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  1. Last week
  2. My own order of the new Fire TV remote with app buttons has, unfortunately, been delayed so I haven’t been able to test things out myself yet, but several of you have already told me that my Remapper app does work to remap the app buttons on the new remote. That certainly makes the new remote a more compelling purchase since it means you can customize which apps get opened when you press one of its app buttons. The same restrictions for my Remapper apps exist for the new Fire TV remote as they did when I introduced the apps for Fire TV Edition television remotes. That is, you cannot remap an app button for an app that comes pre-installed on your Fire TV. That means Prime Video and Amazon Music app buttons cannot be remapped, but all other app buttons are fair game. As a reminder, because of the way my Remapper apps work, the app for the app button that you want to remap cannot be installed on your Fire TV. So if you only occasionally use Netflix, for example, but want the Netflix app button remapped, you have to decide between keeping Netflix installed or remapping the button. I’ve updated my guide for installing and configuring Remapper to be relevant to the new remote. I’ve also added a Remapper for Disney+, since that app button didn’t exist on the Fire TV Edition remotes when I first created Remapper. As always, please leave detailed comments if you have any issues with Remapper since I’m unable to test it on every combination of Fire TV remote, device, and app button. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  3. Many Fire TV owners are reporting that the “Subscription” and “Library” tabs in the navigation menu of the YouTube app have suddenly gone missing. The same thing is happening on Rokus, LG and Samsung smart TVs, Xbox and Playstation gaming consoles, and other TV platforms, so the issue is widespread and not restricted to Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks. Some have had success in restoring the missing tabs by logging out or switching accounts, but there doesn’t seem to be a definitive fix for the issue. The YouTube app on virtually every TV platform is essentially just a web browser that loads a web interface for YouTube that is optimized for TVs. You used to be able to access the web-based TV interface at youtube.com/tv, but that access was shut down back in 2019. YouTube apps essentially just being a web interface is why an issue like this one has affected so many different devices simultaneously. There’s no point in uninstalling the YouTube app, or worse, factory resetting your Fire TV to try to resolve the issue since it’s clearly something happening on YouTube’s side. YouTube has been trying to de-emphasize the subscription feed for years to push users towards the Home feed, where they have more control over what is listed. Hopefully, the removal of the Subscription and Library tabs is actually a bug and not an experiment by YouTube to further push the Home feed. I’ve reached out to YouTube and will update this article if I learn more, but, for now, all you can do is wait it out and hope that the tabs are restored on YouTube’s end. Clearing the YouTube app’s cache, under Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications > YouTube, may help get you the fix sooner, once it’s available. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  4. Discovery+ is currently running a fantastic promotion that gives you a Fire TV Stick Lite for free when you pay for just 1 month of service. At just $4.98 per month for the least expensive Discovery+ plan, there is no cheaper way to get a Fire TV Stick Lite. This promotion is for the latest Fire TV Stick that was released in 2020 which normally costs $29.99 but is currently on sale for $19.99. The lowest price the Fire TV Stick Lite has ever been is $17.99, so even if you don’t care about the 1-month Discovery+ access, you’re still getting an unbeatable deal on the Fire TV Stick Lite at only $4.98. To take advantage of the offer, follow these steps exactly: Go to https://auth.discoveryplus.com/redeem Enter promocode FIRETV2 for the $4.98 ad-supported subscription or enter promocode FIRETV1 for the $6.98 ad-free subscription. (Both will earn you a free Fire TV Stick Lite.) Click continue and complete your account creation with a credit card or a PayPal account. Within a few minutes you’ll receive a welcome email and then a second email with a redemption code for your Fire TV Stick Lite. Visit this Amazon link, add the Fire TV Stick Lite to your cart, and then enter the redemption code from the email during checkout. If you’d like, you can now cancel your Discovery+ subscription by visiting this page and clicking “Cancel” in the lower left. Canceling immediately will still allow you to receive your free Fire TV Stick Lite and will still allow you to watch Discovery+ for 1-month. You will still be charged $4.98 or $6.98, depending on which promocode you entered in step 2, but you’re subscription will not renew after the first month. This offer ends on 4/20/2021 or until 50,000 Fire TV Stick Lites have been given away, so act fast. Once you sign up, you have until 5/20/2021 to redeem the Fire TV Stick Lite redemption code that is emailed to you. This offer is only for new Discovery+ subscribers. