Technology

The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

Category: Amazon

Despite strong Kindle sales, Amazon's fourth-quarter disappoints

Amazon.com reports fourth-quarter earnings. Sales rose 35%, helped by strong Kindle sales, but Wall Street analysts had expected better

Despite strong sales of its Kindle devices during the holidays, Amazon.com's fourth-quarter earnings report missed expectations Tuesday, sending the online retail giant's shares plunging in after-hours trading.

The Seattle e-commerce company said its sales rose 35% year over year, to $17.4 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31. But Wall Street analysts had expected sales to rise 40%, to $18.3 billion, according to AllThingsD, which cited FactSet Research. 

Meanwhile, profit plunged 58% to $177 million, or 38 cents a share, as Amazon continued to spend heavily on development and infrastructure to support its Kindle business and other costs. That was compared with profit of $416 million, or 91 cents, in the year-earlier period. 

Amazon, which reported its results after the markets closed, saw its shares quickly fall more than 8.5%, to $177.90, in after-hours trading.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and chief executive, said "millions" of customers purchased Kindle devices over the holidays, making it the company's best-selling item in the U.S. and Europe. During the nine-week holiday period ended Dec. 31, sales of Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets increased 177% over the same period last year. The company didn't release exact device sales.

For the first quarter, Amazon projected sales of $12 billion to $13.4 billion, up 22% to 36% compared with the first quarter of 2011. 

The company will hold a live webcast at 2 p.m. PST to discuss the earnings report.

RELATED:

Amazon Kindle Fire review [video]

iPad down to 58% of tablet sales as Android catches up

Tablet, e-reader ownership in U.S. jumps to 19% over the holidays

-- Andrea Chang

Photo: Amazon's Kindle devices at a distribution center. Credit: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

IPad down to 58% of tablet sales as Android catches up

Tablet_consumer

When asked if the emergence of new, lower-cost tablets was affecting the success of the iPad this week, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook said he wasn't seeing it.

"I looked at the data, particularly in the U.S., on a weekly basis after Amazon launched the Kindle Fire, and I wouldn't -- in my view there wasn't an obvious effect on the numbers plus or minus," Cook said.

But one clear minus was Apple's declining share of the growing tablet market. Despite gang-buster sales last quarter, the iPad has lost more than 10 percentage points of market share to rival Android tablets since the fourth quarter of 2010, according to a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics.

The iPad dropped to 57.6% of the tablets sold during the most recent fourth quarter, from 68.2% a year earlier, while Android rose to 39.1% from 29.0% a year ago, the report said. While Apple shipped 15.4 million iPads during the quarter, Android makers shipped 10.5 million tablets, more than tripling the 3.1 million they shipped a year earlier.

The Android surge was led primarily by tablets from Amazon and Samsung, according to Strategy Analytics' Neil Mawston.

"Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android’s operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem,” Mawston wrote in a release attached to the report.

The report also noted that global tablet shipments rose to 66.9 million units in 2011, nearly quadrupling the 18.6 million shipped in 2010.  Devices "shipped" are those that manufacturers sell to retailers, and do not always represent final consumer sales numbers, especially when tablet makers overestimate the demand for their products.  But Mawston said the tablet shipment numbers in this case were a fair representation of the number consumers bought.

RELATED:

Apple reports record sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs

Harvard study finds the iPad can be a pain in the neck

-- David Sarno

Image: Tim Perkins checks out the $199 tablet from Amazon.com at a Best Buy store in L.A. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Microsoft releases Hotmail app for Amazon's Kindle Fire

Hotmail for Kindle Fire app listed in Amazon's Appstore for Andoird

Microsoft's Hotmail service now has a Kindle Fire app.

OK, this may not be as exciting as Google releasing a Gmail app for Apple's iPhone, and there is still no native Gmail app for the Fire. But the Hotmail app for the Fire should be a worthwhile release for many owners of Amazon's popular 7-inch tablet due to the addition of Exchange Active Sync.

Unlike Amazon's included email app on the FIre, which merely downloads your messages via POP3, Microsoft's Hotmail app will synch emails, contacts, folders and subfolders, said David Law, Microsoft's director of Hotmail product management, in a blog post.

