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Author Topic: Amazon's new product: Holographic 3D Phone?  (Read 974 times)
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Bullwinkle
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« on: June 05, 2014, 12:20:30 PM »

Check this video out: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/06/04/amazon_mystery_product_launch/

If you're not a click-througher: It shows people holding a device (just out of frame) and being surprised and amused by it.  THe number of whoa's and cool's in this teaser will make you think a new Matrix movie is coming.

The article attached says the smart money is on a holographic 3D phone.  Holographic 3D is something Bezos has been pursuing for a while, apparently.  This seems to be a step up from the 3DS (presumably because it'll jump out not fall in), in that the camera tracks your eyes and presents the right image as a result (no finding the sweet spot).

Personally, I'm glad I delayed a new phone, if only to see what this might be.  Even without the buzzy display, an Amazon phone has me intrigued.
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 12:28:11 PM »

If you're locked into the Amazon App Store than I would be out.   3d is nice, but apps are just to important at least to me
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 01:39:25 PM »

Amazon's promotional video is so bad, what were they thinking? As someone on Twitter said, it's as if the people in it just discovered their genitalia.
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 02:03:33 PM »

Quote from: Lee on June 05, 2014, 01:39:25 PM

Amazon's promotional video is so bad, what were they thinking? As someone on Twitter said, it's as if the people in it just discovered their genitalia.

Saw the video after reading this and it was hilarious!
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2014, 02:29:35 PM »

Quote from: raydude on June 05, 2014, 02:03:33 PM

Quote from: Lee on June 05, 2014, 01:39:25 PM

Amazon's promotional video is so bad, what were they thinking? As someone on Twitter said, it's as if the people in it just discovered their genitalia.

Saw the video after reading this and it was hilarious!

So funny!

Didn't Amazon get the memo that Apple added in slight parallax effects and it caused people to lose their shit?  I expect nothing but a full failure for this device.
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 06:07:03 PM »

Quote from: raydude on June 05, 2014, 02:03:33 PM

Quote from: Lee on June 05, 2014, 01:39:25 PM

Amazon's promotional video is so bad, what were they thinking? As someone on Twitter said, it's as if the people in it just discovered their genitalia.

Saw the video after reading this and it was hilarious!

So much better with that in mind.   icon_lol


Quote from: leo8877 on June 05, 2014, 02:29:35 PM


Didn't Amazon get the memo that Apple added in slight parallax effects and it caused people to lose their shit?  I expect nothing but a full failure for this device.

That was entirely different.  It was something added later and as such ate up processing speed.  If this is what they're describing, the hardware would be designed for it, taking the processing hit (and it seems it would use cameras to track your eyes instead of just tilt sensors).  Or who knows, this could be something entirely different than what's being guessed.

Personally, I think the video is great.  I'm actually not sure why others think otherwise (although the genitalia view is brilliant).  It seems like a string of real reactions to a cool product that I'm now curious to try.

I don't know how practically useful this will be.  It will probably just be a bell or whistle, but I can't imagine people being up in arms about it the way they were when something was added to their existing phones that made them less functional.
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 06:56:01 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 05, 2014, 06:07:03 PM

Personally, I think the video is great.  I'm actually not sure why others think otherwise (although the genitalia view is brilliant).  It seems like a string of real reactions to a cool product that I'm now curious to try.

For me it's because watching people's reaction to something, without hinting at what it is, comes across as over-hyped marketing. It doesn't get me excited to see whatever they are looking at nor does it give me any details of what it is that I should be excited about. You know the leaked info so you are excited, the average person who goes to Amazon and sees that play does not.

I think they should learn from Apple, just say they have something to announce and leave it at that. Of course I am not sure there are any other companies that can get away with that. Honestly, outside of some new fancy eInk reader, I don't have a lot of interest in what they release. Love Amazon the store, but the Kindle line doesn't even compare with Apples stuff IMO.
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2014, 07:54:59 PM »

Quote from: Lee on June 05, 2014, 06:56:01 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 05, 2014, 06:07:03 PM

Personally, I think the video is great.  I'm actually not sure why others think otherwise (although the genitalia view is brilliant).  It seems like a string of real reactions to a cool product that I'm now curious to try.

For me it's because watching people's reaction to something, without hinting at what it is, comes across as over-hyped marketing. It doesn't get me excited to see whatever they are looking at nor does it give me any details of what it is that I should be excited about. You know the leaked info so you are excited, the average person who goes to Amazon and sees that play does not.

