Android TV’s Leanback Launcher has been modified to run on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

Love it or hate it, the Amazon Fire TV’s home screen layout isn’t for everybody. If you’re looking for an alternative, a developer by the name of rockon999 has taken the old Leanback Launcher used by Android TV and made it compatible with the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The Leanback Launcher for Fire TV isn’t perfect, but it’s an impressive first release that works better than any attempt I’ve seen before. Read more ›

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Amazon in negotiations against YouTube, Twitter, and Verizon for NFL ‘Thursday Night Football’ streaming rights

Amazon is back at the bidding table for streaming rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football (TNF) games, according to Variety. They’re up against Google’s YouTube, Twitter, and Verizon. FOX just locked up broadcast rights to TNF for the next five years, but now Amazon is negotiating for digital streaming rights for equally as long. Read more ›

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Essential Phone’s new ‘Halo Gray’ color is exclusive to Amazon and comes with Alexa

Essential, the new tech company started by Android co-founder Andy Ruben, has announced new variants of the Essential Phone and one of them is exclusive to Amazon. The new Halo Gray version is only available on Amazon and it “includes Amazon Alexa.” Unfortunately, it seems as though all that means is that the Alexa app comes pre-installed on the device. Even though Essential has received funding from Amazon through the Alexa Fund, which normally goes to companies that innovate with Alexa, there hasn’t been any special Alexa integration done to the Amazon-exclusive phone. Read more ›

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Redesigned Echo Dot mount perfects the minimalistic hanging holder

Last year I wrote about a new wall mount for the Amazon Echo Dot that cleverly hung the smart speaker from its power adapter. The creator has just released an updated version of the wall mount, called The Essential Mount, that quite possibly perfects the hanging holder style. The new design is sleeker and more compact than it’s predecessor. It also now allows you to mount the Echo Dot in any direction, depending on your outlet’s orientation. It improves on the first design in multiple ways and yet is also significantly cheaper at $7.99 for one or $14.99 for a pair. The mount includes a custom short USB cable, so you just need to provide the Echo Dot and its stock power adapter.

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Amazon original series ‘Transparent’ to continue without Jeffrey Tambor

After completing an investigation into sexual harassment claims against the actor, Amazon has fired Jeffrey Tambor and will film the upcoming fifth season of their original series Transparent without the actor’s participation, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Tambor continues to defend his innocence, saying that he is “profoundly disappointed in Amazon’s handling of these false accusations” and that “the investigation against [him] was deeply flawed and biased.”

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Amazon Echo devices are now available in India without an invitation

A few months ago, Amazon made Echo devices available in India for the first time, but as tends to be the case whenever Alexa arrives in a new country, the devices were only available by invitation. Amazon has now removed the invitation requirement, making Echo devices available to everyone. The Amazon Echo (₹9,999 or ~$150), Echo Dot (₹4,499 or ~$70), and Echo Plus (₹14,999 or ~$230) are available, as well as 3rd-party Alexa smart speakers such as the Harman Kardon Allure (₹22,499 or ~$350).

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FOX Soccer app arrives on all Amazon Fire TV models

FOX has brought their FOX Soccer Match Pass app to all Amazon Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, and Fire TV Edition televisions. The app gives subscribers access to over 1,700 live and on-demand soccer and rugby games. Over 30 soccer leagues and competitions are included in the coverage as well as several rugby leagues. The service costs $19.99 per month or you can pay $139.99 for an annual pass, which saves you about $100. All events stream without any commercials and some offer multiple camera angles. A 7-day free trial is available to give the app a try.

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Educational kids games for Fire TV by Eggroll Games are all on sale

Eggroll Games produces a series of educational kids games available for all Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models. The games cover topics such as addition, substraction, multiplication, division, counting, and color/shape identification for elementary school kids in pre-K through 4th grade. All of their paid titles have just gone on sale at roughly 50% their regular prices. You can try their free versions before committing to buy the full apps.

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Vizio TVs and Canary Cameras now support Amazon Alexa

A couple major electronic brands in their individual markets have announced this week that they now support Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Vizio has released an Alexa skill that allows select TVs to be controlled by Alexa. All 2016 and 2017 SmartCast P-, M-, and E-Series Vizio TVs are supported. Owners can use Alexa through an external device, such as an Echo Dot, to control power, channel, volume, input, and playback with your voice. Canary has announced that their line of security cameras are now compatible with Alexa. Through their new Alexa skill, camera owners can now use Fire TVs, Echo Shows, or Echo Spots to view live camera feeds. Canary all-in-one, Flex, and View models are supported.

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Last day to get discounts on Fire tablets, Echos, Kindles, and more — Sale ends tonight

Amazon still has most of their devices on sale. Since this a Valentines Day themed sale, it ends tonight at midnight. If you want to save a bit on Fire Tablets, Echos, or Kindles, get your order in soon. Among the better deals is a combo pack that includes an Echo and Echo Dot for $104.98. Buying the two together saves you an extra $20 on top of the already discounted price, for a total savings of $45. Read on for a full list of everything on sale. Read more ›

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