AFTVnews is back!


I’m excited to announce that AFTVnews and I are back! For those of you not aware, I started and ran AFTVnews for 5 years, from 2014 to 2019, and I was then offered a position with the Fire TV team at Amazon, which I accepted. That required me to step away from AFTVnews and I spent just over a year as a Product Manager for Fire TV at Amazon Lab126. I’ve now chosen to voluntarily resign from Amazon so that I can return to running AFTVnews and developing Fire TV apps.

I had a great time working for Amazon and loved working with all the amazingly talented people on the Fire TV team. I have no regrets taking the last year off of AFTVnews and if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I learned so much this past year, made some great friends, and I’m thankful for having the opportunity to actually work on the products that I’ve been writing about for so long.

When I told the Fire TV team that I wanted to resign and return to AFTVnews, Fire TV’s leadership graciously and generously offered to work with me on finding a balance that would allow me to stay on the Fire TV team and also revive AFTVnews. After several discussions, we both agreed that my original decision to fully resign from Amazon made the most sense. One of my main reasons for choosing to leave Amazon was wanting the flexibility back of working for myself, deciding where to focus my effort, and choosing when I worked. While working on the Fire TV team was fun and interesting, I also really missed running AFTVnews, developing apps, and interacting with the great Fire TV community. A modified role on the Fire TV team would have given me some of the flexibility I wanted, but balancing that role with AFTVnews would have added too much complexity and caused a conflict of interest.

So, here I am, now a former Amazon employee and former Product Manager for Fire TV, eager to jump back into covering all things Fire TV and much more on this site! Please bear with me as I ramp things back up, update dormant sections of the site, rewrite some outdated guides, and generally get back into the groove of things. I also want to focus a decent amount of my time on some new Fire TV app ideas that I’ve been eager to pursue. I’ve thankfully been able to reacquire my Downloader app and other Fire TV apps, which I had to sell before joining Amazon, so there will eventually be updates coming to those as well.

Given that I now have a lot of inside knowledge about the Fire TV and the exciting things to come, even though I know that you all want me to spill the beans, there are obviously certain things that I won’t be writing about, namely leaked or unreleased information. Even if unreleased or leaked information about Amazon devices surfaces somewhere else, completly unlreated to me, I still won’t be discussing it here because that can be seen as adding credibility to the leak. I hope you all understand. The good news is that it won’t affect the site too much, since the focus was always about helping everyone get the most out of their devices and that absolutely isn’t changing. I’m still going to break down the nuances of every device, cover all the updates, explain every feature, and be as critical as ever of it all.

If you’re reading this, thank you for the interest in my little website. I hope I can re-earn your patronage and support. It’s great to be back!

-Elias

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136 comments
  1. I’m forcing this comment into the first position after the fact to just say thank you for all the warm welcome messages below. Even though I’m not responding to each one individually, I have read every one of them, and will be reading any new ones to come. It’s great seeing so many familiar names popping up. The little community we built around this site was one of the things I missed the most, so it’s great seeing that so many of you have already come back over. Welcome back to all of you as well!

    • sg says:

      welcome home i never deleted my downloader by aftnews app it still works perfectly. the business of streaming i beleive got a 2 year jump forward with the pandemic i alwsys thought in 5 years there will be vety little cable tv everything is going to streaming it is now , i feel 2 years ahead of that now we need you and your site welcome home

    • Larry Farmer says:

      Welcome back missed you but sorry that the other job didn’t work out for you.

    • JOEY says:

      AWESOME! TROYPOINT DID A GOOD JOB WITH DOWNLOADER!

    • Derrick Anderson says:

      I soooooo dearly missed this site, and I must admit that I peeped in from time to time to see if you had returned. It’s great to see that you’ve returned! Welcome home!!!

    • Thomas says:

      Hey great to have you back and sharing info and insights with us all. I personally use the Fire TV 4th gen although its not sold/supported yet in New Zealand. One of my main reasons for loving it is the accessibility features – built in screen reader and how it gives access to all of us.

      I would love to see the ability to setup and install local apps as part of the setup and automatically delete apps which content isn’t available for your region.