I think they should learn from Apple, just say they have something to announce and leave it at that. Of course I am not sure there are any other companies that can get away with that. Honestly, outside of some new fancy eInk reader, I don't have a lot of interest in what they release. Love Amazon the store, but the Kindle line doesn't even compare with Apples stuff IMO.

I liken it to when the Segway was teased.  It had been shown to a group of high-up people (Bezos was one, IIRC) and their reactions were similar in the giddiness, haven't seen this before kind of way.  We didn't see the reactions, of course, and there was talk about that device changing the way cities worked, so it got over-hyped.  Plus, it was something like a year before they told us what it actually was.  

Here, though, it's pretty obvious from that video that they're talking about a phone or something along those lines.  I do think most people would take away that whatever this is, it'll be a phone, most likely.  But the question will be: What's special about it that has these people intrigued?

Even if they didn't read about what that may be, there are hints in the video that still might give them the correct impression.  And even if they have no idea what it is, they only have to wait less than 2 weeks to find out.  That's not a bad tease at all.
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2014, 08:25:30 PM »

Quote from: Lee on June 05, 2014, 01:39:25 PM

Amazon's promotional video is so bad, what were they thinking? As someone on Twitter said, it's as if the people in it just discovered their genitalia.

Maybe Google could develop an x-ray app for Glass.
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2014, 08:33:53 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 05, 2014, 07:54:59 PM

I liken it to when the Segway was teased.  It had been shown to a group of high-up people (Bezos was one, IIRC) and their reactions were similar in the giddiness, haven't seen this before kind of way.  We didn't see the reactions, of course, and there was talk about that device changing the way cities worked, so it got over-hyped.  Plus, it was something like a year before they told us what it actually was.  

Here, though, it's pretty obvious from that video that they're talking about a phone or something along those lines.  I do think most people would take away that whatever this is, it'll be a phone, most likely.  But the question will be: What's special about it that has these people intrigued?

Even if they didn't read about what that may be, there are hints in the video that still might give them the correct impression.  And even if they have no idea what it is, they only have to wait less than 2 weeks to find out.  That's not a bad tease at all.

I knew nothing about it before I watched the video. While watching I thought it was a new Kindle with a fancy screen that did something silly when you moved it. Something that would be neat the first couple of times before it was turned off as a gimmick. The video did entice me to do a search afterwards I must admit.
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2014, 03:29:20 AM »

I wonder what was the ratio of "whoopdie-fucking-doo" reactions to "ooooo shiny!" people.
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2014, 10:49:27 PM »

3D on my Nintendo DS was cool for about 3 days. I haven't used it since. I imagine it would be the same on a phone.
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2014, 03:12:19 AM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on June 08, 2014, 10:49:27 PM

3D on my Nintendo DS was cool for about 3 days. I haven't used it since. I imagine it would be the same on a phone.

I had it on a phone - after fiddling around with it for a few days, I never used it again (short of a random wow! factor to friends and coworkers).
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2014, 11:44:08 AM »

Quote from: Destructor on June 09, 2014, 03:12:19 AM

Quote from: Dante Rising on June 08, 2014, 10:49:27 PM

3D on my Nintendo DS was cool for about 3 days. I haven't used it since. I imagine it would be the same on a phone.

I had it on a phone - after fiddling around with it for a few days, I never used it again (short of a random wow! factor to friends and coworkers).
I suspect this will be the case for it.. plus, it is probably hell on battery life.
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« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2014, 06:19:51 PM »

Yep, nothing special. Unlimited photo storage is cool. Mayday? Meh, never needed help figuring out my phone. If people do need help, that doesn't say much for the usability of the OS.

Bottom line seems to be the same as the Kindle, if you love Amazon content, it's a good device for you.  Otherwise there are better options out there.
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2014, 07:50:04 PM »

Not sure about this phone, and agree with the sentiment that if this only has access to the amazon app store it's an automatic fail.  i actually like Amazon a lot and am a very happy member of Prime.  I have issues with the whole drone delivery thing as I foresee a world where you hear a constant buzz from all the drones overhead.  I don't want that, though I think the tech is cool as heck and part of me wants to embrace it.  I also know that amazon won't be alone in their pursuit of this and it is probably pretty inevitable. 
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« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2014, 07:57:23 PM »

Oh yeah, I forgot that this was revealing today. 

Seems like a neat device overall, but I agree that being limited to the Amazon app store instead of the full Google Play store just doesn't seem like a good tradeoff to me.

