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All posts tagged "amazon"

  • A (non) update on Amazon Alexa coming to South Africa

    Earlier this year, we got word from LG that it was targeting Alexa-enabled appliances for South Africa in 2018. The Korean firm quickly distanced itself from these remarks though, saying it can't confirm the local timing for Alexa-enabled appliances. At the time of the news, we attempted to contact Amazon's representatives to get the story from the horse's mouth, but to no avail. In any event, we've since circled back for another attempt, finally getting an answer of sorts. "I understand you're curious to learn about whether Alexa is heading to South Africa in 2018. Thanks for your interest," an Amazon...

  • Amazon Fire TV 4K: a cheap HDR-equipped Apple TV 4K rival

    Earlier this month, we saw the Apple TV 4K finally revealed, being the company's long-overdue foray into 4K (and HDR) video content. Now, Amazon has taken the fight to Apple with the Fire TV 4K. It's not the first time we've seen Amazon reveal a 4K-equipped Fire TV device, but the new streaming gadget also offers HDR support, for starters. Other noteworthy features include Dolby Atmos support, 60fps compatibility, Alexa Voice support, 1.5Ghz quad-core A53 processor, 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. It's not a bad deal for US$70, especially if Apple's US$179 effort is a little out of reach....

  • These smartphones support HDR streaming on Netflix, Amazon

    Earlier this year, the LG G6 (review) became the first smartphone to support streaming HDR content on Netflix, being a feather in the mobile brand's cap at the time. It's worth noting that you'll need a top-end Netflix plan (4K, four screens) to actually enjoy HDR content on your phone. So those on the two-screen, bog-standard HD plan will need to upgrade. In any event, we've seen a few handsets join the party since then, in the form of the Xperia XZ Premium (review), Xperia XZ1, LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8. These handsets all support the Ultra HDR Premium...

  • Blu hits back over spyware concerns [Update: back on sale]

    Update, 8 August 2017: Blu has announced that its phones are back on Amazon after a "false alarm". Hey BLU fans! After a false alarm, BLU devices are now back up for sale on Amazon. https://t.co/XKqFyEiBI0#BLU #BoldLikeUs #Amazon — BLU Products (@BLU_Products) August 4, 2017 Original article: US smartphone brand Blu has issued a statement after a report found some of its phones were transmitting data to Chinese servers. Last week, security researchers found that the so-called Adups software on some of Blu's devices were sending data to China without the consumer's knowledge. The research seems to have triggered Amazon into suspending sales of...

  • Blu smartphones pulled from Amazon over privacy woes

    Update, 3 August 2017: Blu has since responded to the research, saying that it wasn't collecting anything out of the ordinary. It also lambasted "false" reports around the situation. Original article: Blu is one of the most popular budget brands in North America, serving up capable smartphones at competitive prices. In fact, these devices regularly feature in Amazon's top charts. Now, Amazon has confirmed that it has suspended sales of the range, over a security/privacy issue. "We recently learned of a potential security issue on select Blu phones, some of which are sold on Amazon.com," the retailer told Gearburn in a statement. "Because security...

  • Google Home, Amazon Echo can fight HomePod, but where are they?

    The smart speaker arena looks set to go into overdrive as Apple finally joined the party last month with the HomePod. Featuring an array of audio hardware and smart adjustments, the device is pretty interesting. Then there's the Apple Music integration, as you use your voice to sift through tracks and playlists. Taken together with the audio chops and there's little wonder why Apple is positioning it as a high-end audio speaker. It may be marketed as a speaker first and assistant second, but the truth is that it still plays in the same space as Amazon and Google's products. And...

  • Amazon Echo Show: because voice commands aren’t enough?

    Amazon's Echo is a rather cool idea, beating Google Home to the smart speaker mark. The idea for these boxes is simple, as you merely speak to them (via Alexa or Google Assistant respectively) to get your information, play music and more. Now, Amazon has revealed another interesting device in the range, called the Echo Show, featuring a 7-inch touchscreen and Intel Atom X5 chip. The online retail behemoth is still marketing the device for its voice commands, but adds that video content can now be consumed too. "Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can...

  • LG unable to confirm Amazon Alexa in SA, hopes for launch ‘soon’

    Update, 23 February 2017: LG South Africa has distanced itself from the remarks made in the interview. "LG Electronics cannot confirm the release timing for Alexa-enabled LG devices for South Africa, however LG South Africa will be hoping for a launch in the country soon," the company wrote in an email to Gearburn. Original article: Amazon's Echo speaker device hasn't made its way to South Africa yet, but the underlying Alexa AI/voice assistant is in the works for a 2018 SA release at the very least. LG South Africa's Antonio dos Santos has confirmed that Alexa-powered appliances are targeted for the country...

  • Surprise, surprise: tablet sales decline, but Apple increases market lead

    The world's consumer buying habits are extremely odd, and highlighted even further thanks to new data by research firm IDC. This week, it released world tablet sales figures, and unsurprisingly, they're steadily declining. In Q2 2016, tablet sales topped 38.7-million, but that itself is a drop of 12.3% over the same quarter a year ago. That's enormous. IDC's senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani suggests that users don't consider tablets as a "productive form factor". "The market has spoken as consumers and enterprises seek more productive form factors and operating systems – it's the reason we're seeing continued growth in detachables," he explains. However,...

  • Apple readying Google Home, Amazon Echo rival report suggests

    Well, that didn't take long. Less a week after Google announced its Home smart hub speaker system, rumours suggest that Apple's about to do exactly the same at its own developers conference, WWDC. The news comes courtesy of The Information and "a person with direct knowledge of the effort," Apple's competitor to Google Home and the originator Amazon Echo, will use Siri. The company is said to be working on an open SDK for the personal assistant too, which will allow third party companies and developers to craft additional features to the service. Additionally, it's not farfetched to imagine that Apple's...