The Amazon Appstore was updated on Monday to include the company’s popular Test Drive feature on Android devices. The retail giant previously allowed users to test apps using desktop browsers prior to purchasing them, but now trials can be tested on devices. “Today we begin the beta rollout of Test Drive on Android phones,” Amazon said. “Now customers can instantly try apps on their phone — where a majority of app purchases take place — without downloading or installing anything.” The Test Drive feature is currently available on more than 5,000 apps and is compatible with select Android handsets, however Amazon promises the feature will be rolled out to “many more” devices in the coming months. More →
Mercedes-Benz is on an environmentally conscious tear as of late, launching two hybrid vehicles last year, and now an entirely zero emission fuel cell car this December. We were given an opportunity to test drive the new F-Cell vehicle in Manhattan and learn more about the car. For starters, when thinking about what Mercedes has done with this specific vehicle, it’s mind blowing in itself. A non-combustion engine car that is powered off of hydrogen with zero emissions. Did you ever think you’d see the day? As a car lover, just hopping into the driver’s seat of the F-Cell was an experience. Zipping around downtown New York City in the car was… just like driving a gas-powered vehicle, except, there was no noise. I’ve driven dual-mode hybrid cars before, and I have gotten used to not hearing an engine at some times, but no engine sound at all? Borderline ghostly. While the B-Class-based F-Cell has an all electric motor rated at 136 horsepower and 214 pounds of torque, it definitely didn’t feel underpowered. Plus, once we got over the sound of no sound from the engine, there wasn’t much to complain about. It’s the first fuel-cell car from Mercedes, and while it’s not exactly the most luxurious or stylish model in their lineup, neither is a Prius. Being powered 100% by hydrogen lends itself to one main issue: finding a hydrogen refueling station. Now, there are a couple around the NYC area (White Plains, NY, Wallingford, CT, Bronx, NY), but when the F-Cell touches down in December for consumer leasing, it’s going to be heading to the state of California — mostly Los Angeles and San Francisco where there are plenty of hydrogen stations. You might notice how we said leasing and not purchasing, and that’s because the car will only be offered by way of a lease, and while Mercedes wouldn’t confirm pricing information to us, we’ve heard it will run around $550-$750/month. Definitely on the higher end of the spectrum, but for a car that literally emits water instead of toxic sludge — representing the future of the automotive industry — all we can say is, sign us up.
An internal Verizon Wireless document details changes to both its Test Drive program and New Every Two (NE2) program. Effective February 15th, 2009, Verizon will be discontinuing its Test Drive Program. The program allows new customers to try out Verizon’s service for 30 days risk free. If the customer chooses to port his/her number to another carrier and terminate service with Verizon, Verizon will waive the wireless access and usage charges for the minutes used. A nice deal for customers who want to try out Verizon and not incur a big bill. Customers who sign up for new service on or after February 15th and cancel or port their number will no longer get a free pass and will have to pay all wireless access and usage charges. Hit the jump for details on the soon to be lowered New Every Two discount and the full slide detailing all the changes.