While the free Hotmail app for the Fire is technically an Android app, the version for Amazon's tablet is different from the standard Hotmail Android app used by more than 3 million people, Law said.

The differences between the Fire Hotmail app and the standard Android Hotmail app have to do with the changes Amazon made to Android to create the Fire-specific operating system it runs on its tablet, which as we've noted before is unlike any other version of Android out there.

"Because the Kindle Fire uses a different implementation of Android, we needed to make some updates to our previous Hotmail app for Android to ensure it worked well," Law said. "Now that we've finished the work and the app is ready, we're excited to give customers a great Hotmail experience on the Kindle Fire."

RELATED:

Kindle Fire still Amazon's top-selling item

Amazon Kindle Fire software and Kindle iOS apps updated

Tablet, e-reader ownership in U.S. jumps to 19% over the holidays

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screen shot of the Hotmail app listing in Amazon's Appstore for Android. Credit: Microsoft / Amazon

Tablet, e-reader ownership in U.S. jumps to 19% over the holidays

Kindle-stack

Remember when seeing an iPad on a bus, an airplane or the subway was a startling new experience?  Now you might be startled not to see one.

Over the holidays, so many people bought tablets for each other (and, presumably, themselves), that U.S. tablet ownership nearly doubled among adults, to 19% in January from 10% a month earlier.  The rate is growing quickly: In May 2010, shortly after the debut of the iPad, only about 3% of consumers over age 16 owned tablets, according to survey information from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The survey found a similar jump in e-reader ownership, as prices dropped below $100 for electronic book readers from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Nearly 20% of U.S. adults now own an e-reader, up from 10% in November.

Tablet and e-reader adoption continues to grow quickly just as sales of traditional personal computers slow and even decline.  In the U.S., PC sales last year had their worst year since 2001, dropping nearly 5% compared with 2010, according to research firm IDC.  Analysts and PC industry executives regularly cite the increasing popularity of tablets when talking about the slowing growth of the PC businesses.

According to the survey, tablet adoption is now the highest among wealthier and more educated buyers.  About 36% of those making more than $75,000 a year own a tablet computer, compared with about 16% of those making $30,000 to $50,000, although ownership rates in both groups appear to be growing quickly. The discrepancy is also substantial between college graduates, 31% of whom own tablets, and high school grads, at 15%.

RELATED:

Apple iPad 3: Launching in February, March, or later?

Apple's iBooks 2, iBooks Author: Bids to own publishing's future

Apple looms large over the Consumer Electronics Show, despite not showing up

-- David Sarno

Photo: Boxes of Kindle e-readers sit at an Amazon.com distribution center. Credit: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg.

Apple's iBooks 2, iBooks Author: Bids to own publishing's future

Apple's new iBooks 2, iBooks Author and iTunes U apps are moves to capture the future of education and self-publishing

NEWS ANALYSIS: Alongside Apple stating that iBooks 2 and textbooks on the iPad would reinvent the textbook as we know it, the iPad-maker announced Thursday that it would also attempt to reinvent book-making by way of an app called iBooks Author.

The Apple-developed app, available as a free download from the Mac App Store, (ideally) makes it easy to make books for the iPad. But together, iBooks 2 and iBooks Author are moves to capture the future of education and self-publishing, and to continue to build on the success Apple had under the late Steve Jobs.

If you've ever used Apple's Keynote or Pages (or Microsoft's PowerPoint or Word) apps, then you should be able to hit the ground running in iBooks Author. There are templates for different types of book layouts, and adding the interactive 3-D models, photos, videos and diagrams that Apple demoed iBooks 2 textbooks on Thursday is as easy as clicking and dragging a built-in widget -- provided you've already produced the video, photos, diagrams and models you want to use.

Apple has even built into iBook Author HTML5 and Javascript support for programmers looking to take their books beyond what the app can do itself; multi-touch interactions for pinch and zoom views of photos and swiping gestures are also included.

Want to see what your book looks like before you publish it to iBooks? Just connect your Mac to an iPad by way of a USB cable and you can preview the book on the tablet.

