from metal and is wrapped in a fabric shell, which can be swapped out with other shells for customization much like the Google Home. Amazon is offering six shells for the Echo.

Amazon plans to charge $99 for the new Echo, making it much more affordable than the HomePod, which will be priced at $349 when it launches in December. Pre-orders for the new Echo are available today.

There's also a new Echo Plus, with built-in Zigbee functionality for smart home hub functionality and all of the same improvements in the new Echo model. It's designed to work with a wide range of smart home products right out of the box, with over 100 partners signed up. Echo Plus is similar in design to the original Echo, while the new $99 Echo is smaller and shorter. Amazon is charging $149 for the Echo Plus, and it comes with a free Hub bulb.

Echo Buttons, also new, are priced at $20 and are designed to allow Echo owners to play trivia games with the Echo, and the Echo Spot is a new Echo device that features a 2.5-inch circular display. It's a cross between an Echo and a smart alarm clock with a price tag of $130.

Along with the new Echo models, Amazon announced the $35 Echo Connect, a device that's designed to plug into a phone jack on one side and an Echo on the other, allowing the Echo to be used as a telephone able to accept calls from a person's standard home phone number. The Echo Connect is also available for pre-order today. Amazon Echo speakers are also gaining call functionality that will let them make phone calls to any number.

Tag: Amazon

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Google Pulls Access to YouTube on Amazon’s Echo Show Smart Speaker

Google pulled access to YouTube through Amazon's display-based Echo Show smart speaker on Tuesday, a move that appears to have angered Amazon and led to conflicting public statements by both companies over the sudden move.

"Currently, Google is not supporting Youtube on Echo Show." That's the message Alexa started giving Echo Show owners yesterday afternoon when they tried to access the video service. An Amazon spokesperson later confirmed to The Verge that YouTube was no longer available on Echo Show devices, and offered a statement implying that Google's decision had been an unwelcome surprise.

Google made a change today around 3 pm. YouTube used to be available to our shared customers on Echo Show. As of this afternoon, Google has chosen to no longer make YouTube available on Echo Show, without explanation and without notification to customers. There is no technical reason for that decision, which is disappointing and hurts both of our customers.
Google issued its own statement to The Verge shorty afterwards, contradicting Amazon's assertion that the move had been made without fair warning.
We've been in negotiations with Amazon for a long time, working towards an agreement that provides great experiences for customers on both platforms. Amazon's implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience. We hope to be able to reach an agreement and resolve these issues soon.
The move comes as a blow to Amazon's hopes for its Echo Show smart speaker, given that it has been marketed with a heavy emphasis on the device's display, which lets users see details related to their Alexa queries and watch online video – food recipes for instance, which are often hosted on YouTube.

Google's decision to pull access reflects similar moves by the company to protect its vision of how the YouTube service should function and appear to users. Earlier this month, Google forced popular iOS app ProTube off the App Store after serving the developer multiple takedown requests because it said the app violated YouTube's terms of service.


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Apple TV 4K Listing Appears on Amazon as Prime Video Launch Nears

Nearly two years after Amazon stopped selling the Apple TV, a listing for the Apple TV 4K has been spotted on the website by 9to5Mac.


The Apple TV 4K is currently listed as out of stock, but the fact that it has been added back is fueling speculation that Amazon may be prepared to launch its Prime Video app on the tvOS App Store imminently.

At its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple confirmed that Amazon Prime Video is coming to Apple TV later this year. At its iPhone X event earlier this month, it reiterated that release date.

An unverified rumor earlier this week claimed Amazon Prime Video may launch on the Apple TV alongside the debut of the NFL's Thursday Night Football games on the online retailer's streaming video service this week.

Amazon Video allows Prime members to instantly stream tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, with hundreds of thousands of titles available to buy or rent, including many that are 4K and HDR.

Amazon removed all Apple TV and Chromecast product listings from its website in October 2015 because the devices did not offer Prime Video, which it said may cause confusion for customers.

