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Once a modest online seller of books, Amazon is now one of the largest companies in the world, and its former CEO, Jeff Bezos, is the world’s most wealthy person. We track developments, both of Bezos and Amazon, its growth as a video producer, the popular Prime service, as well as its own hardware, which includes the Amazon Kindle e-reader, Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, and Amazon Fire TV streaming boxes.

The new WGA contract will change how Hollywood works

Historic raises and guarantees on AI use will have major ramifications in Hollywood, but the new transparency in streaming data means Netflix and Disney Plus will have to change how they work.

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Amazon released a new Kindle app for the sickos who read books on a Mac.

Amazon has released a new Kindle app for macOS, reports Good e-Reader. The new app has been redesigned to look more like iOS and now supports new features like a reading ruler, more fonts, a full-screen view, and page-turn animations.

You had me at page-turn animations, Amazon.

Watch the Vergecast crew reinvent the Fire Phone, and get really excited about game controllers.

Also, I am reliably told we set off a lot of people’s smart speakers with all the Alexa talk, which, sorry about that. But there was a lot of Alexa to talk about on this episode! And Windows, and corporate intrigue, and the future of Xbox, and YouTube AI, and a whole bunch more. Also: Shivers.

Apple’s new software is widgets all the way down

Plus, in this week’s Installer: new Amazon and Microsoft gear, DALL-E 3, smart homes, and flight apps.

Today on The Vergecast: AI is taking over the gadget world.

Amazon and Microsoft both had big device launches this week — and both were actually big AI launches. What’s next for gadgets, when AI seems to be the present and future of everything? Do you still need a laptop with a plinth? (Spoiler alert: yes. You do.)

We also talk YouTube, Xbox leaks, and Ed Sheeran. Cotton Eye Joe 2.0 is here, and it’s everywhere.

MKBHD got to check out an Amazon + Rivian electric delivery van.

I’ll admit that I’ve been curious to see the inside of one of these, and Marques Brownlee did a full tour on his Auto Focus channel. It looks like, well, a delivery van, but clearly a very highly-engineered one. (He shot the video on the iPhone 15 Pro, if you are curious about how video footage looks from that phone.)

The Verge
You can now watch live TV on an Echo Show for free ... just say “Alexa, watch TV.”

Amazon’s smart displays now work with its new Fire TV Channels. These FAST offerings bring shows, live news, music videos, and sports from over 420 different providers to the Echo Show lineup.

I just tried it on the smallest Echo, the Show 5, and it started playing ABC News before I hopped over to America's Test Kitchen. Now, time for dinner.

Watch the whole Amazon hardware presentation or just the highlights — it’s your choice.

Amazon has posted the video of its fall 2023 hardware showcase on YouTube so you can watch Dave Limp & Co. reveal new updates for Alexa, Echo, Fire TV, and other Amazon products for about an hour and fifteen minutes.

However, if you’re in a hurry, then you can scroll through the stream linked above which includes hands-on impressions, or our video edit that will take less than 60 seconds.

The Verge
Amazon’s big hardware launch is over, but stay tuned.

Thanks for hanging with us! We’re gonna be physically checking out all of the stuff announced today in just a few minutes. So we’ll be back. The same can’t be said for David Limp who thanked his coworkers as he ended his final hardware event at Amazon.

Oooh look — Amazon has a smart home control panel.

Amazon just announced a new Echo Hub at Amazon’s Fall hardware event. The tablet-like screen mounts to the wall and costs $179.99.

It’s a Zigbee hub, Thread border router, and Matter controller in one, with a smart home widget interface that automatically appears as you approach.

Amazon says it can control devices in milliseconds, but the big question is how snappy will its touchscreen be?

Alexa Map View could make managing your smart home so much easier ...

This map view makes a lot of sense for control of your smart home, and anything is better than the current Alexa app UI.

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Image: Amazon
Amazon just announced a new Ring Stick Up Cam.

It’s the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro, and it offers radar-powered 3D motion sensing. Amazon says that will help users make more specific spots where the camera will keep an eye out for motion.

“It’s just effortless with your voice.”

We’re seeing some genuinely useful-seeming things here! Multi-step routines you can create just by listing tasks for Alexa to accomplished; smart home controls that work no matter how you say the command.

It sounds great! But Amazon has been talking about how easy Alexa makes life for almost a decade now, and ... it doesn’t. At least, not nearly like Amazon’s Charlie French is describing right now. This is a lot of hype for this new LLM-based system to live up to.