The aim of the iBooks Author app is to make it easy to get these impressive multimedia elements, as well as questionnaires and other educational materials, into a page of text and published as a book on the iPad as easy as possible -- whether you're a self-publisher looking to write your first book, a teacher whipping up something quick for a special class, or a publishing powerhouse like the textbook trifecta of McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Before his death, Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he believed Apple could disrupt the $8-billion-a-year textbook industry. Jobs said in Isaacson's book, titled simply "Steve Jobs," that the iPad was the tool to make transformation in the textbook business a reality.

According to the book, Jobs' idea "was to hire great textbook writers to create digital versions, and make them a feature of the iPad. In addition, he held meetings with the major publishers, such as Pearson Education, about partnering with Apple."

Jobs told Isaacson "the process by which states certify textbooks is corrupt ... but if we can make the textbooks free, and they come with the iPad, then they don't have to be certified. The crappy economy at the state level will last for a decade, and we can give them an opportunity to circumvent that whole process and save money."

In announcing the iBooks 2 and iBooks Author products, Apple is beginning to bring a piece of Jobs' long-term vision to fruition. The company also noted Thursday that there are currently about 1.5 million iPads being used in schools and more than 20,000 education apps sitting in its iOS App Store.

But make no mistake, iBooks 2 and iBooks Author aren't just about textbooks. The two new apps are working together to entice students, teachers, educational institutions to embrace and buy the iPad in bigger numbers than they already have.

On Thursday, in announcing the new products, Apple made no mention of new discounts on iPads for students or schools -- though Apple has offered such discounts in the past on Macs and even created special versions of the iMac for schools. Apple even built the now-defunct eMac line specifically to sell to schools.

Apple wants us to ditch the paperback and hardcover textbooks in favor of an iPad and digital downloads, that much is obvious. But the company also wants the iPad and Macs to become to go-to devices for educational institutions and publishing houses.

Although Apple's iTunes is the world's most popular online music storefront, Amazon is the world's largest seller of e-books. By adding a level of interactivity to books that Amazon and others simply can't match, and by making it easier to publish a book and sell it in the iBooks app directly from iBooks Author, Apple has made a move to challenge Amazon and its Kindle e-reader and Kindle Touch tablet as the preferred platform for self-publishers and digital textbooks.

In a statement announcing iBooks 2 and iBooks Author, Apple said as much (without naming Amazon and other e-book rivals such as Google and Barnes & Noble).

"iBooks Author is also available today as a free download from the Mac App Store and lets anyone with a Mac create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books and more, and publish them to Apple's iBookstore," Apple said.

The apps are also a challenge to Adobe, a company Apple has been known to partner with and feud with from time to time. Adobe's Creative Suite, Digital Publishing Suite and Touch Apps, available on both Windows PCs and Macs, are some of the most popular tools used by publishing houses and self-publishers looking to create a book, whether an e-book or a book before it heads to print.

Though capable of producing many different types of content for a broader range of devices, Adobe's software can cost thousands of dollars, while Apple's iBooks Author app is free.

Apple on Thursday also released an iTunes U app, which allows teachers from kindergarten to the university level to stream video of their lectures and post class notes, handouts, reading lists, etc., all within the app.

Previously, iTunes U was a podcasting service for college professors who wanted to put up video or audio of their lectures. Now it is one more reason for a teacher to consider an iPad and a Mac as tools to reach students at any grade level. And like iBooks Author, the app is free.

In my opinion, Apple is one of the best companies out there at providing lower-cost products that pull consumers into an ecosystem of apps and gadgets. It's one of the reason the company has so many cult-like followers.

For many Apple fans, their first purchase was an iPod or iPhone. With those purchases comes buying apps, music, movies and TV shows from iTunes. And for many, later comes a MacBook or an iMac computer. This strategy is repeating itself with iBooks 2 and iBooks Author.

First, get students and teachers to use more iPads in school by offering affordable and engaging digital textbooks. With iBook textbooks capped at a price of $14.99, I have to wonder whether or not textbooks will become shorter and more narrow, and thus students and teachers we'll have to buy more of them. Second, make it easy for anybody to produce their own iBooks (textbooks or otherwise) and then sell those books in the iBooks app, luring in aspiring authors. When those students, teachers and authors go to download music or a movie, set up a cloud storage service or buy a laptop, a phone, a new tablet -- maybe someday a TV -- what brand will be at the top of minds? Apple.

iBooks, iBooks Author and iTunes U, together are a move to fend off Google, Amazon, Adobe and other competitors in determining the future of education, publishing and book reading. Together, the launch of these apps is an attempt to not only maintain but also expand Apple's current success into the company's post-Jobs future.