      Regards
      Thomas

    • Laju8 says:

      Hey man! Welcome back! I was hoping after you started working for Amazon that you would’ve been able to convince them to add another Gb of ram to the Firetv and also expanding the storage to a minimum of 16 gigs 8 is ridiculously too small.

    • GZHU999 says:

      I know there is a reason why I come back here every few months despite the fact that the site hasn’t change at all …. Welcome back!

    • JAM says:

      You were missed!…..a lot

    • ANDREA BROWN says:

      Hi Elias. I am 56 yrs old and so confused with all things viral. I try to get the most put of my new firestick but I am troubled by instructional u tube videos because I am unfamiliar with all the jargon and short forms. Where can I find a firestick for dummies course?

    • Youssef says:

      Welcome back Elias, I never deleted aftvnews from my browser bookmarks, it’s I knew yiu will come back to run it again!!

      • Bill says:

        Hooray for us. I’ve been with you since the beginning and still use all four of my favorite FireTV1’s. Great to have you back.

    • Mike Gordon says:

      Welcome back. You were surely missing the no one took your crown. Do I’m happy that you’re back as you fill a void.
      Sincerely, Mikey G

  2. Jorge says:

    I missed AFTVnews!

  3. Duncan Levy says:

    This is awesome news. You are so smart, dedicated, and resourceful when it comes to the Amazon Fire TV platform. Many more will probably now profit from your move.

  4. Jim says:

    Good to have you back

  5. tom42 says:

    Glad the site is back, but I’m sorry the job didn’t work out

  6. Ulises A. Rodriguez, Ph.D. says:

    Welcome back Elias, very happy to have you again with your excellent Reviews and Recommendations and Comments on the Amazon FireTV!

    I really believe, without fear of being wrong, that since you left we were orphans, because we could not have the most up-to-date information on Fire TV, like when FireTV-News was with us …

    We needed you so much, to always be up to date on everything related to Fire TV!

  7. Michajin says:

    Fantastic! Great to see!!!!

  8. Birdman says:

    Im just ready for the podcast to come back. Loved listening to it.

  9. HughD says:

    I’m glad to have you back. If you mentioned whether or not you’ll be firing up your YouTube channel again, I missed it. I resubscribed hoping you will.

  10. Michajin says:

    you are going to be updating the new information for a month! Welcome back!

  11. Mitch says:

    Awesome! Great to have you back Elias. Was always insightful and interesting articles. Really missed the AFTV news as well!

  12. Al says:

    Welcome back!! I always enjoyed your emails and look forward to reading them again. Best of luck!

  13. Ian King says:

    A loss for Amazon, but a win for fans of Amazon’s Fire TV

  14. testtesttest says:

    If you cant cover leaks from amazon you could start by covering leaks about this which would mean no conflict of interest https://www.xda-developers.com/google-android-tv-dongle-remote-ui/

  15. Pablo says:

    Good to have you back. I look forward to reading your AFTVnews.

  16. Chad says:

    Would love so see (hear) your podcast come back as well!

  17. clocks says:

    Glad to have you back, Elias. I greatly missed this site.

  18. Hank Gallo says:

    Welcome back. At least you enjoyed your time at Amazon.

  19. Jay says:

    Yes! Elias, so glad you and AFTV News are back!

  20. AFTVUser says:

    Their was a large information void left with your departure. Glad to have you back.

  21. H.E.C. says:

    WOW!

    Welcome back Elias!

    aftvnews was the only website I’ve visited literally daily and had it permanently open in the first tab of my browser. I’m surely not alone who missed it once you’ve joined the Amazon team and I applaud you for your dedication and certainly difficult decision you’ve made to return here and leave your position at Lab126.

    I look forward to all the exciting news a wish you all the best in these trying times.

  22. David M Star says:

    Glad to hear, I’ve been liking the new products from Amazon and I hope that you are a part of that…
    I truly miss Amazon fire TV news…. Thank you for sharing your time with us again

  23. Daniel says:

    It’s good to have you back. I’ve missed your insights and coverage. I just recently discovered that the new 4K fireTV stick remote doesn’t work with my older FireTV box. I either don’t know what I’m doing or just didn’t know better, because I’ve missed your detailed coverage of what works and what doesn’t. I’m looking forward go seeing what great news things you’ll bring with you after your experiences with the Amazon team. Kudos to you for making the hard choice.

