Amazon restores voice dictation for on-screen keyboard with latest Fire TV update

A new software update has just started rolling out to Fire TV devices that restores the ability to use the voice remote to dictate what you would like typed into the on-screen keyboard. With the previous update that revamped the Alexa interface on older Fire TV devices, Amazon inadvertently broke voice dictation for the keyboard, but now they’ve made good on their promise to restore the functionality as soon as possible, by doing so in record time. Read more ›

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Fire TV update adds new hidden Network Proxy settings

The biggest new feature brought on by the new 6.2.5.3 software update, that rolled out to the Amazon Fire TV 3 earlier this month, is the highly requested ability to match the device’s refresh rate to the content’s frame rate. That’s not the only new feature because the update has also added the ability to configure the device to use a Network Proxy. The new options are located in the Fire TV’s hidden developer menu. Read more ›

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Alexa usage on Amazon Fire TVs has increased considerably

With the announcement of the new Fire TV Cube, Amazon is making Alexa a bigger part of their streaming media hardware than ever. That decision is likely influenced by the fact that Fire TV owners are using Alexa more than ever. VP of Fire TV product development Sandeep Gupta said, at the TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco on Wednesday, that Alexa usage on Fire TV devices increased by 23x during the 2017 holiday quarter when compared to the same three months in 2016, according to Variety. Amazon says that Alexa was queried close to half a billion times by Fire TV users in 2017. More recently, hours spent using Alexa on Fire TV devices nearly doubled over the past 9 months. As Alexa becomes more useful with new capabilities, those figures are sure to continue increasing.

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Software update 5.2.6.1 rolling out to the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition televisions

A new software update is starting to roll out to nearly all Fire TV models. The new update is marked as version 5.2.6.1 with a build value of 587600920. While Amazon has not yet edited their Fire TV Software Update page to include this latest update, they have added the new update to their Fire TV Source Code Notice page. That page indicates that this update is rolling out to the Fire TV 1, Fire TV 2, Fire TV Stick 1, Fire TV Stick 2, and Fire TV Edition televisions. The page has never been updated to include the Fire TV 3, so it’s unknown if those devices are also being updated. Read more ›

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Alexa can now directly start Netflix content on the Amazon Fire TV

Amazon added the ability for Alexa to start playing content on the Fire TV over a year ago, but it has been limited to movies and shows from Amazon Video. Last month, they announced that the feature would soon be extended to other services. That capability is starting to roll out because you can now ask Alexa to directly play content from Netflix on the Fire TV. Read more ›

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Amazon announces new 4K HDR Fire TV for $69.99

Amazon today announced an all-new Fire TV model. It is the first Fire TV capable of playing 4K video at 60 frames per second, since the 2nd-generation Fire TV could only play 30 fps 4K video. This new model is also the first Fire TV to support HDR video, which combined with the higher frame rate 4K capabilities, makes its video playback superior to the 2nd generation Fire TV. For that reason, Amazon is officially calling this the 3rd-generation Fire TV. Read more ›

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Amazon announces official Ethernet Adapter compatible with Fire TV Stick and all-new 4K HDR Fire TV

Amazon has announced an official Ethernet Adapter compatible with both the existing 2nd-generation Fire TV Stic and the all-new 4K HDR Fire TV that was also announced today. It’s available to pre-order today for $14.99 and will be released on October 25.

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Alexa on the Amazon Fire TV to receive a complete visual overhaul

Amazon just announced the availability of Alexa Display Cards for third-party manufacturers to incorporate into Alexa-enabled devices that have screens. These are the supplemental visual representations of Alexa responses that first appeared when Amazon added Alexa capabilities to the original Fire TV. Similar Alexa cards were later used on Fire tablets when they gained Alexa capabilities, but now that the the all-new Echo Show is a few days from release, Amazon has given visual Alexa responses a lot more attention and completely overhauled their layout. Part of the new Alexa card display guidelines is a large section dedicated to Alexa’s TV interface, which is very likely going to make its way to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick in a future update. Read more ›

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Software update 5.2.1.2 begins rolling out to 1st-gen Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks

The 1st-generation Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are starting to receive a new software updated, carrying version number 5.2.1.2 and build number 562254320. I’ve received the update and, unfortunately, this update does not bring the new user interface to 1st-gen devices. The new interface is still coming to older devices, but that will happen at a later unknown date. The update with the new interface will likely carry a version number of 5.2.4.0 or greater. I’m told this 5.2.1.2 update’s purpose is to patch various security vulnerabilities within Android. Assuming there aren’t any issues with the update, most devices should receive it by the end of the week. I haven’t noticed any new features or obvious changes with this new software version, but I’ll be doing my usual digging shortly.

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Fire TV and Voice Remote stock instability hint at new devices

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The Amazon Fire TV has had some supply instability recently, which is likely an indication that new hardware is on the horizon. The Fire TV went out of stock as a result of the Prime Day sale in July. It didn’t come back in stock until earlier this week. All of Amazon’s other devices that went out of stock after Prime Day were back in stock within 2 weeks. Today, the Fire TV Voice Remote just went out of stock, for the first time ever, with an expected return date of Spetember 16th. The Fire TV’s long hiatus, and the Voice Remote’s sudden shortage, is a good indicator that both will likely be replaced soon. What’s most surprising though, is the Fire TV Stick’s supply stability. Read more ›

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