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Amazon enters smartphone market with 'Fire'

Philip Michaels | June 19, 2014
Amazon jumped into the smartphone fray Wednesday, unveiling the Fire Phone at a press event in Seattle.

As you would expect, the Fire Phone includes features aimed at readers. An immersion reading feature lets you read the story and listen to narration at the same time, while WhisperSync for Voice lets you switch between text and audio without losing your place in the book.

The Mayday customer service feature — a popular addition to the Kindle Fire HDX tablet— makes its way over to the Fire Phone as well. It'll be a free feature with 24-hour support and — Bezos added in a clear dig at Apple's Genius Bar — no need to make appointments or go to a store. The Mayday features extend beyond just questions for Amazon: If you have a problem with your AT&T service, Mayday will take you to AT&T's tech support.

Other Amazon-driven features in the Fire Phone included unlimited cloud photo storage via Amazon Cloud Drive and an adaptation of the Fire TV's ASAP feature that uses predictive caching and prebuffering for streams that start instantly.


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