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  5. Amazon has announced the all-new 2nd-gen Echo Buds. The new models, now available in either matte black or matte white, are 20% smaller with active noise cancellation. They’re regularly priced at $119.99 with a USB-C charging case, but an introductory price currently drops them to just $99.99 for a limited time. Alternatively, you can get them with a wireless charging case for $139.99 regularly, but the introductory price drops that to $119.99. Lastly, the wireless charging case can be bundled with an Anker wireless charger, that is specially made for the Echo Buds case, for $157.98 which drops to $137.98 during the introductory discount. The new Echo Buds are, apparently, more comfortable to wear thanks, not only to their smaller size, but also because they now feature a vented design. This reduces ear pressure, like the much more expensive AirPods Pro, which are currently on sale for $219. A shortened nozzle, which doesn’t stretch as far into the ear, and a shallower outer depth, that sits more flush with the outside of your ear, also contribute to their improved comfort. The Echo Buds come with 4 ear tip sizes and two optional wing tips. While the first Echo Buds used Bose noise reduction technology, Amazon has switched to noise cancelation that it built itself for these new Echo Buds and it says that they cancel twice as much noise. A passthrough mode allows you to adjust the amount of ambient noise that you want to let through. Amazon says the Echo Buds will last for up to 5 hours of music playback with noise cancellation turned on and up to 6.5 hours with it off. The batter built into the case can fully charge the Echo Buds twice for a total of 15 and 19.5 total hours of playback. When they run low, a 15-minute charge will provide 2 hours of additional playback. Of course, since these are Echo-branded earbuds, you have full access to hands-free Alexa while wearing them. All the usual Alexa commands work, from music requests to smart home control and more. You can even ask another Alexa device to find your Echo Buds, which causes the earbuds to play a chime. From the sound of things, while the old Echo Buds seemed to be earbuds that gave you access to Alexa with okay characteristics, these new Echo Buds seem to be good earbuds that happen to give you access to Alexa, if that makes sense. They’re available to pre-order now in the below configurations and will ship on May 13. White Echo Buds w/ Wired Charging Case – $99.99 ($119.99 later) White Echo Buds w/ Wireless Charging Case – $119.99 ($139.99 later) White Echo Buds w/ Wireless Charging Case & Wireless Charger – $137.98 ($157.98 later) Black Echo Buds w/ Wired Charging Case – $99.99 ($119.99 later) Black Echo Buds w/ Wireless Charging Case – $119.99 ($139.99 later) Black Echo Buds w/ Wireless Charging Case & Wireless Charger – $137.98 ($157.98 later) Wireless Charger – $17.99 SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  6. Amazon has incorrectly listed the Echo Studio with a Smart Bulb for $114.98. The title of the listing says “Echo (4th Gen)” which explains the low price, but when you add the bundle to your cart, an Echo Studio gets added instead wthout changing the price. The Echo Studio alone normally costs $199.99 and the lowest price it has ever been is $149.99 during Prime Day last year. This price mistake saves you $85 off the regular price and $35 off the lowest price that the Echo Studio has ever been, without even factoring in that you get a free smart bulb with the deal. Be sure to checkout fast because this will surely be corrected very soon. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  7. The Amazon Echo is on sale for $79.99. That’s $20 off its regular price of $99.99. The lowest price the Echo has ever been is $69.99 during Black Friday last year, so this is likely the lowest it will be until Prime Day later this year. The all-new Echo comes in Charcoal, White, and Blue colors. You can pay an extra $10 and get it with an Amazon Smart Plug, which saves you an extra $15 compared to buying both seperately. This latest Echo model has an upward firing woofer and two front facing tweeters. It is also the first standard Echo to include a built-in Zigbee hub which allows it to control some smart home devices, like Ring Smart Lights and Philips Hue Smart Lights, without needing an additional hub. While the Echo looks exactly like the Echo Dot in pictures, the Echo is actually considerablly larger in size in order to produce a much fuller sound. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  8. In addition to new streaming media players, Roku has also announced a new remote that they’re calling the Voice Remote Pro (Amazon link). Unlike any of their other remotes, the new Voice Remote Pro has a built-in rechargable battery and hands-free voice capabilities that let you make voice requests without touching the remote, like you can with an Amazon Echo or Fire TV Cube. The Voice Remote Pro has all the same features as Roku’s best remote, including a headphone jack, TV power and volume controls, and two programable shortcut buttons. It also has Roku’s standard 4 app buttons, so there’s no getting away from those, even if you’re paying extra for a second remote, since the Voice Remote Pro does not come included with any Roku models. What the Voice Remote Pro adds is a built-in rechargeable battery where all of their other remotes have AA batteries. The remote is charged through a micro-USB port at the far end of the remote. In another first for any Roku remote is the inclusion of hands-free voice capabilities on the remote. Instead of pressing the microphone button, which you can still do if you want, you can say “Hey Roku” and issue your voice command without touching the remote. As an added bonus, you can say “Hey Roku, where’s my remote?” to have the remote beep, as long as it is close enough to hear you. A toggle on the side of the remote will mute the hands-free microphone. The Voice Remote Pro (Amazon link) is available to order now for just $29.99, which is an impressively low price considering the Fire TV Voice Remote costs the same amount but doesn’t include the majority of the features that the Roku remote includes. Roku’s Voice Remote Pro is compatible with all Roku TVs and the vast majority of Roku’s streaming media players. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  9. Roku has announced a few new products this morning. First is a pair of new entry-level 4K streaming media players, the Express 4K for $34.99 as a Walmart exclusive and the Express 4K+ for $39.99 (Amazon link). These replace the companies aging Roku Premiere models and differ only in the remotes that they come with. Roku is also refreshing its primary soundbar model with the new Streambar Pro for $179.99. This appears to just be a rebranding of the older Roku Smart Sounbar, but with a slightly better remote. The Express 4K and Express 4K+, as their names suggest, both support 2160p video, unlike the regular Roku Express, which is a 1080p device. They also support HDR10 video and are the first Roku players to support HDR10+ video, however, neither support Dolby Vision. The Roku Ultra is still the only Roku device that supports Dolby Vision and Roku says the Ultra will be gaining support for HDR10+ with a future software update. Both the Express 4K and the Express 4K+ support Dolby and DTS passthrough audio, but neither supports Dolby Atmos or onboard Dolby decoding. They do both support 802.11ac WiFi, which the regular Express and Premiere models do not. Those Cap out at 802.11n WiFi. Another first for the Express 4K models is support for Ethernet adapters through their micro USB power port. Roku Express 4K Remote (left) and Express 4K+ Remote (right) The Express 4K and 4K+ are identical media players, but differ in the remote that they include. The cheaper Express 4K, which can only be purchased through Walmart, comes with a basic IR remote that must be pointed at the device. The Express 4K+ comes with an RF remote which doesn’t need to be pointed. The Express 4K+ remote also includes a voice button and can control your TV’s power and volume. Those extra remote perks are well worth the extra $5 you pay for the plus model. The other new streaming media player that Roku has introduced is the Streambar Pro. This is essentially the Roku Smart Soundbar released in 2019 but with a new name and a slightly better remote. It has a Roku streaming media player built-in with all the same video and audio capabilities as the Express 4K, but it does do onboard Dolby audio decoding since it is a soundbar after all. The remote included with the Strembar Pro is the same one that comes with the Roku Ultra and includes a headphone jack and 2 programable shortcut buttons, neither of which were included on the remote that came with the now discontinued Roku Smart Soundbar. The Roku Express 4K, available only through Walmart, and the Roku Express 4K+, available on Amazon and other places, can be pre-ordered now and will both ship in mid-May. The Roku Streambar Pro is availabe to pre-order now as well but won’t ship until late-May. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  10. The Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite is on sale for $19.99 for Prime members only. At $10 off, this is 33% off the regular price of $29.99. The lowest price the base Firestick model has ever been is $17.99, which occurred during Black Friday of last year, so this is very likely the lowest price we’ll see for this device until Prime Day later this year. The main difference between the Fire TV Stick Lite and the 3rg-gen Fire TV Stick, which were both released at the same time, is the included remote. The Fire TV Stick Lite has a remote that includes a dedicated button for the Fire TV’s live channel guide, while the Fire TV Stick has a remote that includes power, volume, and mute buttons to control your TV and/or soundbar. To learn more about all the other differences between the 3 Fire TV Stick models in Amazon’s current lineup, see this article. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  11. Logitech has announced that they are officially discontinuing their line of Harmony remotes. The current supply of remotes will continue to be sold but no new remotes will be manufactured. Logitech says they will continue to support existing and new Harmony remote users “as long as customers are using it,” which is as vague of a timeframe as they could have possibly given. They also say they will “continue to update the platform and add devices to our Harmony database.” Harmony remotes have long been favorites among Fire TV owners because they are among the few remotes that can control Fire TVs. The Harmony Hub, which is included with most Harmony remotes, connects directly to the Fire TV over Bluetooth in order to relay commands from the Harmony remote. Until the arrival of the Fire TV remote with power/volume buttons in 2018, Harmony remotes were among the very few remotes that could control both a Fire TV and a TV with a single device. In an interview in 2019, Logitech’s CEO said that their remote business was only about 6 percent of the size of their keyboard business. That, combined with the fact that a lot of people these days use a single streaming device for all their entertainment needs, makes it understandable that they would shift their focus to other product lines. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  12. The all-new Echo Show 10 is on sale for $199.99 and includes a free Ring Smart Bulb that normally costs $14.99 on its own. This is the first time that the new Echo Show 10 has been this low, which is $50 off its regular price of $249.99. This new model, released just a few weeks ago, has a motorized base that swivels the screen to face you so that what is displayed is always in view. While on voice calls, the Echo Show 10 also tracks your movements in the room so that you can always see who you’re talking to and the people you’re calling will always see you. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  13. Earlier
  14. WrestleMania is an annual event that draws over a million viewers each year, but watching the event this year is bound to confuse some people because it is being streamed on the Peacock app for the first time, instead of the WWE app. What’s worse for Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners is that Peacock is not officially available in the Amazon Appstore yet. Have no fear because all you need to do is sideload Peacock onto your Fire TV by following this detailed guide. If you’re new to sideloading and having doubts, rest assured that Peacock and WWE themselves are telling Fire TV owners to sideload the app in order to watch. After you sideload the app, just launch it and login with your Peacock account as you normally would. Just note that the Peacock app icon itself might be broken/missing, but the app will work perfectly fine. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  15. The new Fire TV interface is a bit more minimalistic when it comes to its navigation menu. While that results in a cleaner and more appealing aesthetic, it also comes with the consequence of burying aspects of the Fire TV under multiple menu layers. The people hurt most by this are Fire TV Recast owners who went from having a “DVR” tab in the navigation menu of the old interface to having to dig several layers into the new interface to find their recordings. To help those Fire TV Recast owners that are still lost, here is where to find your recordings, settings, and OTA channels. DVR Recordings The below steps show you how to get to your list of DVR Recordings, which used to be the second row of the old DVR tab. Select “Find” from the main navigation menu. Go down and select the “Library” item. Scroll down past the watchlist and you’ll find your a “DVR Recordings” row. Just as before, your latest 10 shows/recordings will be in this row and at the end of the row is an icon that takes you to a grid view of all of your recorded content. Live “On Now” OTA Channels The below steps show you how to get to the list of “On Now” OTA channels, which used to be the first row of the old DVR tab. Select “Live” from the main navigation menu. Scroll down a few rows to find the “Fire TV Recast” row. This row is the closest thing to the “On Now” row that was at the top of the DVR tab in the old Fire TV interface. Channel Guide This is the quickest way to get to the channel guide grid, which used to be found at the bottom of the DVR tab in the old Fire TV interface. Select “Live” from the main navigation menu. Scroll all the way to the bottom, by holding down the DOWN button on your remote, to find the “Guide” button. DVR Settings The below steps show you how to get to your DVR settings, which used to be at the bottom of the old DVR tab. Select “Find” from the main navigation menu. Go down and select the “Library” item. Scroll down past the watchlist and DVR recordings and you’ll find your a “DVR Manager” row. Fire TV Recast Settings This is where your more advanced Fire TV Recast options are, like adding external storage, default recording options, or deleting all recordings. Select the settings gear icon at the end of the main navigation menu. Select the “Live TV” settings menu. Select the “Sync Sources” item. (Yes, this is a stupid place to burry these settings and I don’t blame you for having trouble finding them.) Select the “Fire TV Recast” item. Here you will find the advacned options for the Fire TV Recast, which Amazon has evidentaly forgotten to update to the new interface asthetic. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  16. Opening the latest version of Firefox for Fire TV now displays a warning banner at the top informing you that the app will no longer be supported after April 30, 2021. The banner remains present even while browsing web pages. I asked Mozilla about the banner and they told me that it is permanent and that there is no way for users to dismiss it. The only time the banner is not present is when watching a video in full-screen. That means, if you want to continue using Firefox for Fire TV without a warning banner at the top, you’ll need to uninstall the new 4.8 version and sideload the older 4.7.1 version. You can do that by following this guide and entering code 2131 (or aftv.news/2131) in my Downloader app. That said, you really should consider using the Silk Browser on your Fire TV instead because Firefox will continue to become more and more vulnerable to attack as time passes, since it is no longer being updated. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  17. Mozilla has announced that they are ending support for their Firefox browser on Amazon Fire TV and Echo Show devices. The browser will be removed from the Amazon Appstore on April 30, so you will no longer be able to install it on new Fire TV devices or re-install it after that date, should you delete it from your Fire TV or factory reset your Fire TV. The Firefox app will not be removed from Fire TVs that already have it installed, but the app will no longer receive updates, including security updates. While you can continue using Firefox on a Fire TV if you install it before April 30, the same is not true for Echo Shows. On Echo Show devices, if you try to use Firefox after April 30, you will be redirected to Amazon’s Silk browser. Amazon Silk will continue to be available on both Fire TV and Echo Show devices after April 30. Firefox was first made available on Fire TV devices on December 20, 2017. It arrived less than a month after Amazon released their Silk browser on Fire TV devices. It was surely no coincidence that both browsers arrived within a month of Google’s impending deadline for blocking access to YouTube on Fire TV devices at the start of 2018. Just a couple of days before the start of 2018 and Google’s blocking of YouTube on Fire TV devices, Amazon updated the Fire TV YouTube app, which it created, to act as a shortcut that loaded YouTube in your choice of Firefox or Silk. Since the actual YouTube app was always just a portal to YouTube’s web interface, the workaround of using Firefox or Silk to access YouTube was just as good as the standalone app. It took a while, but Amazon and Google came to an agreement that brought an official YouTube app to Fire TV devices, as well as YouTube TV and YouTube Kids apps. Now that nearly everyone is accessing YouTube through the official app again, instead of a browser, I expect that Firefox for Fire TV is not getting nearly as much use as it once did. That would explain Mozilla’s decision to drop support. Again, if you want to continue to use Firefox on Fire TV devices, you can as long as you install the app prior to April 30 from the Amazon Appstore. Even after that date, there is nothing stopping you from sideloading the app using my Downloader app and entering code 2131 (or aftv.news/2131) in the URL field. However, it’s important to understand that without security updates of any kind, Firefox for Fire TV will become less secure and more vulnerable over time, putting you and your device at risk, so you should probably switch to using the Silk browser, which is still being supported and updated regularly. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  18. The new Fire TV interface is currently rolling out to most Fire TV models via the latest operating system update. While there has never been an official way to roll back a Fire TV software update, Amazon seems to especially want the new interface update to be a one-way path. It seems as though Amazon has decided to blow an eFuse, at least with the Fire TV Stick 4K, when the software update with the new interface is installed. This makes it impossible to downgrade back to the old interface, even if the device is rooted. XDA forum member July IGHOR installed Fire OS v6.2.8.0 on their rooted Fire TV Stick 4K, which upgrades the device to the new interface, and found that the device would no longer boot if downgraded. This is unusual because, while a stock Fire TV cannot be downgraded, it’s normally trivial for a rooted Fire TV with a custom recovery installed to downgrade its operating system. Upgrading back up to v6.2.8.0 presumably recovered the Fire TV Stick to working order, but downgrading to an older version was no longer an option. Rbox, a developer who has been active among the Fire TV modding community for years, has determined that Amazon has chosen to blow an eFuse with Fire OS v6.2.8.0 on the Fire TV Stick 4K to prevent downgrading. He says a script was added in a previous Fire TV software update that did nothing, but that script was activated in the latest software update to blow an eFuse. An eFuse, or electronic fuse, is a microscopic fuse put into a computer chip that can be triggered to blow in order to permanently change the circuitry of a chip. While eFuses have other uses, they are most commonly used by hardware manufacturers to prevent older software from running on the device. The older software expects a certain number of eFuses to be intact when the device boots, so blowing an eFuse makes older software incompatible with the device. Amazon has blown eFuses on Fire TV devices in the past as a way to seemingly prevent newer devices from taking advantage of older software exploits that allowed the device to be rooted or allowed the bootloader to be unlocked. This latest blown eFuse seems to be a way to keep devices on the new Fire TV interface, but we’ll likely never know if that’s actually the reason. Regardless of the motivation, the fact is that a Fire TV Stick 4K that updates to the stock version of Fire OS will not be able to downgrade, even if it is later rooted. The good news for rooted Fire TV Stick 4K owners is that Rbox has already released a pre-rooted version of Fire OS for the Fire TV Stick 4K that does not blow the eFuse. As long as the device has never installed the stock update, you can install the pre-rooted version of and still downgrade if you want. Please be sure to donate to Rbox to support him and thank him for continuing to keep all of our rooted devices updated. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  19. Every time I write about the new Fire TV interface, there is always someone that asks when or if their device will be updated to the new interface. While that info can be found in my past articles, here it is in one place to tell you when every Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV Edition television will be getting the new interface. I’ll keep this list updated as new information emerges. To determine exactly which Fire TV model you have, see this guide. Fire TV Interface Update Status Fire TV 1st-Generation – Never Fire TV 2nd-Generation – Never Fire TV 3rd-Generation – Rolling Out Now Fire TV Stick Interface Update Status Fire TV Stick 1st-Generation – Never Fire TV Stick 2nd-Generation – Coming Later This Year Fire TV Stick 3rd-Generation – Released To All Fire TV Stick Lite 1st-Generation – Released To All Fire TV Stick 4K 1st-Generation – Rolling Out Now Fire TV Cube Interface Update Status Fire TV Cube 1st-Generation – Rolling Out Now Fire TV Cube 2nd-Generation – Rolling Out Now Fire TV Edition Interface Update Status All Fire TV Edition Televisions & Soundbars – Coming Later This Year Status Explination Released To All – The update is available to everyone with this model. Go to Settings > My Fire TV > About > Check For Updates and the update should start to download. Rolling Out Now – The update is available now to some of these models but not all. Go to Settings > My Fire TV > About > Check For Updates to see if your device is ready to receive the update. If not, then you’ll likely receive it in the next few weeks. Coming Later This Year – This model will receive the new interface latert this year. The exact date is unknown. Never – Amazon has said that this model will never receive the new interface. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  20. https://read.cash/@ASCiiDiTY/fasttech-mining-hardware-round-up-april-2021-31c6a884
  21. Amazon is continuing to tweak aspects of the new Fire TV interface. With the release of the new interface on more devices last week we’re getting their 3rd iteration of the main navigation menu on the Fire TV’s home screen. While each change has been relatively minor, they have been improvements in my opinion. The latest change includes moving the “Library” tab out of the navigation bar and into the “Find” tab. This simplifies the navigation menu slightly, but, more importantly, allows for app icons to become larger and more legible. First unreleased navigation menu (left) and Second version (right) When Amazon first revealed images of the new Fire TV interface, the “Home” navigation menu item was on the far left. By the time the new interface actually reached customer’s devices last year, the “Library” tab had been moved from the far right to the far left. This reduced the number of clicks it took to reach your installed apps, which was a welcomed improvement. Old (top) navigation menu and New (bottom) navigation menu A complaint that was voiced by many commenters when the new Fire TV interface was unveiled was the small size of the app icons on the home screen. While they still pale in comparison to the movie and TV show icons on the home screen, the removal of the “Library” tab has allowed the app icons to grow by about 13%. Since there is now ample empty space to the left of the app icons, their size now seems to be restricted by the height of the navigation menu, which has not changed. The only other change is a new image used for the all apps icon at the end of the navigation menu. As mentioned, the “Library” section of the Fire TV interface has been moved to within the “Find” tab. The “Library” section is where you’ll find your watchlist, purchased content, and rented content. If you have a Fire TV Recast, the “Library” section is also where you’ll now find your DVR recordings and DVR management options, like scheduled recordings, recording priority, and DVR settings. Amazon says they made these changes to the navigation menu based on customer feedback they’ve received, which indicated that larger app icons and a simpler navigation menu would be appreciated by a majority of customers. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  22. Many Fire TV Stick 4K owners were holding out hope that the new Fire TV interface update that started rolling out to their devices last week would bring with it an update from Fire OS 6 to Fire OS 7. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. When the new interface arrives on a Fire TV Stick 4K, it moves it from software version to version, which keeps it on Fire OS 6. The new Fire TV interface is independent of the Fire OS version on the device and does not require an upgrade to Fire OS 7, the latest version of Amazon’s operating system, to be compatible with the device. Fire OS 5, like on the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick, Fire OS 6, like on the aforementioned Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire OS 7 devices, like on the 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube and 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick, are all compatible with the new Fire TV interface. Based on the updates that have already reached devices, it seems safe to say that the new interface update will not change the base version of Fire OS that is currently on the device. While there are numerous Fire TV models running Fire OS 5 and numerous Fire TV models running Fire OS 6, it seems like the