The autoscroll seems like the handiest feature to me, and that is something that any phone should technically be able to do at this point so I'm sure plenty will mimic it.
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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2014, 08:06:29 PM »

I thought one of the Android phones already did the eye scrolling thing, no? The Galaxy was it?
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« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2014, 09:00:44 PM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on June 18, 2014, 07:57:23 PM

Oh yeah, I forgot that this was revealing today.  

Seems like a neat device overall, but I agree that being limited to the Amazon app store instead of the full Google Play store just doesn't seem like a good tradeoff to me.

The autoscroll seems like the handiest feature to me, and that is something that any phone should technically be able to do at this point so I'm sure plenty will mimic it.


That seemed the most interesting bit to me, too.

If the other stuff is well integrated it could make a difference, though.

For example, the Amzon app on ios currently uses Flow search, which seems to be a predecessor of Firefly, and it works fairly well (I usually scan a UPC, though).  If I can do that and find info on songs and movies all from the same feature, which is at the push of a button, that would be incredibly useful to me.  It would save me half a dozen steps that I'm taking now to find out all I want to know about a song I'm hearing.

I'm due for a new phone in the Fall (and am done with iPhones), and I will certainly be considering this, though I will wait for a hands on.

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« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2014, 09:15:10 PM »

On the iPhone there are a few apps that analysis a song and show me what it is along with a button to purchase.  The Amazon phone seems far more limited than an iPhone or any other Android phone out there. Unless of course you like buying Amazon stuff, then it's the best phone there is.

Edit: nice trolling in the signature Eco. Come on man.
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« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2014, 09:52:18 PM »

Quote from: Lee on June 18, 2014, 09:15:10 PM

On the iPhone there are a few apps that analysis a song and show me what it is along with a button to purchase.  The Amazon phone seems far more limited than an iPhone or any other Android phone out there. Unless of course you like buying Amazon stuff, then it's the best phone there is.

Edit: nice trolling in the signature Eco. Come on man.

Well, I do actually buy the CDs through Amazon, since that automatically gives me free MP3 copies of most of them. 

Even without that, though, having to open my phone, get to Shazam or SoundHound, load it (and then get it to go into recognize mode in Shazam) is way more hassle than grabbing my phone and holding a button down.  And I use this feature all the time.
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« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2014, 09:55:27 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 18, 2014, 09:00:44 PM

For example, the Amzon app on ios currently uses Flow search, which seems to be a predecessor of Firefly, and it works fairly well (I usually scan a UPC, though).  If I can do that and find info on songs and movies all from the same feature, which is at the push of a button, that would be incredibly useful to me.  It would save me half a dozen steps that I'm taking now to find out all I want to know about a song I'm hearing.

Yeah, that Firefly thing seems to be combining functionality from a lot of things that already exist (that Flow search, Google Goggles, Shazam, etc), which makes it both less revolutionary but also more convenient.  
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2014, 01:27:21 AM »

Ars Technica impressions.

Maybe they are still refining it, but it doesn't sound too good.
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2014, 11:34:12 AM »

I'm assuming battery life on this thing has to suck..  Amazon never touched on it unless I missed it somewhere
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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2014, 03:06:07 PM »

Much more positive hands on from Techhive.

They really liked it. Firefly does sound incredibly impressive. Except, I buy almost everything through Amazon, and I don't think I would ever use it besides the occasional song.
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« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2014, 05:08:24 PM »

AT&T only kills this for me.
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« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2014, 06:53:15 PM »

As someone who generally rushes to the next big thing, I have to say I don't really get this.  The 3D effect thing is cool but I don't see it serving much purpose in every day use.  I do like that the one guy said it didn't induce nausea, as I am also very prone to motion sickness.  The Firefly thing is also kind of cool, but as an avid Amazon shopper, again I just don't see how it really does much for me.  I can't remember a single time in all the tons of crap I've bought from Amazon where I needed to scan or take a picture or whatever of what it was I wanted to buy.

Maybe I'll be wrong in the long term, but this looks like another one of those gimmicks that someone introduces solely for the sake of the gimmick, and not because it was tested out by real users to be something useful and desirable. 
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« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2014, 07:41:08 PM »

I'm surprised that avid Amazon shoppers aren't more excited by Firefly, actually.

If you currently have the Amazon app, there is a feature in the search menu called "Flow" which can give you an idea of how this can be used.

