The Logitech Harmony Remote w/ Smart Hub just went on sale for $69.99. This matches the lowest price this remote has ever been, which was during this past Cyber Monday. Harmony remotes are among the few universal remotes that can control the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The included hub connects to the Fire TV via bluetooth and the remote relays button press through the hub to the Fire TV. The remote connects via RF, so you still don’t have to physically point the remote anywhere, just like with the Fire TV default remote. Additionally, Harmony created a pair of Alexa Skills, so you can have limited control of your TV with your voice through an Alexa-enabled device.
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Amazon has added two brand new phones to their lineup of Prime Exclusive Phones. These are the phones which Amazon sells at a discount, in exchange for pre-loading them with Amazon apps and displaying ads on the lockscreen. The first new phone is the Moto G5 Plus for $184.99, which is $45 off the regular price. That model comes with 32GB of internal storage, but there is also a 64GB version for $239.99, which is $60 off the regular price. This phone was just announced a few weeks ago by Motorola and will be released at the end of the month. You can place a pre-order for either the Prime Exclusive version or the standard version now and have it arrive on March 31st. It’s fully compatible with all four major US carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
The second new phone is the Alcatel A30 for $59.99, which is $40 off the regular price. There is a CDMA version of this phone, which will work with Verizon, and a GSM version, which will work with AT&T and T-Moible, so be sure to order the correct one if you’re interested. Pre-ordering now will have the phone arrive on APril 19th.
I’ll be live streaming this week’s episode of the AFTVnewscast tomorrow at 11am PT / 2pm ET. Post your questions or topics in the comments below for me to answer and discuss during the episode. Anything goes for questions, whether it’s about the Fire TV, AFTVnews, or tech in general. Let’s hear them! Even if you can’t watch live, ask your question now and catch the episode on YouTube later.
Now that we know a new Fire TV model with an Android 7 based operating system is being worked on by Amazon, the question many Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners have is will their device receive the updated operating system? Obviously, there’s no way to know for sure at this point, and I don’t expect Amazon to announce anything regarding the topic anytime soon. So, let’s take a look at what Amazon has done historically with the Fire TV specifically, and also their other Android-based devices, to try to predict the future. Read more ›
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The Mezzmo app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick has just gone on sale for $1.49. This is app was released nearly a year ago, but this is the first time it has ever dropped below its regular price of $4.80. Mezzmo is a media player app that is often forgot next to giants like Kodi and Plex. It can stream files from any DLNA / UPnP media server, so if you already have a Plex server running, you can be up and running with Mezzmo in seconds. Of course, Mezzmo does make their own server software aswell.
If you’re curious about giving Mezzmo a try, they have a free trial app you can check out before committing to buy the full version. The free version is full featured and identical to the paid app, but expires after 15 days of use. Unlike Plex, which relies on a monthly subscription model to access all features, Mezzmo just sells their software for a one-time fee with nothing else to pay later. Mezzmo is compatible with all Fire TV and Fire TV stick models.
The game Black Mountain Run has just gone free for the first time. This is an endless runner game where you’re avoiding obstacles and collecting fireflies to avoid being overtaken by a creature chasing you down. The game is compatible with all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models, and works with both the Fire TV remote and game controller.
There have been hints that Amazon is working on launching the Fire TV and their appstore in India for several months. Now it looks like third-party services are getting involved, which usually means the launch is right around the corner. A pair of new apps, Voot and Voot Kids, which are streaming services in India, were just added to the appstore with support for the Fire TV. The red flag is that these Fire TV apps are geographically orphaned, which means they are not available for download in any of the 4 countries where the Fire TV is currently sold. Read more ›
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Amazon just added native support for smart locks earlier this month. This allow you to lock your door and check if your door is locked using your voice with ease. If this is something that interests you, the August Smart Lock just went on sale for $182.99 at Amazon. At 20% off the retail price of $230, that’s the lowest price this lock has ever been.
The August Smart Home skill lets you ask Alexa using natural speech. That means you can say “Alexa, lock the front door” or “Alexa, is the front door locked?” to perform the action or receive a response. There is also a regular August skill that adds the optional ability to unlock the door by speaking a PIN code, if that interests you. This works through any Alexa access, not just hardware like the Echo and Fire TV, but also through the new iOS app integration. So the next time you leave the house and immediately question if you locked the door, you can quickly find out and put your mind at ease.
Amazon has just updated their Amazon Music app for iOS for the iPhone and iPad with support for Apple Carplay. If you have a vehicle equipped with Carplay, you can now easily access your Amazon Music library right from your dash through a native interface. This works with both
Prime Music and Music Unlimited subscriptions, as well content you’ve individualy purchased or uploaded yourself. Support for Android Auto has been available for some time, so it’s nice to see Amazon now including support for the other popular car dash operating system.
The game Ticket to Ride has just dropped in price from $6.99 to $1.99. Apart from when the game was offered briefly for free last year, this is the lowest price it has been. This is the official electronic adaptation of the immensely popular board game of the same name. Ticket To Ride is touted as a game that takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master. The Fire TV version features solo play against up to 4 AI players, local multiplayer play with up to 4 people, and online multiplayer. The online multiplayer is cross-platform, which means you can play against people on Android, iOS, Mac, and PC. It has a great 4.2 star rating from over 500 reviews. Ticket To Ride is compatible with all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models, and works with either a remote control or game controller.