Amazon wins three Academy Awards for ‘Manchester by the Sea’ and ‘The Salesman’

Last night were the 89th Academy Awards where two Amazon’s original movies were nominated for seven awards. Manchester by the Sea picked up two Oscars, one by Casey Affleck for Best Actor and one for best original screenplay. Amazon’s other nominated original movie, The Salesman, won for best foreign language film.

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Downloader app v1.1.1 update for Fire TV adds built-in Web Browser

I am very excited to announce the latest version of my Downloader app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The big new feature of this 1.1.1 version is a built-in web browser. The browser allows you to easily navigate websites using the Fire TV remote without needing a mouse or keyboard. Downloading files is available through the browser so you no longer need to know the direct download URL to the file you want to download or the APK you want to install. You can just navigate to any website and click a download link to get the file you want. Read more ›

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New Apps for the Week of February 19th thru the 25th

This week there were 21 new apps and games released for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Contradiction is a unique new game with a free version to try before buying the full version. It’s a video murder mystery game where you watch live action video interviews to determine who’s lying and solve a murder. Crunchyroll is the most popular Anime streaming service and it is finally available on Fire TV devices. The app offers limited free content with ads and a $6.95 per month premium subscription to access all of their content ad-free. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick’s WiFi connection and how to improve it, you should check out myNetLyzer. I wrote an overview of how to use it here. Continue on for the full list of new apps and games released in the last 7 days. Read more ›

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AFTVnewscast 72: Stick 2 Overseas, MrMC v3, & WiFi Analyzer

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 11am 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 original series ‘Patriot’ now available on Prime Video

The debut season of Amazon original series Patriot is now available for Prime members to watch. All 10 episodes are ready to stream through Prime Video in their entirety. The show is about intelligence officer John Tavner, played by Michael Dorman, who must forgo all safety nets and assume a perilous “non-official cover,” that of a mid-level employee at a Midwestern industrial piping firm, to prevent Iran from going nuclear.

Next month brings the release of the final season of Hand of God. Shortly after will be the series premier of American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, which is a docuseries that chronicles the life of Playboy magazine’s founder. Amazon has yet to announce when The Tick and Jean-Claude Van Johnson will have their series debut, but they’ve recently been marked as “coming soon,” so it shouldn’t be too much longer.

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Amazon’s Alexa now has over 10,000 3rd-party skills

Amazon has revealed that Alexa has surpassed 10,000 skills. Alexa Skills are similar to phone apps, in that they are created by 3rd-parties to add functionality to the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Tap, Fire TV, and Fire TV Stick. The number of skills being created has shot up exponentially in recent months. Back when Amazon added the ability to rate and review skills a little over a year ago, there were only 91 skills. Just 6 months later, when Amazon improved skill discoverability and added the ability to enable skills by asking Alexa, the number of skills were up to 1,400. By the time Amazon finally launched dedicated web pages for Alexa skills five months later, there were over 4,000 skills. Now that number has more than doubled in just under 4 months.

Of course, just like with Fire TV apps, the number of total Alexa skills is not nearly as important as the number of quality skills. You’ll have to ignore a bunch of cookie cutter trivia games and fact skills to find ones that truly add value to your device.

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Post your Questions & Topics for tomorrow’s AFTVnewscast 72

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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.

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Crunchyroll brings their massive Anime streaming service to the Amazon Fire TV

Crunchyroll has finally brought their Anime streaming service to the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. This is one of the staple streaming services that has been missing from Fire TV devices for far too long. They offer over 25,000 episodes of Anime and Asian dramas, plus a collection of Manga comics. Many shows are available through the service just 1 hour after their TV broadcasts. Crunchyroll offers some of their content for free with ads. For access to all content without ads, they offer a $6.95 per month premium membership, which you can try for free for 14 days.

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Amazon is offering $8.62 off any purchase of $50 or more — Today Only

Amazon is celebrating their #1 corporation ranking by giving all customers $8.62 off a $50 purchase. Simply add $50 or more worth of items that are sold and shipped by Amazon to your cart and enter promo code BIGTHANKS to receive the discount. If you don’t have anything you need to buy, I suggest picking up a $50 gift card to somewhere you frequently shop, like one of the following:

Starbucks, Subway, IHOP, Kmart, Staples, Sears, Gap, Buffalo Wild Wings, Wholefoods, Nordstrom, Old Navy, JCPenney, American Eagle, Sephora, Hollister, Finish Line, Banana Republic, Burger King, The Children’s Place, The Cheesecake Factory, Panera Bread, Express, P.F. Changs

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New myNetLyzer app tests your WiFi network on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Sticks

A new app called myNetLyzer has just been released for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick to analyze your local WiFi networks. The app provides several pieces of crucial network information to help you determine the ideal settings to achieve the best WiFi signal for your Fire TV devices. Here’s an overview of its features and how to use them to improve your network connection. Read more ›

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