RELATED:

Apple says iBooks 2 app reinvents textbooks

Apple iPad 3: Launching in February, March, or later?

Apple looms large over the Consumer Electronics Show, despite not showing up

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Apple's iBook Author app on an iMac, and an iBook and an iPad. Credit: Apple

Samsung: No, we're not interested in buying RIM

Research In Motion BlackBerry

Just one day after Research In Motion shares received a boost off news that Samsung Electronics might be interested in buying the struggling smartphone and tablet maker, Samsung came out on Wednesday and said the rumored deal isn't happening.

Samsung, the second-largest cellphone producer on the planet behind Nokia, said it is not considering taking over RIM and that it has "never" been interested in buying the BlackBerry maker, according to a Bloomberg report.

James Chung, a Samsung spokesman, told the news outlet that the Korean company and RIM, based in Canada, haven't had any contact regarding a purchase deal.

Chung also told Bloomberg that Samsung isn't interested in the rumored software licensing deals that RIM has been reportedly exploring as well.

On Tuesday, stock in RIM rose $1.30, or 8.04%, to $17.47 per share after the tech news site BGR ran a story, citing unnamed sources, stating that Samsung was the "front runner" to purchase RIM.

Of course, Samsung hasn't been the only company that has been rumored to be interested in buying RIM. Among the other potential suitors with speculated interest in RIM are Nokia, Microsoft and Amazon. RIM shares jumped 10% in December on news of possible takeover interest from Microsoft and Amazon.

This also isn't the first time that Samsung has come out and denied rumors of its interest in a smartphone property. Last September, Samsung declared its lack of interest in buying the WebOS operating system from Hewlett-Packard.

After months of trying to figure out what to do with WebOS, HP eventually decided to retain ownership, open-source the software and then move forward on developing new tablets (but no new smartphones) running the operating system.

RELATED:

HP is going open-source with WebOS

Samsung reportedly 'front runner' in RIM purchase

RIM shares jump 10% as Microsoft, Amazon buyout talk swirls

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: BlackBerry Messenger on a BlackBerry smartphone from Research In Motion. Samsung announced Wednesday that will not purchase BlackBerry maker RIM. Credit: Oliver Lang / Associated Press

Samsung reportedly 'front runner' in RIM purchase

Photo: Research In Motion's Senior Manager of Brand Marketing, Jeff Gadway discusses new BlackBerry technology in a presentation at the company's "BeBold" event at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 10, 2012. Credit: Eric Reed/AP Images for BlackBerry

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is again at the center of buyout rumors and this time the speculated buyer is consumer electronics giant Samsung.

Among other possible suitors believed to be interested in RIM are Nokia, Microsoft and Amazon, which sent shares in the smartphone and tablet maker up as much as 10% in December when the rumor mill was churning.

On Tuesday, after the website BGR published a story that stated Samsung was the "front runner" to purchase RIM, stock in the Canadian company rose $1.30, or 8.04%, to $17.47 per share.

"Research In Motion is currently weighing every single option it can think of in an effort to reverse a negative trend that is approaching a boiling point for investors," BGR said. "Reports that RIM is currently in talks to license its software to other vendors are accurate according to our trusted sources, though we have been told that RIM is most likely leaning toward an outright sale of one or more divisions, or even the whole company."

RIM officials were unavailable to comment on the BGR report on Tuesday.

The negative trend mentioned by BGR is a well-documented slide at RIM that didn't relent in 2011. In December, RIM recorded a $485-million loss on unsold PlayBook inventory after the tablet failed to live up to sales expectations since its launch in April. Every model of the PlayBook was also cut to $299 in a move to entice consumers.

With sales of the PlayBook slow, no wireless carriers have stepped up to offer a 3G or 4G version of the BlackBerry tablet as RIM had originally planned. 

RIM also dealt with multiple product delays, employee layoffs, service outages, contracting market share, disappointing earnings results and declining stock prices in 2011.