Fire TV Stick 4K was the main one people were expecting to be upgraded to Fire OS 7. That’s likely because it is the only stand-alone model in Amazon’s current Fire TV lineup that is not running Fire OS 7. Amazon has given no indication that the Fire TV Stick 4K, or any Fire OS 6 device for that matter, will ever be updated to Fire OS 7. Furthermore, we continue to see brand new Fire TV Edition television models being released with Fire OS 6, as recently as last month, so Amazon is clearly not treating Fire OS 6 as an outdated operating system. Unlike other Android device manufacturers, Amazon does not use the base OS version as a determining factor for which features the device will receive. For the most part, Amazon maintains the same feature set across all Fire TV devices, regardless of whether they are running Fire OS 5, 6, or 7. Because of this, there is little benefit, with regard to Amazon’s own features, to upgrading from one version of Fire OS to another. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about 3rd-party apps and services. As we saw recently when NBC Sports ended support for Fire TV devices running Fire OS 5, non-Amazon apps and services do often base their support on the underlying version of Android, as is common practice among most Android app developers. Fire OS 5 is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, which debuted in 2015. Fire OS 6 is based on Android 7.1 Nougat, which debuted in 2016. Fire OS 7 is based on Android 9 Pie, which debuted in 2018. Thankfully, the instances of a major app or service ending support for an older version of Fire OS are few and far between. I also don’t know of any app or service that stopped supporting Fire OS 6. The primary benefit of upgrading a device from one version of Fire OS to a newer version, as I see it, is increasing the device’s lifespan by staving off abandonment from 3rd party apps and services. For the most part, upgrading the version of Fire OS on a Fire TV device would not add significant new features or capabilities. The biggest exception to that, which I’m aware of, is support for Dolby Atmos audio in Netflix, which is currently only supported on Fire OS 7 devices. It’s assumed that if the Fire TV Stick 4K is updated to Fire OS 7, it will gain Dolby Atmos support in Netflix, which would be a significant perk. That said, it’s also safe to assume that an upgrade to Fire OS 7 would also hurt overall performance a little, due to increased system requirements that inherently come with newer versions of Android. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  23. With the release of a new Fire TV remote last week, Amazon is now offering a “2020 Release” Fire TV Stick and a “2021 Release” Fire TV Stick. With both versions currently priced the same, an uninformed buyer would likely think the “2021 release” is obviously superior because newer is always better, right? The “2021 release” even says “3rd Gen” in the title, while the “2020 release” does not, and the “2020 release” has a banner at the top enticing customers to check out the “newer version of this product,” so there couldn’t possibly be a reason to buy the old version, right? Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case and it’s leading to confusion among shoppers who think the “2021 release” is an all-new Firestick when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are all the differences and similarities between the 2020 Fire TV Stick and the 2021 Fire TV Stick, and why you might be better off buying the older version. The 2020 and 2021 Fire TV Sticks are Identical First and foremost the Fire TV Sticks included in both the 2020 release and the 2021 release are identical in every way. Both listings include the exact same 3rd-generation Fire TV Stick that was first announced and released in September 2020. The hardware and software of the HDMI stick that plugs into your TV in both of these bundles is identical. The only difference is the remote that comes included with each one. There are distinct differences between the Fire TV Stick Lite, the Fire TV Stick, and the Fire TV Stick 4K, but the two 2020 and 2021 bundles we’re discussing in this article are both for the current latest Fire TV Stick model. Second Difference: App Buttons Different app buttons on different 2021 Fire TV remotes from various countries The second difference between the two remotes, which is most obvious, is the inclusion of 4 app buttons at the bottom. Pressing any of these buttons will immediately launch the associated app, regardless of what the Fire TV Stick is doing at the time. Some people hate these buttons and some people love them. The most common complaint against them is that they are essentially permanent advertisements that can mistakenly get pressed which takes you away from what you meant to do. The apps that these buttons open differ from region to region. Amazon does not provide a way to customize which app each button launches or to disable the buttons. That said, there is a way to customize some of these buttons in order for them to launch the app of your choice, but that method has not been confirmed to work on this new remote yet because the remote has not yet been released. Summary That’s pretty much it. Even though Amazon seems to deliberately be pushing people towards the 2021 release Fire TV Stick over the 2020 release Fire TV Stick, the difference comes down to just a few extra buttons on the remote, since the HDMI sticks themselves are identical. If you have no intention of using those extra buttons, or worse, think you’ll be pressing them accidentally, you may be better off buying the older release. Amazon is likely pushing people towards the newer release because it’s generally believed that streaming device manufacturers are paid by streaming services to include app buttons, which would make the new version more profitable for Amazon. It’s probably safe to say that the 2020 release Fire TV Stick is no longer being manufactured and it will no longer be available once the current supply runs out, so, if you prefer the older remote, get the 2020 release Fire TV Stick while you still can. