Fire TV Edition televisions are codenamed “Margo/Rita” and confirmed to have “AFTRS” build name

I just started digging deeper into the guts of the Fire TV 5.2.4.1 software update and discovered that it’s the first version of Fire OS to include support for the upcoming Fire TV Edition televisions from Westinghouse, Seiki, and Element. Additionally, I can now definitively confirm that the “AFTRS” build name, which I found traces of earlier this month and guessed was a Fire TV Edition television under testing, is in fact the build name for those TVs.

Since I like keeping track of Fire TV codenames, I dug around for new ones in the 5.2.4.1 update and found that the Fire TV Edition televisions are codenamed “Margo” and/or “Rita.” Most of the code referred to the TVs under the “Margo” codename, but there were a few places that used “Rita.” It’s a little odd to find two codenames, but perhaps one is the codename for the Fire TV Edition project as a whole, which I’m guessing to be “Rita,” and the other is the codename for the specific hardware being released later this year, which I’m guessing is “Margo.”

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Amazon’s fight against Fire TV resellers by deregistering devices is hurting regular customers

Image: Instagram

Amazon started the practice of deregistering Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks, that they believed were registered to reseller accounts, back in October of last year. This has been happening periodically to customers who have around 10 or more Fire TV devices registered to the same Amazon account, but this week, it seems Amazon has gotten much more aggressive with logging out devices. I’ve been flooded with messages this week via Twitter, Facebook, Patreon, the comments on this site, and email from people who have spontaneously had their devices deregistered. Some of them have as little as 3 devices and others have been logged out twice this month alone. Read more ›

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Amazon Music Unlimited promo gives you 30 days free plus $10 credit

Amazon is running a promotion for Music Unlimited where you’ll get 30 days for free, plus a $10 credit applied to your account after the free trial. The promotion is targeted, but thankfully it’s easy to know if your account qualifies. Those who qualify will see the text “$0.00 per month – The following promotion applies after your free trial: $10 promo credit” displayed on the page. If you don’t qualify, it’ll simply say “The promotion is not valid” in red near the top of the page.

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Samsung 64GB microSD card capable of fast 100MB/s speeds for $22.99

Amazon is selling the Samsung 64GB microSD card for $22.99. This is a good deal considering the blazing fast 100 MB/s read speeds this card is capable of. I don’t know if the improved speeds that this UHS 3 rated card is capable of would make a difference on the Fire TV 2, compared to an average microSD card, but if you’re storing apps on external storage, it’s always best to use as fast of a card as you can to reduce load times and improve app responsiveness. That’s why Amazon recommends USB 3.0 drives for the Fire TV, even though it only has a USB 2.0 port. This microSD card also comes in a 128GB version for $44.99, but those are in very high demand so are backordered for 1 to 2 months. If you’re interested in the 64GB version, get your order in quick before they too get backordered.

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Amazon’s original series ‘The Tick’ to premiere August 25

Amazon’s upcoming new original series The Tick has been assigned a premiere date. The first season will debut on August 25th for Prime members to enjoy. A new, and very short, promo video for the announcement has been published on Amazon’s YouTube account.

The series will premiere almost one year to the date after the pilot was released. The series was greenlit, along with Jean-Claude Van Johnson and I Love Dick, a month later, making the turn around from approval to debut quite short. Not as short as I Love Dick though, which will be premiering 3 months sooner on May 12, despite both being greenlit together. No word yet on when Jean-Claude Van Johnson will premiere.

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Amazon releases Echo Look “style assistant” camera with Alexa

The Alexa capable camera that I discovered is called the Echo Look and has just been launched. Turns out it’s not a home security camera like I assumed, but rather, an Alexa powered “style assistant” that acts as a smart mirror, of sorts, to rate your outfit. Using your voice, you can use Echo Look to take pictures of your outfit, which can be catalogued in a “lookbook,” shared to friends on social media, or judged for how flattering it looks. Read more ›

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Amazon leaks their upcoming shopping app for the Fire TV

It would appear that Amazon will be adding a full-fledged shopping app to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. A nonfunctional version of the upcoming shopping app has just leaked on the Amazon appstore (screenshot). The app description states that “with the Amazon TV app, you will be able to enjoy a lean back shopping experience on the largest screen in your house, using just your Fire TV remote.” Read more ›

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Several HBO shows leaving Amazon Prime Video on May 21st — UPDATE: Actually, it’s a mistake

Update

Thanks to Ryan in the comments, it appears Amazon has told The Verge that the HBO shows will not be leaving on May 21st, and that the labeling is a mistake that will soon be corrected.

The streaming media landscape has changed quite a bit since Amazon signed a deal nearly 3 years ago with HBO that added a large amount of HBO original shows to Prime Video. That’s probably why the two companies have chosen not to renew the arrangement, so several HBO original shows will be leaving Prime Video on May 21, the 3 year mark of the agreement. Read more ›

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Amazon launches self-service digital subscription marketplace

You’ve been able to subscribe to non-Amazon services, like Sling TV, through Amazon for some time, but now they’re opening the marketplace to a wider array of digital service providers. The new “Subscribe with Amazon” marketplace is available for any developer with an app to join and facilitate subscriptions through Amazon. The app itself does not need to be on an Amazon device.

Service providers can offer introductory, monthly, and annual pricing with the option for free-trials. Amazon also says there will be Prime exclusive deals in the marketplace, that providers can take advantage of. The marketplace is currently limited to digital products, but you can easily see how this can expand to physical subscriptions.

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NVIDIA Shield TV can now stream 4K content from Google Play

It took a while, but the NVIDIA Shield TV is now able to stream 4K movies and TV shows from Google Play. Google added 4K content to their marketplace when the Chromecast Ultra debuted last year, but strangley, the new Shield TV didn’t launch with access to that library. That misstep has now been corrected, which adds another 4K source to NVIDIA’s lineup. You can also now cast 4K content to the Shield TV.

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