Of course, the Apple TV and Chromecast also compete with Amazon's own Fire TV streaming media players.

Apple said Amazon had never submitted a Prime Video app for the tvOS App Store, or else it would have been happy to offer it. The app has been available for iPhone and iPad and several other platforms for many years.

Whatever the case may be, it appears Prime Video for Apple TV might finally be just around the corner.

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Amazon Drops Prices on 4K Content After Apple Offers 4K for HD Prices

With the release of the Apple TV 4K, Apple has started offering 4K content in its iTunes Store at HD prices, meaning the cost of a 4K movie maxes out at $19.99. Apple has also upgraded previously-purchased HD content to 4K at no additional cost to consumers.

In response, Amazon has started lowering the prices on 4K titles on its Amazon Video service. As Pocket-lint noticed, While prices could previously reach upwards of $30, 4K titles now range in price from $5 to $19.99. Amazon's 4K library isn't as large as Apple's, but with 4K streaming becoming more prevalent, it should continue to grow.


Amazon's video content will be available to watch on the Apple TV when Amazon releases its Amazon Prime Video app later this year. There's currently no word on when the app might be released, but a rumor earlier today suggested it could launch this Thursday alongside NFL's Thursday Night Football games.

Amazon is also rumored to be planning to release its own upgraded Fire TV set-top box with support for 4K and HDR in the near future.

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Tag: Amazon
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Sketchy Rumor: Amazon Prime Video May Launch on Apple TV Alongside Thursday Night Football This Week

Amazon Prime Video may launch on Apple TV alongside the debut of the NFL's Thursday Night Football games on the streaming video service this week, according to a sketchy rumor shared by Apple TV blog BestAppleTV.com.


The report isn't very definitive, and it comes from a blog we've never heard about until today, but its author Brad Gibson says he has previously worked for publications such as MacUser, MacFormat, MacNN, The Mac Observer, MacCentral, and Macworld, some of which have shut down. We've confirmed some of the bylines.

Here's the lowdown:
Multiple sources could not confirm an exact release date for the new app, but feel based on their knowledge of the situation that Amazon would likely release it before the first National Football League game streaming on Amazon Prime Video this Thursday, September 28th at 8:25 p.m. EDT between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers.
Amazon has secured the rights to live stream Thursday Night Football games on Prime Video, starting with this week's showdown between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers on September 28. A full schedule of games that will be streamed through Week 16 is available on Amazon's website.

At its iPhone X event, Apple said Amazon Prime Video will be available for Apple TV at some point "later this year."

We'll keep our eyes glued to the tvOS App Store and let you know as soon as the Amazon Prime Video app launches.

(Thanks, Eric!)

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iPhone Users Will Be Able to Say ‘Hey Cortana, Open Alexa’ in Future

Amazon and Microsoft today jointly announced that Alexa and Cortana will soon be able to communicate with each other.


Microsoft said the collaboration will allow access to Alexa via Cortana on Windows 10 PCs later this year, and via the Cortana app for iOS and Android at an unspecified point in the future. Similarly, users will be able to access Cortana on Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show.

iPhone users should eventually be able to open the Cortana app and say "hey Cortana, open Alexa," to access Amazon's virtual assistant. Alexa can be used to shop and manage orders on Amazon, ask a variety of questions, stream music and audiobooks, check the news and weather, and many other tasks.

However, iPhone users won't be able to say "hey Cortana, open Alexa" from the Home screen, or when the device is locked. Apple only allows third-party virtual assistants to function within their apps, so accessing Alexa via Cortana will be a lot more cumbersome than simply using Siri.

For a complete virtual assistant experience, iPhone users could also say "hey Siri, open the Cortana app" and then say "hey Cortana, open Alexa."

Alexa can already be used in the Amazon app on iOS [Direct Link], while Cortana has been available on the App Store [Direct Link] since December 2015.


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