(Screengrab via TechCrunch)

Amazon Shuts Down Service That Let Users Test Apps Before Buying Them Because No One Was Really Using It

If you haven’t used — much less heard of — Amazon’s TestDrive service, designed to let customers check out how an app works before buying it, you’re not alone. The company says it’s shutting the program down due to “a significant decline” in usage, among other factors. [More]

Feds Give Amazon Approval (Again) To Finally Test Delivery Drones In U.S.

Feds Give Amazon Approval (Again) To Finally Test Delivery Drones In U.S.

It’s finally time for Amazon to take its delivery drones to the sky for testing with the government’s approval: While the Federal Aviation Administration already granted the company permission to test a PrimeAir prototype last month, Amazon had complained that the time the feds took to sign off on the testing rendered the earlier design obsolete. [More]

(Louis Abate)

Amazon Files First Lawsuit To Block Companies From Selling Fraudulent Positive Reviews

For the first time in the 20 years that Amazon has allowed users to review products, the company is taking legal action against businesses it claims sells fake reviews to third-party sellers. [More]

Amazon’s Echo Speaker Gets More Connected, Can Control Hue Lights, WeMo Switches

Amazon’s Echo Speaker Gets More Connected, Can Control Hue Lights, WeMo Switches

Amazon introduced its Echo web-connected speaker thingy back in Nov. 2014 with the promise of a device that would not only play music but allow you to do voice-controlled information searches and set reminders. An update to the $200 Echo will now let users operate certain “smart” lightbulbs and electric switches. [More]

Subscription e-book service Oyster launched a retail component Wednesday.

Oyster, The ‘Netflix For Books’, Aims To Take On Amazon With Launch Of E-Book Store

When Oyster launched in 2013, it claimed to be the e-book version of Netflix, offering customers an all-you-can-read lending library of around 100,000 books for a monthly subscription of $9.95. A year and a half later, the company seems to have realized that a buffet of sometimes unheard of books isn’t exactly what consumers are looking for. So in an attempt to bring the latest and greatest titles to readers, the company now plans to secure its foothold in the e-book market with the launch of a retail component aimed to compete with Amazon, Apple and other online booksellers.  [More]

Star Wars Films To Finally Become Digital Downloads

Star Wars Films To Finally Become Digital Downloads

While almost every important movie has long been made available as a digital download by now, the six films in the Star Wars saga have not (legally) been obtainable this way. But that will finally change starting Friday when all of the movies will be released online at the same time. [More]

(SimonQ錫濛譙)

Report: The Next Apple TV Won’t Allow For 4K Video Streaming

Just because something is new, doesn’t necessarily always mean it’ll have the newest technology — perhaps because it’s because that technology still needs to prove itself or there’s really not a need for it yet. That appears to be the reason behind Apple’s reported decision not to have its new Apple TV support 4K streaming video. [More]

(Nazra Z)

Amazon Prime Members Less Likely To Visit Target.com, Walmart.com When Shopping Online

In recent months big box retailers like Walmart and Target have attempted to thwart Amazon’s growing influence over consumers with a variety of new policies such as reducing the minimum purchase required for free shipping and allowing price-matching with the online retailer (although, that effort didn’t’ last long). But, according to a new report, those measure might amount to “too little, too late” when it comes to Amazon Prime shoppers. [More]

FCC Proposes Treating Online TV Like Cable TV; Amazon Objects If It’ll Stop You From Binge-Watching ‘The Wire’

FCC Proposes Treating Online TV Like Cable TV; Amazon Objects If It’ll Stop You From Binge-Watching ‘The Wire’

There’s another internet-related firestorm a-brewing at the FCC. This one is not as broad or as contentious as the now infamous net neutrality ruling, but it is bringing all the big players out to have their say. And what, you might ask, has everyone worked up? It’s the big bandwidth bugaboo of the twenty-teens: online video. [More]

High-End Online Retailers Net-A-Porter, Yoox Officially Tie The Knot

High-End Online Retailers Net-A-Porter, Yoox Officially Tie The Knot

It seems like just yesterday we were dreaming of a mega-luxury online retail platform where we could buy all the designer brands our wallets will never be able to afford. That’s probably because it was one day ago that reports began to swirl that online merchants Yoox and Net-A-Porter were thinking of merging to create one big high-end shopping destination on the interwebs. [More]

Net-A-Porter In Deal Talks With Online Retailer Yoox

Net-A-Porter In Deal Talks With Online Retailer Yoox

Amazon’s foray into the luxury apparel business may be over before it even began. Just a week after reports surfaced that the company was in talks to buy high-end retailer Net-a-Porter for $2 billion, the smaller company confirmed it’s seeking a possible deal with someone else. [More]

Amazon Home Services' coverage area. [Click to enlarge]

Amazon Officially Launches Program Connecting Customers To Local Service Providers

Amazon’s quest to touch every aspect of consumers’ lives continued today as the company rebranded and officially launched a program connecting customers with local service providers for repairs, installations or other jobs around the house. [More]

(DJHeini)

Amazon Reportedly In Talks To Purchase Luxury Online Retailer Net-A-Porter

Amazon appears to be on the cusp of its largest purchase ever with the potential purchase of luxury online retailer Net-a-Porter. [More]

(Alan Rappa)

The list of cities in which consumers can get one-hour delivery service on a plethora of products like paper towels, shampoo, books, toys and other essential everyday times from Amazon now includes Dallas. The company’s Prime Now, which already services Miami, Baltimore and New York City, is available to customers enrolled in Amazon Prime, which costs $99 a year and comes with free two-day shipping on thousands of items. [Amazon]

(Nicholas DiMaio)

Toys ‘R’ Us Can’t Beat Discounters On Price, Invites Everyone Over For Play Dates

Toys ‘R’ Us has a problem: they’re a specialty store that people love, but they must compete with mega-discounters like Walmart and online vendors like Amazon on price. When they can’t do that and still make money, how are they to survive? The company’s new idea: get kids in the door by creating an experience, not just a place to buy toys. [More]

(snow_000_angel)

Amazon’s Streaming Gaming Service Twitch Says It Might Be The Latest Victim Of A Data Breach

The long list of data breaches got a bit longer on Monday after Amazon-owned game streaming company Twitch determined hackers may have gained unauthorized access to some users’ account information. [More]

FAA Clears Amazon To Start Testing Delivery Drone Flights

FAA Clears Amazon To Start Testing Delivery Drone Flights

Amazon is getting one step closer to the company’s dream of delivering packages by air, as the Federal Aviation Administration has given the company the go-ahead to start testing drones outside. [More]

(protohiro)

Amazon Expands One-Hour Delivery Service To Baltimore, Miami

It seems that so far, Amazon likes its new one-hour delivery service, which first debuted in New York City in late 2014. So much so that it’s expanding Prime Now service for household products to Baltimore and Miami. [More]