Tech Week in Review 5-13-2011

Amazon Cloud Player Now Works on iOS?

Amazon’s Cloud Player service is a ballsy move by Amazon that lets users stream music from the cloud directly to their mobile devices or web browsers. The service does not have the blessing of the music industry and launched with only an Android app. This is understandable given Apple’s relationship with the recording industry. To bad, so sad, for iOS device owners…until now. MG Siegler explains how it works:

If you visit Amazon’s Cloud Player through the Safari web browser on an iOS device, you’ll see that it does in fact now work. You’ll first hit a warning page telling you that your browser is not supported, but just ignore that. Click into the music in your drive and it will begin playing. It works flawlessly — even to the point where if you get a Push Notification or incoming call, the music will be paused.

Netflix Finally Available on (some) Android Devices

For all you Androids at there, rejoice. You can now watch Netflix on select Android devices. Watching shows and movies instantly over 3G or WiFi. Resume right where you left off on your computer or TV. Search and browse titles with ease. There are currently 5 officially supported devices:

  1. HTC Incredible with Android 2.2
  2. HTC Nexus One with Android 2.2, 2.3
  3. HTC Evo 4G with Android 2.2
  4. HTC G2 with Android 2.2
  5. Samsung Nexus S with Android 2.3
According to Netflix Product Manager Roma De, the reason only some devices are supported boils down to a “lack of standard streaming playback features that the Netflix application can use to gain broad penetration across all available Android phones.” In order to expand support across other devices, they each have to be tested individually to see if they support playback. Why would Netflix bother pushing the app out at this point? Wired points out that Google just launched movie rentals on Android. Grab the Netflix app from the Android Marketplace if you have a supported device and be sure to let us know if you got it working on something else.
via GigaOM

Facebook Responds on Smear Campaign

Facebook was recently caught trying to pull a fast one against competitor Google, by hiring a PR Firm to basically drag Google’s name through the mud. In true Facebook style, their response to getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar doesn’t say much at all. They’ve repeatedly escaped reprisals from users by sticking their collective heads in the sand until everything boils over. This latest event seems no different.

No ‘smear’ campaign was authorized or intended. Instead, we wanted third parties to verify that people did not approve of the collection and use of information from their accounts on Facebook and other services for inclusion in Google Social Circles — just as Facebook did not approve of use or collection for this purpose. We engaged Burson-Marsteller to focus attention on this issue, using publicly available information that could be independently verified by any media organization or analyst. The issues are serious and we should have presented them in a serious and transparent way.

TechCrunch attempted to reach out to Facebook for a less sterile response, but got none. Since Facebook doesn’t want to speak up for what they’ve done, MG Siegler breaks it down for us without their input.