Updated ABC and Freeform apps released for all Fire TV models

ABC originally released an app for the 1st-gen Fire TV over a year ago and never updated it to work with any other Fire TV devices. That has finally changed with an all new ABC app that works with all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models. The new app is quite nice with, most importantly, a lot of free content that does not require activating the app through a cable provider. If you do have a participating cable subscription, you can use it to unlock all content. Unlike most apps from cable or broadcast networks, this new ABC app includes a live stream. Unfortunately, the live stream does require activating the app and it’s only available in select cities, which include Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco. ABC has also released a new Freeform app, which was formerly known as ABC Family.

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Cartoon Network app arrives on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

Cartoon Network has just released a new app for all Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models. The app itself is quite nice and a refreshing change from the cookie-cutter streaming video apps we’ve been seeing lately from big networks. The app provides free ad-supported streaming of the latest episodes of most shows on Cartoon Network. If you have a cable subscription, you can use it to activate the app and unlock even more content. Read more ›

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New BET app arrives on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

Similar to NBCUniversal, Viacom has been on a bit of a new app spree for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, with the latest arrival being a new BET app. As you’d expect, the layout and functionality of the app is identical to other Viacom apps like Comedy Central, which I reviewed in detail, and MTV. Unlike most apps released by media conglomerates, Viacom’s apps actually have quite a bit of free content, including full episodes, that you can watch without needing to activate the app with a cable provider. Other Viacom properties that we’ll hopefully see Fire TV apps for in the future include Spike TV, Logo TV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., CMT, and VH1.

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E! Now app arrives on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

NBCUniversal has rounded out their recent network app releases with the arrival of an E! Now app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Much like their other apps, you’re going to need a cable subscription to really watch any content within this new E! Now app. Other NBCUniversal networks that have not had their apps ported to the Fire TV yet are Sprout, Oxygen, and Telemundo, so we may see those arrive in the future.

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App Deal: Kodi fork MrMC down from $5.99 to $2.99

To celebrate the app’s 1-year anniversary, MrMC has gone on sale for $2.99. This is the first time this app has ever been discounted below its regular price of $5.99. This sale price will last the entire month and will then return to its regular price next year. The app is available on all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models.

MrMC is a media center app created by the two developers who originally ported Kodi over to Android. This app sparks some controversy because many see it as just a paid version of Kodi, which is a free app that can be sideloaded. However, MrMC’s developers are continuously adding new features to their app, outside of Kodi’s development team, with a focus on the Fire TV specifically. As long as they continue doing that, they have my full support. The fact that MrMC is also open source, and therefore contributes back to Kodi’s development, is icing on the cake.

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ABC News releases local Fire TV apps for L.A., N.Y., Chicago, and other major cities

ABC has just released eight new Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick apps for local news coverage in major cities across America. The included cities are Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham, and San Francisco. The Fire TV Appstore is filled with local news apps, but up until now, those have all been from smaller affiliate networks which are not directly owned by the major broadcast network they represent. Most local news productions in major cities are owned by the broadcast network themselves, which is why there hasn’t been local news apps for major cities released in the past. This new batch of local news apps are released by ABC themselves, which is why so many major cities are included.

The apps themselves are all identical and fairly mediocre. They include on-demand streaming videos of the most recent and largest news stories in each local city. There is unfortunately no live stream in any of these apps, which is the feature people tend to want most out of a local news app. The apps also include a 7-day weather forecast, along with clips of recent forecast videos. Hopefully someday ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX will release live streaming apps for all of their local news coverage, but for now, these new apps from ABC are a nice baby step towards that dream.

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Disney brings direct-to-consumer subscription service to UK Fire TVs

Disney has just launched their new DisneyLife app and service on Amazon Fire TVs in the UK. The service allows UK residents to pay £4.99 per month for unlimited access to Disney movies and TV shows. The service also comes with live Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior streaming on mobile devices, but unfortunately, live streaming is not supported in the Fire TV app. Oddly enough, the app is only available on Fire TV boxes and not on the Fire TV Stick. DisneyLife is not yet available in the US.

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SPMC version 16.5.1 update fixes 4K issues on the Fire TV 2

A couple of weeks ago, SPMC, the most popular Kodi fork, added support for 4K playback on the Fire TV 2 with a new 16.5.0 release. However, it was quickly evident that something was wrong because 4K playback was not working for most people. A new 16.5.1 version has just been released that should fix 4K playback on the Fire TV. To install the new version, you can follow my sideloading guide, or just use my Downloader app and enter http://bit.ly/spmc1651arm in the text field.

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SiriusXM Radio app arrives on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

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SiriusXM Radio has just released a brand new app for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The app gives access to all 155 channels of commercial-free music, sports, news, and comedy from the satellite radio provider. You will need a subscription to the service before listening to any of the programming. Streaming online-only subscriptions start at $15.99 per month, or you can add streaming access to any of SiriusXM’s satellite plans for an extra $4 per month. The app is compatible with all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models.

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Syfy and Bravo apps arrive on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

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NBCUniversal has released the full versions of their Syfy and Bravo apps for the Amazon Fire TV & Fire TV Stick. A month ago, preview versions of each app were released with access to various clips from each network, but now these complete versions give access to full episodes. Just as with other NBCUniversal apps, like the USA Now app, you need to activate these apps with a cable provider in order to view any of their content.

In addition to the standard Bravo app, a new Bravo Watch & Shop app has also been released. This app lets you watch a limited assortment of Bravo content and it lets you purchase products directly from the app that appear in the Bravo shows.

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