Amazon Prime Now. Skip the trip, one hour delivery. (app and service review)
Amazon.com recently became the world’s largest retailer in 2015, surpassing the mighty Walmart and has established themselves by offering great prices, quick and reliable shipping, with other free services as well.
Amazon also recently made its Prime Now service(requires an Amazon Prime membership) available in San Diego, and being a HUGE fan of Amazon, I had to give it a try.
What is Amazon Prime Now?
Prime Now is a new same-day delivery service from Amazon.com, local grocery stores and merchants. In San Diego, Northgate market, Sprouts grocery, Sprinkles Cupcakes and Amazon.com are the five retailers that will deliver to my zip code. The nearest Northgate market is a 30 minute drive for me, and I like to shop there as it isa specialty Hispanic foods store. There’s nothing like authentic food, and I can’t find many of those foods in my local Ralph’s or Whole Foods.
Prime Now connects local businesses to Prime customers and can deliver frozen and refrigerated foods, fresh baked goods, laundry detergent, or almost any other need you might have around the house.
Two-hour delivery is FREE and one-hour delivery is available in most areas for just $7.99. Prime Now is available from early morning to late night, seven days a week. Currently available in select areas including:
Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles & Orange County, Miami, Minneapolis & St. Paul, New York City, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle & Eastside
• Shop for groceries, gifts, goodies and more from your favorite local stores:
– Los Angeles: Sprouts, Bristol Farms, and Sprinkles Cupcakes
– New York City: Westside Market, D’Agostinos, Gourmet Garage, and Billy’s Bakery
– Portland: New Seasons Market, World Foods, Uwajimaya, and Cupcake Jones
– San Diego: Sprouts, Bristol Farms, Northgate Market, and Sprinkles Cupcakes
• Seattle: Get delivery from your favorite restaurants
– Cactus, Skillet, Wild Ginger, Marination Station, Mamnoon, and many more.
My experience with Prime Now
Prime Now offers free same day delivery, Sundays included, and charges $7.99 if you want it within the next hour.
Since I am cooking dinner for my sister and brother-in-law for Thanksgiving, I remembered I needed to go grocery shopping last night while I was laying in bed. Luckily Amazon is running a special GETITNOW promotion where you can save $20 off your first $50 dollar order. All you have to do is enter the promotional code at checkout to save $20.
I downloaded the Prime Now app from the Google Play store, signed in with my account and saw the five merchants available to my zip code. I first went shopping at Sprouts, which is a local grocery store chain that offers really fresh produce and meats at a fraction of the cost of Whole Foods.
I ordered a fresh 12-14 pound turkey, celery, carrots, fresh french bread, oranges, sweet potatoes, yams, white potatoes, onions, green beans and more. There was a $50 dollar minimum order, but with delivery being free I didn’t mind at all as I really needed to stock up and prepare for Thanksgiving. The nearest Sprouts to me is five miles away, and for many of you that isn’t far, but for me this is more about convenience. I do live a block away from a Ralph’s grocery store, but it is expensive and I also hate grocery shopping. Being single, I prefer to just get food from the many restaurants around me.
Once I was done with my Sprouts order, rather than driving 20 miles to the nearest Northgate market, I simply tapped back to the main menu and clicked on Northgate market. Magically I appeared in the Northgate store without even moving from my bed! I ordered beans, local tortillas, marinated meats, and I ordered a ton of Monster Energy drinks. I ordered Monster energy drinks, because Northgate is having a sale on them for 52 cents, which is far cheaper than the stores around me at $1.99 each and I drink them on a daily basis. So not only did I get my local ethnic foods, but I also got a great price on energy drinks. Fresh coconuts were also on sale and if you like coconut water, there’s nothing better than an actual young coconut.
After about 30 minutes of shopping through the categories of interest and picking out what I needed, I placed my order through the Prime Now app and scheduled a delivery time from 10am-12pm the next morning. I placed two orders, one for Sprouts and one for Northgate market.
A tip was also suggested for my drivers, and Amazon suggested $5 which worked out to be $10 since there were two delivers. I’ve read reviews on the Google Play store and the Amazon Underground app store, and many people complain about having to pay for a tip. Amazon doesn’t force you to add a tip, so don’t tip if you don’t want to tip. In my case, I don’t mind tipping because these drivers work hard and are providing a service for you. They aren’t UPS or FedEx drivers, they are local employees who have their own needs as well. The drive alone to and from Northgate market would have cost me ten dollars in gasoline(CA residents pay a lot for gas and I have a truck), but more importantly the Prime Now service saved me a whole three hours of shopping. Sometimes the complaining about paying for convenience really gets annoying.