  24. Charlie says:

    Good to have you back!

    • Charlie says:

      Truth is, I never stopped visiting the site regularly just to check in. Cool that you got ownership of Downloader back.

  25. Nick says:

    Yes! Welcome back!

    • Nick says:

      Sidenote: Any chance you could also develop, report and scrutinize for Android TV devices and not just AFTV?

      • Definitely. If Android TV puts something interesting out, I’ll definitely cover it. I picked up a Tivo Stream 4K, so you may see some articles about that, and I’ll definitely be buying/covering the rumored new Google/Nest device when it’s released.

  26. L.V. Legit says:

    welcome back!!

  27. Patricia says:

    Welcome back!

  28. Zeric says:

    Yea! Like others have said, really missed the regular updates on AFTVnews.

    The transition from one “doing their own thing” to the environment of Amazon (and all that implies) isn’t something many people would adjust to. I wouldn’t.

    Looking forward to future updates!

  29. djino says:

    Wow Welcome Back.

    You know whats really strange, was that just 3-4 days ago, I accidentally clicked on my AFTVNews Bookmark on my browser. Spent a few minutes reading your final message from last year again, thinking how I really missed your updates on everything AFTV. It made me sad. And now here you are. So freaking wild!

    Anyways Elias, its great to see that you are back. You have truly. been missed.

  30. Greg Seale says:

    Welcome back – I missed you ;-)

  31. jeff says:

    Nice to see you back, I always enjoyed your AFTV coverage.

  32. Lyn says:

    Well me too. Tganks for coming back to us. You WERE missed.

  33. Dennis Hotston says:

    Good to see you back!

  34. Scott Cunnyngham says:

    I had forgotten how much I enjoyed AFTV. Welcome back and I look forward to many more exciting and informative news events.

  35. TechyChris says:

    Thank God!!!! I’ve been waiting here the whole time!!!!

  36. Frank Smith says:

    Welcome back!!

  37. TechyChris says:

    If I may jump right in… Elias now that you have “re-acquired” your apps
    (which I use often) when the updates start rolling out is there any technical feasibility to customizing the icons for the Bookmarker Apps?
    I almost exclusively use “websites in place of apps” on my FTV and the Bookmarkers are a Godsend but the nondescript icons are killing me!

    Thanks, no rush…and Welcome HOME!

    • Unfortunately, it’s just not technically possible to make the icon customizable. The icon is served from Amazon’s servers and I upload it when the app is submitted to the appstore. So there’s no way for the app itself to change that icon on the fly.
      I’d love to hear any other suggestions you’ve got for the Bookmarker apps!

  38. Gareth Price says:

    Good to have you, and the site, back. Best wishes for the future

  39. Tell says:

    I knew that if I kept you on google chrome favourites it would be back one day good to see you back.

  40. Michael Nix says:

    It would be great if you could develop away to smoothly integrate a screen capture feature that sits in the OS as if it were native for others to do fire stick reviews more fluently.

  41. InIrons says:

    Yeeeaaaahhh! I too looked at the old website last week and thought wow do I miss this.. When I got the email today I told my wife I was so excited! She said what is AFTV mean? Lol

    Cant wait to get started on our new adventure!

  42. Rebecca says:

    Glad to have you back!

  43. Nate says:

    So glad to have you back!

  44. Kramar says:

    Wow!
    Just Wow!

  45. Rob says:

    Woo hoo! Glad you are back

  46. Igor K. says:

    Respect from Russia!
    Amazon evil company

  47. Nils Vos says:

    Oh wow! How exciting! Welcome back so glad to hear this news. Working for yourself can be so rewarding.

  48. Koying says:

    Welcome back, Elias :)

  49. _u2pop_ says:

    The Best Of The Best…!!!

  50. Garth Manter Manter says:

    anyone gots me a happy running man emoji… hoop hoop welcome back @Elias Saba…!!!

  51. JFC says:

    Glad to have you back, Elias!!! Sorely missed!!!

