Amazon just announced the availability of Alexa Display Cards for third-party manufacturers to incorporate into Alexa-enabled devices that have screens. These are the supplemental visual representations of Alexa responses that first appeared when Amazon added Alexa capabilities to the original Fire TV. Similar Alexa cards were later used on Fire tablets when they gained Alexa capabilities, but now that the the all-new Echo Show is a few days from release, Amazon has given visual Alexa responses a lot more attention and completely overhauled their layout. Part of the new Alexa card display guidelines is a large section dedicated to Alexa’s TV interface, which is very likely going to make its way to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick in a future update. Read more ›
The new game Kill ’em All has just gone free for the first time. It was released just over a month ago and has been $1.99 ever since. This is a speed and reflex game where you stand-off against opponents to see who can draw their weapon and fire off a shot the quickest. You can play against the computer AI or play against family and friends through local multiplayer. The game will connect between multiple Fire TVs, phones, and/or tablets as long as they are on the same local network. It’s compatible with all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models, and works with both the remote and game controller.
Audible is currently having a sale on their annual Gold Membership for $99.99. That’s $50 off the regular price of $149.99 for that subscription. The Gold membership gives you 12 credits a year that can be used to purchase 12 audio books, making each book just $8.34. If the 12 books a year aren’t enough, you’ll also receive 30% off additional audio book purchases with your membership
Audible is a great service to use with Alexa devices because you can just say “Alexa, read my book” (among several other commands) and playback will instantly begin where you last left off. Your place in the book is automatically synced across all devices, so you can start and stop whenever it’s convenient to listen, regardless of whether it’s in the car during your commute, through an Echo while doing chores, or on the Fire TV while you’re waiting for someone to get back from the restroom. This offer is for new Audible members only and ends June 28.
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This is just a quick PSA that Amazon’s Alexa servers were down around mid-day yesterday for 2-3 hours. If you were having issues using Alexa yesterday, rest assured it was not an issue with your hardware or your setup. If you’re ever experiencing issues with Amazon devices, a good first step is to check Amazon’s Cloud Status page to determine if the issue is on Amazon’s side. The “AWS Lambda (N. Virginia)” servers handles the majority of Alexa’s requests.
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Amazon is having one of their rental sales for Amazon Video. There are 22 movies that can be rented for just $0.10 each. When renting a movie, you have 30 days to start watching it and 48 hours to complete it once you’ve started, so you can rent these now for cheap and enjoy them over the next few weeks. This is a great way to maximize your No-Rush shipping credit if you have digital content credit. You can check to see if you have digital content credit here. Read on for the full list of movies on sale. Hugo, Galaxy Quest, and Warm Bodies are among my favorites on the list. Read more ›
Prime members can now stream Amazon’s latest original movie Paterson. The film stars Adam Driver as Paterson living in Paterson, New Jersey and his wife Laura, played by Golshifteh Farahani. Read more ›
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The Jackbox Party Pack 3 has just gone on sale for the first time. It’s currently 50% off at $12.50. That might still sound like a lot for a Fire TV game, but this pack includes 5 unique and very popular party games in one app. The included games are Quiplash 2 (3-8 players), Trivia Murder Party (1-8 players), Guesspionage (2-8 players), Fakin’ It (3-6 players), and Tee K.O. (3-8 players). The great thing about Jackbox games are that they all allow you to use phones and tablets as their controllers, so you do not need multiple remotes or game controllers to play with a bunch of people. These games are compatible with all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models and of course work with both remotes and game controls.
Amazon today announced additional details about the new security camera capabilities of Alexa. Along with that announcement, it was revealed that Alexa devices without a screen, like the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, will also have access to live feeds from security cameras. Obviously, since those devices don’t have screens, you won’t be able to view a camera feed using them, but you will be able to say something like “Alexa, listen to the baby’s room” to hear a live audio feed of a particular security camera. While that’s not nearly as useful as viewing a camera, it’s better than nothing. This is also a good indication that easy access to security cameras using Alexa will be coming to other Alexa-enabled devices, like the Fire TV and Fire tablets.
Amazon has today announced developer details about their security camera integration with Alexa. The Amazon Echo Show will be released next week and we already know you’ll be able to call up a live feed of your security camera by simply asking Alexa. This announcement doesn’t reveal any new features, but it does show more camera manufacturers are on board. Support for Arlo and Ring cameras were already revealed with the announcement of the Echo Show, but now we know that cameras from Nest, August, EZViz, Vivint, Amcrest, and IC Realtime will also be support. With the new developer options, other security camera manufactures should be able to easily add Alexa support as well. Nothing official has been said about security camera access through Alexa on devices other than the Echo Show yet, but I fully expect you’ll be able to ask Alexa on the Fire TV to view a live feed of your security camera in the coming months.
Cube Jump Dash, has just gone free for the first time. This simple game was released a little over a year ago and has been $0.99 ever since. It’s a different take on the Flappy Bird style of game and features a fun 8-bit inspired retro soundtrack. Cube Jump Dash is compatible with all Fire T\V and Fire TV Stick models and works with either a game controller or the remote control.