New Apps for the Week of May 22nd thru the 28th

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This week there were 17 new apps and games released for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Flats is a great new free game. It’s a first-person shooter with simple graphics that lets you battle it out online with other players across multiple platforms. A series of country specific apps, including Germany, Italy, Spain, and Hungary, featuring videos related to each country, were also released this past week. If you want to turn your Fire TV into a news hub, check out the Headlines app. It displays news headlines from 70 different sources and lets you read the articles right on your TV. Continue on for the full list of new apps and games released in the last 7 days. Read more ›

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App Deal: Super Pixalo down from $2.99 to $0.99 — New Lowest Price

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Super Pixalo, a precision platforming game, has just dropped down to $0.99. That is the new lowest price this game has ever been. It features 127 rage-tastic levels of challenging platforming action. Despite its simple appearance, Super Pixalo will give you hours of fun that’s sure to be filled with both joy and anger. The game is compatible with all Fire TV models, including the Fire TV Stick, and works with either a game controller or remote.

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Amazon releases their own web-based Echo simulator for you to try Alexa

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Inspired by Sam Machin’s Alexa Web App, Amazon has released their own browser based Alexa simulator called Echosim.io. While it’s primarily meant for developers without an Alexa-enabled device to have a way to test their Alexa Skills, anyone can login with their Amazon account and have almost full access to Alexa through a browser. There are the usual limitations, like not being able to ask for music to be played, but most of Alexa’s capabilities are present. The website is designed to resemble the Amazon Echo, with a neat light ring animation, however it functions more like the Amazon Tap because you have to tap and hold a button each time you speak a command to Alexa. If you’re new to Alexa, here is a list of things to try to get you started.

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FitFusion TV, Baeble Music, and Ameba are the latest new Prime add-on subscriptions

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Three new add-on subscriptions were just added to Prime Video. The first is FitFusion TV, a collection of workout videos that include Billy Blanks TaeBo and Jillian Michaels videos. There are about 90 workout collections, each with numerous videos included. The subscription will run you $4.99 per month. The Next new subscription is Baeble Music. It provides about 50 musical performance videos from around the world. Subscribing costs just $2.99 per month. Last is Ameba, a collection of kids’ shows, movies, and music that includes classic shows like Gumby. That subscription is available for $3.99 per month. All three new add-on subscriptions come with a 7-day free trial.

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AFTVnewscast 41: Update 5.2.1.0 Features & Rooting

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If you missed yesterday’s live stream, here’s the latest AFTVnewscast episode. Thanks to everyone who viewed live and who participated by asking questions.

The AFTVnewscast is streamed live on Fridays at 1:30pm PT. You can watch all episodes on YouTube, subscribe via RSS, iTunes, Google Play Music, listen via TuneIn, Stitcher, or download the MP3 directly. Read on for the show notes and links. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire TV parental controls can now restrict content by rating

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Software update 5.2.1.0 for the Amaozn Fire TV and Fire TV Stick has added more granular parental control options. Prior to this update, parents could only enable or disable Amazon Video content as a whole on the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Now it is possible to restrict content based on the rating of the movie or TV show. Any content rated higher than the one selected would require a PIN code to be entered before viewing is allowed. Read more ›

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Software version 5.2.1.0 blocks rooting via A-to-A USB cable on Fire TV 2

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It appears that the method to root the Fire TV 2 using an A-to-A USB cable, discovered by Eric (a.k.a zeroepoch) and later improved by rbox, no longer works with software version 5.2.1.0. When connecting the Fire TV 2 via USB, the preloader handshake works, but the script is unable to read the device’s partitions. I don’t know if this is something that can be resolved by updating the rooting script, but for now, the last rootable software version for the Fire TV 2 is version 5.0.5.1 using this guide. Fire TV 2’s running 5.0.0 thru 5.0.5 should still use the simpler KingRoot method to root. Read more ›

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Amazon to debut eight new pilots on June 17

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Amazon will be debuting another round of pilot episodes on June 17 to poll customers on whether or not they’ll be green lit for a full season run. Up this round are a pair of one-hour pilots and six kids pilots. The new one hour pilots are The Interestings, which follows a group of artistic teenagers who meet at summer camp in 1974, and The Last Tycoon, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last work. Both one-hour pilots will be available in 4K Ultra HD as well as in HDR. The six kids pilots include one live-action show Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, as well as five animated pilots The Curious Kitty and Friends, Jazz Duck, Morris and the Cow, Toasty Tales and Little Big Awesome. Read on for a full description of each show as well as their cast lineup. Read more ›

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Amazon Tap on sale for $109.99 using $20 off promo code

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Amazon is currently offering $20 off the Amazon Tap. Just enter promo code MUSICTAP20 at checkout to buy the Tap for $109.99. That’s the lowest price the Tap has ever been. The Amazon Tap is an Alexa-enabled speaker. It’s the only portable Alexa device Amazon makes, thanks to its rechargeable battery. Alexa on the Amazon Tap can do everything it can do on the Echo, apart from always listening. The promo code is good until June 1, 2016.

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Non-rooted Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks on version 5.2.1.0 can no longer block updates internally

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It was nice while it lasted, but software version 5.2.1.0 has disabled the “pm hide” command used to block software updates on non-rooted Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks running software version 5.0.0 thru 5.0.5.1. This is the command used in method 2 of my update blocking guide. It was odd that the “pm hide” command even worked on Fire OS 5 up until now since it was not available on Fire OS 3 at all. This means that devices running 5.2.1.0 must either be rooted to block updates, or block them externally using a router or a service like OpenDNS.

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