    You’re going to be a busy man, because, now you and all of use have a full year’s worth of Fire TV stuff to catch up on…. a period when little if anything useful or informative came to the user community directly from Amazon during your absence from AFTV News. :-)

  52. Scott says:

    Welcome back! Very excited! I missed this website so much.

  53. MikeC says:

    So glad you’re back! I’ve missed AFTVNews while you were away! And I’m also glad I never removed the blog from my feed reader so I could be alerted when this day happened! Welcome back!

  54. hawkstead says:

    Elias,
    Welcome back. I can’t wait.
    I’ve been checking your site 3 times a day everyday since day one (or two) since it’s part of my home screen tabs.

    firetvnews.com old schoolers unite!

  55. BobD says:

    Great news!!!

  56. Greg says:

    Great news that you’re back, a heads up to Troypoint for taking care of downloader, would have been a nice touch though .

  57. PCDoc says:

    Thank you for coming back!

    It is great to be your own boss, do what you love most, & work when you want to.
    I will be waiting for all your good news.

  58. Guido says:

    Good thing I never deleted AFTVNews from my feed reader. Welcome back!

  59. Michael says:

    Great news. Welcome back.

  60. Anthony says:

    Excellent news! Glad to have you back!

  61. Patrick says:

    Great news!! Welcome back!

    Now… spill the dirt. :)

  62. Nate says:

    Elias – I think I speak for everyone when I say that we would like to welcome back the undisputed king of all things Fire TV! Definitely looking forward to your upcoming updates!

  63. AFTVNEWS Fan says:

    Welcome back, can’t wait for you share inside information with us. Hopefuly your contributions lead to the enhancement of future Amazon products.

  64. Edgar says:

    This is awesome news. Missed this site so much. Was about to pull the trigger on a nvidia shield. But I love these fire tv’s so much. They do so much for so little money.

  65. MIke M says:

    Welcome back! I missed visiting this site for the latest info.

  66. hdmkv says:

    Didn’t see this coming. Welcome back Elias. Now what’s the inside word on new FTV devices?! Just kidding :D ;)!

  67. John C says:

    Elias,
    Welcome HOME!!!!!
    Glad you are back and going to get and keep the site up to date. A lot has changed with the FireTV since you left and we all hope you can get us up to date (as much as possible) and answer some of the ” What the heck are they thinking?” questions! While not asking you to share any privileged information, I hope you can help answer some questions I am sure users will be asking as well.

    Again-Welcome back/home!!

  68. Alfredo Rodriguez says:

    Hey Elias welcome back!!! we mis you greatly this place or page was not the same without you Glad that you came back.

  69. Jose Flores says:

    Aweswome news, welcome back.

  70. Leo says:

    That’s great! I’m glad you’re back. I missed this site. :D

  71. J Reed says:

    Alright – Welcome Back Elias!!! Greatly missed this site and all the Fire TV and other tech info as well!

  72. Rich says:

    Glad this was a move you wanted, awesome to get you back!

  73. BirdOPrey5 says:

    Welcome back! I guess I could ask why under your leadership we never got a true upgrade to the Fire TV Box 2nd Generation which is still the best Fire TV model out there in my opinion, but you probably can’t answer. I missed this site.

  74. Max says:

    Welcome back. The only person in broadcast history to start his show by verifying AV sync with a series of claps.

  75. Boudyka says:

    Welcome back Elias…sadly I’ve moved on the Fire TV as well…FTV2 was sadly my last until something comes along with a little more under the hood. Plenty of Echo’s still, and the FTV2 serves in one of the Bedrooms… Good to here you are well. Cheers Boudyka, Nottingham UK :)

  76. AFTV fan says:

    I never deleted AFTV news from my rss reader and what a surprise it was to see a post pop up. I do have to wonder though, with the FireTV now being more of a mainstream device (like a TV) what more is there to cover? I don’t see a point in rooting for instance, heck I don’t even use Kodi anymore. I will stay tuned to find out what you come up with.

    • JFC says:

      “FireTV now being more of a mainstream device (like a TV) what more is there to cover?”

