10 Ways Amazon Keeps Pushing the Innovation Envelope

1 - 10 Ways Amazon Keeps Pushing the Innovation Envelope
2 - Drone Development
3 - Plans to Sidestep FedEx, UPS
4 - It's All About Kindle
5 - FireOS
6 - The Dangerous 1-Click
7 - Amazon Web Services
8 - Logistics Advancements
9 - Amazon Studios
10 - On-Device Features
11 - Cross-Site Shopping
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10 Ways Amazon Keeps Pushing the Innovation Envelope

by Don Reisinger

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Drone Development

Amazon late last year showed off its plans for drones. Dubbed Amazon Prime Air, the technology would use octocopters to deliver goods to customer homes. Amazon says that it might start testing the technology next year, and it could be put into widespread use thereafter. It should be very interesting to see how well this works.

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Plans to Sidestep FedEx, UPS

One of the ideas behind the drones is to sidestep FedEx and UPS. But there's more to that plan than just drones. Amazon is reportedly considering ways to eliminate the middleman and set up its own delivery service. Part of that could be achieved with drones, but it might also reflect what Google is doing with its same-day delivery service Shopping Express. Watch out, FedEx.

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It's All About Kindle

When Amazon unveiled its Kindle e-reader with access to a wide array of ebooks, the company was on to something. Since then, Amazon has expanded that service into e-reading across different ecosystems, tablets and, soon, smartphones. Kindle might have just been the most important advancement yet for Amazon.

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Amazon's FireOS is arguably the most advanced and appealing forked Android operating system available. The software doesn't in any way look like Android and includes a wide range of features customers won't find elsewhere. That Amazon has found a way to build out its own operating system and stand above the Android crowd speaks to just how innovative the company is.

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The Dangerous 1-Click

On the shopping side, there has perhaps never been as advanced an improvement in retail as Amazon's 1-Click. Amazon.com users can click the 1-Click key and immediately make a purchase with their default purchase and delivery method. The feature is certainly appealing for shoppers who know what they want, when they want it, but it can be dangerous for impulse buyers, so watch out.

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Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services have become an integral component in many companies' IT infrastructure. With Amazon Web Services, companies can offload data-heavy applications to ensure faster page-loading times, and create an overall better Web experience. One other important point: Amazon's cloud services are used as core features for delivering the company's many Web-based services.

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Logistics Advancements

Amazon has made logistics improvements in its retail chain that have so far been unmatched by any other company in the e-retail space. When customers buy products from Amazon, it's almost guaranteed that the company will get a product to the consumer in the allotted time. Want something overnight? Amazon tells you the cutoff and gets it to you in-time. Want it a week from today? No problem. Amazon has become a master at logistics.

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Amazon Studios

Amazon Studios has become a force all its own. The service allows prospective filmmakers to create their own film and television shows and videos to showcase across the Amazon ecosystem. Amazon Studios is also home to the company's own original shows and films, including the popular "Alpha House." Amazon is all about traditional entertainment.

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On-Device Features

Amazon has gone much further than competitors when it comes to on-device features. The company offers a feature called FreeTime that allows parents to limit how much time a child can spend using its tablets. The new Kindle Fire HDX also includes an on-device tech support feature perfect for having an expert fix issues right away without having to go into a store. When it comes to on-device features and support, Amazon is leading the space.

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Cross-Site Shopping

Twitter on May 5 announced that it had partnered with Amazon for a new feature called AmazonCart. The offering allows anyone to reply with the tag "#AmazonCart" to a tweet featuring an Amazon product link, and it'll automatically be added to the customer's shopping cart. It's just one of many ways Amazon integrates its product listings into the Web, and it's an important step forward for Amazon as it tries to build out its presence on the Internet.

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