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  24. The Amazon Fire TV Blaster has gone on sale for $19.99. This matches the lowest price it has ever been, which is 43% off of its regular price of $34.99. If you have any Echo smart speaker paired to your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, adding the Fire TV Blaster to the mix will allow you to do things like turn your TV off, switch inputs on your TV, adjust the volume, control your soundbar, and much more, all hands-free without needing to touch a remote. The Fire TV Blaster is only compatible with the Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick Lite, 3rd-gen Fire TV Stick, 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick, and 3rd-gen Fire TV Pendant. If you don’t know which model Fire TV or Fire TV Stick that you have, see this guide. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  25. Amazon has just put the Fire TV Stick 4K on sale for $39.99. This is a fairly mediocre price, since we’ve seen it go on sale for $34.99 numerous times and it was $29.99 during the major sales in 2020. That said, this may be the lowest price we see until the next Prime Day, which will likely be in July if it takes place at its usual time. If you were holding out on buying the Fire TV Stick 4K because you thought the recent leaks were for an all-new model, which turned out to just be a new remote, here’s your chance to save $10 off the regular price of $49.99. None of the other Fire TV models are currently on sale, but the Fire TV Blaster is on sale for $19.99. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  26. Amazon is having a Spring Sale on their devices. Included in the sale are Fire tablets which have all been discounted. The Fire 7 tablet is on sale for $39.99, which is a $10 savings. unless you’re on a tight budget, I’d skip on this because it’s the oldest tablet in Amazon’s lineup and it has been $10 cheaper in the past. The Fire HD 8 tablet is on sale for $59.99, which is $30 off the regular price of $89.99. In my opinion, this is the best deal of the bunch because this is the newest tablet in Amazon’s lineup and this sale is just $5 more than the lowest price it has ever been. If you want a bit more performance, the Fire HD 8 Plus is on sale for $79.99, which is also a $30 savings. For the extra $20 it gets bumped up to 3GB of RAM, has wireless charging, and includes a faster wired charger. At the top of Amazon’s line is the Fire HD 10 on sale for $94.99. While that price is not as good as the $79.99 price we saw during Black Friday, it is the 2nd lowest price it has ever been. Lastly, Fire 7 Kids Edition, Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, and Fire HD 10 Kids Edition are on sale for $59.99, $89.99, and $139.99, respectively. That’s the lowest ever price for the Fire 7 and $10 shy of the lowest price for the Fire HD 8 and 10. SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
  27. As part of a Spring Devices Sale, Amazon has put the all-new Echo Show 10 on sale for $209.99. At $40 off its regular price of $249.99, this is the first time the new motorized Echo Show that keeps the screen within view has ever been on sale. For just $5 more, you can get it bundeled with a Blink Mini security camera. Numerous other Echo models are also on sale, including the new 4th-gen Echo Dot for $34.99, the new 4th-gen Echo Dot w/ Clock for $44.99 and the new 4th-gen Echo for $79.99. Read on for a full list of Echo models and bundles that are on sale. Echo Flex List Price: $24.99 Sale Price: $17.49 Echo Auto List Price: $49.99 Sale Price: $24.99 Echo Dot (Previous Model) List Price: $39.99 Sale Price: $29.99 Echo Dot List Price: $49.99 Sale Price: $34.99 Echo Dot + Amazon Smart Plug List Price: $74.98 Sale Price: $44.99 Echo Dot + Echo Auto List Price: $99.98 Sale Price: $59.98 Echo Dot with Clock List Price: $59.99 Sale Price: $44.99 Echo Dot Kids Edition List Price: $59.99 Sale Price: $44.99 Echo Dot Kids Edition + Echo Glow List Price: $89.98 Sale Price: $59.99 Echo List Price: $99.99 Sale Price: $79.99 Echo + 2 Echo Dot List Price: $199.97 Sale Price: $149.97 [includeme file="/home/customer/www/aftvnews.com/public_html/content/php-insert/ad.php" place="inarticle1"] Echo Show 5 List Price: $89.99 Sale Price: $49.99 Echo Show 5 + Blink Mini List Price: $124.98 Sale Price: $59.99 Echo Show 5 + Adjustable Stand List Price: $109.98 Sale Price: $69.98 Echo Show 5 + Ring Video Doorbell List Price: $189.98 Sale Price: $149.98 Echo Show 8 List Price: $129.99 Sale Price: $74.99 Echo Show 8 + Blink Mini List Price: $164.98 Sale Price: $84.99 Echo Show 8 + Adjustable Stand List Price: $154.98 Sale Price: $99.98 Echo Show 10 List Price: $249.99 Sale Price: $209.99 Echo Show 10 + Blink Mini List Price: $284.98 Sale Price: $214.99 SOURCE: AFTVNEWS.COM
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