Comcast launches live TV on iPad, Amazon optimizes Kindle store for iPad
Comcast on Tuesday began to roll out its new "AnyPlay" functionality for iPad, allowing subscribers to stream live TV to Apple's tablet. Also, Amazon launched a new Kindle storefront designed to take advantage of the touchscreen interface of the iPad.
Comcast AnyPlay launches in select markets
Comcast's Xfinity HD Triple Play customers in Denver and Nashville can now access live streaming TV on their iPad over Wi-Fi at no additional charge. The cable provider said it plans to add the service to more markets in the coming months.
AnyPlay is only available for users who access the Internet on their home Wi-Fi connection. Outside of the home or over 3G, the Xfinity TV application allows users to access On Demand content, including 8,000 hours of movies and TV shows.
The new AnyPlay functionality is currently only available on the iPad, though support for the Motorola Xoom tablet is coming "very soon." Using the service, users will be able to watch a show separate from what someone else might currently be watching on the TV.
"Here's how it works... the AnyPlay device works the same as any other set top box in the home, but instead of delivering the incoming channel lineup to a television, AnyPlay delivers the lineup to the Wi-Fi router on the home network," a post at the company's official blog reads. "The router then distributes the secure video signal to the iPad or Xoom over your home's wireless network. So as long as your tablet is within range of the home wireless router, you can turn it into another television screen."
Word of Comcast's AnyPlay service first surfaced last September in the form of a leaked memo. That document said that the AnyPlay service would be limited to 10 registered tablets per home, and only one device could be used at a time to stream live TV programs.
Kindle Store now optimized for iPad
Amazon on Tuesday stepped up its competition in the e-book market with Apple by overhauling its Kindle Store for the iPad. The new touch-optimized Kindle Store for iPad aims to make it easier to find and purchase books.
The new storefront is available via the iPad's Safari browser at amazon.com/iPadKindleStore. Users must visit the website to purchase e-books on their iPad, because Apple does not allow iOS applications to sell content without paying a 30 percent cut to Apple.
Books that are purchased through the iPad-specific Kindle Store website are tied to a user's Amazon account. Those books are then instantly available in the iOS Kindle application, available for free on the App Store. Books can also be read on the iPad Web browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Amazon's move to cater more closely to iPad book readers comes as Apple is expected to announce enhancements to its iBooks platform at a media event in New York City later this month. The rumored media event will reportedly focus on iBooks and will feature industry-related announcements about publishing and educational content.