      I think you’re forgetting a few things.
      –It was because of Elias that the entire FTV community gained the Downloader app, that made it easy for the first time to directly download APKs and other files on device via its built-in web browser.

      –It also was because of Elias that the entire FTV community gained the Bookmarklet apps that allowed FTV users to save websites as app tiles on their FTV app menus.

      And various other things as well. AFTVNews hasn’t only been about providing information about the FTV platform, but it’s also been about providing apps, tweaks, how-to’s, guides to rooting, etc. for all FTV users to improve and expand their use of the FTV devices.

      • InIrons says:

        I agree because of AFTVnews the Firetv products are more versatile streaming devices.

        The only thing I miss with Firetv is the lack of Spectrum app.

        Everything else is hunky dory, but knowing what I know niw, I would just get the 4K Firetv sticks instead of the Firetv Cube although the IR dongle control is pretty handy at times.

  77. Kepler says:

    Oh, my… so great to see you back! So many times I saw stuff happen at my FTVs and wondered what you would say about them. You were greatly missed, for sure. Sorry it didn’t work out there, but you’ve surely got a look behind the curtains! Definitely reviving the favorite spot at Chrome for this site. Good luck!!!

  78. Shreekant Deshpande says:

    Hi Elias
    First of all welcome back. I came to know that you are the original developer and not Troypoint only now

    Have a suggestion/enhancement in downloader app.
    If I need to download apk from https or ftp site, it is not allowed.
    Downloader hardcodes http:// to any url we type
    Can this be modified (at your convinience)

    • The “http://” isn’t hardcoded. When the keyboard comes up, you can select Delete or Clear in the bottom right of the keyboard to remove the “http://” part that is prefilled. Let me know if that doesn’t work for you for any reason.

  79. Al says:

    Elias,
    Welcome Back!You were definitely missed.What you bring to the table is a unique perspective into the world of everything Amazon.
    I do have a question? What happened to the Fire Tv Edition 55″. It was on their website and NOW it’s gone? And no 65″ this year 2020? I was hoping they were going to put the ATSC 3.0 chip in them for 2020 or maybe the New AMAZON FIRE TV RECAST.

  80. John J. says:

    Welcome back Elias! Best news this year.

  81. pete says:

    welcome back you have been missed!

  82. Bob Morris says:

    Welcome back! I read a rumor that Amazon might run a big sale later this month? They had a trade-in deal last year and people were getting Fire TV 4K Sticks for $20-$25. I’d hate to miss another deal like that. Please update the Deals and Freebies page. If I could put more data on the SD card in my 2017 FTV box I wouldn’t be shopping for a 4K Stick. Thank you Elias.

  83. yup says:

    I’m pretty sure the responses you’ve already received say it all…this has been a resource I’ve surely missed.

    Will you still be covering topics such as root methods, etc. or is that grouped into the conflict of interest category

    • Since I’m no longer with Amazon, there is no conflict of interest. The only things I won’t be covering are insider/unannounced/leaked information. I’ve got no problems covering rooting methods.

  84. LM says:

    Welcome back! We’ve missed you. I’m excited to see what great content you’ll be providing for everyone. If it’s anything like it was before you left, I’ll be looking forward to it!

  85. ophir says:

    welcome back!!
    hope you’ll find happiness in you old-new doing in this site.

    I have just one question that I would very much like to know,
    is there any chance we will get a fire tv with gigabit ethernet port?
    and i’m not talking about the usb adapter solution.

    thank you!

  86. Dennis says:

    Elias…. OMG!!
    So many mixed feelings right now. On one hand, I am sorry things didn’t work out long term for you at Amazon… but on the other hand, I am sooooo happy to see you return to AFTV News!!!
    Looking forward to sharing the passion with you. Hope to even see you take a stab at podcasting again too. Whatever you choose to do, good luck and I will be in the crowd “rooting“ for you and doing what we all love to do …. WELCOME BACK!!!

  87. Scott Howell says:

    Welcome back! I’ve been reading since the beginning and was happy to see an AFTVnews article show up on my Facebook feed! I’ve since made the switch to a Roku TV to change things up, but I still enjoy Amazon and their products and enjoy reading about them. I almost considered a Fire TV television, but I like how Roku handles private listening better. Just a small quirk. Congratulations on bringing the site back!

