Amazon Echo on sale for $99.99 — Second Lowest Price Ever

The Amazon Echo is on sale for $99.99 on Amazon. This is the second lowest price the Echo has ever been. It’s not as good as the $89.99 sale we saw during Prime Day last month, but it’s probably as low as the Echo will be until Black Friday in November.

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Amazon Echo Dot on sale for $44.99

Amazon has just given the Echo Dot a slight discount. Both the Black Echo Dot and White Echo Dot are on sale for $44.99. That’s only a $5 discount off of the regular price, but this will likely be as good as sales get for the Echo Dot until Black Friday in November. On my Amazon Device Buyer’s Guide, this price ranks as an “Okay” price on my scale of “Okay/Good/Great.”

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New Apps for the Week of August 13th thru the 19th

This week there were 33 new apps and games released for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The most notable is the arrival of Nick Jr. from Nickelodeon. The app has tons of great content tailored for children under 6 years old. You need to activate the app with a television provider to unlock all content, but there is a decent amount of free content as well. A new Reddit video client has also arrived this week. ReddTV brings in popular videos from reddit.com for an easy to view stream. Another interesting new app is TV News Ticker which lets you add an RSS feed news ticker on your Fire TV home screen. It has several options to adjust exactly how the ticker appears and where. Continue on for the full list of new apps and games released in the last 7 days. Read more ›

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Keeping in touch with AFTVnews on Twitter, Facebook, and beyond

Apart from the links in the footer of the site, I’ve never posted anything about my social media accounts. I’ve always just let people stumble across them on their own. Since news has been a bit slow this week, I figured now would be a good time to post about the various ways you can keep in touch if you’d like.

Twitter: @AFTVnews is the main account for the site where I post every article I write, for those who want them in their Twitter feed. I’m most responsive on Twitter of all social media accounts, but I’ll usually reply from my personal Twitter account, which is @Elias. I also recently created @AFTVnewsApps where I’ve been posting weird/dumb/strange reviews of my app for those interested in face-palm inducing chuckles.

Facebook: The main account is Facebook.com/AFTVnews which is where I post all articles for those who want AFTVnews in their Facebook news feed. There is also an AFTVnews Community Facebook Group where people are free to discuss anything. Everyone who asks to join is approved and anyone can approve others. I keep my personal Facebook account private, but I do have a public profile at Facebook.com/esaba that I occasionally post on.

Other: Twitter and Facebook are the main ways to keep in touch outside of the site, but there is also an Email List if you want to receive new articles in your inbox. There’s also of course an RSS Feed for those wanting to use an external reader. I’ve also considered adding browser notifications for new posts, so let me know in the comments if that’s something you would use.

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Amazon has 19 movies available to rent for $0.10 each

Amazon is currently offering 19 movies to rent for $0.10 each. If you rent a movie today, you’ll have 30 days to start watching it and 48 hours to complete it once you’ve started. This is a great way to maximize any no-rush digital credit you might have. You can check your available credit here. Read more ›

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Amazon expands program that pays Alexa skill developers

Earlier this year, Amazon introduced a program that pays developers of the most popular Alexa skill games. Today they’ve announced that the rewards program is expanding to now include Alexa skills in six more categories. Developers of Alexa skills in the categories Education & Reference, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Music & Audio, and Productivity will now also earn money if their skills receive enough engagement. Amazon has still not revealed specifics on how much can be earned, but they will use metrics such as the total minutes a skill is used, the number of new customers, the number of recurring customers, the skill’s customer ratings, and more to determine how much a developer is paid each month. One Alexa developer tells TechCrunch that he estimates the top skill in a category receives about $5,000 each month, #6 gets about $2,000, #7 gets about $1,000, and #300 gets about $100.

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Amazon Fire TV Edition televisions gain new option to turn on with Alexa

When Amazon made it possible for stand-alone Alexa devices, like the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, to control the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, control of Fire TV Edition televisions was not quite ready initially. It is now possible to control the televisions with Alexa as well and Amazon has added a new option in the TV’s settings menu to allow Alexa to turn on the TV. In order for Alexa to turn on the TV, it must remain in a low power state, similar to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick’s sleep mode, so having the feature enabled will consume a little more power than usual while the TV is off. If you don’t plan to use Alexa to turn on your Fire TV Edition television, it’s probably a good idea to turn the feature off. You can do so from the Settings > Alexa menu on the TV. With the option enabled, giving any Alexa command that relates to your TV, like “Alexa, launch YouTube,” will power on the TV if it is off. Of course, you can also just say “Alexa, turn on Fire TV” if you prefer. See here for a list of other commands that can be used.

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App Deal: Riptide GP2 is Free and Riptide GP Renegade is on sale for $0.99

The very popular racing game Riptide GP2 has just gone free to celebrate the game’s 4 year aniversary. This game is normally $1.99 and has a great 4.5 star rating from over 1,000 reviews. The sequal to that game, Riptide GP: Renegade, is also celebrating the aniversary with a sale. Riptide GP: Renegade is normally $2.99 but is currently down to $0.99, which is the new lowest price it has ever been. Both of these games are compatible with all Fire TV devices except the 1st-gen Fire TV Stick. They are both playable with either a remote control or game controller.

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Nick Jr. app by Nickelodeon arrives on the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition television

About a week after they released their Nick app, Nickelodeon has now released a Nick Jr. app for all Amazon Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, and Fire TV Edition televisions. This new Nick Jr. app is tailored for kids under 6 years old, while the Nick app is for older kids. As you’d expect, the two apps are very similar in their design and features, so take a look at my overview of the Nick app to get a feel for both apps. To access all of the content in either app you’ll need to activate the apps with a subscription television provider, but both apps do have a decent assortment of free ad-supported content that does not require activation to view. The free content does include full-length episodes of most of the shows available through these apps.

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UE Boom 2 and UE Megaboom portable speakers now have Alexa

The UE Boom 2 and UE Megaboom are among the most popular portable Bluetooth speakers available and now they’re even better with the addition of Alexa capabilities. Ultimate Ears has released a software update to their speakers that adds access to Amazon’s voice assistant directly from the speaker. Once configured, you just tap the Bluetooth button on the speaker and speak Alexa commands into the speaker’s microphone. The option to use Alexa is only available through UE’s Android app at this time. That seems to imply that the speaker must be connected to a phone for Alexa to work, but their help pages don’t make it clear if that’s the case or not. If that is the case, it’s distinctly different from the Amazon Tap which truly has Alexa built into the speaker without needing a phone. Either way, if you want access to Alexa through a much better sounding portable speaker than anything Amazon offers, the UE Boom 2 and UE Megaboom are definitely the way to go.

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