App Deal: Lovely Planet down from $4.99 to $2.99

Lovely Planet, an authentic first-person shooter that focuses on speed and jumping over realism and gore, has just gone on sale for $2.99. This is the first time this game has ever been on sale, as it was just released last week. The game throws you into a fast-paced pastel world where you bounce, jump, float, and shoot your way through each of its one hundred levels as fast as you can. Its a refreshing change of pace from the numerous military realism shooters currently in the appstore. You can catch the developers talk about the game while they play it on the Fire TV over on Twitch. Lovely Planet is only compatible with the Fire TV and requires a game controller to play.

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NVIDIA’s Shield 4K Android TV console now available

The highly anticipated NVIDIA Shield Console is finally available for purchase and is the first Android TV device to give the Fire TV some real competition. NVIDIA claims the device’s Tegra X1 processor is 8 times more powerful than the one in the Fire TV. It also comes with 3GB of RAM, one upping the Fire TV’s 2 GB. The base model comes with 16GB of internal memory, twice as much as the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. If that isn’t enough, however, NVIDIA will be releasing a 500GB “Pro” model in a couple weeks. The base console’s $199 price may seem steep at twice the price of the Fire TV, but remember that the Nvidia Shield comes with a highly reviewed game controller that retails for $60 on its own. The 500GB model will run you an additional $100. Amazon is currently offering a $30 Google Play credit and 3 months of unlimited Google Play music with every purchase.

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Google spent just 30 seconds on Android TV during today’s big keynote

Sundar Pichai, Google’s Senior Vice President of Products, took to the stage this morning to kick off Google I/O, the company’s largest annual event. The opening keynote presentation is where Google talks about and reveals information regarding their most important products, and is where Google announced Android TV a year ago. As Pichai, one-by-one, talked about each of Google’s top services, he eventually came to Android TV where he spent just 30 seconds on the subject. He mentioned the operating system would be released on Sony and Sharp TVs in the US and on Philips TVs in Europe. Pichai then covered Android TVs “streaming console” offerings by mentioning the Nvidia Shield and that “Razor has one.” He finished by saying that Android TV has doubled its user base in the last 3 months. Two hours later, the keynote ended without ever mentioning Android TV again.

Sundar Pichai ended today’s big keynote by saying “This is why [Google] I/O is so exciting for us. We get to share what we’ve been up to in the last year.” The fact that Android TV was virtually omitted from the presentation this year, when it was such a large part of last years keynote, doesn’t bode well for Google’s commitment to the platform. It’s not an indication of Google abandoning Android TV as a failure by any means, but I expected more than just a brief acknowledgement of its existence. The more competition the Fire TV has, the more likely Amazon will continue to push the platform forward with new features. I just hope the new Apple TV, rumored to be released next month, gives the Fire TV some competition.

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HBO Now officially announced for Android and Chromecast

HBO Now is currently only available on Apple devices due to an exclusivity deal between the two companies. Apple’s exclusivity deal is expected to end in about a month and, unsurprisingly, it looks like the Google Play Store will be the next platform to get the new service. The announcement was made during today’s big Google I/O keynote presentation. No specifics were given during the announcement, but HBO has said the service will arrive on Android “this summer” with support for casting to Chromecast devices. Interestingly, the announcement was made during the Chromecast portion of Google’s keynote, not during the brief Android TV portion. It wouldn’t surprise me if HBO Now was initially incompatible with Android TV when it arrives in the Google Play Store.

This announcement is good news for Fire TV users since it doesn’t take much to release a Fire TV version of the app once HBO finishes their Android version. We may even be able to sideload and use the Android version on Fire TV devices while we wait for official support from HBO.

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The Cord Cutting Show Episode 7 — HBO price cut, Netflix ads, Apple TV rumors, and more

Episode 7 of The Cord Cutting Show has been released. I joined Luke from CordCuttersNews and Ryan from TheStreamingAdvisor to discuss the weeks new media and streaming news. This week we talked about HBO Now hinting at a price cut, Netflix testing ads, Sling TV launching on the Nexus Player, Apple’s struggle to get local channels on their new service, and more.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, via the RSS feed, or simply download the MP3 directly.

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Lenovo enters the media streaming market with the $49 Lenovo Cast

Leno just announced the Lenovo Cast, it’s entry into the media streaming market dominated by the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Google Chromecast. The device’s capabilities are more in line with the Chromecast, yet it’s priced unusually high at $49. It’s a small 70mm puck that connects to your TV via HDMI. Like the Chromecast, it can’t do much on its own and relies on computers and mobile devices to cast video to the device. The one thing it has going for it is its wider array of compatible standards. It works with the Google Cast standard used by Chrome and Android, but also supports Windows 8.1 and iOS devices through Miracast and DLNA. It’ll be available worldwide in August but, unless it gains a remote and its own operating system before then, it will probably quickly be forgotten.

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Amazon Prime now includes free same-day delivery in some areas

Amazon keeps making Prime membership its top priority by continuing to add value into the service. Today the company announced that Prime members in 14 metro areas now get free same-day delivery. To see if your zipcode is included in one of these areas, simply enter it on this page to find out. There are a few caveats to the new perk. Only about 1 million of the 20 million Prime eligible products are available for same-day delivery. Additionally, your order must be over $35 and be placed by noon to be eligible. The Fire TV and Fire TV Stick both qualify for free same-day delivery, so next time you’re showing off your kickass Fire TV setup to your guests, you can order them one and have it arrive before they leave.

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App Deal: All games from Devolver Digital down from $9.99 to $4.99 or less

All four games published by Devolver Digital have been slashed down from $9.99 to $4.99 or less. This is the first time any of these four games have ever dropped in price. One of the hottest new Fire TV games, Hotline Miami, is included in the price drop to $4.99. Always Sometimes Monsters, an RPG compatible with the Fire TV Stick and remote, has been reduced by 80% to $1.99. Last, but not least, are Luftrausers and OlliOlli which both dropped to $4.99. All four games are compatible with the Fire TV and game controller, but only two run on the Fire TV Stick, and only one works with the a remote.

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App Deal: Shadow Blade down from $1.99 to FREE

Shadow Blade, a fast paced action platformer game, has just gone FREE for today only. This is the first time this game has ever been free. The game features 54 levels packed full of puzzles and enemies. It carries a great 4.6 out of 5 star rating and is compatible with both the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, but you will need a game controller to play.

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New Watchit app for Fire TV & Fire TV Stick streams videos from Reddit

Watchit is a new app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, released today, that allows you to stream videos submitted to reddit. While the app calls itself a “client for reddit”, it isn’t a true full fledged client, like the ReddTV app, which was recently rejected by Amazon. Watchit will scan the frontpage of reddit and display a list of compatible videos you can play on your Fire TV device. You can also manually enter a subreddit to display videos from. There is no way to login with your reddit account and see your subscribed subreddits, but you can save manually entered subreddits within the app to return to at a later time. Since Watchit does not support logging in with a reddit account, you can’t interact with reddit in any way, like upvoting or commenting. If you pause the video, the app will display the top comments from reddit for that video, which is a nice feature. Watchit is compatible with both the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, and works with either a remote or gamepad.

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