The Verge 2016 tech news card: Amazon
December 27, 2016 - Kindle Unlimited
Another 12 months have flown by. As we demeanour behind during this year in tech, The Verge staff members are grading any vital association and product difficulty in a attention on how they fared in 2016.
For a association best famous for offered inexpensive books and home goods, Amazon’s year has looked surprisingly futuristic. Its 2016 has been filled with drones, little home assistants, involuntary ordering, and a concept store packaged with body-tracking cameras. It has been, on a surface, a philharmonic to watch.
And some of it is even utterly real. Amazon’s Alexa partner has been a exile success in 2016, all interjection to unchanging updates providing new integrations. The entrance of a Echo Dot has put Alexa’s intensity to even improved use, creation it distant some-more affordable to have a digital partner vital via your house.
Drone smoothness is starting to occur too, yet only in a kind-of-sort-of way: in a hearing with dual farming business in a UK. And while Amazon’s cashier-free preference store stays merely a single-location concept, Amazon has continued to enhance into earthy bookstores, suggesting that it has some genuine ambitions in genuine spaces.
Amazon Video has mostly been a splendid mark as well, with Transparent picking adult some-more awards and Amazon’s clever preference of film buys creation it a must-have for film buffs. Its reliance, however, on projects from group stubborn by attack or nuisance allegations — including Jeremy Clarkson, Woody Allen, and Casey Affleck — stays a discouraging disappointment.
The Kindle line step solemnly brazen with a elementary modernise of a rudimentary indication and a new tip of a line model, the Oasis — with pricing too high to suggest buying. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited use remains a vital disappointment, too, packaged with self-published ebooks though scarcely zero from vital publishers.
All a while, Amazon’s genuine business has continued to change into a cloud. Amazon Web Services has been flourishing during a fast gait — adequate so that it eclipsed all of Amazon’s North American sell increase final quarter. That’s not sparkling for consumers, though it’s good news if you’re an Amazon financier (I’m not).
But underneath a glossy deceive of smoothness drones, ignored products, articulate speakers, and flourishing income is a darker core: Amazon’s operative conditions, that continue to sound awful. This year, there have been reports of Amazon shaming workers for purported theft and threatening to glow employees for being sick, as good as those of workers needing to nap in tents nearby a room to equivocate transport costs and to “defecate in bags” to finish smoothness runs.
These are not excusable costs for two-day smoothness and inexpensive gadgets. Amazon might be pulling record brazen and charity forlorn levels of preference for a customers, though it appears to still be doing so during a good responsibility of a workers. If Amazon wants to do improved subsequent year, that’s where it should start.