RELATED:

RIM sued over use of BBM name by BBM Canada

RIM co-CEOs reportedly may be out as board chairmen

RIM shares jump 10% as Microsoft, Amazon buyout talk swirls

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Research In Motion's senior manager of brand marketing, Jeff Gadway, discusses new BlackBerry technology in a presentation at the company's "BeBold" event at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 10. Credit: Eric Reed / AP Images for BlackBerry

Zappos website hacked; credit card database not affected, CEO says

Zappos

Zappos.com, the popular online shoe site, was the victim of a cyber attack by a hacker who gained access to part of the company's internal network through one of its servers, Chief Executive Tony Hsieh said in an email to employees Sunday. 

Hsieh said the Henderson, Nev., company was cooperating with law enforcement to undergo "an exhaustive investigation" and that the database that stores customers' credit card and other payment data was not affected or accessed.

"We've spent over 12 years building our reputation, brand, and trust with our customers. It's painful to see us take so many steps back due to a single incident," Hsieh said in a separate email to customers. "Over the next day or so, we will be training everyone on the specifics of how to best help our customers through their password change process now that their passwords have been reset and expired. We need all hands on deck to help get through this." Tony Hsieh

The company said it would notify the more than 24 million customer accounts in its database about the incident and provide instructions on how to choose a new password; the company has already reset and expired existing passwords. 

In the email to shoppers, Zappos said customers' personal information -- including their name, email address, billing and shipping addresses, phone number, the last four digits of their credit card number and/or the cryptographically scrambled password on their account -- may have been compromised.

"In order to service as many customer inquiries as possible, we will be asking all employees at our headquarters, regardless of department, to help with assisting customers," Hsieh said. "We have made the hard decision to temporarily turn off our phones and direct customers to contact us by email because our phone systems simply aren't capable of handling so much volume."

The company is directing customer concerns and questions to an internal Web page.

Zappos, which sells shoes and has since expanded to other retail categories, was bought by Amazon.com in 2009. The company has become known for its customer service and for its quirky company culture led by Hsieh -- including head-shaving events, impromptu parades around the cubicles and employee birthday pranks.

RELATED:

Amazon to buy Zappos

A conversation with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

Retail chains are embracing their online stores

-- Andrea Chang

Twitter.com/byandreachang

Top photo: Zappos' company headquarters in 2010. Credit: Isaac Brekken / For The Times

Lower photo: Zappos Chief Executive Tony Hsieh. Credit: Isaac Brekken / For The Times

Kindle Fire continues streak as Amazon's top selling item

Amazon Kindle Fire tablet

The Kindle Fire tablet has, since its launch, sold more units than any other single item on Amazon.com.

But just how many tablets sold would that be exactly? Amazon isn't saying. As is the company's typical stance with its Kindle products, the Seattle company isn't offering up specific sales numbers.

Instead, on Thursday, the world's largest online retailer issued a statement saying that "2011 was the best holiday ever for the Kindle family as customers purchased millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle e-readers."

As noted by our sister-blog Jacket Copy, so far this month, the Kindle Fire tablet and the Kindle and Kindle Touch eReaders, have sat in the top three spots for most sold items on Amazon.com, with the Fire ranking first, the Kindle Touch in second and the standard Kindle in third.

The retail giant also said that the Kindle Fire is the item most often found on Amazon.com wish lists too.

Without exact sales numbers, it's tough to judge just how well the $199 Kindle Fire is selling or whether or not it will reach analyst estimates of 5 million tablets sold before the end of the year.

Despite Amazon's continued stance on not disclosing how many Kindle Fire tablets it's selling, many analysts still project that the device will become the second-best selling tablet behind Apple's iPad.

Amazon also said that this Christmas Day was the "biggest day ever for Kindle book downloads" and that the No. 1  and No. 4 best-selling Kindle eBooks released in 2011 "were both published independently by their authors using Kindle Direct Publishing," Amazon's digital publishing platform.

"We are grateful to our customers worldwide for making this the best holiday ever for Kindle," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, in the statement.  "And in a huge milestone for independent publishing, we'd also like to congratulate Darcie Chan, the author of 'The Mill River Recluse,' and Chris Culver, the author of 'The Abbey,' for writing two of the best-selling Kindle books of the year."