Here's an example of where I tend to use it:  If I'm browsing Barnes & Noble and I see a book I might be interested in, I will either scan the cover or the barcode which immediately brings up the product info and I can get to the Kindle version from there.  At this point, that requires a number of steps (get to the app and open it, go to search, choose Flow and then get to the Kindle version from there).  If the option is available to just hold down a button and immediately find that product, I would use it even more.

Add to this the idea that I can do the same thing to find out about a song on the radio or a movie I catch the tail end of, and this could get a lot of use.

I would hope that it wouldn't just lead to shopping stuff but also directly link to AllMusic info or IMDB pages or Goodreads reviews, but I imagine the point of it is to take you to Amazon.
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« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2014, 07:57:27 PM »

If I am shopping in a store for almost anything, I have already checked Amazon, and/or I want whatever I am shopping for immediately. It's already so easy to find stuff on Amazon I don't need a special app for it. Plus a phone for me is more about all the other apps, I do almost no shopping on my phone besides music.
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« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2014, 07:58:35 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 19, 2014, 07:41:08 PM

I'm surprised that avid Amazon shoppers aren't more excited by Firefly, actually.

If you currently have the Amazon app, there is a feature in the search menu called "Flow" which can give you an idea of how this can be used.

Here's an example of where I tend to use it:  If I'm browsing Barnes & Noble and I see a book I might be interested in, I will either scan the cover or the barcode which immediately brings up the product info and I can get to the Kindle version from there.  At this point, that requires a number of steps (get to the app and open it, go to search, choose Flow and then get to the Kindle version from there).  If the option is available to just hold down a button and immediately find that product, I would use it even more.

I never go into bookstores anymore, but for anything I want the best price on I just remember the name of it and look up prices when I get home.  I don't need an app that only shows me prices from one place, that's pretty limiting.  If I already know I'm getting a Kindle book, I just browse on the website at home, not on my phone while I'm in public.  I don't see that as a big limitation, it's not like I'm buying 5 books a day or anything.

Quote
Add to this the idea that I can do the same thing to find out about a song on the radio or a movie I catch the tail end of, and this could get a lot of use.

I don't listen to the radio by choice, and if it's ever on I pretty much hate all of that music.  I don't have cable, so the movies and tv shows I watch are also by choice on disc or streaming, so I never just catch the tail end of anything by chance.

Quote
I would hope that it wouldn't just lead to shopping stuff but also directly link to AllMusic info or IMDB pages or Goodreads reviews, but I imagine the point of it is to take you to Amazon.

See, that's the problem.  If it was a full price comparison across many stores, that might be useful.  The fact that it's only giving me Amazon (where I already shop a ton) means that it isn't super useful as a consumer tool to me.  I never feel like I'm out and about and need to look something up on Amazon.  My life is just not that crazy, I guess.
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« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2014, 08:11:40 PM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on June 19, 2014, 07:58:35 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 19, 2014, 07:41:08 PM

I'm surprised that avid Amazon shoppers aren't more excited by Firefly, actually.

If you currently have the Amazon app, there is a feature in the search menu called "Flow" which can give you an idea of how this can be used.

Here's an example of where I tend to use it:  If I'm browsing Barnes & Noble and I see a book I might be interested in, I will either scan the cover or the barcode which immediately brings up the product info and I can get to the Kindle version from there.  At this point, that requires a number of steps (get to the app and open it, go to search, choose Flow and then get to the Kindle version from there).  If the option is available to just hold down a button and immediately find that product, I would use it even more.

I never go into bookstores anymore, but for anything I want the best price on I just remember the name of it and look up prices when I get home.  I don't need an app that only shows me prices from one place, that's pretty limiting.  If I already know I'm getting a Kindle book, I just browse on the website at home, not on my phone while I'm in public.  I don't see that as a big limitation, it's not like I'm buying 5 books a day or anything.

Quote
Add to this the idea that I can do the same thing to find out about a song on the radio or a movie I catch the tail end of, and this could get a lot of use.

I don't listen to the radio by choice, and if it's ever on I pretty much hate all of that music.  I don't have cable, so the movies and tv shows I watch are also by choice on disc or streaming, so I never just catch the tail end of anything by chance.

Quote
I would hope that it wouldn't just lead to shopping stuff but also directly link to AllMusic info or IMDB pages or Goodreads reviews, but I imagine the point of it is to take you to Amazon.

