Thursday Buzz: Amazon Lights a Mobile Fire

The online retailer's first smartphone makes up for its late market entry with an attention-grabbing new feature. Also: Make sure your organization has a strong handle on technology issues, or you might be going in two directions at once.

You gotta hand it to Amazon: When the company enters the smartphone market, it’s ready for the cameras.

The Amazon Fire phone, announced Wednesday afternoon, is one of the more novel devices to hit the market in recent years. It’s drawing attention for its visual interface, which uses a series of cameras on the front of the screen to create the illusion of 3-D during use—something that makes for some snazzy controls. It’s a pretty buzzy effect, which you can see in this Vine clip captured by Mashable:

Now granted, it’s too soon to tell whether this will change the direction of the industry—all those cameras on the front of the device are a wee bit unsightly, even if the effect is fascinating. But with support out of the box for Android apps and the launch of the company’s well-regarded Mayday customer service platform on a mobile device, there’s a good chance Amazon will sell a few.

Check out The Verge‘s first look at the phone to get a feel for its other features.

Left Vs. Right

Every organization has conflicting needs, and that often means the IT staff gets stuck in the middle. It’s not a fun spot to be in (and it can make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing), Delcor’s Tobin Conley explains.

“Sometimes, it is the unpleasant duty of the IT department (that is, when they themselves are not one of the offending parties) to sort out and reconcile these contradictory schemes,” he writes in a blog post. “When they cannot (or have arrived on the scene too late), such a state of affairs can lead to confusion and consternation for members.”

Conley recommends collaborating throughout the process so you’re showing a unified front—and if needed, the IT folks can save the day. (ht @deirdrereid)

Other good reads

Amazon wasn’t the only company launching new products Wednesday. Adobe also had a busy day, with robust updates to its Creative Cloud suite.

Noncompete clauses have been in the news recently thanks to a fight over them in Massachusetts. If you’re asked to sign one, what should you know? Fast Company has some tips.

SharePoint or Office Online user? You may want to take a gander at Microsoft’s proposed pricing changes.

(Amazon press photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!