Opinion: Why Amazon needs the Instant Video app on Google Play

Opinion time! Amazon has a lot of apps for mobile devices, and historically they have been putting their most important apps in as many platforms as possible. Except for the Instant Video app. That app is available for the Kindle Fire devices and for iPads and Roku boxes and BluRay players and such, but there’s still no official launch for the Android proper store, Google Play. Why is that?

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A Day with the new Kindle Unlimited service

So Amazon ushered out their new monthly Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service, or in street terms, a Netflix for eBooks type of a service. I managed to resist for most of the day on Friday, but since they are giving a 30 day free trial, I jumped right in on Saturday morning.

First Impressions
My first impression was akin to an all you can eat buffet of ebooks experience. Especially for non-fiction reference and how-to type of books. Because there’s only so much fiction one can read, and only so much books you can keep in your head in parallel. However, with non-fiction, be they learning or DIY type of books, you only need to read or cross-reference them as needed. So you can pick up ebooks on hobbies, on work related matters, on health related matters, and so on. It’s a good thing this is a zero calorie buffet 🙂

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Transfering your Samsung Video Hub Library to M-Go

As perhaps part of a historic compromise between Google and Samsung, Samsung has been slowly shedding off its own content services that compete with the Google Play digital content store. One of the jettisoned services is Samsung’s Video Hub, part of the Watch ON app. Many of you probably know it as the free video credit that used to be part of the free Samsung Galaxy Perks packages.

Regardless, Samsung is pulling the plug on them on August 1st in 2014, but thankfully they are not letting customers digitally twist in the wind. They came to an agreement with video service M-Go to digitally transfer your Samsung Video Hub library over there for free. And to encourage such a transfer, they are also offering staggered freebies. But let’s start from the beginning…

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Smartphone Case Review for the LG Nexus 4: Fosmon HYBO-SK Hybrid Kickstand Cas

This is a review of the Fosmon HYBO-SK Hybrid Kickstand Case for the Google LG Nexus 4 Android smartphone. This review is after over a year of intermittent use – I switch between different cases every few weeks for good measure.

This is a unibody case, gently pull up and away from edges to remove it and sink the Nexus 4 in it to encase it. This is not one of those two parts meet together type of a case that some may find frustrating.

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Upgrading the LG Google Nexus 4 from Android 4.4.3 to 4.4.4

After the infinite loop installation scare of going from Android 4.4.2 to 4.4.3 on the LG Nexus 4, I was in fingers-crossed formation when I attempted the upgrade from Android 4.4.3 to 4.4.4 which Google pushed out unexpectedly to the world. This is the OTA update, performed after I was prompted by the Nexus 4 itself. This is an unlocked N4 purchased directly from Google Play running stock as is, unrooted and un-hacked.

TL;DR: the upgrade was smooth and with no problems and it lasted probably under ten minutes end to end. A more elaborate recount of my nano adventure follows…

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with 4.4.2: you can now store Google Play All Access Subscription Music to your MicroSD memory card

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 fans, rejoice! One of the benefits that came with the arrival of Touchizified Kit Kat is that you can now store your Google Play All-Access Music subscription to your Note8’s memory card! You can have a lot more storage on the memory card plus you can free up space on your internal 16GB memory for other purposes. It’s bad enough TouchWiz eats up a nice chunk of it out of the box.

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Upgrading Samsung Galaxy Note 8 from Android 4.2.2 to Android 4.4.2 (Kit Kat) [one solvable problem: touchscreen not responding to finger input]

Kit Kat time for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Android tablet! This is my “journal” of the Upgrade from Android 4.2.2 to Android 4.4.2, Kit Kat!

Since this is a big update, I performed it while connected to wall power. The S-Pen was out of its “nest” during the Update (not by design, it just happened to be so).

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Problem For Some? Google LG Nexus 4 OTA upgrade to Android 4.4.3 getting stuck in “Installing System Update…” Loop

CAUTION: if you haven’t yet upgraded your LG Nexus 4 Android phone, you may want to wait to see whether this is a more general problem or not. I was excited to try the OTA upgrade, but it got stuck in the “Installing System Update…” loop. After 30 minutes of infinite loop, I pressed the Power Button until it rebooted. After that, the Update to 4.4.3 completed successfully. Details below…

This is a Google Play purchased phone, running 4.4.2 without any hacks or modifications, unlocked but unrooted, on the T-Mobile network. The update happened on battery, no USB connection.

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How To Get a Free Monthly Kindle eBook from the Samsung Book Deals

In a very interesting move for both sides, Samsung today announced a new co-promotion with Amazon, launching a custom-edition of the Amazon Kindle Android app in the Samsung Android app store. Yes, Samsung has its own Android app store available in all their Android devices. Many people completely ignore it, but today’s development may increase interest because this co-operation gets you one free Kindle e-book every month, from a selection of four ebooks pre-selected by Samsung-Amazon.

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Opinion: Why is Lenovo buying Motorola and trying to get IBM’s servers?

Lenovo is now buying Motorola from Google. Well, not the whole company, but many of the hardware and consumer facing parts of the company that it would not be prudent for Google to own as they are the custodians of Android and ChromeOS. In other words, don’t compete directly (at least not too much) with your major hardware manufacturers.

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