My fresh produce, bread, and other items all arrived in fantastic condition. As soon as the first order arrived, I opened up a young coconut and enjoyed my juice while browsing the web. Both of my drivers were highly professional and friendly. They brought all 15 of my bags to my doorstep, and the cold items arrived cold and intact. We even chatted about what other items the stores will be offering within the next three months too. I hope to see both of them again in the near future.
Prime Now is a free service as long as you’re a member of Amazon Prime which costs $99 per year. Amazon Prime offers free two-day shipping on most items bought from Amazon.com on top of free movies, TV shows, music and now free local same day delivery from some of your favorite merchants.
If you have Amazon Prime already, check to see if Prime Now is available in your area by downloading the app at the Google Play store. If you have an Amazon device like a Kindle Fire you can click here to access the Prime now app through the Underground app store.
If you have yet to give Amazon Prime a shot, you can try it free for 30-days with no strings attached, and you will have the same access to all benefits that paying members have. If you don’t like grocery shopping, don’t like waiting in lines, Prime Now is definitely worth trying out as you might find it adds more time back into your life, for no additional cost. In my case it saved me several hours of shopping and driving, savings on gas and wear and tear on my truck. I now look forward to grocery shopping while I am sitting on the couch, lying in bed, hanging out at the dog park or doing cardio at the gym.
I have to try those Sprinkles cupcakes and give Bristol Farms a try next. I even was invited to a get together tonight where my friend has a toddler. I think I will order a little gift from Amazon.com and have it delivered within two hours before I head over to their house.
Give Prime Now a try. It’s worth it.
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China and the US create a ‘space hotline’ to avoid conflicts
The Kremlin and the White House famously established a hotline between each other during the Cold War to avoid annihilating each other by mistake, and history is repeating itself now that China is a powerhouse. China and the US have set up a “space hotline” to prevent orbital mishaps and misunderstandings from leading to conflicts. They previously had to go through each other’s diplomatic channels — a big problem when there’s an imminent satellite collision or rocket test. Now, they should know the truth right away.
Source: Financial Times
1byone Plasma Ball Music Speaker (Review)
It’s not too often that I come across a device that reminds me of my childhood, but the 1byone Plasma Ball Music Speaker does exactly that. Plasma globes were a novelty item in the 1980s, and I was born in 1980, making them super cool to me. They were also very expensive in the 80s, so I could only be mesmerized by Plasma globes when I went to a friend’s house.
A plasma globe is a clear glass sphere filled with a mixture of various noble gases with a high-voltage electrode in the center of the sphere. The plasma lamp was invented by Nikola Tesla after his experimentation with high-frequency currents in an evacuated glass tube for the purpose of studying high voltage phenomena, but the modern versions were known to be first designed by Bill Parker. Tesla called this invention an inert gas discharge tube(Wikipedia).
It’s basically a globe where you can draw electricity to your fingers and not be shocked. Plasma globes look really cool, but serve no other function than to entertain. 1byone made a sweet Plasma Ball Music Speaker which integrates the plasma globe with a wireless Bluetooth speaker. So now, you have a great piece for your desk or nightstand.
The 1byone Plasma Ball Music Speaker looks like a globe light bulb, and sits on a stand with a speaker on the front. It’s only about the size of of a quart of milk, and has a sleek and stylish design with red siding.
On the lower front of the device are four controls – mode, play/pause, previous track/volume down and next track/volume up. On the back is the three way power switch – off, Bluetooth speaker on without plasma, and Bluetooth speaker on with plasma in addition to an auxiliary in port. A micro-SD card slot included so you can play music without a Bluetooth connection.
The 1byone Plasma Ball Music Speaker is not portable with a built-in battery, but it doesn’t require a ton of power. I plugged a micro-USB cable into the back of the speaker, and the plasma globe worked as described. I also set it up on my desk in my office, which is where it will permanently live, and powered it using my five-port Ankway desk charger. It can also be powered with a portable USB battery.
In the box you will get the speaker and magic light, a 3.5mm audio cable, USB cable and a user manual.
The main feature of the 1byone Plasma Ball Music Speaker is clearly the plasma globe. I know there isn’t much to it other than entertainment value, but it gave me fond memories of my childhood. I work a full day in a chemistry lab, and sometimes all I need is a little break from thinking. I’d come home and put some music on while touching the plasma globe.
The speaker itself isn’t more than just a portable speaker. It gets loud enough for a home office, sounds decent but nothing to write home about. The plasma globe light up with purple and pink electricity which is really cool to see. When you touch the globe the electricity focuses its energy onto your fingertip and makes a super bright beam which looks like a mini lightning bolt.
