Photo: AP/Android Police
Word leaked last week that Amazon is preparing to release its own smartphone. The online retailer is entering a crowded world, full of competition and high standards.The company is showing signs of preparation. It recently acquired a 3D mapping start up and released GameCircle, a social gaming service similar to Apple’s Game centre.
We think there is zero reason for Amazon to release its own phone, but since we have no control over these decisions, Amazon had better make the device good if it wants to compete.
So we decided to put together a wish list of features for Amazon’s smartphone.
A free Amazon Prime membership would allow users to stream movies and TV shows from Amazon's Instant Library.
It would also give the added incentive of free two-day shipping. We are sure that the Amazon web store would be fully integrated into the device making it easy to buy almost anything.
If a data plan could be shared among family members and come at a low cost that would make this phone that much better.
It is common knowledge that a data plan is the lifeblood of a smart phone, the cheaper the plan is, the easier it is for more people to stay connected.
Amazon could provide the data plan cheaply by licensing spectrum from big carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and others.
We think 20 GB would be a good place to start. (As a point of comparison, Apple only gives 5 GB of iCloud storage.)
Gmail paved the way by eliminating email size requirements, if Amazon wants to make an impact then it should do something game changing like eliminate cloud storage requirements.
Exclusive titles is what helped Apple separate itself from the pack during the early smartphone days.
A nice cash model and other incentives could help attract developers to the Kindle Fire and Amazon's phone. Amazon has already cut deals with some Android developers to launch apps exclusively on the Kindle Fire first. It wouldn't be a stretch to see the same thing happen with Amazon's phone.
Amazon already has its own browser called Silk on the Kindle Fire, but it needs a lot of work. Silk is supposed to load links in advance to make browsing a lot snappier. Unfortunately, it doesn't really work as advertised.
We'd love to see Silk improved on both the Fire and the forthcoming phone.
It seems like Amazon isn't going to use Google Maps in future mobile devices. The company bought a 3D mapping start up earlier this month.
But there are big shoes to fill. Google has one of the best mapping products out there. And we've already seen the experience can be worse, as is the case with Apple's new maps app in iOS 6.
Mapping is one of the most important tools on any smartphone. Amazon needs a winner if it's going to get into the smartphone business.
iPhone and Android allow you to share stuff over social networks like Facebook and Twitter, so it's only natural to want the same with Amazon's phone.
Assuming Amazon turns its phone into a portal for buying stuff on amazon.com, it could be immensely beneficial for the company to include a way for people to share and recommend their purchases.
Amazon already has a great online store for buying music, but it's Cloud Player for smartphones and tablets could use some work.
Amazon's Cloud Player lets you stream music you store in an online 'locker' to your Android phone, Android tablet, or Kindle Fire.
We're hoping the Cloud Player gets a few upgrades on Amazon's phone like streaming radio (similar to Pandora) and the ability to share playlists like on Spotify.