Latest News: Amazon’s Fire Phone, California Kill-Switch Bill, and More

Amazon’s New Fire Phone

You may have heard about or seen the commercials for Amazon’s first leap into the mobile phone market, the Fire Phone. The device is made to compete with the iPhone 5S, the Samsung Galaxy S5, and the LG G3, and is exclusive to AT&T. The Fire Phone boasts a 13 MP camera, Dynamic Perspective “3-D” features, and a dedicated “may day” button, in addition to having a feature called FireFly. FireFly allows the device to recognize phone numbers, addresses, business cards, television shows, songs, and more, so that a user can email, call, or visit a website without doing the work of typing it in.

The price is right in-line with industry standards as the 32GB model comes in at $199 with a contract (64GB is $299). Amazon is trying to sweeten the deal with a year of Amazon Prime (free 2-day shipping, steaming videos, streaming music, and more) along with unlimited cloud storage space. While the phone doesn’t seem to be very business-oriented, it does sound like it is a solid start for Amazon entering the mobile market.

To read more about the Amazon Fire Phone, check out TechRadar’s in-depth review.

California Senate Passes Kill-Switch Bill

While the Governor’s signature is the last measure necessary in creating this law, California is set to become the second state (after Minnesota) to have enabled kill-switch legislation for smartphones. The kill-switch is a feature that will be required on all smartphones, allowing the devices to be deactivated upon theft. Mobile device makers Apple, Samsung, and HTC are on-board with the plane while mobile carriers believe a stolen-device database would be more productive in the fight against smartphone theft.

Read more: Smartphone Kill-Switch Bill Passes California’s Legislature, Awaits Governor’s Signature

Quick News & Notes

  • Apple to unveil highly-anticipated iPhone 6 at an event on September 9th, 2014: Read more
  • Verizon Wireless to announce VoLTE plans in Q4 2014. VoLTE will bring “HD voice” calls to those with LTE devices in VoLTE enabled areas: Read more
  • KitKat now runs on 1 in 5 devices, though JellyBean still leads the charge in Google Android’s mobile operating systems: Read more