  88. STEVEN J KLINE says:

    Good to have you back, I missed receiving your Christmas card with your son in hand this past season plus all the valuable information on your website. Now I know where I can address my Fire TV questions once again. Welcome back!

  89. Stick Man says:

    Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back

    Man so good to have you back I’ve kept my bookmark tab all this time, checking occasionally hoping to see something from you . Kind of bittersweet I was hoping you would push Amazon to realize the full potential of the Fire TV Platform it’s a great device we just need a Higher Performance Version on par with say a NVIDIA Shield. I’m all in on the Amazon Echo System.

    Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Pendant, Fire TV Cube, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Recast

  90. MIchael says:

    Welcome back. Count me as one who would check the site sometimes to see if someone else or you came back to it. I was actually considering buying a new Tivo Stream since it has a great base of people like you, but now I’ll stick with this for the time being. The biggest thing I hope is for some way you mightr be able to help us all manage the storage of these devices. It seems every time Amazon updates things I get less and less available storage. Almost full with just 6 apps installed. You’d think Amazon would want us to install apps these days. Hard to even find a phone these days with less than 16GB. So happy you are back. And I understand the desire to work on your own schedule and your own terms. I’ve been considering the same for myself as an Architect working from home during the pandemic.

  91. J says:

    OMG so nice to have you back!!!
    I was just searching for more news and updates and decided to try this long lost place I used to get the latest and greatest from. . . terrific.

  92. Angel Reyes says:

    Welcome back! Missed this site!

  93. Keith says:

    We need this. It hasn’t quite been the same this past year.
    Welcome back!

  94. James says:

    James
    Super to have you back we need info Amazon does not give much!!!!

  95. The Brain says:

    I knew that if I kept your blog on my newsfeed reader someday you’d come back. :D

    Welcome!

    Are you going to post the weekly new apps list again?

    Please say yes.

  96. Jeff says:

    I luckily found you with a Google search. Welcome back!!! I don’t think I would have ever checked this site again without the help of Google. You’ve been missed! Will you bring back the podcast? Pretty please?

  97. Y314K says:

    Welcome back Elias. Not sure how I found out so late you where back, I had been checking the site monthly.

    Btw, I am still have my 4 rooted FireTV box’s running fine. Hopefully u can still supply RBox with the download update links for them. Although I did finally bought a 4k FireTV Stick to play around with it. I still prefer not using a USB dongle to use USB peripherals.

    Welcome back man. Got a big smile on my face that my favorite site is back. Will make it my daily again.

  98. Angelo Restrepo says:

    Hello Elias,

    Can you help me understand the Fire Tv Cube 2nd Gen? It has great specs but I can not find any app killer like the background app for this device and it drives me a bit crazy also does not seem to be as stable as the fire stick 4K. Some apps crash just sad that it has great specs besides the crashing and the mere two gigs of memory. Why would they even not put in a gigabit lan on this box.

  99. Drumst1x says:

    Oh wow! I stopped using Chrome a while back, and I still had this site as one of my startup pages on there… Just launched chrome for something else, and this site popped up, NOT with your farewell message!!! Color me surprised! Now off to re-add this to my startups in Firefox so I don’t miss a beat! Welcome back, so glad to see this. Gotta catch up on the last month!!! You were most definitely missed!

  100. Matt Taylor says:

    Welcome back! I knew that I didn’t close out aftvnews tab on my iPad for a good reason, refreshed today & tons of new content!!

    Thanks!!

  101. JoeB says:

    You had me at “AFTVnews and I are back”

    Welcome back!!!

  102. Marc says:

    Awesome!! I accidentally clicked on the link and was delighted to see your site is back! Thanks for all you do – our Fire TV experience was improved greatly by all of the advice and tips/tweaks we learned on your site. Welcome back!

  103. CHRIS says:

    Glad to have you back.

    When you left I somehow lost interest in fire TV devices and their appstore. I bought a shield. Started using the play store….

    I think you were probably responsible for a huge amount of revenue for Amazon with this site.

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