RELATED:

Amazon Kindle Fire review [Video]

Amazon Kindle Fire software and Kindle iOS apps updated

Is Amazon's Kindle Fire set to take No. 2 spot in tablet market?

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: The Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. Credit: Armand Emamdjomeh / Los Angeles Times

Five ways to get started with your new Android phone

THe Motorola Droid Bionic (left) and the Samsung Galazy S II

Did you unwrap your gifts this Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus to find that you're the proud new owner of an Android? If so, welcome to the world of Google-powered smartphones.

Millions of others around the globe own phones running Google's Android operating system, across dozens of devices with varying screen sizes and specs. These phones might be from one of more than a dozen hardware makers, running on just about every wireless network out there.

Given the variation, Android can be a bit fragmented, but no matter what your Android looks like, here are a few basics that can help you get started if you're new to smartphone ownership.

1. Set up your Google Account: To use an Android phone you'll need to have a Google Account, which means you'll have to set up a Gmail.com email address if you don't already have one. Your Google Account is, of course, the login identity that follows you as you use all things Google -- Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Blogger and anything else Google produces. This can add some convenience to your life by automatically syncing your contacts and calendars across your computer and your smartphone if you make use of Google's services for keeping track of all that information.

2. Get yourself some apps: The major differentiator between smartphones and other cellphones, aside from the ability to send and receive email, is the mobile app. Android phones have the second largest app store, behind only Apple's App Store for its iPhone/iPod/iPad lineup. Unlike Apple's i-devices, Android users have the option of getting their apps from Google or from third parties. The top two places to find apps currently are Google's official Android Market and the Amazon Appstore for Android. Both stores offer a wide selection of apps and games that have been tested and vetted before being sold, to help prevent apps filled with viruses and other malware from making it out to Android users. Amazon also allows you to test many apps, which can be helpful before downloading. Some basic apps we really like for Android: Pulse is a great news reading app if you like to read news from multiple websites and Cut the Rope is a fun game that can be a bit tougher than Angry Birds but is just as fun.

3. Social networking: Android phones are among the best choices for staying on top of your social networks. The official Twitter app is thoughtfully designed and can help you keep up with the fast-paced social network. Path is a social network that is by default private and designed for easily sharing what's going on in your life with close friends, but you can also share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare from Path as well. And, of course, there is Google+. The Google+ Android app isn't the greatest social networking experience in mobile apps, and falls far below Twitter, Path and Facebook in terms of looks and usability, but if you were lucky enough to receive the Galaxy Nexus smartphone this holiday, which runs Ice Cream Sandwich (the latest version of Android) this might not be as big of a problem. In Ice Cream Sandwich, Google has baked-on Google+, allowing for automatic photo sharing and the ability to even read emails in your Gmail inbox by circles of friends on the network.

4. Check out Google Music: For many, the smartphone is also a portable music player, and if you're not already a big iTunes or Amazon customer for music, Google's own Google Music is worth a serious look. Google Music on a PC isn't as easy to use as iTunes, but it does allow you to sync your purchases and music library to the cloud for streaming or easy downloads on the go. Also, Google so far has done a great job on pricing, with hundreds of songs as low as 49 cents and albums as low as $4.99.

5. Talk to friends: As suggested by my colleague Deborah Netburn in her "Five Ways to Get Started With Your New iPad" post, talking to others who own and use Android on a daily basis is a good call. This shouldn't be too tough considering that Android is the most widely used mobile operating system worldwide.

Do you have any other suggestions for new Android owners? Feel free to sound off in the comments.

RELATED:

Five ways to get started with your new iPad

Review: Gift ideas for your tech-savvy toddlers

Google's Andy Rubin: Over 700,000 Android devices activated daily

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: The Motorola Droid Bionic from Verizon Wireless, left, and the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch from Sprint. Credit: Armand Emamdjomeh/Los Angeles Times

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Videos

How to Reach Us

To pass on technology-related story tips, ideas and press releases, contact our reporters listed below.

To reach us by phone, call (213) 237-7163

Email: business@latimes.com

Andrea Chang
Armand Emamdjomeh
Jessica Guynn
Jon Healey
W.J. Hennigan
Tiffany Hsu
Deborah Netburn
Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Alex Pham
David Sarno


Categories


Archives