See, that's the problem.  If it was a full price comparison across many stores, that might be useful.  The fact that it's only giving me Amazon (where I already shop a ton) means that it isn't super useful as a consumer tool to me.  I never feel like I'm out and about and need to look something up on Amazon.  My life is just not that crazy, I guess.

And this happens to me all the time.

I guess I don't get why you would go through remembering and looking something up at home when you could just look it up then and there.  At the worst, you could add something to a wishlist and then have a reminder for later.

And I just looked over the relevant part of the Fire video again, and it does show information for stores other than Amazon (though it's unclear if that is limited to local stores).  Additionally, when the guy is talking about the movie, it does pull up the IMDB page. If I'm watching a show or movie, I frequently check IMDB.  This would save a number of steps again.

I see most phones heading this way in the future, but this really addresses how I most use my phone.  I'm not sure if the rest of it makes that worth it, but it's something I'll certainly consider.
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« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2014, 08:14:52 PM »

I don't see the need for their own phone though.  Wouldn't they be better served by creating a great Android and iOS app so people could buy stuff from Amazon? (well they already have one but one that lets you do all the stuff that the Fire Phone does - catch the end of a song, scan a UPC code, etc.)  That would seem to give them an install base of millions more than they can bet by selling their own phone.


 
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« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2014, 08:57:20 PM »

Yeah this would make way more sense for Amazon to make an app for the millions of smartphones that are already out there directing all those customers to Amazon's store.
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« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2014, 09:59:22 PM »

I already do have an Amazon app on my iPhone, and I scan barcodes in brick & mortar stores to doulbe check prices and reviews.
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« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2014, 11:24:46 PM »

Amazon has never been shy about getting their content on all devices. Sure the Kindle runs its apps slightly better, but I can still get all my Amazon stuff on my iOS devices. I wouldn't be surprised if we do see some version of Firefly on the other platforms eventually. Especially if the phone doesn't sell. Amazon really needs to start turning things around before stockholders get too restless. For some reason they have gotten away with it so far.

Of course we will never know how the phone does. Amazon doesn't release numbers, just numberless charts.
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Bullwinkle
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« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2014, 01:23:12 AM »

Quote from: farley2k on June 19, 2014, 08:14:52 PM

I don't see the need for their own phone though.  Wouldn't they be better served by creating a great Android and iOS app so people could buy stuff from Amazon? (well they already have one but one that lets you do all the stuff that the Fire Phone does - catch the end of a song, scan a UPC code, etc.)  That would seem to give them an install base of millions more than they can bet by selling their own phone.


 

I would certainly use that.  It won't quite be as useful as a one-button press from the lock screen, though.  Is that enough to make the phone worth it is the question.  Obviously not by itself, but if the phone does other things well, it could be enough to tip someone like me over.

None the less, I suspect I'll only really consider this after a couple of iterations go by.
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« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2014, 04:43:50 AM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 20, 2014, 01:23:12 AM

None the less, I suspect I'll only really consider this after a couple of iterations go by.

Good call. Like all of Amazon's hardware, they will nail it on the about the 3rd try.

Off topic, but curious as to what Android/MS phone you are going to move to then Bullwinkle. Thoughts?
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« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2014, 02:30:07 PM »

Quote from: Lee on June 20, 2014, 04:43:50 AM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 20, 2014, 01:23:12 AM

None the less, I suspect I'll only really consider this after a couple of iterations go by.

Good call. Like all of Amazon's hardware, they will nail it on the about the 3rd try.

Off topic, but curious as to what Android/MS phone you are going to move to then Bullwinkle. Thoughts?

I did the WP7 back in the day and felt burned when they moved to the WP8.  Plus, I'm not quite ready for my app choices to dwindle quite that far.

If I was buying right now, it'd be between the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One.  In fact, I was close to getting the latter (contract be damned) a couple of months back.  Now I'm waiting a little longer, seeing if other choices open up.  I'd love an HTC One.5 with a better camera, though I imagine that's still a year off.
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« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2014, 06:53:50 PM »

I would never switch, I love my iPhone, but I do like looking at the Android phones and figuring out what I would get if I ever did switch. Every Galaxy owner I have talked to says the phone is the perfect size, but it seems huge to me. Yet the smaller phones also seem to be lesser phones. Is there a cutting edge Android phone that isn't huge? I think I would be lost in the sea of choices if I ever did switch.
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« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2014, 09:14:09 PM »

Don't worry. Apple is pretty much copying Android now so you'll have an Android phone soon enough (in spirit).
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