All of the buttons on the front function as advertised and the micro-SD card slot reads mp3 files with ease.
|Item Weight||1 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||8.4 x 4.3 x 4.2 inches|
|Item model number||O0000-0739|
|Color||Blue or Red|
The 1byone Plasma Ball Music Speaker is a functional speaker made for your desk or nightstand with a super cool plasma globe attached to the top. Currently the device is listed on Amazon.com for $23.99 which is cheaper than many Bluetooth speakers without the plasma globe. The speaker does match competition in terms of sound quality in this price range, so you really get the plasma globe as a free add-on. The design of the speaker is nice and looks great on my desk. I find myself playing with the plasma globe a couple of times a night while I write to help break up some of the stresses I have experienced throughout the day while unwinding to music.
If you’d like to learn more, head on over to Amazon.com.
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Microsoft app tries to lure you from Android to a Windows phone
It’s true that Windows Phone (and now Windows 10 Mobile) doesn’t have as many apps as Android or iOS. However, the perception of that app deficit may be just as problematic — why would you switch to a Lumia 950 if you assumed that none of your favorite apps had Windows equivalents? Microsoft clearly isn’t happy with this state of affairs, as it just released AppComparison for Android to help set the record straight. The app (a spiritual sequel to the old Switch to Windows Phone) tries to match the Android apps on your phone with their mobile Windows counterparts, either giving you an exact parallel or the next best thing.
Source: Google Play
5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly
Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Let’s check out the big headlines from the last week:
- In perhaps the saddest news we’ve reported on in a while, the mobile-centric Humble Bundles are coming to an end. The service will still have apps in their regular Humble Bundle deals and as individual sales, but no more bundles with just mobile games. It was a staple event covered by this show for years and we’re sad to see it go.
- In a surprising move, Google Play removed the famed Tasker application from the Play Store for an alleged permission that would ignore battery optimizations such as Doze Mode. What’s funny is the app had no such permission in the main version although it was present in the beta version. In any case, the app has been restored to the Play Store and is available right now.
- The season of acquisitions continues this week as Pandora picked up Rdio for a cool $75 million. Rdio was circling the drain and was in the middle of declaring bankruptcy when Pandora stepped in and took over. We don’t know how this will affect Pandora, but we’ll know for sure sometime in 2016.
- Pushbullet announced a new pro version of their popular application. It’ll cost you about $5/month or $40/year. What’s new? Pretty much nothing. The pro service is being criticized not because it’s charging money, but because it’s not giving anyone anything new. The same old Pushbullet now costs money and the free version is now a stripped down version. It’s available now if you’re interest.
- Starting in early 2016, the Google Play Store will start letting users know if an application has advertising. This will be placed in the app listing right alongside the in-app purchases label to let everybody know. It should start rolling out Monday, January 11th.
For even more Android apps and games news, don’t forget to check out this week’s newsletter. There you’ll find a wealth of app info that we didn’t have time or space for here. If you’re so inclined, you can sign up using your email address and we’ll send it to you every week!
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Samsung released a new application this week called Samsung+. This is a customer service oriented application that connects you with reps to help you solve problems with your Samsung devices. The app also features tutorials on how to use Samsung’s features, exclusive promotions for other products, and some device maintenance features. It’s completely free but, as you may have guessed, it’s for Samsung device owners only.
Get it now on Google Play!
Lifeline 2 is the latest release in the Lifeline franchise. For those who don’t know, Lifeline 2 is a text-based RPG where you embark on a quest as a woman trying to save her lost brother and avenge her dead parents. Choices you make will affect the game and either keep the main character alive or kill her. It’s quite good for a text-based game and it works really well with Android Wear. There are also no in-app purchases and also beware for early release bugs.
Get it now on Google Play!
[Price: Free / $2.99]
Horizon Chase is a retro style racing game that is a self-labeled ode to the racing games of old. With this one, you’ll get all kinds of racing fun with retro graphics and old school game music to round out the experience. It’s a lot of fun and the game is free to demo with the pro version being unlockable as an in-app purchase. There’s a peculiar and hilarious bug on Marshmallow where you have to give the game permission to run, but otherwise it’s a lot of fun.
Get it now on Google Play!
Pool is a new photo sharing application from Mediafire. Yes, that’s Mediafire the popular file sharing service that most of us have used before. The application itself allows you to share photos with friends and family. Think of it like a private Instagram mixed with Google Photos. It’s not quite as robust as either of those applications, but it is young and has a ton of potential. It’s also totally free to use, at least for now.
Get it now on Google Play!
Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee
Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee is one of the more hotly anticipated games of 2015. It’s an action-adventure platformer where you must do all kinds of weird stuff to obtain the last can of caviar. It’s a really goofy game with decent graphics and one of the better controls schemes we’ve seen in this genre. It also has no in-app purchases and, so far, rave reviews on Google Play. It should be compatible with most current devices but do check out the hardware requirements before buying!
Get it now on Google Play!
If we missed any great Android apps and games news, releases, or updates, tell us about them in the comments.Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next week!
Talk Android Apps of the Week: November 22, 2015
It’s Sunday, the time of the week when Talk Android brings you a report on some of the very best applications we’ve been using over the course of the past seven days. Today we’re focusing our attention on fantastic video editing suite, an extremely addictive 8-bit game, a reliable battery saving tool and last, but not least, a trusty companion for all Samsung smartphone and TV owners.
The first app we’re looking at this week is, a fully-fledged video editing suite for mobiles that enables you to take an assortment of clips shot on either your smartphone or tablet and collate them using a set of seamless transitions to create an awesome short movie, which can then be exported directly to YouTube, Facebook or Instagram.
That’s not all, though. If you’re pretty adept at editing, you can delve deeper than the standard clip-by-clip storyboard to add a plethora of awesome effects to your videos, such as voice over narrations, color filters and overlay titles. Once you’ve finished cutting copying and pasting your film, you then have the facility to render and publish it in HD (720p).
WeVideo is by far the best mobile video editing service I’ve stumbled upon. I find it great for creating short movies made up of both photos and clips to share in my family and friends WhatsApp groups — to keep them in the loop with the fun things that are going on in my life.
Click here to view the embedded video.
If you’re a fan of traditional 8-bit action games, then you’re going to love Crossy Road. The objective is to get a chicken from one side of the road to the other. All you have to do is swipe forwards, left and right to aid the chicken in his mission. However, if you get hit by passing traffic, crushed by a train or drown in a lake, its game over.
If you’re not a fan of chickens, you could always splash out $1 to unlock some new characters, My particular favorite is the Scruffy Dog as it lets out a loud, croaky bark whenever it crosses the road. I also like the Jungle Frog as it regularly produces a very high-pitched, short croak that sounds a little like a bird’s chirp.
Click here to view the embedded video.
Power Battery – Battery Saver
In a previous Apps of the Week column, I mentioned how poor the battery life on the LG G4 is. I did give Qualcomm’s BatteryGuru a shot to see if it would provide me with some extra juice, but it only got me an additional 40-to-60–minutes, so I decided to see if I could find a better alternative. That’s when a discovered Power Battery – Battery Saver.
Granted, it doesn’t have the catchiest name, but it does work wonders. Whilst using it this week, I discovered that I’ve gained an extra 2-hours out of my battery, which, prior to installing the app, lasted for approximately 6-hours. The service uses a complex algorithm to tell you how long your phone will last in various conditions. It then detects all the applications that drain power from your handset when not in use and kills them.
Samsung Smart View
If you own a Samsung smartphone and TV, then the last application up this week is a must-have for you. Smart View is a unique tool, which enables users to remotely send photos, videos and music from their mobile to your Smart TV. You can even create playlists of your favorite content to enjoy with your family.
Getting set up couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is ensure that your handset and TV are on the same Wi-Fi network, launch the Smart View app, click Connect to TV and hit Allow. You will then be presented with a menu where you can select content on your phone that you wish to push to your television.
Previous Apps of the Week editions:
Come comment on this article: Talk Android Apps of the Week: November 22, 2015
Motorola’s Chicago flagship store is the antithesis of an Apple store
Motorola has exactly one retail store, and it’s located in the heart of Chicago’s downtown Loop district. I happened to be in the area recently and stopped by on a Friday afternoon before its grand opening. As I found, it is, in many ways, the antithesis of an Apple store. Whereas Cupertino’s retail locations feel cold, sterile and a little disconnected, Moto’s outpost is warm and welcoming, with an earthy décor and smiling staff at every turn. It’s outfitted with bright colors, wood panels and leather accents, while devices like the Moto X, G, E and 360 share display space with plants. What’s more, the store encourages you to drop its handsets on the floor to prove how durable they are. Given all this, it’s a wonder the company doesn’t plan to open any more stores outside its home city.Slideshow-342613
20 majestic HD wallpapers of the beautiful night light
Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean beauty stops. It make take a different eye to catch where the beauty may lie at night, but I assure you it is there. Check out the 20 HD wallpapers of the night we curated for you and please enjoy. My personal favorite is the Milky Way in the night sky. And if you have an OLED display you can find on devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note5, S6, S6 edge, Nexus 6P and the like you will absolutely love the deep blacks your display will put out with these wallpapers.
