Alexa routines can now be launched with multiple phrases

Alexa routines have gained a small but useful new feature. When creating an Alexa routine that is launched by a custom phrase, it is now possible to add additional phrases that can launch the same routine. Prior to this change, each routine could only be launched by a single phrase. Now you can add up to 7 different phrases to each Alexa routine. This allows you to add variations of the main phrase, in case you or someone in your household is prone to forget the exact wording needed. It also lets you add some fun alternative phrases without losing the ability to use simpler phrases for launching Alexa routines.

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Verizon Fios TV app arrives on newer Fire TV devices but excludes older models

Verizon has launched its Fios TV app for Fire TVs and Firesticks. The app provides Verizon customers subscribed to Fios TV access to live channels, a program guide, on-demand content, DVR recordings, purchases, rentals, and more. This is the first time Verizon is making its app available on devices other than phones and tablets. Unfortunately, the app is only compatible with devices running Fire OS 6 and 7. That means customers with 2nd-gen Fire TV Sticks, which make up the majority of Fire TV devices in the wild, do not have access to the app. Only Fire TV models released in or after 2017 and Fire TV Smart TVs released in or after 2018 are compatible.

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Fire TVs can now control Bluetooth Headphone/Speaker Volume using the remote buttons

Amazon is rolling out new software updates to Fire TVs and Firesticks that add a capability customers have been wanting for a very long time. It is finally possible to lower and raise the volume of Bluetooth audio devices, such as Bluetooth ear pods and Bluetooth soundbars, using the volume buttons on the Fire TV’s remote. Fire TV devices gained the ability to connect audio over Bluetooth in 2015, but the feature has been crippled by the inability to adjust the volume unless the Bluetooth device itself had built-in volume controls. That shortcoming is finally being addressed with the latest Fire TV software update. Read more ›

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Overview of new Sling TV interface now available on Fire TV devices

Sling TV, the streaming television service with plans that start at $35 month for 30+ channels, has launched an entirely new app interface that has come first to Fire TV devices. While Sling TV’s old app interface could be commended for taking a unique approach to streaming TV, it certainly took some getting used to. The new interface has greatly simplified things and is more aligned with what most people tend to expect in a streaming app. Here is an overview of the new interface. Read more ›

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RetroArch game emulator frontend is now officially available on Fire TV devices

RetroArch, the very popular front-end app for emulators, is now available in the Amazon Appstore for all Fire TV devices, including Firesticks, Fire TV Cubes, and Fire TV Smart TVs, as spotted by Liliputing and XDA. RetroArch is not an emulator on its own, but it allows you to install numerous game engines, called cores, that can then emulate consoles such as NES, SNES, PlayStation, GameCube, Wii, and much more. While there are many standalone emulators that can be sideloaded, the benefit of RetroArch is that it provides a unified interface for all emulators in order to simplify the process of setting up and using multiple emulators.

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Amazon and NBC Sports to launch new live sports hub on Fire TV for the Olympics

Amazon has announced a new hub for live sports coming to the Fire TV home screen. While it’s technically for “sports biggest stage,” this is clearly meant to be for the Olympics, since it goes live July 22, a day before the Summer Olympics start, and will be available for 17 days. The hub is intended to make it simpler to access live streaming sporting events as well as on-demand replays. Read more ›

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CNN to launch CNN Plus streaming service in Q1 2022

CNN has announced that it will be launching a new streaming service early next year in Q1 2022, called CNN+. The service will launch in the US only, but the company is looking to eventually make the service available worldwide. The service is expected to compliment the cable network, as opposed to replacing it, by providing new personality-driven programming that is not available through the existing CNN linear channels. It doesn’t seem like a CNN+ subscription on its own, without a traditional paid TV subscription, will provide access to the live news channel. Pricing for the new streaming service has not been announced, but there will not be an ad-supported version at launch.

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New Fire TV interface is now rolling out to 2nd-gen Fire TV Sticks — This is the last model receiving the update

Since Fire TV Smart TVs and Soundbars began receiving the new Fire TV interface yesterday, that left the 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick as the sole remaining model waiting for the updated interface. Well, Amazon has just informed me that the new Fire TV interface is now also starting to roll out to 2nd-gen Fire TV Sticks. That means that there are no Fire TV models left waiting for the updated interface, although some devices included in this latest expansion will receive it later than others. Read more ›

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Huge sale on old Amazon devices — 2nd-gen Fire TV is $30, 1st-gen Fire TV Cube is $40, and more

Woot currently has a 1-day sale on older Amazon devices. If you still have fond memories of the 2nd-gen Fire TV, you can get a used one for just $29.99. There are also used 1st-gen Fire TV Cubes for $39.99 that come with the newer remote with TV controls on it. Smart display deals include the Echo Spot for $29.99, the 1st-gen Echo Show 10 for $34.99, and the 2nd-gen Echo Show 10 for $149.99. As for regular Echos, you can get the 1st-gen Echo for $24.99 or the 2nd-gen Echo for $39.99. Check out the rest of the older Amazon devices on sale and be sure to act fast as these sales tend to sell out pretty quickly. The Fire TV 3 for $19.99 is, unfortunately, already sold out as it was one of the better deal. The sale ends tomorrow, July 16 at 12am CT.

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When will your Fire TV or Firestick get the New Interface? — Current and Future Rollout Status (UPDATED)

Every time I write about the new Fire TV interface, there is always someone that asks when or if their device will be updated to the new interface. While that info can be found in my past articles, here it is in one place to tell you when every Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV Edition television will be getting the new interface. I’ll keep this list updated as new information emerges. Read more ›

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