The wallpapers are all in the scrolling images above, and if you want to save them, follow these instructions:
- Click the left/right arrows to scroll through the images
- Maximize the image you like by clicking on it
- Long press or hold down on the image and click “save”
- Go to your gallery or Google Photos and find your image
- Click “use as” and then click wallpaper
If you see a wallpaper that belongs to you and you would like to receive credit, I would love to give it to you! Just drop a comment in the section provided below with some proof (You know, just so we don’t have people claiming things that are not theirs…) So, please choose those that you like and enjoy!
The post 20 majestic HD wallpapers of the beautiful night light appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Android Authority this week – November 22, 2015
Android fans, this week Google released big updates to Google+, Photos, Fit, and other apps; Samsung launched new entry-level devices; we heard hot rumors about the LG G5; Samsung introduced the wonderfully weird W2016; OEMs announced plans for their Marshmallow updates; we tried to clear up some of the confusion surrounding USB Type C; Nvidia refreshed its Shield Tablet; Google and Asus launched their Chromebit; rumors and teasers gave us an idea of what to expect from Xiaomi’s next event; and LG cancelled the just-released G Watch LTE 2nd edition.
Inside AA HQ
As promised, this week we launched the first round of our gift guide series. We’re starting with the best gifts under $50. If you’re looking for some tech stocking stuffers, this is where you can start your search. Keep an eye out for more guides coming soon.
Speaking of guides, don’t forget to check our updated Black Friday 2015 deals roundup.
This week, we’re giving away the excellent LG V10. Featuring a stainless steel frame and a very durable construction, the V10 is one of the best devices of the season. Enter the sweepstakes here.
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The stuff you shouldn’t miss
- Impressions: Nirave lists the pros and cons of getting a BlackBerry Priv
- Versus: The two best Android devices of right now: Galax Note 5 vs Nexus 6P
- Guide: Selling a used phone: do’s and dont’s
- Review: OnePlus X: great bang for the money
- Gift guide: Holidays are coming! Here’s what tech gifts you can get for under $50
Top news of the week
LG G5 rumors
- LG G5 may have a metal unibody design
- LG G5 coming in Q1 2016, with metal body, and new design – Korean report
Samsung’s entry-level assault
- Galaxy J3⑥ launched in China with 5-inch AMOLED display and 2,600 mAh battery
- Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) and Galaxy A7 (2016) further leak in picture form!
- Report: Samsung’s budget smartphones to get fingerprint readers and Samsung Pay (NFC)
A Galaxy S6 flip phone?
- If they mated: Samsung has a Galaxy S6-esque Android flip phone with some surprising specs
- Samsung launches W2016, a Galaxy S6 trapped inside a flip phone body
- (Update: system dump available) One T-Mobile Note 5 user reportedly just received Marshmallow
- Asus announces devices that will receive the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update
- OnePlus One and OnePlus 2 will get Marshmallow in Q1 2016
- Shield Tablet and Tablet K1 set to receive Android Marshmallow in the coming months
- This is Sony’s Concept for Marshmallow, and it’s very promissing
USB Type C confusion
- Googler says OnePlus’ USB Type-C adapter is not safe for latest Nexus devices
- USB Type C and 3.1: clearing up the confusion
Nvidia Shield K1 refresh
Xiaomi rumors & teasers
- Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 2 Pro expected to launch November 24
- Xiaomi teaser shows off Redmi Note 2 Pro’s rear fingerprint scanner
- Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 to be unveiled November 24th, alongside Redmi Note 2 Pro
Google apps updates
- Google Search can now answer much more complex questions
- Google+ receives a huge redesign centered around Communities and Collections (Updated)
- Google Camera version 3.1 update brings new interface for devices running Marshmallow
- Google Photos update helps free up precious phone storage
- Google will now let you stream apps directly from Google Search
- You can now invite non-Google users to join Hangouts video calls
- Latest Google Fit update brings real-time running stats, strength training info and more
Goodbye, LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition
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Oppo A33 gets officially unveiled in China
The Oppo A33 is a low-end smartphone aimed for the Chinese market.
The Oppo A33 is now official. Specifications include a 5-inch qHD display, not to be confused with a QHD display, a Snapdragon 410 SoC, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 5MP front one and 16GB of internal storage that can be expanded. Some internal sensors include Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE compatibility and GPS. A 2400mAh battery is sealed in the back hoping to last the full day.
The Oppo A33 is available in black and white color options and costs only $235 USD. You can check out all the official images down below.
Source: Phone Radar
Come comment on this article: Oppo A33 gets officially unveiled in China